Contrary to what people might think, yoga is not just about relaxing; nor is it about contemplating one’s navel. The word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ and ‘hatha’ as in ‘hatha yoga’ means ‘a yoga which balances the energies’. Balance is key – and the reason relaxation is emphasised so much in the West is that we tend tend to be overstimulated.
So – it will happen from time to time that you feel lethargic and need energising – and here are some practices to help you.
1. Stand tall, shoulders relaxed. Rub the palms of the hands together until they feel hot. Shake the hands from the wrists – not too hard.
2. Lift each foot and give it a shake.
3. Place palms together in front of the chest. Breathe out. Breathe in and open the arms out wide, looking up (don’t drop the head back.) Feel the centre of the chest (heart chakra) opening. Breathe out and bring head back to centre, palms together. Do a few of these with the breath to energise the body (care if you have back problems).
4. Breathing for energy: place the hands on the abdomen. Breathe out and pull the abdominal muscles in slightly to expel any stale air. Breathe in deeply (don’t force it). Feel the movement of the abdomen under the hands. Breathe out and relax the muscles back. As you breathe, imagine energy in the form of light, entering this area and pervading your whole body.
5. How sluggish is your diet? Are you getting plenty of fresh fruit and veg, salad etc or is it all chips? A good diet is the basis of good energy.
6. Finally, don’t forget to get enough sleep! (see previous posts)