Feeling a little lethargic lately? Maybe you're just a yoga class away from the energy boost you need! It's been well researched that physical activity can boost energy, in some cases even more than naps or caffeine. But yoga is particularly good when it comes to increasing energy.
First, as we described in a previous post, yoga has been shown to improve sleep, which is obviously fundamental to feeling energized throughout the day. Research from Harvard Medical School showed that daily yoga practice among insomniacs improved both quality and duration of sleep. Most Americans aren't getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so this is a big deal.
In addition, yoga requires us to focus on our breathing, which brings fresh, oxygenated blood to our muscles and brain. Fresh oxygen = more energy (remember the Lance Armstrong blood doping scandal?).
Plus yoga poses themselves can be energizing. If you're practicing early in the morning, yoga helps stretch, bring blood to, and awaken muscles throughout the body. Balance work like tree pose requires us to focus and helps the brain wake up and become alert. If you're doing yoga at the end of the day, on the other hand, yoga postures can help relieve tired muscles that have borne the brunt of your activity. For instance, shoulder openers can bring blood and rejuvenation to your muscles after a day crunched over the computer.
So if you need a pick me up, instead of reaching for other cup of coffee, come swing by the studio instead!