ENERGY is the essence of all life. In fact Matter and Energy are the building blocks of the universe. As humans, everything that we do requires us to be energetic, and energy determines how we perceive people. For example, we say someone has good or positive energy, or someone has bad energy or negative vibes. When we are happy are energy levels are great, but when we are depressed we lack energy.
In today’s world, Energy has become such a buzzword simply because there is a general lack of energy that people are facing. Whether it’s at the workplace or at home, we find people are drained and tired all the time. A combination of factors are responsible for the same – from lack of sleep, to bad eating habits, to working extremely long hours consistently, to other stresses in life such as relationship problems or financial insecurity. Always, remember that when you are stressed you cannot be energetic and spontaneous – it’s just not possible!
Now that we’ve seen some of the reasons for low levels of energy, let’s understand Energy from a Yogic point of view. ‘PRANA’ is understood as the life-force that pervades each of us. And this Prana is maintained and enhanced through the Yogic practices of ‘Pran-ayama’; literally ‘expansion of life-energy’. All ancient holistic health and alternate medical therapies are based on the re-balancing and rejuvenation of Prana or Chi. (The Chinese system refers to Prana as ‘Chi’)
Given below are a host of Yogic practices that are especially beneficial in re-energizing the practitioner. Always write to us if you have any doubts regarding the practices.
The most important asana or physical yoga practice is Surya Namaskaar. Visit www.total-yoga.org for detailed instructions.
All asanas that create an extension of the Solar plexus (located around the navel region of the human body) or Manipura Chakra (in Yogic terminology) help to generate energy in the body.
– Kneel down and place your hands on your hips.
– Gradually extend your arms behind your back and place your palms on the heels.
– Stretch the abdomen outwards and breathe normally, holding as long as you can.
– Then return to the kneeling position. Bend forwards to soothe the back.
Contra-indications: People suffering from severe backaches, need to consult a yoga teacher before trying the pose.
Anulom-Vilom Pranayam is done to balance the physical and mental energies of each human being. It is one of the most beneficial of all breathing techniques.
– Sit straight, either on the floor or against a chair.
– Draw in the index and middle fingers of the right hand.
– Block the right nostril with thumb and slowly inhale through the left nostril.
– Close both the nostrils and hold your breath.
– Slowly release the thumb and exhale through the right nostril.
– Now repeat the process in the other direction – inhale through right nostril; then hold the breath and finally exhale through the left nostril.
– This completes one round of Anulom-Vilom. Practice about 5-10 rounds.
– All these processes must be done slowly and with a great deal of awareness.
Contra-Indication: If your BP is high avoid the part of the technique where you hold your breath.
Maha Bandha is a neuro-muscular lock that helps with balancing the hormonal levels in the body – leading to regulated Energy levels.
-Exhale deeply and gradually contract and raise the anal space upwards. (This balances the sex gland hormones – Oestrogen and Testosterone respectively in women and men)
– Next contract the stomach. (This presses the adrenal gland and balances adrenaline secretions)
-Finally press the chin against the chest. (This presses the thyroid gland and balances the thyroxin secretions).
-Hold as long as you can, and then release all 3 locks and inhale.
-Practice this 3 times.
Contra-Indications: If your BP is high do not stay for a long time in the practice.
Yogic Meditation techniques balance the ‘Chakras’ or Energy Centers located along the spinal column. The proper balancing of these chakras results in the flowering of personality as well as in experiencing high energy levels. Simple visualizing techniques, such as sitting with your eyes closed, breathing slowly and visualizing the sunrise or a flower, can be practiced and as you become more used to meditation more detailed techniques can be introduced. Always seek guidance from a qualified yoga teacher before embarking on these techniques.
Slavica Gokul is a certified Vinyasa, Hatha and Power yoga teacher through Total Yoga in Bangalore, India. She has been an aspiring yogi for more than 20 years. She dedicated herself to consistent practice 9 years ago and while residing in India from 2012-14 underwent teacher training.