Boost Your Energy
"Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without." ~ Ymber Delecto
" Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring at the door. Keep knocking, and eventually the joy inside will look out to see who is there.” ~ Rumi"
The ancient yogis developed a science of mind, body and spirit. Western science is now starting to catch up and verify the deep benefits of this practice. Yoga, which includes moving and breathing with conscious awareness, is a system that draws more energy into the body. Often, our energy is not in the right place, so it can't be accessed. We might have injuries, old injuries, scar tissue, or old emotional hurts. Or all of these. These are like knots in a rope. When you pull on one end of the rope, the energy doesn't transfer through the knot, and the other end remains flaccid and limp.
If energy is not free-flowing, we might feel like we're dragging our feet through the day, or be depressed or anxious. Our knots become deep-seated patterns in the body and mind, and they all have a physical and mental component. For example, tension in the body, or sensations of pain might cause the breath to become strained. A strained way of breathing can bring more pain. With persistent pain, the part of the brain that processes emotions and fear becomes larger. What we practise, believe and do all change the actual body and brain. And all of these things take energy and attention.
Energy can be unbalanced. If we think too much and sit too much, we may need to practise becoming more aware of our bodies by moving more and strengthening the deep core. If we work out at the gym too much, we may need to bring more flexibility to the body so it doesn't become chronically tight and in pain.
When we can move energy into the spine and release knots that might be physical or mental/emotional, we can start to heal. Pain starts to shift and lessen. Our thinking becomes clearer. Creating our own path to healing and a more joyful life takes consistent practise, and involves
1) Self-reflection and learning what our old patterns are,
2) Developing and practising an attitude of respect and gratitude,
3) Practising balancing the breathing, and
4) Working on the navel area (i.e., the deep core, which supports the spine).
And so how to rebalance our energy?
Here are a few ways:
1. Walking can be excellent, especially if you focus on your feet and grounding through your legs with each step. When we press our feet and legs firmly into the earth, the earth moves energy into our bodies (ground reaction force).
2. Breath practices that help to open the chest and draw energy down from the head toward the navel centre (helping relieve tension in the head and improving digestion) are vital. Opening the arms as you breathe helps to bring energy into the heart centre and down.
3. When you sit, focus on placing the four corners of the feet (base of the big toe, inner heel, base of the pinky toe, and outer heel) firmly on the floor, and consciously pressing your feet and legs more firmly into the floor. Imagine drawing the energy down (you may visualize this as a white light or golden flame) toward your navel, and sending any pain or discomfort down through your feet into the earth.
4. And of course there are many gentle yoga, meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) practices to help you begin to draw energy in and send it to the right places so you'll feel stronger, more flexible and more energized.
Want to shift your energy for better movement and healing? A Therapeutic Private class, Gentle Yoga Group class or Restorative Yoga Nidra Group class can start you on the path.
Donna offers a holistic perspective on the relationship and healing of physical and emotional pain.