There Are Three Simple Things You Already Do That Raises Your Energy.
Even if you have never tried yoga before, you probably have some ideas about it. Do you picture a wise teacher meditating for hours while he's twisted like a hand-tossed pretzel? Maybe you're intimidated by the lists of yoga poses written in Sanskrit-a series of ancient cryptograms with no good hints. Or, it could be that you're not sure what your chi is, much less whether or not you should release it!
Although this practice is steeped in tradition, philosophy, and history, yoga can be very simple and practical. One of the most phenomenal benefits of regular yoga exercise is that it gives you energy.
There are three simple things you already do that raise your energy. Those are breathing, sitting, and standing. In the practice of yoga, you will do those same things with heightened awareness.
The word "chi," meaning literally in Chinese, "breath," is the life energy central to yoga practice. Your goal is to unblock this force, allowing it to flow through energy pathways and rejuvenate you. The chi moves through your body to chakras-areas of power reserves in your body that you can release by doing yoga exercises.
Right-nostril breathing is a yoga technique you can practice almost anywhere, and experience quick results. Your left nostril is completely closed using the fingers of your right hand. Your mind must be focused on your breath, and you continue the exercise for five to fifteen minutes. Breathing this way activates an energy channel that generates heat and activity in your system. This exercise also combats lethargy, relieves depression, releases negative energy, and unblocks your chi.
Seated yoga postures also increase your energy level. The basic staff pose stretches your muscles, works your lungs, and allows the flow of chi. Sitting with your legs straight in front of you and your hands flat on the floor at your hips is sure to give you a boost. Try it for about five minutes. Yoga using seated postures is, in fact, so effective that "chair yoga," is recommended for the elderly and disabled. This unofficial yoga variation targets the energy-sapping symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and depression.
Standing yoga positions enhance your stamina as well. Lack of energy from a weakened immune system, mood disorder, or insomnia can be combated using The Mountain Pose. Stand straight with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Aligning your posture and creating adequate space for your internal organs will increase your energy and enhance positive mood.
If you're still skeptical about how yoga practice will boost your energy, you're not alone.
Arizona State University scholars Virginia Cowen and Troy Adams were skeptical, too. In a July 2005 study, they found that adults who took gentle yoga classes for six weeks showed "significant improvements in strength and endurance, flexibility, vitality...and overall perception of health" in their study, Physical and Perceptual Benefits of Yoga Asana Practice.
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