Handstands for Energy
Yoga is primarily associated with calming the mind and inducing relaxation, but your mat is also a good place to turn when you need a boost of energy.
Three o’clock rolls around so you resort to a shot of caffeine to get you through the last couple hours at work. A few hours later, you’re on the couch and coming up with excuses why you should just stay there for the rest of the evening instead of hitting the gym.
Energy spikes and plummets throughout the day are very common with the “normal” high-caffeine, high-refined carbohydrate diet to which we’ve grown accustomed in North America. To counter this cycle, it’s very important that you adjust your diet to include nutritious meals and snacks that are high in fibre and, thus, will digest slower – feeding your body a continuous source of energy instead of overloading your body and then depriving it.
But in addition to healthy and balanced caloric consumption, one can also turn to their mat for that mid-afternoon boost, or that kick start that will get you off the couch.
Oxygenating the blood is a sure-fire way to give oneself a mental and physical boost of energy. Do this by practicing Pranayama, or controlled yogic breathing techniques. Taking deep inhales, retaining the breath, and then slowly releasing it will enrich your blood with oxygen – clearing your mind and invigorating your body.
Another way to send oxygen to your brain and enliven your body is by performing handstands. Pull your mat up against a wall in your home (free of artwork) and, planting your hands about a foot away from a wall, gently kick up in to a handstand position. This movement is going to do a few things… it’s going to raise your heart rate, send blood to your head and muscles, and cause you to bring your energy and focus into the present.
So next time you feel like you need a boost, turn to your mat instead of the extra-large double double and see how much better you feel throughout the rest of your day!