Energize and Restore: Yoga’s Remarkable Impact on Fatigue and How to Embrace It
We’ve all felt fatigued at times – that feeling of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and unfulfilled. At first, people may believe it’s from juggling work, family, and a busy personal life. Upon deeper introspection fatigue can be traced to being unfulfilled, unbalanced, and living out of alignment with one’s values.
In this article I will share with you how to use yoga for fatigue and stress relief, answer common questions about them, and provide you with simple tips on how to bring the gift of yoga and mindfulness into your daily routine.
The Science Behind Yoga and Fatigue
The ancient practice of yoga is about mindfulness more than anything else. In doing the physical postures, breath practices, and meditations we begin to tune into our mind and body. Bringing a greater sense of overall well-being.
Research has shown that practicing yoga can help alleviate fatigue and boost energy levels. Yoga naturally and effectively remedies fatigue by reducing stress and anxiety, which contributes to feelings of exhaustion. Physically, yoga for fatigue improves circulation and increases oxygen in the body. Mentally, yoga promotes relaxation and brings mental clarity. Emotionally, yoga allows us to let go of emotional tensions.
How to Incorporate Yoga for Fatigue into Your Daily Routine
Tune in to the energizing power of yoga by incorporating a yoga practice into your daily routine.
Start by developing a plan that includes the following; healthful meals and snacks (Remember to Nourish Naturally), mindful breathing, a few simple yoga postures, rest breaks, and daily walks in nature. Consider your family life and work life, and then create a plan that fits into these often competing endeavors. Choose times of day that works best for you. Keep in mind that in the morning we want to kickstart our day, and evenings are for wind down. Whatever you choose, it has to work for you.
Consistency is key! Construct a plan that allows for yoga’s methods to become your regular practice. Just a few minutes here and there, each day, will bring you great relief.
Here’s an example:
Breakfast – Yogurt with fruit
Lunch – Salad with beans
Dinner – Buddha bowl
Snacks – All the fresh fruits and veggies you want, chick pea dips, mindful amount of nuts
Hydration – Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Breathing – Choose a breathing practice that allows for mental focus.
Postures – Selecting five postures that are tailored to you is better than a full class at your local yoga studio that does not work for your body or what you need at that time of day. You can do these postures all at one time, or spread then out throughout your day. In the morning, energizing poses like the warrior series, triangle, half moon are good to build balance and strength. In the evening, restorative poses like downward-facing dog, seated forward fold, and bridge pose are good because they bring the head below the heart, close the front side of the body, and bring the gaze inward.
If your practice of yoga for fatigue is flowing, focus on synchronizing your breath with the big physical moments as well as the small subtle movements inside your body while maintaining a steady posture. Become mindful of your body’s sensations as you transition between poses. All of these steps will help you live more presently while reaping the full benefits of yoga.
Rest Break – Find the same time of the day to rest for at least 20 minutes. Allow your thoughts to settle and be present while focusing on the movements of your diaphragm.
Walk In Nature – This the yoga homework I give out the most. Walking resets the body, nature resets the mind. Nature reminds us that we are a part of nature as well.
Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Yoga for Fatigue
To get the most out of your yoga practice, consider incorporating the following tips:
- Be consistent – A short yoga practice on a regular basis is better than a longer practice once a week. Consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of yoga.
- Listen to your body – Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and adjust your practice accordingly. If you’re feeling fatigued, mindful breathing practices (pranayama) in a restorative pose can be very balancing and even invigorating.
- Create a peaceful environment – Fatigue is often a byproduct of being overwhelmed by life. Begin by cleaning your living space. If this is not your thing, find a friend who loves to clean and organize. A calm and serene atmosphere will enhance your life. When practicing, consider soft lights, soothing music, and essential oil in a diffuser. Most of all – ENJOY! Life is suppose to be fun!
- Learn to say no – No isn’t necessarily a negative concept. No can simply mean not now. It can mean I don’t want to. No can mean I value myself far more than what another wants from me. I believe there is a way to tell anyone anything. The key is how you say it. Saying no to something now can open space to saying yes to the things that you really want to do. Say no without regret. You will have more time for the balance, peace, and restful presence that you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) about Yoga for Fatigue
On the first day of my yoga training retreats I say to my students – “you must begin from where you are”. If where you are is fatigued, or contains yucky emotions begin by acknowledging that you have these feelings, acknowledge them as an external activity of the mind and not who you truly are, and then make a plan to climb your way out. Practicing yoga postures is simply moving mindfully in-sync with breathing. Living the yoga lifestyle is progressively keeping your self healthy – body, mind, soul.
It’s always best to create a plan to practice based on your needs and schedule. This provides physical benefits by easing restrictions in the joints and connective tissue, greater control of your senses, more balance in your nervous system, and acceptance of things that you cannot control. All of this provides a more relaxed state of mind allowing for a deeper rest.
People think of yoga as the postures, or practice, and this is what scares some from trying it at all. Oftentimes those who need yoga most are the ones who shy away from it. Yoga is so much more than asana (postures) alone! Yoga is a way if life. A plan for living. A method to keep yourself in balance.
Whatever plan you devise, the idea is to develop a way of life, a regular practice that will help reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase energy. If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, consult with a medical professional to determine the best course of action for your situation.