It’s difficult to go through a day without saying the words “I’m tired.” I find myself feeling tired of being tired. While there are many reasons we feel an increase in our lack of energy, living a sedentary lifestyle can influence our energy levels in a negative way. Personally, I find that I am more tired during my rest days, due to the increased time I give myself to decompress, which typically just means watching tv or scrolling endlessly on my phone. Learning to build healthy habits that promote a healthy balanced lifestyle can increase our energy and shift our mood. I use a Healing Yoga Deck, created by Olivia H. Miller, which has poses and meditations that promote well-being, and I’d like to share a few of my go-to poses. Here is a list of yoga exercises we can practice regularly to shift our energy.
- We start with a pose called Mountain Pose. Stand upright with your feet facing forward parallel to each other and your arms down at your sides, palms facing forward. Focus on the muscles that are engaged and active to hold you up upright, as well as those muscles that can be softened and relaxed to add ease to the pose.
- Inhale through your mouth while opening the arms out wide, fingertips pointing away from the body and palms open. Lift your chin and look up to the ceiling (or sky)
- Exhale through your mouth as you bend forward at the waist, with the palms of your hands touching each other in front of the chest.
- Tuck your chin and lower your head, taking care to keep the neck in line with the spine
- Slowly lift your body at the waist while opening the arms out wide as you inhale through the mouth. Repeat up to 12 times, increasing the pace as your muscles warm up and loosen.
- We start on Mountain pose, standing upright with your feet facing forward under the hips. Roll your shoulders down and away from the ears and arms down at your side, palms facing forward.
- Inhale and widen your stance by walking your feet out and let your toes point outward.
- Exhale. Bend your knees, although do not extend them beyond your ankles. Let your hips sink down. Make sure the pelvis is not tipped forward or back. Lift the arms and bend the elbows (forearms and upper arms at a 90-degree angle) palms facing each other. The upper arms should be parallel to the floor.
- Inhale. Straighten your legs and lift your arms into a “V” position, palms facing forward.
- Exhale while bending the arms and knees, palms facing each other. Alternate, inhaling as your lift and exhaling as you lower. Repeat 10 – 12 times.
- Return to Mountain pose
Upward Facing Dog (Avoid this pose if you are pregnant, have a back injury, carpal tunnel, or wrist issues)
- Lie on your stomach with legs slightly separated and extended straight behind you, toes pointed.
- Let your forehead rest on the floor while the hands come under your shoulders, palms down.
- Inhale. Push up with your arms as you raise your head, shoulders, and chest. The arms should be straight, or with a slight bend at the elbows.
- Engage the abdominal muscles and lift the kneecaps and thighs off the floor. Keep the top of your feet pressed into the floor.
- Roll the shoulders down and away from the ears. Look forward to protect your neck. If it feels comfortable, look up
- The breastbone lifts away from the navel. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.
- Exhale as you gradually lower the legs, upper body, and forehead onto the floor. Repeat once more.
Check out the Healing Yoga Deck, by Olivia H. Miller, to explore more poses and meditations!
While doing these exercises can help, low energy can also be due to an unbalanced nutrition, increased stress, lack of sleep, a variety of medical reasons such as allergies and thyroid issues, among others, and/or mental health challenges such as depression.
It’s important to explore the root cause of our low energy and seek professional advice if the low energy progresses into constant fatigue.