Feeling tired most of the time? Yoga, exciting goals, nutrient dense food and proper sleep will give you lots of energy all day long without needing extra caffeine stimulants.
The body has natural energy reserves we can all tap into by getting the spine mobile, pursuing our passion decisively and getting proper nutrients and rest.
Many people struggle with fatigue. There is no magic solution that will make it go away, there is however a network of things, that when done simultaneously, will banish it (most likely). As a health coach and yoga instructor, I teach people about how to have more energy naturally without needing chemically derived stimulants.
If you follow these simple suggestions, you will find you have more mental clarity and motivation to pursue the things you love. You can’t put a price on having naturally derived energy and what’s even better is that all these simple techniques aren’t expensive and have no harmful side effects (can’t say the same for energy drinks).
I’ve been practicing yoga for ten years and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it gives you energy and here’s why: Your spine has pockets of energy waiting to be released and when you work on being able to arch and twist your spine, as you become more flexible, you will tap into these energy reserves.
I tell my students all the time, if you’re tired or need to stay up late to study, do some backbends. If you do 10-20 minutes of backbends you will be wired and if you do an hour of backbends you might not sleep that night. It’s that intense.
Yes, that’s right, this natural energy source is free, no gimmicks or a catch. The cool thing is you don’t have to have a gym membership or go to an expensive yoga studio to do backbends. You can do them from the convenience of your own home. It’s important, very important, to do backbends carefully.
You want to warm up beforehand. Never try going into backbends if you’re not stretched. Also, be patient with yourself, if you work on them every day, you will notice your flexibility increasing over a couple of days and weeks.
Everyone can become more flexible if they focus on it. Once people become flexible as adults, they usually keep up the habit because they feel so good and their mood boosts up so much from the endorphins released in the process of yoga.
Many people think yoga is just stretching; however, it is scientifically designed to strengthen your body and get all of your systems working optimally. Your digestion will greatly improve, as will your circulation and oxygen levels. Regular digestion is essential for having energy.
When your body is backed up, toxins build up in your blood, they aren’t removed regularly, and that blood travels into your brain causing brain fog and fatigue.
Yoga trains you to start breathing deeply on a regular basis. This is an incredible scientific way to energize yourself because the fresh oxygen is carried with your red blood cells to your brain, organs and muscles helping them all function optimally. Yoga brings your body into harmony with the energy system we are all equipped with.
Think of the nervous system and the digestive system as a car. If you give a car low grade fuel and don’t change the oil regularly, it doesn’t run as well. If you give your body adequate fuel (nutrient dense food) and regular maintenance (yoga and breathing techniques) you will start to perform at your optimal levels.
Breath of fire is a type of fast breathing done by pushing air out through the teeth in fast repetition. The entire chemistry of the blood changes with the breath of fire after 50 seconds and oxygen travels to the entire body. Try this when you’re in traffic or getting that mid-afternoon slump.
Finding foods that are actually healthy is often like the pioneers looking for the unknown, it’s a process of discovery but what we have that they didn’t are maps. Our maps are the endless information source of books and the internet, which can guide us on our quest to find out what to fuel our body with.
I’m going to start with the basics. Eat superfoods like kale, spinach, blueberries, maca root, cacao, gogi berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocados, cashews, walnuts and many more. Notice ‘superfoods’ is synonymous with ‘plants.’ For some reason, people started calling chemicals that resemble real foods, ‘food’ and strange things with only small amounts of real foods, ‘food’.
Catch my drift? I’m talking about processed foods. Eliminate processed foods with refined sugars and grains and your energy will naturally go up.
Get good saturated fat sources like olive oil, walnut oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. You need healthy fats for energy. Avocado’s and nuts have a healthy amount of the good fats we need in them and if you try eating healthy without getting good fats every day, you’ll get even more tired.
You’ve been warned ladies.
Adaptogens like ashwagandha and ginseng are great to bring your energy into balance. They aren’t exactly a stimulant and they aren’t exactly a relaxant, they work with your body and are more of a harmonizer. Ginger is energizing without caffeine as well.
If you are going to have natural caffeine, it’s best to choose organic coffees or organic teas. I recommend organic yerba mate which can be found at most health food stores or online. Remember, if you drink too much caffeine, it will drain your adrenals and actually make you tired and you will feel like you just can’t get enough of coffee.
Try to limit your cups of organic caffeinated substances to one a day.
I recommend raw and organic multivitamin supplements as well as a b complex. Don’t buy your supplements from a pharmacy, ladies, they are not strong. Make a real investment in your health and talk to your local health food store’s vitamin department consultant about your energy issues and they will help you choose the top shelf supplements.
Supplements that are organic and raw have more bioavailability as the nutrients have not been cooked and your body will actually be able to absorb them and get energy from them.
It’s important to eat live plants (not cooked) in order to have live enzymes that will process the protein you eat into amino acids, which are energy. Protein that doesn’t convert to amino acids doesn’t give you energy. So get a salad recipe book or a good raw food recipe book and experiment. It’s inspiring to actually visit a raw food restaurant and see how amazing the food actually is.
There are raw food restaurants opening like wild fire as people are realizing the amazing energizing properties of eating this way.
The underdog when it comes to natural energy is something so commonplace; we don’t even realize how important it is for our energy. Think about how children become moody and cry when they need a nap. We are all susceptible to fatigue and mood swings when we aren’t getting adequate sleep and it seems like some of us think chemicals make us invincible to the natural sleep cycles we all need.
Frankly, I sleep with the natural circadian rhythms, go to bed early and rise early. I have sustained energy throughout the day because of it. Our society has tried to overpower nature, especially in big cities. Artificial lights make us think we are stronger than Mother Nature, but sure enough, if you are in the habit of staying up really late and waking up late, your energy can be greatly affected.
The same goes for not getting enough sleep. If you follow natural circadian rhythms and go to bed near the time the sun goes down and get up with the sun, you will find yourself actually having more useful energy during the day without brain fog.
If you have trouble sleeping throughout the night and wake up a lot, this can drain your energy during the day. Try herbal tea or supplements that can help you fall asleep, and the other side of the coin is that you will recover and restore your energy for the next day.
Herbs like gaba, kava, valerian, melatonin, chamomile and lavender are helpful. Magnesium is also a supplement to take into consideration for restful rejuvenating sleep.
I get asked this question all the time, “What is alkaline water?” Having worked at an alkaline water ‘brewery’, I can talk about the science of it. I have researched it in books, talked to water professionals, and seen patients come in on doctor’s orders for it.
So how can alkaline water help your energy? There are a couple of ways. The water is structured differently and brings more oxygen to your body; it also detoxifies your body and improves your digestion. Many times people feel sluggish because their digestion is off and they have toxic build-up in their body.
The pH factor is also important. The body is not susceptible to illness in an alkaline state and when the body is no longer chronically dehydrated, as most people experience, their energy will increase. Dehydration is far more common than most people realize and fatigue is a common symptom. I recommend two liters of alkaline water each day to improve your energy naturally.
Remember ladies, there is no ONE thing that will help your fatigue; it’s adjusting a network of things. If you find yourself in the store looking for an energy supplement, it’s probably not going to do anything for you unless you also look at your diet, your exercise and your sleep. People think a pill can fix each problem individually but we heal from changing a number of things.
The body is a complex web of systems (immune, endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal etc.) and when we experience a symptom it’s because all of the systems together are being stressed, not just one. That means we must take steps to balance all of them. We can boost our immune system by doing yoga and eating garlic and lemons.
We can improve our circulation (the endocrine system) by doing yoga and walking. We can balance our nutrients by eating live plants, getting sunshine and hydrating. And we can balance our body’s nervous system by breathing deeply and getting proper rest.
I speak from experience when I talk about the high energy lifestyle. I lead workshops on lifestyle transitions to the yogic lifestyle and healthy eating. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that your mind plays a big role in your energy. If you aren’t excited about your life, you will feel tired.
If you dread your daily routine, it’s not going to put a fire in your belly; it’s going to extinguish it. This is something I think most people miss. I remember a friend of mine saying, “You’re supposed to hate your job.” This stuck out in my mind like a shipwreck on the human evolutionary timeline. Since when was it ok to hate our lives? And how do we expect to be energetic if we do?
In my case, I feel energized when I’m fired up about what I’m doing. I have a goal that I’m working towards that helps the bigger picture and I work towards it tirelessly. Motivation is the final key to natural energy. Motivation is derived from writing a clear goal for yourself that will direct your intention and decision making.
When you are just floating through life and being led by the whims of other people without direction, you will feel fatigued, listless and fall for anything. When you stand for something, you will be strong, energized and unstoppable!
The internet is your fountain of youth and vitality; I hope you found this article useful and share it with your friends… This magazine is like a mentor who offers straightforward advice for free.
Shannon is a contortionist and yoga teacher that loves to inspire people to lead empowered and healthy lives. She writes practical advice for health and gives real world insights to empower women emotionally.
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