Finding Deeper Reserves | iHanuman


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Finding Deeper Reserves

The days are steadily growing longer and warmer, and the      nights are gradually losing their chill.  Coming out of a long,  cold winter, many of us are finding our energy levels rising  and our calendars growing busier.  It seems that every week  there is a different festival or other opportunity to get outside  and enjoy the spring breezes and birdsong.  There are so  many exciting events and projects happening that it can be a  challenge to find enough energy for it all.
In the yoga tradition, life energy is referred to as prana.  In the broader context, there is an infinite amount of prana in the universe.  But as it relates to individual human beings, there is a finite amount of energy available to each of us. We can only expend as much of it as we take in, and once we run out of this energy, our bodies and minds are not able to function optimally.
One one level, there is nothing mystical about the concept of energy.  Human beings are nourished by calories in the food we eat, which keep our systems functional.  We take in a certain amount of nutrients, and they are converted by our body into the resources that support our physical, mental, and emotional well being.  This is why many traditions address the importance of a proper diet when undertaking spiritual practices.
Beyond appropriate caloric intake, however, yoga reminds us that there are also other ways in which we can increase the amount of energy that is available to us.  And while this kind of energy intake is not necessarily measurable in a labratory, we all know from experience that it can be just as crucial as the food we eat in helping us to maintain optimal health and well being.
Each of us has certain activities that nourish us.  For some it is active pursuits such as biking or hiking.  For others, it is more restful moments, like enjoying a cup of tea with a loved one or curling up with a favorite book.  And any of us who are yoga practitioners know that our yoga practice is also something that can redouble the energy we put into it.
Most of us have had the experience of showing up tired to our yoga mat and, after a challenging practice, getting up from savasana feeling more energized than we were before.  This is because it is deeply nourishing to turn our attention inwards, to take time out of our busy day to nuture our important connection to our deeper energetic reserves.
So the next time you feel like you do not have enough time and energy for it all, be sure you make it to your favorite yoga class that day, and notice how feelings of overwhelm can melt away as you draw more deeply into your body and breath.  Or, even better, get your yoga mat out at home and do mountain pose, triangle pose, Warrior II, standing forward fold, and downward dog, followed by a five minute savasana.  In just ten minutes, you may be able to get your energy levels back up so that you can be fully present and enjoy all the fun activities happening this time of year.


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