(CNN)The countless hours that many of us have spent sitting at a makeshift desk in quarantine can be detrimental not only physically but also mentally. Hunched over a computer day in and day out, you’re not just wreaking havoc on your posture, but you’re likely feeling out of sorts and drained, too.
If you’re waking up feeling stressed or overwhelmed with the thought of beginning another day in isolation, a daily yoga practice can be helpful. Practicing brief sessions of yoga and mindfulness can significantly improve energy levels and brain function.
Along with the physical practice of yoga, the breathwork, called pranayama, has a significant positive impact on energy levels and cognitive function. Research has shown that slow, steady breathing linked with movement helps reduce stress and improve autonomic and higher neural center functioning.
Think about a yoga practice as a cup of coffee: You turn to coffee because it tastes good and makes you feel sharper mentally. Similarly, you can turn to yoga because it feels good and helps you feel more energetic. But if you’re intimidated by the idea of a long class or are worried that you don’t have enough experience to begin yoga, have no fear.
Quarantine can be a great time to start a brief, daily practice first thing in the morning.
Need more reasons to start? Here’s some inspiration: A collection of studies reported that regular practice of yoga improves serotonin levels, decreases depression and anxiety, increases blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach the body cells and thus enhancing their function, and improves flexibility and functional mobility in people with chronic pain.
That’s why I created this five-minute yoga routine to loosen up your body and start your day off feeling calm, balanced and positive. As a certified yoga instructor for over a decade, I encourage my clients to engage in a daily yoga practice (preferably in the morning) to get the blood flowing, boost energy and invigorate the senses.
These poses are strategically included because they open up the body physically, improve blood flow to the vital organs and stretch the front, back and sides of the body in a short amount of time.