Daily Energy Routine

5 quick fixes to get your energy flowing for optimum health and wellbeing. By Sarah Tucker

Daily Energy

As part of my yoga practice with both children and grown-ups, I increasingly use techniques which work with the acupressure points around the body, stimulating and restoring the body’s natural energies. These energy systems are referred to in many cultures around the world. These energy channels or meridians, allow the chi or prana (energy) to flow freely through the body. In yoga, any blocks in energy around the body lead to emotional imbalance as well as physical fatigue. As well as the balancing, stretching and twisting postures (asanas), these simple energy balancing techniques will leave you feeling calm and revitalised as well as help with clarity and concentration.

Here is a daily energy routine that will help to balance many of these systems and maximise your vitality. Here are five easy-to-learn techniques, to be done each morning or before you go to bed.

1 The Cross Crawl
What does it do?
Balances and harmonises energy, improves coordination and clears thinking.

How to do it?
While standing, seated, or lying down, lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously. As you let them down, raise your left arm and right leg. Repeat, this time exaggerating the lift of your leg and the swing of your arm across the midline to the opposite side of your body. If you can, twist so that your elbow touches your opposite knee. Continue this exaggerated march for at least a minute, again breathing in deeply.

2 The Crown Pull
What does it do?
Relieves mental congestion and headaches, clears and refreshes the mind, sharpens memory, and opens you to higher inspiration.

How to do it?
Place your thumbs at your temples and rest your fingertips at the middle of your forehead. Slowly, with pressure, pull your fingers apart to the hairline stretching the skin above your eyebrows. Place your fingers at the hairline and repeat the stretch. Repeat this pattern starting at the top, centre and back of your head. Continue all the way back and down until you reach the base of your neck. Use pressure as you pull. Move down to your shoulders and push your fingers into the back of your shoulders and hold. Then pull across your shoulders towards the front. Finally, release and bring your hands to the middle of your chest for at least one breath.

3 The Hook Up
What does it do?
Calms you and centres you, connects many of the body’s energy circuits. May help when feeling dizzy or faint.

How to do it?
Place the middle finger of one hand on the ‘Third Eye’ (between the eyebrows above the bridge of your nose) and the middle finger of your other hand in the navel. Gently press each finger into the skin and pull it upwards. Hold for 12 to 30 seconds. You can hold it longer if you like. Often you will experience a deep sigh and/or yawn. This shows that your energies have hooked up.

4 The Celtic Weave
What does it do?
Strengthens and weaves all of the energy systems of the body together.

How to do it?
Stand tall, hands on thighs. Breathe deeply throughout this exercise, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Rub your hands together, shake them off, face your palms toward each other, and feel the energy between them. Rub and shake them off again. Place your palms close to your ears and take a deep breath. Inhale and bring your elbows together. Exhale, cross your arms and swing them out to the side. Bend forward slightly and cross and swing your arms out in front of your waist. Bend further, cross your arms, and swing them out in front of your ankles. Bend your knees, turn your palms forward, and scoop up the energy. Stand tall and imagine you are pouring that energy all over your body.

5 Connect Heaven & Earth
What does it do?
Stretches the torso, helps clear stale energy and makes space for fresh energy to flow throughout the body. Activates your spleen meridian.

How to do it?
Start with your hands on your thighs, fingers spread. Inhale through your nose, circle your arms out and up over your head. Bring your hands together in a prayer position down and in front of your heart. Exhale through your mouth.
Inhaling through your nose, stretch one arm up and one arm down, pushing with your palms. Hold, exhale, and return to the prayer position. Switch arms and repeat. Do this twice for each arm, really emphasising the stretch. Drop your arms down, fold your body forward at the waist, and relax with your knees slightly bent. Take two deep breaths before slowly returning to
a standing position. As you do, you can
‘roll’ your energy up your body with your hands, starting at your feet and rolling all the way up and over your head and out to the sides.

Energy medicine
In energy medicine, energy is medicine, and energy is also the patient. You heal the body by stimulating its natural energies, which may have become weak, or out of balance. Very much a pagan form of wellbeing, the focus is on the individual and everyone being different. Energy medicine recognises energy as a vital, living, moving force. It is another form of looking after yourself before you fall ill and one that has been shown to help with stress, which can, in turn, cause other diseases.

For further information check out Sarah Tucker’s book The A to Zen of Yoga and, for children, The Excellent Book of Energies. Further reading: Energy Medicine by Donna Eden and David Feinstein

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