Have you been feeling drained, tired or lethargic recently? It might be a sign that your energy slowed down and became stagnant. Another symptom of this mental, physical and energetic fatigue can be a mental fog or difficulty to focus and think clearly.
In times like this, it’s crucial to stay true to yourself. Listen to your body and give yourself what you need. If your body is asking you for more than usual amount of sleep, that’s what you should do. If you feel like all you want is to curl up in a blanket on the sofa and watch Netflix, allow yourself to have that rest.
However, if you’re feeling that your body needs to discharge this stagnant energy and make space for the new, fresh waves of prana*, try some of the below breathing practices and yoga poses. 15 minutes practice in the morning is all you need to energize your system from the inside out.
Breathing Exercise For Energy Boost
Sit up on a chair with your feet planted on the floor. Relax your forehead, your jaw, your shoulders. Place your hands on your belly and follow these 4 simple steps:
1. Inhale through your nose and allow your breath to travel into your stomach. Feel your navel extending outward but allow your chest stay fairly still.
2. Pause for 3 seconds at the top of your inhale.
3. Exhale through your nose as you send your navel towards the spine pushing the air out of your belly.
4. Pause for 3 seconds at the bottom of your exhale.
This practice is called diaphragmatic breathing as it draws the air into all parts of the lungs rather than just the upper lungs. During exhale, abdominal muscles push in and up as your body forces the old, stagnant air out of the body. It allows you to fill all cells in your body with new, fresh oxygen.
Find Your Inner Fire
Solar plexus in our bodies is a system of radiating nerves and ganglia located in our stomachs. According to yogis tradition, this is also where manipura, solar plexus chakra is located. This is the place where our inner fire resides. It’s connected to our sense of self, our strength, determination, our sense of inner power.
You can connect to and activate this energetic center by bringing attention to your core muscles at the front and back of your body. Below are a few yoga poses that will help you find that state of engagement in the body. Once you find your pose, allow your breath to travel in and out of your belly for the round of minimum 5 breaths.
This simple yet challenging pose can build heat pretty quick and it will immediately stir up the energy in your solar plexus area.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
In boat pose, you root down through your sit bones while your toes (or shins if you decide to bend your knees) are reaching up towards the sky. You send the crown of your head up towards the sky. As you find your variation of the pose, allow yourself to observe any emotions that might come your way. Release the pose on the 5th exhale.
Seated Spinal Twist (Matsyendrasana)
Once you begin to feel the fire in your body, incorporate twisted postures such as seated spinal twist to open and activate your solar plexus chakra.
This asana (pose) also known as the Half Lord of the Fishes, has the power to build strength and flexibility in your spine. It can awaken your solar plexus while also enhancing digestion and detoxification of your body.
Open Up Your Heart Space
The reason why yoga helps to increase the energy levels is because the poses work as a way of ‘unlocking’ any energetic blocks in our bodies. One of the places where energy tends to get stuck is around our heart space. Opening up this area creates a space for a new energy to flow in giving us a boost of healthy energy.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This pose stretches the front of your body opening the chest and shoulders. It also energize and mobilize the spine.
Place the palms flat on the ground underneath your shoulders. Press the tops of your feet into the mat. Anchor your pubic bone to the floor. As you inhale peel your chin and chest of the mat while hugging elbows in. Stay here for 5 breaths.
Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Similarly to the cobra pose, this asana helps to open up chest and shoulders while counteracting daily forward flexion activities (sitting at a desk, looking down at your phone, driving).
To find this pose, begin by lying down on your belly, your hands planted on the ground beside your ribs. As you inhale, press through your hands into the mat. Straighten your arms, as you lift through your torso, your hips and finally your legs.
This back-bend is known for being able to energizes and rejuvenate the body. It brings relief from fatigue and mild depression.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Camel pose is a natural energy booster – it is invigorating and enlivening. This pose works deeply into the spine, while also opening up the heart space. Whats more, one of the biggest benefits of this pose is that it brings anxiety and stress relief.
Start by standing on your knees with your hips positioned directly over the knees. Your thighs should make a number 11 shape. Place your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing to the floor. Lean back with your chin slightly tucked toward your chest. You can stay here or take a little deeper by reaching back and holding onto each heel while pushing your chest up toward the sky.
Note: make sure you always warm up before attempting the posture!
According to a study conducted by the University of London’s psych department proved that yoga can increase the energy. The positive effects of yoga were visible already after 2 min!
On the energetic level, yoga is a great energy-booster because it works on unblocking stuck blocks of energy along the spine through breath and movement. What’s more, the poses, especially heart-openers, can help to release emotions that are stuck in your body draining you out of energy.
You can experience those benefits already after a short practice, so next time you’re feeling low on energy, give yoga a go!
*In yoga, prana is the energy of life, the vital force. Its an energy that pulses through the body. In other traditions its called chi or qui.