Feeling tired? Given our fast-paced, high-stress lives, it is natural to feel exhausted and depleted – even after a good night’s sleep. A regular yoga practice can help give your body an energy boost while calming your mind amidst daily chaos. More challenging yoga postures, such as inversions, boost circulation and enhance energy levels. However, you do not have to be super-flexible or an advanced practitioner to enjoy an energy boost following practice. Even basic poses, such as sun salutations, can re-energize the body.
For years, regular yoga practitioners have enjoyed yoga’s benefits – more energy, better sleep, fewer colds, a calmer mind – but may have struggled to explain these benefits to others. After all, telling someone new to yoga that the practice “improves the flow of energy through the body” can sound a bit like New Age propaganda. However, recent scientific research is confirming what regular practitioners have known for years – yoga really does energize the body.
In addition to building strength and flexibility, yoga supports proper spinal alignment, joint mobility, better circulation and increased oxygen levels.1 Inverted postures, like shoulder stand or handstand, for example, bring venous blood back from the legs to the heart. This makes platelets less sticky, reduces the risk of blood clots, and improves the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. And you don’t have to be sweating it out in a hot yoga class to reap the benefits. According to two studies, lying in savasana (a relaxing, meditative pose), correlated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure over a three-month period.
According to yogic philosophy, yoga brings energy through the body’s energy centers, known as chakras. There are seven chakras located along the spine, and each chakra represents a specific energy field. The root chakra, located at the base of the spine, represents our foundation and feeling grounded. Yogic philosophy holds that this chakra is connected with survival issues such as financial independence, food and money.Practicing specific poses will activate different chakras, creating a state of expanded consciousness and enhanced energy. Tuning into our internal power also empowers us to deal with specific life challenges that would otherwise deplete our energy and leave us exhausted.
If you are feeling tired, a regular yoga practice can help energize your body and prepare you to better cope with daily stressors.
Yoga Journal. Web. 2013.