Energizing Yoga


#1

In recent years I’ve found that I’m tired when I get home from work. I’ve tried various things over the years to combat this, and I’m interested in what yoga practices other people may have found that help to overcome fatigue, refresh, and invigorate.


#2

I do practice Native American shamanism. Mostly Lakota style, with hums, cries and improvisational singing. Luckily, I am close to woods, and I go there, when no people is around, and do my practice, connect with Wakan Tanka. I didn’t know till I have found out months ago that Native American dances are a form of karma Yoga.

Hell yeah! It is excessively invigorating! In fact, I really feel like I am transcending my older self with each practice. Someday, I hope to join an authentic Native American community, and learn the aspects of Shamanism from first hand. That is, if those communities still exist.


#3

Kundalini yoga is a highly developed spiritual science with an obscure and multicultural history which, according to Hindu tradition, relies upon a technique called shaktipat to attain enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.[6] Mainstream traditions have shown that kundalini energy can be awakened and enlightenment attained by practicing a combination of yogic techniques?ideally following the guidance of a certified teacher?including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.


#4

I’m also interested in this subject of energy level so will have an eye on this thread.

I also sometimes feel very tired after work. Tired in a way that sometimes makes me bit anxious and wonder is it normal or maybe its symptom of some imbalance in life.

However, I noticed some interesting properties of this fatigue:

  1. I feel much more tired watching TV than sitting with laptop and watching movies/browsing internet. The difference is so great I stopped watching TV at all.
  2. I feel tired after working with people (sort of group work) when working in the same room. However working through internet makes me rather more excited about progress.
  3. I feel tired at big parties (e.g. weddings) especially after midnight. However, once there is decision to go home suddenly I recover energy: I have “last dances” with pleasure and suddenly became more talkative.
  4. When I do some progress in yoga class (or other area in life) and feel satisfaction, my energy levels go up for few days.

Such observations make me think is this fatigue physiological or maybe rather psychological. Those changes in energy level are not related to any physiological change - there are just differences in perception of environment and myself.


#5

[QUOTE=High Wolf;38681]I do practice Native American shamanism. Mostly Lakota style, with hums, cries and improvisational singing. Luckily, I am close to woods, and I go there, when no people is around, and do my practice, connect with Wakan Tanka. I didn’t know till I have found out months ago that Native American dances are a form of karma Yoga.

Hell yeah! It is excessively invigorating! In fact, I really feel like I am transcending my older self with each practice. Someday, I hope to join an authentic Native American community, and learn the aspects of Shamanism from first hand. That is, if those communities still exist.[/QUOTE]

Hi High Wolf,
Do you have some link to website describing those practices? Sounds interesting.


#6

Hi, everyone.
Pawel, I almost dont watch TV too. You may be right about it, but how exactly do you think it makes you feel tired? Is it possible, that you use a laptop sitting with a straight back, but watched TV with a bent one? I think, most people have enough physical energy (if eat and sleep enough) - psychology blocks it because of sluggishness. Sometimes i have a lot of energy but then its not easy to meditate. Speaking yogic - first Rajas must force out Tamas then Sattva takes it`s place. :slight_smile:


#7

[QUOTE=Sasha;38704]Hi, everyone.
Pawel, I almost dont watch TV too. You may be right about it, but how exactly do you think it makes you feel tired? Is it possible, that you use a laptop sitting with a straight back, but watched TV with a bent one? I think, most people have enough physical energy (if eat and sleep enough) - psychology blocks it because of sluggishness. Sometimes i have a lot of energy but then its not easy to meditate. Speaking yogic - first Rajas must force out Tamas then Sattva takes it`s place. :)[/QUOTE]

I thought about it (lying down vs. sitting) but sometimes I watch movies with laptop next to my bed and I don’t feel particularly tired. Maybe its because tv display (blinking? I used to watch on crt screen). Or maybe because of passiveness watching tv vs. more active role when browsing internet?

I also think that this “sluggishness” is somehow blocking our energy. So question is how to recognize those blocks and remove them? I never got to it really and maybe its not so difficult…


#8

[QUOTE=Pawel;38700]Hi High Wolf,
Do you have some link to website describing those practices? Sounds interesting.[/QUOTE]

Nope, I don’t have actually. I have come to those practices by my own intuition; as if I had always known these practices. And by listening two particular music bands called Brule and Lakota Thunder.

Native American form of dance and singing on the high pitch is a method of karma yoga, with improvisational singing. The more you dance and sing, the more you burn your accumulated karma, and become like feather. I do feel that my spirit becomes absolutely joyful and it also moves, tries to get out, connect with the whole body of the world.


#9

My first thoughts turn to the nutrition and lifestyle branch of the yoga that I teach. In the first, we move toward those foods that nourish us and away from those that do not. I don’t like to make presumptions about these sorts of things because everyone states that they eat “healthy” so much so that if they are not specific I often can’t tell what they are saying at all.

In the lifestyle segment of the teachings we’ve learned over time that some things in the environment are draining to our energy. This can be from electromagnetic fields, human beings, our own shadow, environmental toxins, and work that does not align with our dharma.

Sadly, when we hear questions like this we far too easily offer physical solutions without the aforementioned areas being attended to. And yet we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Therefore if those things above are in alignment then perhaps a specified physical practice might be rejuvenating. And this would depend on the person, the constitution, the living, the age, etcetera. A practice appropriate for a fatigued 19 year-old boy would not be the same as a practice for a fatigued 45 year-old woman.

Certain forms of meditation can also help with fatigue. And by meditation I am not referring to sitting quietly and stilling the mind - though that is a prerequisite for what I am suggesting. Instead I am referring to that which creates a dialogue between the person and their source, something that facilitates a connection or communication between the small self and the big Self, something that brings light into the cells so that the body can be energized.

Not knowing you Asuri, and can’t direct you specifically but hope this stirs the pot enough for you to find that on your own.

gordon


#10

Thank you, everyone. This does give me some food for thought. I’m over 50, so I suppose I shouldn’t expect to have the same energy I had when I was 20. My level of fitness has always been good, although I’m not as active as I used to be. I could probably make some improvements in the area of nutrition, and I suppose there could be some psychological elements, which I really hadn’t thought about, or maybe I just need to burn off some accumulated karma.

Actually, though, I’m looking for suggestions regarding certain asanas or types of movement, or pranayama that people have found to have energizing effects, as opposed to calming effects. High Wolf certainly did that, but I guess that’s not what I was expecting.


#11

Asuri, is your job primarily physical or sedentary?

I find that I am utterly drained after teaching (English, not yoga) all day, and yet when I am doing my more physical job I am less tired. My own feeling about this is that in teaching I am giving so much of my own energy to my students. I find that if I eat lightly, fruit, granola, yogurt and LOTS of water my energy doesn’t flag as badly.

I also find that if I take a few moments to restore myself (legs up the wall) and then a bit of alternate nostril breathing I feel much more invigorated and centered.

Does this help?


#12

[QUOTE=Alix;38781]Asuri, is your job primarily physical or sedentary?

I find that I am utterly drained after teaching (English, not yoga) all day, and yet when I am doing my more physical job I am less tired. My own feeling about this is that in teaching I am giving so much of my own energy to my students. I find that if I eat lightly, fruit, granola, yogurt and LOTS of water my energy doesn’t flag as badly.

I also find that if I take a few moments to restore myself (legs up the wall) and then a bit of alternate nostril breathing I feel much more invigorated and centered.

Does this help? [/QUOTE]

Hi Alix,

My job is somewhat physical, not usually too strenuous, but I’m usually on my feet most of the day, checking on equipment and so forth. I’ve found that I’m sometimes more tired if I have to spend a lot of time driving, or reading, sedentary things. This is the kind of thing I’m looking for, but it will take some time to find out what works. Thank you.


#13

Hello Admin3241. How’s the yoga climate in Texas?


#14

[QUOTE=Elissa;38697]Kundalini yoga is a highly developed spiritual science with an obscure and multicultural history which, according to Hindu tradition, relies upon a technique called shaktipat to attain enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.[6] Mainstream traditions have shown that kundalini energy can be awakened and enlightenment attained by practicing a combination of yogic techniques?ideally following the guidance of a certified teacher?including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.[/QUOTE]

Hello Elissa,

Are you saying that Kundalini yoga is an energizing yoga, in terms of physical energy, or vigor? Kundalini technically is sakti, which can be defined as:

śakti शक्तिः 1 (a) Power, ability, capacity, strength, energy, prowess; -4 The active power of a deity, regarded as his wife, female divinity; 8 The power inherent in a cause to produce its necessary effect.

I’ve never thought of it as physical energy, but it’s an interesting idea. You seem to be suggesting a combination of techniques, which is sort of the answer I was expecting.


#15

I want to correct something I wrote earlier, when I said “energizing effects, as opposed to calming effects”. I don’t think that energizing and calming are necessarily opposed. What I’m looking for, is yoga that refreshes and prepares one for action, as opposed to preparing to enter a meditative state.


#16

Energizing yoga poses help to energize both the body and the mind, especially when the weather is cold and wet. These energizing yoga poses can relieve fatigue and reduce sluggishness.


#17

Energizing yoga poses help to energize both the body and the mind

Just to be on the same page, we need one apparently small correction that is very significant for Yogis. While the body needs energizing, mind needs to be calmed down. Pawel has mentioned very vividly how a mind in the overdrive tires us more.

At some stage we need to experience our astral body as independent of mind. Through the right Yogic poses we address the physical and the astral bodies. Pranayama exercises energize the astral body that in turn, energizes the physical. While this happens, the mind-instigated thinking process needs to be quieted, partly through breath-engagement in place of thought-engagement and partly through stronger will.

Cultivating awareness of the astral body as a source for energy (especially muladhara and swadhisthana chakras), selective asana and pranayama with concentration on the breath, should be a great invigorating routine.


#18

[QUOTE=Asuri;38849]I want to correct something I wrote earlier, when I said “energizing effects, as opposed to calming effects”. I don’t think that energizing and calming are necessarily opposed. What I’m looking for, is yoga that refreshes and prepares one for action, as opposed to preparing to enter a meditative state.[/QUOTE]

I have low blood pressure and i can tell what I do to tone up: I guess you know all of this bit still:)

  • cold like shower in the morning
  • no caffeine
  • upper-down dog bout 5 times (physicians also recommend for morning tone up)
  • at leas one time a day 15-30 min meditation
  • kabalabhati
  • regular sleep hours (like from 10pm to 6am) every day.
  • no tv whatsoever
  • vigorously massaging ears
    and the good one: take the chin to the chest, place both hands on the back of the head, try to lift the head and resist with your hands. Tones wery well when tired at work…
    Hope it helps

#19

[QUOTE=Pawel;38699]I’m also interested in this subject of energy level so will have an eye on this thread.

I also sometimes feel very tired after work. Tired in a way that sometimes makes me bit anxious and wonder is it normal or maybe its symptom of some imbalance in life.

However, I noticed some interesting properties of this fatigue:

  1. I feel much more tired watching TV than sitting with laptop and watching movies/browsing internet. The difference is so great I stopped watching TV at all.
  2. I feel tired after working with people (sort of group work) when working in the same room. However working through internet makes me rather more excited about progress.
  3. I feel tired at big parties (e.g. weddings) especially after midnight. However, once there is decision to go home suddenly I recover energy: I have “last dances” with pleasure and suddenly became more talkative.
  4. When I do some progress in yoga class (or other area in life) and feel satisfaction, my energy levels go up for few days.

Such observations make me think is this fatigue physiological or maybe rather psychological. Those changes in energy level are not related to any physiological change - there are just differences in perception of environment and myself.[/QUOTE]

These are some astute observations of factors other than physiological that can make one feel tired. I think it is a very good approach to try to understand what makes us feel tired in order to solve the root causes instead of just working on the symptoms. Assuming for a moment that everything else is copacetic, I’m wondering if anyone can shed some light on the body’s natural processes of fatigue and restoration through rest? If we understand our body’s natural process, maybe we can do some things to speed up the process or help it along.

For example, Alix suggested legs up the wall as something that helps. I think this probably works by helping the blood in the legs to recirculate. If that is the case, then any inversion should have a similar effect. Also the same would be true of asanas that help recirculate blood from the arms. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Oxygenating the blood is related to recirculating. So it may be possible purely on a physiological level to help our fatigue by regulating our breathing. I’m sure there are lots of opinions about how this should be done. I’ve heard that lengthening the inhalation is energizing. Does anyone have experience with this? Does anyone know of any physiological reason why this should or should not work? Also I’ve read about directing the breath to certain areas of the body. Does anyone know about this? Of course, when you talk about directing the breath or prana, you’re getting away from strictly physiological.

It would be interesting to know if muscle tension plays a role in fatigue, either as a cause or an effect. In that case, simply releasing tension should help. Also, since the body’s natural mechanism is sleep, then it would be reasonable to think that conscious deep relaxation that simulates sleep or maybe is even better than sleep should help, but it seems that the conscious part of the brain needs to turn off for a while to really get the full benefit of relaxation. What does that tell us??


#20

HI Asuri,

Oxygenating the blood is related to recirculating. So it may be possible purely on a physiological level to help our fatigue by regulating our breathing. I’m sure there are lots of opinions about how this should be done. I’ve heard that lengthening the inhalation is energizing. Does anyone have experience with this? Does anyone know of any physiological reason why this should or should not work? Also I’ve read about directing the breath to certain areas of the body. Does anyone know about this? Of course, when you talk about directing the breath or prana, you’re getting away from strictly physiological.
I’ve heard that lengthening the exhalation, relatively speaking, is good for you and generally prescribed in pranayama…The explanation was that it empties one of stale air.Actually i am surmising that it’s as if prana has an intelligence of its won that comes to fill dormant nadis when the mind is calm & [I]especially[/I] when the sense are introverted(like eyes closed etc)

Prana Vidya, they do call it. Knowing how to re-drect and re-distribute prana.‘Physiological’ would be just a crude western model from yogic perspective…It’s quantum.

It would be interesting to know if muscle tension plays a role in fatigue, either as a cause or an effect. In that case, simply releasing tension should help. Also, since the body’s natural mechanism is sleep, then it would be reasonable to think that conscious deep relaxation that simulates sleep or maybe is even better than sleep should help, but it seems that the conscious part of the brain needs to turn off for a while to really get the full benefit of relaxation. What does that tell us??
Muscle tensions would seem related to the psychic nervous system.To really get into the parasympthethetic state, that of healing would seem to require, for maximum effectiveness at least , utter and total relaxation,hence why relaxation practices (yoga nidra,savasana,restorative midful asana,deep full breathing etc) are prescribeed for folk that are either quite anxious or uncomfortable in their physical bodies,ie quite stiff, or typically usually both…

It might suggest that everyone is wired to be doing something.Whereas a lot of yoga is about un-doing,what we’re habituated to, or non-doing.Half the time then we don’t realise what we’re doing because as you say alot is largely unconscious doing,some may describe as conditioning.I think once you can cease mental processes you can enter these transformative healing states more easily;it’s pretty much nearly impossible if you can’t .When you let-go you halt the normal mental churning,Like a bubbling brook.So in a sense when you give yourself to a higher agency the physiology takes care of itself.Obviously philosophically it’s said that it’s the mis-identification with mind-body states that get’s in the way of healthy “spiritual” functioning.The “spiritual” , dimension if you like, can be totaly understood by modern science however if given a chance.The problem with that term in modern science is it often needs demystified.Some may talk of our neuro-biology, which is what closer constitutes us, and about the spiritual aetiology of disease and other mind-body states.