Has anyone else been feeling low in energy and a bit sluggish? We have had some pretty good autumn days recently, but now that the days are shorter and the weather is getting cooler and damper I have noticed a drop in my energy levels and my muscles have started to feel tighter. In the summer it is easy to take for granted how much difference the sunshine and warmth can make to our daily lives and how much better we tend to feel.
Energy levels are dependent on so many things -our health, the weather, what’s going on around us, how much stress we have and how worried we feel. We can’t change a lot of what is going on around us, but there are simple ways to boost our energy levels.
Getting enough sleep is important, so anything which helps improve our quality of sleep such as relaxation and meditation is definitely worth considering. Someone who has been doing my ‘Introduction to Meditation’ course has noticed how she is starting to sleep right through till her alarm.
What we eat and drink also affects how energised we feel. I have been experimenting with replacing a cup of coffee with green tea which is energising without giving that slightly jittery feeling that strong coffee can give. I have started drinking one cup of matcha green tea a day after reading an article about all the health benefits it brings including boosting mood and concentration. The down side is it’s expensive but fortunately you don’t need much to make a cup!
One of the simplest ways that yoga boosts energy is through breathing. For deeper yogic breathing you take a slow soft inhale through your nostrils letting the air fill the bottom of your lungs near the belly, then allowing the lower ribs to expand and finally expanding the chest. The exhalation, also through the nostrils, is in reverse order -air leaves the chest, the ribs contract and then the abdomen as the navel draws in . There is no force involved and the body stays relaxed.
Another way to energise through yoga is to do some invigorating postures such as back bends which combat tiredness. They open the chest and strengthen the spine helping to counter the postural deficiencies of hunching up when we feel cold. In yoga we talk about ‘Prana’ – or life force- and it feels wonderful when this is flowing freely.
So those are just a few ideas for increasing energy. I’d love to hear what you think.