The economy of asanas

Practicing asanas, we learn how to be “energy economists” who know how to best spend our body’s energy to get the best result.

The first step is to know the main purposes of the poses you’re doing. Then it’s easy to decide where you can cut unnecessary spending of energy and which body parts need to burn some extra energy. Here’s an example:

The energy economics of Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

Some of the main purposes:

  • bring stimulation to the thyroid gland in the neck region
  • rest the veins in the legs
  • strengthen the core muscles

Proper spending of energy:

  • Don’t push so hard with your hands. Instead of wasting energy there, reallocate it to your core muscles, making them do more of the work of holding you up.
  • Relax your toes. It will  allow the veins in your legs to more easily drain toward your heart.
  • Relax your butt. There are a lot of poses meant to strengthen those muscles, but this isn’t one of them. So use the saved energy for pressing your chest to your chin, stimulating your thyroid.

Regular practice of asanas in this thoughtful way will start to carry over into the rest of your life, too. You’ll begin to notice other times when you’re unnecessarily holding tension and wasting energy. You might notice you clench your jaw during business meetings, or shrug your shoulders up on cold days, or bounce your leg up and down when you’re uncomfortable. Once you have awareness of that wasted energy, you can address the problem and save the energy for something you’d rather be doing.

It’s all about taking charge of how you spend your energy. You’re the CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of you.

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Categories: Food for thought

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