Harnessing the Power of Yoga: Yoga For Energy
No matter where we are in life, there are multiple demands on a daily basis that can leave us feeling drained and fatigued. Finding ways to boost our energy levels naturally has become increasingly important. We are bombarded with external stimuli everywhere we go- phones, apps, computers, videos, social media- it is hard to get away from it. There is always something new that is supposed to help us achieve this energy boost and that will help us transform our lives.
While there are various approaches to achieving this, one ancient practice stands out for its ability to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit: yoga. Now of course if you are reading this, you are most likely on some type of device. I’m not suggesting we just stop everything digital, but can we find more balance in our day? And will this balance help our energy levels? It is worth a try, let’s explore how yoga can help us improve our energy while offering a path to increased well-being and a more balanced life.
A gentle reminder to always consult with your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your energy level for any reason.
If you are looking for the Chair Yoga For Energy Sequence, you can find it here.
Understanding Energy in Yoga: 5 Ways Yoga Can Help Improve Energy
In yoga philosophy, the concept of energy is often referred to as “prana.” Prana is the life force or vital energy that flows through every living being, and its balanced flow is essential for optimal health and vitality. When our prana is blocked or depleted, we experience fatigue, lethargy, and a lack of enthusiasm. Yoga can offer a holistic approach to enhancing and optimizing this vital life force, helping us feel more energetic and vibrant.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways yoga can help with improving our energy and some resources and practical ways to help us with each one.
1. Pranayama: Bring On The Breath
One of the fundamental aspects of yoga that contributes to increased energy is pranayama, the practice of breath control. Through various breathing techniques, pranayama helps us tap into our inner reservoirs of energy. Deep and conscious breathing promotes better oxygenation of the body, reducing feelings of tiredness and increasing mental alertness. Practicing pranayama techniques can help invigorate our body and mind, providing a natural energy boost.
Sometimes the thought of exercise and movement when we feel tired seems counterproductive- but if we can just get started with focusing on our breath, we may find that that was just what we needed. It all comes back to the idea of the breath always comes first. Some of these techniques can take a lot of practice, but if you are just getting started you can begin with the Ujjayi breath. Here are two beginner videos I found that you may be interested in:
Ujjayi Pranayama in 3 Simple Steps
Balancing Breathwork: Yoga With Adriene
Or, if you would like to read more about the breath, take a look at Breathing For Better Mobility.
2. Asana Practice: Energize Your Body
The physical postures, or asanas, are another cornerstone of yoga that can significantly improve our energy levels. The poses are what we usually think of first when we envision “doing yoga”. Regular yoga practice can promote flexibility, strength, and balance, which, in turn, increases vitality. Poses like the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) sequence are particularly effective at revitalizing the body and mind. I mentioned this before in Chair Yoga For Motivation. By stimulating blood flow and engaging various muscle groups, yoga asanas help to dissipate physical tension and recharge our energy levels.
You can take a look at my modified version of Sun Salutation here: Chair Yoga Sun Salutations for Beginners. You can also find some links to some beginner standing versions there as well. You may be interested in this Chair Yoga Sequence For Energy. We will begin with a quick warm-up, followed by some poses to help energize the body and relieve tension and stuck energy.
Remember that there are many styles of yoga, and not all of them will resonate with you. Here is a link to an article on some various styles if you are interested: 11 Types Of Yoga
3. Stress Reduction: Easing the Energy Drain
Modern life often bombards us with stressors that deplete our energy reserves. We only have so much bandwidth on any given day. Yoga can provide us with some tools to combat this stress, as it encourages relaxation and the release of tension. Through practices like guided meditation and mindfulness, yoga can help us to calm the mind, reduce cortisol levels, and create a sense of inner peace. When stress is managed effectively, it no longer drains our energy, and we feel more vibrant and alive.
You can find some tips on reducing stress here: How To Reduce Stress With Rest
You may also find some helpful tips here in the 21 Day Mindfulness Challenge. It has 21 simple activities (with resources) to help us become more mindful in our everyday life.
You may be interested in this research: Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis
Finally, try this simple Brain Dump Printable to help you get your thoughts out of your head, create more space, and decrease some stress.
4. Improved Sleep Quality
A consistent yoga practice can also have a positive impact on the quality of our sleep. Sleep is crucial for energy restoration, and yoga can assist us with getting a more restful night’s sleep. By practicing gentle, relaxing poses and incorporating relaxation techniques before bedtime, such as Yoga Nidra, you can enjoy deeper and more rejuvenating sleep. Of course, it won’t happen immediately. But, it can be a helpful tool to assist in our sleep quality.
You may be interested in taking a quick look here: Sleep, Cognition, And Yoga
If you have not tried Yoga Nidra, you may be interested in learning a bit more about it here: What Is Yoga Nidra: Cleveleand Clinic
Or, take a look at this video : Yoga Nidra 20 Minute Guided Meditation
5. Mind-Body Connection: Boosting Mental Energy
Yoga encourages the development of a strong mind-body connection, enhancing mental energy and clarity. Through mindfulness and meditation practices, we can sharpen our focus, reduce mental fatigue, and be more present. This new found mental energy can help us to increase our productivity and make better decisions throughout the day. Practicing yoga can also help us bring more awareness to our body, thus allowing us to move in more efficient ways. You may find some tips here in Mindfulness Exercise For Seniors
You may be interested in this short meditation: Guided Meditation for Body Spirit Connection
Or, print out this simple to-do list to help you get started in feeling more productive.
Incorporating yoga into our daily routine can help us get on our way to improving our energy – both of the mind and the body. By practicing pranayama, asana practice, stress reduction techniques, and mindfulness, we can tap into your body’s innate energy sources. With continued practice, we may find that we are better equipped to navigate the challenges that come our way with a sense of balance, resilience, and even some enthusiasm.
Remember it does not have to be all or nothing- just start with the breath and go from there. If you want more tips, keep reading for 8 tips to help you get the most out of your yoga for energy practices.
8 Tips To Help Get The Most Out Of Your Yoga For Energy Practice
1. Establish a Consistent Yoga Practice
Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the energy-boosting benefits of yoga. Try to practice yoga regularly, even if it’s just for a short duration each day. Don’t underestimate the power of short bouts of yoga- or any type of exercise. When we have an all or nothing approach, it can set us up for failure. Start with 5 minutes and when you find that you are consistent with carving out that time and showing up- add more!
2. Morning Yoga Routine
Now I know that we are not all morning people, so this does not mean you have to start your day at 5:30 am. Whatever time it may be, start your day with a brief yoga routine. Gentle stretches and sun salutations can wake up your body and mind, providing a natural energy boost. And yes, it can be 5-10 minutes and it does not have to be strenuous or rigorous.
If we start our day by doing something good for ourselves, we are more apt to be kind to ourselves the rest of the day. We may even find that we are more active the rest of the day as well. If you like to plan your daily routine, you may like this simple Daily Planner Notebook
3. Focus on Breathwork (Pranayama)
I mention this one more time because it is accessible- you can do it anywhere and anytime! I mean we are already doing it anyway, we may as well make it count. We can easily start to incorporate pranayama techniques into our practice and our everyday life. If we do not have the time or space for a movement practice, we can most certainly take a few minutes for some breathwork.
You can refer back to the links above for some videos or you may be interested in this book on beginner breathing techniques: Breathe Slower Deeper Better
4. Set an Intention
We can use the power of intention setting in our yoga practice- or our daily lives. Before each practice, set a positive intention or affirmation. This can help shift your mindset and create a sense of purpose and motivation. We can even start our day with a positive intention. This is a simple yet powerful practice. We can start by simply choosing a phrase and repeat it a few times or write it down and post where you can see it. Here are a few simple examples:
I Am Strong And Capable
Challenges Are Opportunities
I Spread Joy And Positivity
If you would like some more ideas you may be interested in taking a look at the Chair Yoga and Chakra Series. You can get started here: Root Chakra: Chair Yoga For Beginners.
You may also be interested in these Positive Affirmation Cards: 52 Positive Affirmation Cards
5. Stay Hydrated
This is just a good tip in general. Proper hydration is essential for energy. Drink enough water before and after your yoga practice to keep your body functioning optimally. You should always consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns regarding hydration.
You can take a look at these water bottles if you are looking at a fun way to stay hydrated: Motivational Water Bottles
6. Avoid Overexertion
While challenging ourselves is essential for progress, it’s equally important to listen to our bodies. Avoid overexertion and don’t push yourself too hard, as it can lead to exhaustion. As we approach our yoga practice – or anything really- it is essential that we always meet ourselves where we are on any given day. Yoga is not a contest. We can reap the benefits of yoga if we come to our yoga practice with non-judgement and self acceptance, we celebrate the small wins, and focus on how we feel and not how we look.
7. Try Restorative Yoga
On days when we need a gentler practice, try restorative yoga. It promotes relaxation and helps release tension, which can revitalize our energy. If you are not familiar with restorative yoga, you may be interested in this book for beginners. Just be aware it is for mat level postures: Restorative Yoga For Beginners
The Hands To Heart Pose is a simple but powerful pose that can help us to take a moment to check in with our posture, our breath, and bring some awareness to areas in the body that we are holding tension. Find a comfortable position with a long spine and the feet planted firmly on the ground, release the shoulders down away from the ears, bring the palms together at the heart center, and take a few deep breaths. You can stay here for 3-5 minutes or as desired.
You may also enjoy this Restorative Chair Yoga Sequence: 20 Minute Chair Yoga To Stretch And Relax
8. Stay Positive
Above all, we need to stay positive and be patient with ourselves. Yoga is a journey, and progress may not always be linear. Recognize that small improvements in energy and vitality are significant achievements.
By incorporating these tips into our yoga practice and daily life, we can harness the power of yoga to increase our energy levels and lead to a more balanced life. Remember that yoga is not just about physical postures, but also about nurturing our mind and spirit to achieve our optimal well being. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Here is the link for our chair yoga sequence: Chair Yoga Sequence For Energy
If you are a caregiver, you may be interested in Chair Yoga For Caregivers
You may be interested in Chair Yoga For Cardio. There are tips for adding some cardio exercise to your day as well as a chair yoga sequence to help get moving.
Or, I Invite you to take a look at 5 Chair Exercises Just For Fun for some fun ways to get some movement in your day.
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Finally, take a look at The Peaceful Chair Etsy Shop for more printables on all things health, wellness, and chair yoga!
Disclaimer: The Peaceful Chair and thepeacefulchair.com strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before starting this or any exercise program.The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be used in place of medical advice or information from your healthcare provider. Neither The Peaceful Chair, thepeacefulchair.com, nor any of its contributors shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained herein and assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information contained in any links, videos, or any content on this website.