5 poses to elevate your energy and creativity
I have so much that I want to do and accomplish. My to-do list is like a million miles long. How about yours?
There are quite a few days where I just want to run from my to do list (even though it’s mostly full of exciting projects that are of my own design). I don’t feel like painting or writing or answering my emails or really doing anything at all. All I want to do, really, is take a nap. Or curl up on the couch and watch the entire series of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Zone out. Numb out. Peace out.
But if I gave into that feeling every time, then my projects, my goals, ideas and big dreams swirling around in my head never come into fruition. They would lie in fragmented pieces, collecting dust in the corners of my mind.
Sometimes, I just need a little more energy to go after all of the ideas I’ve got ruminating in my brain.
I also believe that my lack of focus + motivation comes partly from a place of fear of what will happen if I actually accomplish some of the things that I’ve set out to do. Will I be too visible? Will I be rejected? Will I look like a fool? Will I have wasted my time?
And that fear is super duper draining. It drains out all of my energy + creativity. And the couch and Netflix and my cozy blanket begin to look all the more appealing.
But then, I snap out of it.
Because I want to create a life that is full and lovely. I want to challenge myself to reach my goals and set a good example for my daughter. I want to stop avoiding myself and the creativity that wants to come streaming out of me.
I want to create cool things.
So I get to work. But how do you maintain and even elevate the energy and creativity to help you get going?
I have started doing a couple of things that seem to really help pull me out of my unfocused, unmotivated funk:
Write down 10 ideas everyday.
I started a practice of writing down 10 ideas everyday. Not necessarily ideas I’m actually going to do anything with or ideas that are even all that great.
I just get the jumble out of my head and onto the page. It also helps me bump up my creative thinking and remember that creativity is an endless source.
It’s a muscle that keeps on pumping the iron when you work at it.
Diffuse Essential Oil
I am obsessed with essential oils and so I naturally love diffusing them. Not only do they make my house smell good, but they make me feel good.
Right now, I’m diffusing orange + peppermint oils. This combination wakes up the senses, uplifts your energy and helps you to concentrate and focus.
A couple of other good combos that can help pump up the energy: Lemon + Peppermint or Lemon, Tangerine and Grapefruit.
Drink More Water
One of the things that I ALWAYS forget to ask myself when I am feeling drained and unmotivated is, “Eliza, have you had enough water today?”
If I did remember to ask myself that, the answer would most likely be, “Um, no. Probably not.” If you are feeling dried up of all your energy and it feels like your creativity is just not flowing properly, then go refill your water bottle and start chugging.
This always makes me feel better when I remember to check in with my water intake.
Jump, jump! Get out ya seat ‘n jump around. Jump up, Jump up and get down.
Ok, I’m back and out of breath because I may or may not have just turned on that song and started bouncing around my studio like a crazy person.
But seriously, if you want to quickly amp up your energy, move ya booty. Put on a fast + happy song (it doesn’t have to be a throw back but it can be!) and dance and jump around.
If that doesn’t raise your vibration, I don’t know what will!
Breath of Fire
This is fun breathing exercise that gets the energy flowing through the whole body pretty quickly. Take a comfortable seat and begin a couple rounds of deep inhalations and exhalations.
Then take one big inhalation, and push the exhale through your nose with a bit of force as you pump the belly button towards your spine with in quick, forceful exhales. The inhale will happen automatically. Do 30 exhales.
Then take a deep inhalation and pause, holding the breath at the top of the exhalation for a few moments and then exhale, release the breath. Take a few normal breaths, noticing any effects from the first round of breath of fire. Then try another 2 rounds!
Of course it’s on the list! It’s my go to. Right now, I’m looking back and forth from my couch and my mat. Mat, couch, mat couch. If I needed to elevate my energy and get the creative juices flowing, the choice would be a no brainer.
If you have a handstand practice, doing a handstand against the wall or in the middle of the room is a great way to get the blood flowing to your brain. It’s an instant pick-me-up.
If you don’t have a handstand practice (or even if you do, but want a few other yoga poses to try out) try out the following poses:
Here’s a couple of energizing hip openers. Opening the hips and the energy of pelvis energizes the whole self--and it is also grounding. So it’s good practice for creating a focused yet energized feeling.
(it’s always a good idea to warm up with a couple of cat/cows or sun salutations before trying sequence)
1. bound hands side angle pose (BADDHA HASTA PARSVAKONASANA)
Come into warrior II, with the right toes facing forward to the top of your mat and the left toes pointing toward the side of the mat. With the right knee bent and directly above the left ankle, align the right heel up with middle of the back left foot.
Keep your legs in this warrior II stance, as you clasp your hands behind your back. Inhale to lengthen up from your waistline to your armpits. Exhale and fold towards the side of your mat. Inhale, hug your legs towards one another, pulling the muscles up from the grounding of your feet into the core of your pelvis.
Keep that as you exhale and press your hips back and extend through the spine to the crown of the head. Draw the shoulders towards one another as you lift your clasped hands towards the sky. Breath for 5 breath cycles. Then exhale, root through your feet and inhale, to rise back up to warrior II.
Switch legs and do the other side.
2. Lunge pose (ANJANEYASANA)
Start in downward dog, from down dog, inhale and bring your right foot forward between your hands. Exhale, take the left knee to the floor. Inhale, draw the right hip back to square the hips towards the front of your mat.
Activate the toes (by lifting and spreading them) of both feet to engage the muscles of your legs. Keep that as you inhale, bring your hands to your hips and lengthen up through the sides of your body to the crown of your head.
Exhale and allow gravity to pull your pelvis towards the floor as you lift the spine up towards the sky. Breath for 5 breath cycles.
Come back to downdog and then switch sides.
3. extended hand to big toe pose (UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA)
Standing in mountain pose, root down through your left foot. Lift and spread the toes of the left foot and then place them back down, but keep the activation of the leg muscles of the left leg. Maintain a steady connection to your breath as as you begin to lift the right foot off the floor and bring the knee to your chest.
It helps to lock your gaze on an unmoving point somewhere in the room. Take your right hand to your right knee and open it out to the right side OR grab onto the outside edge of your right foot and extend the right leg out to the right side.
Continue to root down through your left leg, draw the tailbone towards the floor as well and at the same time, extend from your pelvis out into your right leg, all the way to your toes.
Stay here for five breaths or as long as you can, then do the left side.
4. pigeon pose (EKA PADA RAJAKAPOTASANA)
From downward dog, inhale and raise your right leg to the sky. Exhale and bring the right leg forward, placing the right knee on the ground near your right hand and bring your right shin down to the ground as well, with your right heel pointing towards your left hip.
Take the left left back and place it on the ground. Draw your right hip back and your left hip forward. Energize both legs by engaging the toes, reaching the right pinkie toe towards the floor and pulling the legs into your pelvis, so much so that you can bring your hands off the floor and to your heart.
Keep that as you inhale and lengthen up through the sides of your body and exhale, extend from the pelvis down into the ground and out through your legs.
Breath for 5 breath cycles. Then come slowly back to downward dog and do the other side.
5. lateral seated angle pose (PARSVA UPAVISTHA KONASANA)
Sit on the floor with your legs out to either side of you. If you are really tight in your hips and low back, sit on the edge of a couple of folded blankets. Inhale and point your toes towards the sky and draw from your feet up into the core of your pelvis. Exhale and and extend back out, pressing the pelvis into the floor and out through the feet.
Then lengthen up through the spine and keep that length as you twist your upper body towards the right and begin to fold over the right leg. Exhale and move the breath down into the back of the leg as you stretch. Continue to keep the left leg involved by pulling it in towards your center.
Stay here for 5 breaths. Then when you are ready, exhale root down through the legs, inhale come back up to center and then move to the left side.