An easy pose can shake you out of your midday slump in just 30 seconds — without even standing up.
If you're sitting in front of your computer all day long, this quick pose can help you feel more alert and "wake up" the brain, integrative wellness physician Dr. Taz Bhatia told the 3rd Hour of TODAY. Kids stuck in a classroom all day can do this, too, she said.
How to do the pose
The pose itself is easy enough: Just sit upright in a chair and gently lean your head back. If comfortable, hold the pose for 30 seconds. “If you’re sitting at your desk, you could do it," Bhatia said.
And what exactly does this inverted pose do?
"Inverting brings all this blood flow right back to the brain," Bhatia said. "Bringing blood flow to the brain wakes the brain back up."
If you find that your neck is particularly stiff when doing this pose or that it's otherwise uncomfortable, try other gentle yoga inversions. For instance, legs-up-the-wall and bridge poses can encourage blood flow to your upper body without stressing your neck.
Other beginner poses, like goddess, cobra and pigeon poses, can also help get you moving and center your intentions when you need to wake up. They're perfect to start the day or for when you need to refocus in the afternoon.
Other ways to keep kids alert at school
In light of this busy back-to-school season, Bhatia shared some other ways to keep kids' brain power up in the classroom.
- Make breakfast count. A good, balanced breakfast will keep kids full of energy, Bhatia said. Think POWER: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, water, energizing snacks and roughage, she explained. Instead of grabbing for cereal, offer kids a fruit- and protein-packed smoothie or pancakes with a little protein powder in them, she suggested.
- Keep them hydrated. "Water is another great hack to keep energy up and keep that brain charged and moving because so many kids are coming home dehydrated," Bhatia said. A colorful, durable water bottle might help them along.
- Adjust the color on screens. "All the apps on our phones and our tablets have a lot of color, which is designed to be pleasing and rewarding," Bhatia explained. Those bright colors can also keep us (and our kids) on devices for too much of the day. One way to make those apps less enticing is to put devices in black and white or grayscale mode, which removes the color from the screen, she said.