People do yoga for its many benefits, including improved flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone and better athletic performance. But many choose to engage in yoga’s meditative techniques to gain more control of their energy levels.
Yoga uses grounding poses, meditation and breathing exercises to still the mind and body, which helps you get a better sense of your energy. But is there any truth to this claim?
The Yoga-Energy Connection
The University of London, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Lisbon University Institute conducted a study to determine the effect of yoga on subjective sense of energy and self-esteem. The researchers compared the psychological impact of power posing and yoga poses on vitality.
They found that standing yoga poses do improve self-esteem by increasing your personal sense of energy. Building your sense of energy makes you feel empowered, in control and more energetic. The researchers also said yoga’s effect on interpersonal dominance is independent of the participants’ self-view and other traits. This means that regardless of how you see yourself physically or mentally, doing yoga poses will improve your sense of energy.
The positive effects of yoga poses and meditation are noticeable for about two hours after the class.
A separate study from the University of Waterloo added that Hatha yoga (i.e., physical practice of yoga poses) not only boosts your energy, but impacts your cognitive performance as well. Physical exercises, such as yoga combined with meditation, leads to a release of endorphins, increasing the blood flow to the brain.
These two studies confirm yoga’s ability to help you develop better control of your energy. But the secret to battling sluggishness still lies in your techniques. You can supplement your practice with accessories and tools, such as spiritual jewellery, yoga bricks, yoga wheel and other tools, although it all comes down to nailing your form and getting into the right mindset.
The Yoga Journal recommends this 5-pose sequence to start your day feeling energised.
5-Step Energising Yoga Routine
- Start with the Cat-Cow pose. Pace your breathing with the movement of your spine and make sure your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Arch your back and broaden your shoulders with every inhalation. Move into the Cat pose as you exhale. Round your back towards the ceiling and bow your head.
- Then, from the Cat position, extend your left arm and right leg. Bend your right leg and grab your ankle with your left hand. Twist towards the left and push your chest into a backbend. This variation of the Table Top pose challenges your balance and warms your spine. Repeat on the other side.
- Move into the Downward-Facing dog position. From there, lift your right leg high behind you. Then, round your back and pull your right knee to your chest while keeping your pelvis low. Pull your right leg forward until your knee reaches your nose. Return to the Downward Dog then repeat with the other leg.
- Start again with the Downward Dog. Move into the Flip Dog pose by lifting your right extremities then spinning your torso towards the ceiling. Lower your right foot and keep it parallel with the left. Reach your right arm towards the wall behind you while keeping your feet firmly planted. Return to Downward Dog then repeat with the other leg.
- From the Downward Dog, shift your weight to your right hand and the outside of your right food. Your whole body should be facing the right side. Lift your hips while pressing down on your feet and hands. Extend your left arm towards the ceiling. Lower your right knee to the floor if it’s too intense. Return to the Downward Dog and repeat on the other side.
Of course, you can curate your own yoga routine. You can decide which poses make you feel more energised. Keep in mind that yoga works best in keeping you grounded and invigorated when you complement it with proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits. Be consistent with your practice, and you’ll see a change in your energy and disposition each day.