Whole Living Daily

Energy-Conserving Exercise: Yoga Off the Mat

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about energy conservation in order to maintain an ideal balance of work and self-care in my life.

This partially results from the sudden switch to full-on summer, which makes teaching and commuting from place to place in New York demand more stamina. Another reason is that I’ve been putting energy into a new, exciting direction: the establishment of my life coaching practice. Basically, I’ve been feeling an intuitive urge to better prioritize how I expend my energy.

The other day, my friend and acupuncturist Esther Hadassa suggested a wonderful exercise about energy conservation that I’d like to share with you. (As a side note: I also receive acupuncture on occasion from another amazing person--my friend Frances Boswell, who also blogs for Whole Living Daily). Esther, whom I met in my yoga class, has a lovely healing clinic in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. In addition to acupuncture, she practices and teaches Chinese medicine and qigong. At the beginning of our session, I mentioned I’d been feeling a little over-extended. I love the simple exercise she assigned for me as an antidote. It’s an objective survey to help us better examine what nourishes and energizes us, versus what does the opposite.

Here’s how to do it:

On a blank piece of paper, make a list of 10 to 15 things that energize and nourish you and a list of 10 to 15 things that are energetically draining.

Afterward, sit with the list. Observe where there is overlap. For example, too much of a good thing can have a less-positive impact. Where can you consciously re-channel your energy this week? What might you need to say no or yes to in order to find greater balance? Review the list every morning for a few days and try to remember it as you navigate your day.

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