Michael Fukumura: How to Sustain Your Energy
How do you sustain your energy so you can offer your yoga services and still have a satisfying personal life and sense of well-being?
We live in a culture that rewards high achievers, who are productive, efficient and can multi-task. This performance and results oriented approach can also be draining on your energy resources, particularly in the long-term.
As a full-time attorney, who teaches yoga classes, private lessons, teacher trainings, and workshops, I have been using simple techniques to keep my energy vital and avoid burning out.
Here are key methods that will work to sustain your energy however you choose to be of service.
Remember The Source of All of Your Energy
You may notice that your mind will want to be busy and check e-mail, social networks, turn on a TV. This is the opportunity to practice “pratyahara” and allow your senses to draw in and become quiet; rather than constantly doing. Unplug from external stimulation and connect to the stillness and calm that resides within you.
Allow for a structured time of the day to bring awareness to the more subtle energy within in the form of meditation, pranayama, a restorative, or other mindfulness technique. Practice this on a regular basis and you nourish yourself by growing more spacious and relaxed. Then you can continue your day refreshed and clear.
Optimize Your Energy by Cultivating a Healthy Relationship with Stress
When you are unable to deal with stress well it is tempting to turn to coping strategies that diminish your energy like addictive substances, non-nutritious foods, medications, and energy drinks. If you learn to recognize stress as an invitation to increase your strength, stamina, and flexibility, then you can grow and expand your awareness. Stress then becomes an opportunity to fully engage with everything in a way that is more meaningful and valuable and helps repattern your neural pathways. By positively responding to stress, even with full engagement, there is a feeling of passion with ease.
Be Aware of Your Commitments to Challenges
Taking on too many services can become overwhelming. One sign of over-commitment is when your enthusiasm begins to wane. Notice when your pattern of doing is out of balance and then make adjustments so that you are only committing to those services that are the most meaningful to you and where you can still be effective.
Keep Practicing and Having Fun!
If you take your services too seriously or treat it as primary, it can be easy to let your own yoga practice slump. Don’t’ discount the value of your yoga practices. With regular practice on the mat, you can mindfully and consciously release physical, mental and energetic blockages. With a well-aligned yoga practice, the efforts you make actually build the capacity to hold more energy. Similarly, even doing some hobby, sport, or other activity, whether alone or with friends, is a very rewarding way of releasing stuck energy and feeling revitalized.
“Relaxation in Action”
There will be periods in the course of the day, week, month, and in other cycles where you pulse between being and doing. Just like in asana practice, you can sustain your energy in a pose through “relaxation in action”. Apply that principle as you are being of service to the world and in everything that you do. Instead of being defined or controlled by your activities, let your actions be an expression of who you are and align them with your Highest and best self. Then, even in the midst of activity, you act from the source of stillness and calm that lives within you: a place of abundance instead of lack. In this way, you function from an inner support that sustains. Remember who you are, where you came from, all of your teachers, what is most meaningful, and you will keep recharging in a gracious way.
~ Michael Fukumura, prAna Ambassador
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