Forget counting calories, hitting it too hard as we establish a fitness routine, and fuelling ourselves with caffeine and sugar, instead we can learn a lot about supercharging our energy levels and achieving total fitness through ancient healing methods that still pack their own powerful punch today.
And the good news is, eastern styles of movement and energy workouts can mean fewer injuries, reduced stress, and burnout and, that’s not to mention how good it feels when we are performing at our peak rather than depleted resources.
So stop scrolling, checking all macros on an app, and let’s break down some of the top tips from the world of Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Reiki, and even bellydance.
All the disciplines describe the importance of our energy flow, preserving our ‘life force’ or optimising our natural energy. Whether energy is described as Prana, Chi, Ti, Prana or Qi, it is about unleashing and preserving our internal energy and not giving away our ‘power.’
Chakras are commonly referred to in all the styles, but what are they and what do they mean? Chakras are energy points along our spine that impact our life force energy e.g. Qi “Chi” (e.g. Qi Gong is a powerful art of movement to help these). If our Chakras are blocked, however, this is believed to cause a range of health problems from gut issues to moods. We have 7 Chakra points throughout our body which are said to regulate our mind, body, and spirit energy.
Nutrition: As someone who teaches bellydance and is qualifying in Yoga, Face Yoga, Reiki (energy healing) and learning Qi Gong – the only place I hear of calorie counting is in the mainstream fitness industry. Yes, it can help us lose weight and become conscious of what we eat but no calories are created equally and for my own mind I choose to be peaceful and as natural as possible when I choose what to eat which is echoed in all the Eastern Principles. From Ayurvedic nutrition, a powerful Indian philosophy that describes how we eat depending on our internal body types ‘doshas’ to Buddhism which talks of mindful eating. The main theme is consuming natural foods to fuel our body because we borrow food, air and water to look after our bodies and to restore our cells. For example, the Ayurvedic Diet: What you ingest (via your senses) into your body becomes what you digest. The Western Philosophy: “You are what you eat” whereas the Ayurvedic: “You are what you consume…” Granted, none of us are perfect but using the top tips which work for you and keeping it simple will help you regulate all aspects of our lives.
Routine: Is more about listening to our own body and feeling our personal energy, acting intuitively and not over-exerting ourselves either. Meditation is an exercise in itself and often slower movement patterns can be more beneficial for our bodies.
Sleep and Activity cycles: Follow the natural rhythms where possible such as the Circadian Rhythm. Wake up at sunrise and go to bed at sunset or simply make sure we see and feel daylight as early as possible in the day and wind down at night. We should try and meditate daily and be as mindful as possible.
- Follow the Yin and Yang flow of activity-rest-activity-rest. Yin = A flowing feminine energy and Yang = masculine energy. But most of all listen to our bodies which is why mindfulness and meditation are so important. Or simply taking pauses throughout the day.
- The entire universe is the energy we are all connected through energy or ‘Prana’ (Sanskrit term for vital life force).
- We have a so-called energy body named, the subtle body. In Yoga, this is the ‘Pranic body.’ The eighth of the Ten Bodies described in Yoga practice is the Pranic Body. The Pranic Body brings life force and energy into your system through prana (breath).
Prana is associated with purity, energy, fearlessness, the respiratory system, and self-initiation. The five sub-divisions aka sheaths like a sword’s shield or Russian dolls where different layers are superficial and less subtle than others. But as Yoga is about being on a journey at one with yourself – the subtle body in many ways is more powerful.
9. Allow your energy to flow through the day, allow your life journey to connect to your energetic body.
10. Look at the natural world for how we should behave and follow in the footsteps of the planet, trees, and animals. Think about your energy from the ebbs and flows of rivers to the different seasons and lunar cycles e.g. ‘full moon’ means a change in the tides and energy levels. Plus the natural elements: Water, Fire, Earth. Air and Space (Hindu philosophy) or Metal (Tao, Chinese Philosophy).
By following these traditional principles wherever you can to suit your modern lifestyle, you can learn the art of meditation, listen to your body and act intuitively to suit your needs. You might discover some resistance from your own habits like I did when asking my Reiki and Qi Gong tutor at Beyond Healing how to plan my daily routine as I like a strict plan (as an ‘all or nothing’ person) but he had to keep repeating that it was my mind, body and spirit I needed to listen to and to think about energy on a cellular level so not to expel too much but also not to hold on to too much. Very much like Kundalini Yoga which helps to release our coiled energy or our serpent self (bellydance can help with this too which is linked to our sacral chakra) and Yoga also speaks of ‘bands’ within our body i.e. ‘internal lock’ so our energy is controlled.
This is the essence in my opinion of all ‘energy’ practices and holistic healing techniques.
Understand your own flow of energy, tap into your intuition, bring healthy relationships into your life, find happiness even in challenging situations, consciously choose your actions and reactions and most of all, listen to your body, its natural energy and act accordingly to balance our energy and achieve optimal health in physical, mental and emotional fitness.
One way to supercharge our energy levels is through the sparkling power of crystal healing which is believed to balance our energy. I’ve been learning all about it from Reiki and Crystal healer Pris at Beyond Healing who work across Wakefield and the Five Towns, West Yorkshire, and online.
Crystal Healing is believed to balance our energy flow and in a typical Crystal Healing session crystals are placed along the energy line of the body on the ‘chakras,’ aka the power points.
If you want to DIY some crystal healing at home- you can place/carry crystals with you such as Jade to promote health and clear quartz for healing. You can place them by windows or plants to charge them up.
Select a crystal you need in your life and experiment with this healing technique.
Rose Quartz is powerful when worn close to the heart and promotes love.
Turquoise aligns all chakras and promotes healing.
All about Crystals
Crystals need to be charged with intent, or with the “mission” you give them! So it can be for protection, self-love, increased intuition etc…
And a crystal absorbs energies so unless you gift it to somebody (and they then need to charge them with their own energy and intent), keep your crystals where no one else can touch them.
Crystals all have different properties and can be used in correspondence with the chakras’ colours.
Best ways of DIY Crystal healing at home: choose crystals you are drawn to if you haven’t seen a practitioner, that is the best way to start. If you have been recommended to help release chakra blockages in particular ask the practitioner what colour or crystal they’d recommend- or go for the colour and choose what you are drawn to.
Regularly cleanse your crystals in the moonlight, sunlight, water, salt or buried in your garden. Beware! Not all crystals can go in the water and the moon or sun energies are used for different purposes so research or ask a specialist
Did you know?
Each chakra has its own role and responsibility within the body.
Root (Muladhara): strength, stability, and security
Sacral (Swadhisthana): sexuality and creativity /fertility crystals fire opal
Solar Plexus (Manipura): inner power and vitality e.g.
Heart (Anahata): love, compassion and emotional acknowledgment
Throat (Vishuddhi): communication and sense of self
Third eye (Ajna): an all-seeing eye for intuition and decision making
Crown (Sahasrara): spiritual connection and well-being
Lower body workout
1.) Toe taps x5 (each leg)
2.) Rear foot elevated split squats x10 (each leg)
3.) Plank builder x5 (each side)
Repeat 3-4 sets, Rest 60-90 seconds between each round.
Full body workout
1.) Ring push ups x5-10
2.) Ring rows x10-15
3.) Squats jumps x10
Repeat 3-4 sets, Rest 60-90 seconds between each round.