How to Plug In…

6 May

…and boost your energy levels.

“How do you have so much energy?!” a friend asked the other day. I hadn’t realised I was full of beans until she pointed it out, but it made me think about what was keeping me so buoyant. I had to conclude it’s because I’m feeling pretty happy. That’s not to say I’m ridiculously upbeat all the time, but I am pretty clear on what brings me back to this state. So, I thought I would share some of them with you:

1. Exercising first thing in the morning. 

You get up, fall into your yoga clothes or pull on your trainers and get going. It warms your body, wakes you up and you feel virtuous all day. I always find excuses during the day not to exercise after work – you never know what is going to happen to keep you from it and there are more distractions at the end of the day than at the start – and it alters my food choices during the day. I don’t want to eat a massive muffin and negate my hard work from the morning! Which brings me to my next point…

Get your shoes on and out the door!

Get your shoes on and out the door!

 

 2. Eat less sugar

This is something I know is good for me, but also something I flout if I’m not feeling great, so it’s a healthy practice and an indicator of where I’m at. If I feel like sitting on the couch and scoffing a block of Cadbury, it’s a red flag. What’s going on? Don’t just shove whatever it is back down with the chocolate, take a moment to really look at how you’re feeling and see if there’s something else you can do about it. From a purely physiological standpoint, eating a healthy, balanced meal is going to support your moods better than the wild dips and dives caused by sugar.

3. Meditate

When was the last time you just sat? No phone, no television or music blaring, no demands on your time or distractions in your midst. Let’s face it, there is enough going on in your head to keep you occupied for the five, 10 or 15 minutes you’re going to start with. Meditation is the number one thing people tell me “I should do” but most students admit, they don’t know how to do it or where to start. The lovely release of Savasana at the end of a yoga practice is a good place to feel that surrender, but websites like Headspace  have wonderful tools to kickstart a practice.

And don’t forget, this month, you have the wonderful support and resource of Mindful in May. It’s now closed for registrations, but that’s no reason to put it off. You’d wait 10 minutes for a coffee or a late friend or for something to heat in microwave. Give yourself that time. You’ll be amazed at the clarity and calm that’s possible.

Yoga is for Every Body

Yoga is for Every Body

 

 4. Yoga

I’m talking about asana, the poses, here. There are thousands of variations and styles of practice and teachers: just find one that works for you. I started with Ashtanga, diverted to Iyengar, dabbled in Bikram and shook through Kundalini. I’m a whore for new things and yoga has been a glutton’s delight. I mainly teach Vinyasa Flow but it’s an amalgam of the teachings I’ve accumulated over the years.

The poses have so many physiological benefits: from calming and soothing the body to outright revving it up. Some simple backbending poses in the morning will compress your lower back where your kidneys live, stimulating your adrenals and giving you a lovely wakeup call. Who needs coffee?

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2 Responses to “How to Plug In…”

  1. savasana addict May 6, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    This is the best sun salute poster I have ever seen! Would you mind if I was sharing on twitter?

    Andrea

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