Welcome, once again, to the time of year when we pack into rooms and squeeze around tables to celebrate and give thanks, then post about it on Facebook!
If you’re sensitive to energy, this can be a really intense season. And, if you don’t pay attention to how you are feeling physically and emotionally, it might leave you so rundown and depleted that you even get sick—it’s all connected.
I’m one of those geeky trainers who really tries to solve the puzzle when a client doesn’t lose weight or get healthy, while others heal and slim down in record time. And, about seven years ago, I started to think about something we weren’t considering in the sport science lab: energy.
See, back in the wellness office at University of Idaho, I would meticulously plan workouts with all the finely tuned scientific principles of physical transformation in play. Then, my clients would show up to the gym tired, dragging and beat down—and there would go my plan for rocked out sessions.
I would very professionally and diligently begin the robotic weightlifting, but the moment I would touch clients or ask how they were really doing, they would have total breakdowns. It was the emotional release of what they had been lugging around all day. And, let me tell you, an emotional release at the gym, in the middle of a crowded room with sweaty bodies, disco music, and fluorescent lighting is so not fun.
It got especially bad around the holidays. I started to see that we needed a better way to cleanse and refresh our energy systems multiple times per day on our own, if we wanted any chance of maintaining our energy levels and workouts over the holiday season, so we didn’t have to start from scratch New Year’s Day.
See, the more you tune into your thoughts, moods, and energy, the more you notice, it’s all connected! The state of your physical well-being is a direct result of your ability to keep energy vibration high and your mood and spirit positive and powerfully happy.
So, this is a small example, which only takes ten minutes, of how to keep your energy soaring this season and live life in a body you love. Here are my top three “Weightless Energy Detox Exercises” that you can do anywhere, anytime:
1. Shake It Off
Stand feet shoulder width apart and soften your knees. Wave up straight and tall through your trunk and core body and then relax your shoulders. Reach your arms out long and begin by gently shaking out your hands. Move up the arms, into the chest and rib cage, down to the hips and booty, and finish by shaking out your legs. You will feel so much better and will be less likely to react to the energies that usually set you off.
2. Who, Ha Breathing
Practicing mantras to keep us calm and centered is common, but, during the stressful, busy holidays, our practice often goes out the window. The Who, Ha Breath is a simple way to clear energy. Start with the “Who” breath at the base of your pelvis. Using the pelvic diaphragm, pull up and in as you power out the word, “Who!” with as much power as possible. Next, take one short powerful breath from the upper diaphragm and say the word “Ha!” as if you are proving someone wrong (your reactive ego). Practice Who? Ha! Breathing to remind yourself who you really are and to stay fully connected to the voice of your intuition, even as the noise of the outside world rocks on around you.
3. Wave Through The Spine
Stagnant, heavy energy likes to settle in around our joints and can cause stiffness, discomfort and even physical pain. Waving through the spine is an awesome way to recalibrate your postural system and enhance energy and bodily functions (for instance, speed up your metabolism, so you can burn more of the foods you feast on). Start with your feet shoulder-width distance and soften the knees. Hold legs tight and gently begin to tuck the tailbone towards the top of the pelvis, drawing the hip bones closer to the bottom ribs. Try to picture each vertebrae curling in one at a time, lifting your chest and finally releasing through the top of the head with a big exhale. Do this three or four times in a row, five or six times per day to stay grounded, centered and flexible throughout the holiday season.