5 Fast & Natural Ways to Get a Winter Energy Boost

5 Fast & Natural Ways to Get a Winter Energy Boost

Whether you’re regularly finding yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning or slumped on the couch at 5 o’clock in the evening, it’s no secret that the winter season has its way of zapping our energy at the most inconvenient times.

Winter is the time of year when Mother Nature pulls all of her energy inward, so it’s not uncommon to feel fatigued or sluggish if you’re not balancing your energy expenditure with enough rest and rejuvenation. If you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausted this winter, it might be time to take a step back and rethink some of the habits and behaviors that are contributing to it.

Unfortunately, not all of us have the resources or time to always get 8 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy and home-cooked meals, or practice yoga and meditation for an hour or more every single day. We all lead busy lives, and during the holiday season especially, life can get pretty hectic.

Despite the benefits of taking the time to implement healthy lifestyle practices, a few minutes might be all you really need to get an energy boost. When time and resources are tight, look toward the following healthy tips to leave you feeling energized both mentally and physically.


1. Spend 10 to 20 Minutes Exposing Yourself to Daylight First Thing in the Morning

Research has shown that sunlight exposure in the morning helps regulate the circadian rhythm so that you feel more alert during the day and better prepared for sleep at night. So go ahead and take the dog for a short winter walk, bundle up and take your time getting the mail, or simply stand outside your front door and say a mantra silently to yourself.


2. Take 5 Minutes to Prepare Some Freshly Juiced Fruit or Vegetable Juice

When there’s not much time to cook or eat an elaborately healthy meal, turn to your trusty juicer (or consider investing in one if you don’t have one) to reinvigorate your body. Getting a direct dose of the sugars from fresh fruits and veggies without the fiber to slow digestion makes all their healthy nutrients readily available to your body, feeding and detoxifying your cells simultaneously.


3. Take a Minute to Eat a Healthy Snack High in B Vitamins

Fatigue can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, so just by changing your diet, you could get a natural energy boost. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods like meat, fish, and dairy products, but vegetarians and vegans may benefit from a B12 supplement (talk to your doctor about it first) or nutritional yeast that contains B12.


4. Set Aside 10 Minutes to Practice Half Sun Salutations (Ardha Surya Namaskar)

When you’re feeling low on energy, the last thing you probably want to do is a sun salutation. The solution? Half sun salutations! Made of just two poses, mountain pose (Tadasana) is an empowering pose that represents how we present ourselves in the world while standing forward bend (Uttanasana) helps us release internal energy. Practice a few of these to stand tall and wring out what’s not serving you.


5. Take a 7 to 20-Minute Power Nap

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a quick power nap. Just 5 to 10 minutes is enough to boost alertness. If you’re a coffee drinker, you can even have a cup immediately before you nap so that the effects of the caffeine start setting when it’s time to get up. Check out some of the other health benefits of napping in one of our previous Yogi’s Journal posts.

5 Energizing Yoga Tips to Uplift Your Mind and Revitalize Your Body

5 Energizing Yoga Tips to Uplift Your Mind and Revitalize Your Body

With the days getting shorter and the weather becoming colder as the Winter Solstice slowly creeps up, it can feel like more of a challenge to take on the day’s tasks. Fatigue and sluggishness are common to experience this time of year—even among some of the most seasoned yogis.

Luckily, you can use your practice to boost your energy and feel refreshed. Look toward the following techniques to help bust you bust through your energetic rut and take on the day with eagerness and purpose!


Start Your Practice With Breath of Fire Pranayama

The way you breathe can certainly help calm and relax you, but it can also energize you—depending on how you do it.

Breath of Fire or Kapalabhati is a breathing technique that is particularly helpful during the colder seasons to help rejuvenate the respiratory system. It involves breathing rhythmically with short and fast exhales with passive exhales, which engages the core and increases the heart rate.

To see exactly how it’s done, follow this video tutorial from Yoga With Adriene.


Practice Your Sun Salutations

Comprised of 12 poses, sun salutation or Surya Namaskar involves moving the body in sync with the breath. It revitalizes all parts of the body and encourages the solar plexus to expand—the source of all our emotions.

While traditionally performed at sunrise on an empty stomach, sun salutations can be performed anytime of day. A faster paced sun salutation practice can have an intense cardio effect as it quickly builds heat, improves blood circulation, and strengthen the heart.


Take a Vinyasa

A vinyasa is typically known these days for connecting one pose to the next, helping yogis transition by using their breath and movement. Most yogis recognize it as flowing through plank, Chaturanga, upward facing dog or cobra and then downward facing dog.

The benefit of taking a flow between poses is that it gives you a little extra blood-pumping challenge and and breath work. You can take a flow during practically any transition, although it’s probably best known these days for being an integral part of Surya Namaskar A and B.


Practice Your Favorite Inversion

Needing an energy boost makes a good excuse for you to practice your headstand, forearm stand, or handstand. Getting upside down will stimulate the nervous system and make you feel more alert as blood flow increases to the brain.

Make sure you practice these inversions safely—taking care to always put proper alignment first and using a wall if necessary. Not ready for any of these inversions? No problem! Downward dog or dolphin pose can have the same effects.


Practice Your Favorite Backbend

Backbends open the heart, which can be pretty energizing and invigorating on their own. They can boost your mood, help relieve any bottled up stress, and wake your whole body and mind up.

Bow pose is great because it supercharges the effects of easier backbends like cobra or upward facing dog. Of course, if you really want to go all out on your backbend, you could do wheel pose (near the later part of your practice after you’ve fully warmed yourself up). If wheel pose is a serious challenge, start or stick with bridge pose if you’re working your way up to it!

Image (edited) via ExtensivelyReviewed on Flickr