Four Ways Yoga can Increase your Energy Level

If you often feel yourself dragging during the day, you’d probably like to know how to feel more energetic. Well, here’s some good news if you practice yoga. It can help you feel more energized in some very specific ways. Yoga creates harmony between body, mind and spirit; when you’re tired, there is often an imbalance in at least one of these areas.

yoga-energyThere are a few reasons why yoga can increase energy so effectively. First, its powerful breathing techniques help to move oxygen through the body. You’ve probably noticed how deep yogic breathing can instantly increase your energy. It works because every time you take a deep yogic breath, you send that energizing oxygen flowing through your bloodstream. There are also yoga mudras (gestures) that are said to increase energy.

Another reason that yogis have more energy when they practice regularly is that they are in better physical shape. When your body is in shape and functioning well, your energy level is steadier and lasts longer. Also, as with any form of exercise, yoga asanas increase endorphins, which in turn boost energy.

Here are four ways to use yoga to increase energy.

1. Try a vinyasa practice. 

Vinyasa, or “flow” yoga, is an especially invigorating practice. In vinyasa yoga, you move quickly from one posture to another, building energy as you move. As you move, endorphins increase, and your body becomes energized.

One of the more common types of vinyasa sequences is the sun salutation. You’ve probably practiced one or more variations of these flows, which are characterized by lifting your arms, bending forward, lunging and holding your body in plank. From the description alone, you can probably see why vinyasa yoga in general and sun salutations in particular is very energizing.

2. Do strengthening power poses. 

It is probably no surprise that the more muscle you have, the more energy you will have. Static poses such as downward-facing dog pose, warrior, chair and plank can help build muscle and stamina because they are a form of strength training that uses the resistance of your body like you would use free weights at the gym.

If you want to focus an entire practice on building strength, find a “power yoga” class like Bikram or Asthanga. Building strength is the focus of these styles of yoga.

3. Use energizing mudras.

Certain gestures, called mudras, that are used in yoga are said to increase energy. Yogis suggest that you practice these for fifteen minutes three times each day. Among several mudras that are said to be effective in increasing energy are “sky mudra” and “purifying mudra.” To practice sky mudra, press all of your fingers on both hands together, except for your index finger. Extend your pointer finger straight out and hug your upper arms into your body with your forearms extended up. Relax and breathe deeply. Purifying mudra is similar to sky mudra, but in this variation, extend your right pinkie instead of your right pointer finger. Purifying mudra is thought to energize both the body and the mind.

4. Take deep, empowering breaths.

Yogic breathing exercises are practiced for a range of reasons. Some are more calming, while others increase energy. Energizing breathing techniques increase oxygen flow through the body. As a result, you will more energized and alert. One energizing breathing technique is “breath of fire,” which uses quick diaphragmatic breaths, is a good example of an energizing breathing technique. Another is “alternate nostril breathing,” which helps increase the flow of energy through the body. This exercise is practiced by breathing in and out through one nostril while closing off the other.

Also remember to breathe when you practice the physical postures. If you forget, your instructor will probably remind you. As one of my  yoga teachers often reminds us, “It’s all about the breath.” It makes sense, since when it comes down to basics, our breath is our life!

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