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How to Manage Your Energy

Do you usually reach the end of the day with no energy, just wanting to curl up on the couch and watch TV or some series? From now on, you will learn to interpret your body's true needs. It's not about choosing the sofa or the series! This is a warning sign indicating low energy levels. Discover quick and effective strategies to deal with this situation.


No energy? 🪫

  • Yes every day 🫠

  • Yes, but rarely 🫤

  • No, I always have a lot of energy 🤩


 

Summary

 

Chemical energy: ATP, how to optimize breathing


After all, what is energy and how is it related to Yoga?

Our energy, in chemical terms for cells, is stored in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) (Source: Wikipédia). This substance works as a kind of cellular energy currency, providing cells with the energy necessary for activities such as running, preparing dinner and even for the thought process. The generation of ATP requires not only glucose obtained through food, but also large amounts of oxygen absorbed through respiration. Surprisingly, the lungs are just one stage of the respiratory journey - true breathing occurs at the cellular level!


A Glicose e o ATP

By combining oxygen with glucose, ATP production increases significantly from 2 ATP to an impressive 38 ATP.

Investing in effective breathing is essential to optimize this energetic process.



Body awareness and basic exercise to use your respiratory potential


Now, we bring you good news: you can double (or even more) the amount of oxygen absorbed with each breath, and Yoga is the key to this.

Start by assessing your back. When thinking about them, have you noticed any improvement in your posture? Excellent! Now focus on your abdomen. Do you notice movement when you breathe? If you notice that your belly button moves while you breathe, congratulations!


Distribuição do ar nos pulmões

For many Westerners, the answer is 'no'. Surprisingly, about 60% of the volume of the lungs is in the abdominal region. Unfortunately, many people in the West do not make full use of this lung capacity, which is not favorable to their health.

The first essential exercise to master is abdominal breathing. Sound challenging? In fact, we are all born breathing using the abdominal area of our lungs; The challenge is knowing how to do it consciously.



In Traditional Yoga of India, as taught by the Portuguese Yoga Confederation, we explore the 14 technical disciplines of Yoga. One of them is Pránáyáma, which consists of breathing exercises with energetic and neurovegetative influence. This discipline covers 40 different exercises, contributing not only to increasing our energy, but also to emotional balance!

We learn to (with each breath) increase the absorption of oxygen, which translates into generating more ATP, the chemical energy essential for the functioning of our body.



How many liters of air do you breathe?


Putting it into perspective, a Western individual, on average, consumes around 9L of air per minute, which is not equivalent to the volume contained in 2 domestic buckets.


Volume de ar inspirado em 1 minuto

When we practice full breathing, we fully utilize our lung capacity. In practice, it is possible to reach up to 30L, the equivalent of six full buckets (Source: André Van Lysebeth in 'I Perfect my Yoga').



Prána: The energy that astronauts sought


And the discoveries continue! In addition to oxygen, we absorb oxygen dioxide from the air, known in Samskrta as prana, essential for us to feel “full” 🔋🔋🔋. NASA, during the space race, faced the challenge of astronauts, despite their physical preparation, losing strength when remaining in watertight chambers. After extensive research (Source: NASA), a technology, today known as ionizers, was developed to enrich the air with oxygen anions. That mysterious button on air conditioners that indicates ionization? It is introducing oxygen anions (bioenergy) into the air. Something that is also done by the sea waves, hence the beach air recharges us.


The term prána is incorporated in the name of the technical discipline Pránáyáma, which consists of 40 exercises transmitted over millennia, reminding human beings of their innate abilities. These exercises provide a considerable source of energy, allowing us to live our lives like superheroes, enjoying every moment.



Fast track of energy to the cerebral cortex


In Yoga, we discover a quick way to take prana directly to our cerebral cortex: breathing deeply through the nose, as if we were smelling a flower.


Respiração nasal

In Yoga exercises, we always breathe through the nose, both inhaling and exhaling (with rare exceptions), programming the body for energy efficiency. The olfactory bulb, connected to the brain through the nervous system, is vital in this process, influencing key areas of the brain.


A teacher duly certified by DGERT (with a minimum of 6500 hours for the first level) learns these 40 exercises, understands their purposes as well as their benefits. For example, they learn to hyperoxygenate the brain to face peaks of work or study (Bhastriká). Furthermore, they explore the combination of breathing with Ásanas - Psychophysical Positions - transforming gravity into your ally to maintain constant energy.



Anti-stress and emotional stability


There are even more fascinating discoveries about the benefits of Pránáyáma, including its anti-stress impact (since in stressful situations we waste a considerable amount of energy) and its role in promoting emotional stability.


Reflect for a moment: have you ever made a wise decision when you were extremely distressed, angry, euphoric or sad? How much time and energy did you need to spend to remedy such a decision? Breathing is closely linked to our emotions. Notice the rhythm of your breathing when you are calm and peaceful compared to times of distress. Just as everything in the cosmos follows a rhythm, we, as part of nature, are also influenced by this rhythm. The consistent practice of Pránayáma guides us towards a state of emotional balance.

For example, abdominal breathing allows you to stimulate the vagus nerve due to the anatomical proximity between this nerve and the diaphragm (main muscle in breathing). The vagus nerve is the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for slowing down many of our vital functions (heartbeat, breathing, etc.). Through breathing, we can counterbalance the hyperstimulation of stress, which is an accelerator.

The rhythm also plays an important role.

Notice the rhythm at which you breathe when you are calm and peaceful or when you are distressed. Everything in the cosmos has rhythm, we are part of nature, rhythm also influences us.

By practicing with a certified teacher we learn not only which exercise to use in each situation but also at what pace to apply it.



Summary


Yoga offers quick and effective solutions to recharge and relax, allowing us to live our lives like superheroes! The practice of Yoga reprograms our body to operate efficiently, adopting approaches such as abdominal breathing to use the area with the largest volume of the lungs, full breathing to maximize the uptake of oxygen and prana, and breathing through the nose to direct prana directly to the cerebral cortex. Furthermore, there are specific exercises, such as hyperoxygenation (Bhastriká).


Yoga not only acts as an antidote to stress, but also promotes emotional stability, translating into energy savings. These are just three of the 40 Pránáyama exercises - breathing exercises with energetic and neurovegetative influence that can be learned from a Traditional Yoga teacher from India, certified by DGERT, with a certified training of 6500 hours.


By taking control of our energy, we can direct it towards our purposes and goals. In addition to this technical discipline, there are 13 other main (and 6 secondary) subjects to explore!


And here's a valuable tip:

Save time - practice Yoga.


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