The art of managing your energy
Energy Management from my perspective is one of the most important parts in living a successful life. No matter how you define success, you need energy in order to manifest and fulfill your desires. It may sound strange to talk about energy management in this context but what it ultimately means is to be aware of the fact that we are connected beings, and we are constantly influenced by internal and external stimulation.
Through the traditional teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda I have understood that before I can start hustling and really work towards the completion of my goals it’s really important to get balanced and to learn to manage energy wisely. According to the tradition we all are born with a certain energetic repository. From the first day of our lives we are constantly leaking energy through our senses – also called „aging“. In order to slow down the aging process and to compensate the constant leak of energy the Yogis have developed very powerful techniques.
Our bodies are like very intelligent systems with several interfaces (our senses) everything that enters our system through the ears, eyes, mouth, nose and skin causes an internal response and influences our energy level. On the other hand we also release information, energy and waste which also has an influence on ourselves and others. We are constantly connected and in exchange with our environment 24/7.
We have to become aware that everything we consume and release is in a constant flow of cause and effect. Every book, tv show, relationship, friendship, podcast, meal, drink, dream is shaping our perception of ourselves and the world and therefore has an influence on how we think, feel, talk and act.
In this article I want to raise your awareness and empower you to consciously support your energy. We have the great luxury to live in a world where we can decide what we have for lunch, with whom we are spending our time and which books we read. I would like to give you a few simple techniques and ideas on how to generate more energy to truly thrive in your life.
Food & Digestion
Have you ever heard the saying „you are what you eat“? Research has delivered proof that everything that you eat goes through different digestive processes and stages until it finally becomes part of your blood, muscles, bones and finally dissolves into your body fluids. After 35-40 days you literally become what you eat. I think it’s really important to be aware of the quality of the food you eat because it definitely has an impact on how healthy and balanced you are. We often spend more money on the fuel we put in our cars and tend to forget that our food is not only pure pleasure but also is the sacred act of fueling ourselves. We all have a rough understanding of what is considered to be „healthy“ or „unhealthy“ but to be honest I was only able to change my diet permanently when I realized that I literally become what I eat. Every plant or animal carries an energetic vibration that becomes a part of me after 40 days. The science of Ayurveda has helped me to understand my individual constitution, my current imbalance and how to take care of myself to get in balance.
Why is my diet relevant for being successful? Well, have you ever suffered from any indigestion? Have you ever spend an entire night in the bathroom sleeping close to the toilet? Did you feel like you could truly thrive the next day? That’s why digestion plays a major role.
You can simply observe yourself, observe your digestion, observe yourself in a more holistic way. If you are interested it may make sense to reach out to an Ayurvedic health consultant to get more information about your current state. It’s a system that has endured many nutrition trends over 3.500 years because it’s the only system that considers so many aspects of your environment of your being and pays respect to your individuality.
Approximately 80% of our energy intake is consumed by our brain and our nervous system. We are confronted with a lot of stimulation which we receive through our senses and forward it to our brain. 95% of our body functionality is controlled by the subconscious mind and we don’t even have to consciously tell our belly what to do when food arrives. Our brain is processing billions of bits of information per day and therefore plays a major role when it comes to energy management. Have you ever experienced a situation where in your mind you have played out different scenarios of a difficult conversation that lies ahead of you? And did you ever feel physically exhausted after such an internal role play? The reason for this phenomena is because the mind can not differentiate between internal and external experiences. The brain releases chemicals that are related to the thoughts we have into the blood stream. These chemicals inform our entire body about the thoughts, which cause the body to feel a certain way. Thoughts have a physical impact on your body and therefore also have a massive impact on your energy balance.
So what can you do to consciously influence your thoughts? The brain is like a muscle which is elastic and can be trained. The best mental training you can do, is to meditate. You will gain the biggest effects just as in any other physical training when you do it on a daily base for a dedicated amount of time and give yourself some rest in-between. If you already have established a meditation routine thats perfect! If you are beginning to develop your practice you can start by setting your time (ideally in the morning) and simply observe your thoughts. There are many apps or other guided meditations that can help you to find your own way. A simple walk in nature can also help to calm the nervous system and to charge up with some fresh energy.
The supply of fresh oxygen is vital for our health and the supply of our cells. Unfortunately in our modern society we unlearn to breath fully. We often squeeze ourselves into skinny jeans that don’t allow us to take full breaths into the belly, the rib cage and use the full capacity of our lungs. The yogic tradition describes Pranayama (the direction of the breath) as one of the main aspects to increase our energy. Prana is a Sanskrit word and can be translated to „life force“ and the techniques of Pranayama is the ability to shape and to direct the life force in a conscious way.
When we do Pranayama techniques it is really important to also consider the quality of the air. It’s not very helpful to deeply inhale polluted air.
To build up a deeper relationship with you breath I would recommend trying one of my favorite practices – the 3 part yogic breath. You can simply lay down on your back and place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your collar bones. With every inhalation sense your breath moving through your nostrils, into your throat towards your collar bones. Sense your chest expanding, and feel the intercostal muscles widening between your ribs, until finally your lower belly softens and widens. When you exhale gently tone your lower belly muscles and pull your navel towards your spine and feel your breath slowly moving out of your belly, through your chest, along your throat out of your nostrils.As you practice the 3 part breath you can start adding a breath count so see how far you can extend your in- and exhalation. Keep your breath smooth and steady.
One essential part of Yoga is the practice of Asana. Asana is the physical movement of the body. Today we often use the words Yoga and Asana synonymously – but the physical movement is only a small aspect of what Yoga really is. The major reason for practicing asana is to calm our busy minds through the synchronization of body and breath. Through this combination of body movement and breath they yogis have developed techniques that help to dissolve blockages in the „Nadis“. In the human body we have approximately 80.000 „Nadis“ which are very subtle and thin energy channels. The practice of asana helps to remove blockages to allow the Prana to flow freely through the entire body.
A very easy asana that you can use to test the combination of breath and movement is dynamic savanna. Lay down on the back and extend your legs. Let your arms rest next to your body. First establish your breath and take a few deep breaths in and out. Start the practice on the inhalation by raising your arms up and over your head until the hands touch the floor, on the exhale tone your belly muscles and let your arms gently move down to the side of your body. Close your eyes and repeat this movement 5 times. Let your breath lead the movement, let your breath be slightly longer as your movement.
How well are you sleeping? While we are digesting our food on a physical level during the day, we are digesting on a mental and emotional level in the night when we are sleeping. Many people have problems either falling asleep or staying in a deep state of rest, some of us sleep well but wake up feeling completely exhausted. The teachings of Ayurveda provide many useful tips to improve the quality of your sleep. If you feel that some of the above mentioned aspects are applicable you are invited to experiment with the following suggestions.
- Try to reduce the intake of caffeine in the afternoon.
- Leave enough time between your last meal and going to sleep.
- Reduce the amount of unnatural light (screens, phones, bright lights) in the evening. The light receptors in your retina communicate with your brain to decide whether it’s time to produce serotonin or melatonin (sleep hormone). If you are exposed to glaring lights late, your brain does not produce enough melatonin and sleeping becomes a harder challenge.
- Try to mentally slow down and let go. Avoid disturbing conversations, books or movies.
- Take a bath with some relaxing essential oils. Especially in winter a warm bath can help the body to relax tension that has been build up during the day. The smell of relaxing essential oils activate the pineal gland (transforms serotonin into melatonin) and therefore helps to relax even more.
- Set up in bed and prepare for sleeping before dusk. Make going to bed an enjoyable little ritual. You can even massage your feet a bit and read an inspiring book before closing your eyes and letting go into deeps sleep.
- Set a firm intention to relax and to let go. Going to bed is probably not the best time to solve problems or to overthink certain situations. It’s also a mental process to allow your mind to let go from all unsolved issues and your body to relax from physical tension.
Having a strong community
As humans we are very social beings. We all have a deep need to be part of a community. For a long time our tribes and families have been the first communities we have been part of. In our modern world the old patterns of community are often breaking apart and as we get older the amount of friendships and deep relationships is decreasing. You also may have observed that your parents don’t go out anymore and rarely make new friends. Even the existing relationships are often more superficial. I often heard that this is a „normal.“ process Because when you start a family and have a „real job“ friends become less important and the older you get the less friends you have. To be honest I never agreed with any of these statements. I do understand that relationships change, friendships come and go but the idea of not having close friends anymore was something that I never wanted to accept. The solution is quite easy, you consciously have to decide how much time you want to invest into close relationships. Nurturing relationships requires energy but as soon as you share your energy with someone who resonates with you on some level, the energy multiplies. Many ancient traditions refer to being part of a strong community as a major element of longterm health and happiness.
Therefore get out there and make some new friends and take care of the „old“ friends you have and are dear to you. It’s really never too late to make friends.
On the other hand we are sometimes very attached to people that don’t always treat us with their best intention. It can be challenging and difficult but a very essential part of energy management is also to develop the capacity to let go of things, foods, and people that are not good for us.
What does connection in the sense of energy management mean? One first hint, I am not referring to Wifi connection. I am referring to the ability to connect with your essence, with the eternal part of yourself that goes far beyond your ego and identity. Why is it important to connect with eternity, the source, the universe or whatever you want to name it? It provides a direct experience and a reminder that everything that we often call „reality“ based on our 5 senses is not the ultimate reality. The connection is like the fancy tail of the avatars who can connect to everything in their world, plants, animals and even the wisdom of their ancestors. It seems like fancy science fiction movie, but seriously have a look around. We live on the most amazing planet, with creations such as zebras and elephants, and beautiful plants, mountains and the oceans. Unfortunately we just don’t have that fancy tail device to connect to our source, we have to work on a more subtle level to find the connection. The tradition of the yoga teachings is providing guided instructions to come back to this place of connection through… drum roll…. MEDITATION!!! We can use our body to calm the mind and then use the mind to get into meditation and experience our connection to unlimited creativity and power first hand. In our modern world it is so easy to get distracted, everybody is begging for attention and we are often so overwhelmed that we lose our focus.
Switch off and connect with your inner Guru to experience real contentment and get access to wisdom and creativity.
Be aware that social media and other technology is a course and a blessing at the same time. It provides great opportunities and pitfalls, be wise and set a clear intention for your use of social media and invest in real relationships.
Puhhh, that was a lot in one blog post, anyways I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to connect with me at any time.
Love & Namasté