Your Personal Energy Cycle

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No matter how in touch or out of touch you are with your body, everyone has energy cycles. You know, even without consciously knowing, when your energy levels fluctuate. Sometimes your energy peaks, sometimes it lags. Sometimes you wake up ready to go-go-go, and sometimes you can barely pull yourself out of bed. Energy cycles can be affected by increased activity, over- or undereating, or too little sleep. Your monthly cycles, the weather, lunar cycles, and your health, diet, and regular level of exercise can all have an effect, too.

Just as people have different body types, they have different energy patterns. Maybe you tend to wake up ready to take on the world, but by nighttime, you can't wait to crawl into bed. Or maybe you don't want to see another human face before 10 a.m., but at midnight, you are ready to rock. While individual energy fluctuations can be a matter of habit (you can accustom yourself to working the night shift, for example), working with your natural energy flow will make yoga easier and more enjoyable, and a regular yoga practice will smooth out your natural energy flow.

A Yoga Minute

Are you a night owl or a lark? Night owls typically enjoy energy peaks about two hours later in the day than larks, who are the classic "morning people." Typical larks enjoy the morning and a good breakfast and feel most alert and creative early in the day, preferring to retire early. Night owls often dislike eating breakfast and enjoy their peak later in the day, preferring to stay up late and sleep in.

When energy shoots up or plummets too suddenly, we are left feeling exhausted, out of balance, even confused. That sudden five-story drop on the roller coaster may be thrilling for a few seconds, but those nice, smooth hills and valleys are a lot less jarring on your system. Yoga helps your energy cycles flow smoothly. Instead of super highs and abysmal lows, you can enjoy a steady stream of energy, like an exhalation of air you control by the size of the opening of your lips and the force of your exhalation.

With the regular practice of yoga, energy lows blend into energy highs, and the highs flow easily into the lows. Yoga helps you get in touch with and pay closer attention to these cycles as it softens the transitions between them, making you feel more even and balanced all day and all night.

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