Does the weather actually impact our energy levels or is it all in our heads? I believe it’s all in my head and I can do something to change it. Exercise is definitely my go to method of turning a dreary, unproductive, inactive day into one where I am full of energy and just ready to get shit done.
When it’s dreary out I often times feel a bit lackluster. Like this morning, for instance, it took 3 different alarms to final get me out of bed. I can’t even say that it was the alarms that awoke me. My boyfriend was getting a bit grouchy, as one naturally would when an alarm, that’s not even for you, is repeatedly going off. I only got out of bed when I realized he was getting pissed. It wasn’t until I left the bedroom that I noticed the weather. It was not a beautiful, sun filled morning. Instead, it was muggy and had begun to drizzle. Sightly rough start to a Friday: I’m exhausted and now I have to ride my bike to work…in the rain. Could be worse, I know. Luckily, one of Nick’s roommates was awake and offered to bring me to work. Chea!
The yoga class that I teach starts at 7:30am. The room in which I teach is beautiful. If I ever have the money to do so, I would love to replicate this room and have one in my own home. It has beautiful wood floors, a ballet barre, great audio, two walls of mirrors, and a whole span of windows which look out towards the mountains. Most days I keep the lights off, as there is plenty of natural sunlight filling the room. With todays weather it was necessary to have the lights on.
I was still dragging but it was 7:30 on the dot and time to start. The first 5 to 10 minutes of class are meant to awaken your mind and body. Slow movements allow you to assess how your body feels on any given day, like what is sore, injuries, etc. After this nice little awakening I like to turn up the heat, so to speak. I like to achieve this by moving at a relatively quick pace, using each inhale/exhale as a pace setter. Yoga has been extremely beneficial to me and I think that the attention I direct towards my breath has got to be one of the most rewarding. I try to guide the student’s attention to their own breath, asking them to try to breath solely through their nose, taking slow, controlled inhales and nice, long exhales. Try it. Close your mouth. Take a big inhale through your nose. Feel as if the air is hitting the back of your throat. Can you hear it? Many people call this ‘dragon breath’, as it resembles a roar (?). I think it sounds as if I am hooked up to a breathing tube. To each their own. All jokes aside, this type of breathing allows you to full your lungs entirely. This instantly gives me energy, as there is now more oxygen available to be pumped throughout my body. The exhale should be complete, entirely emptying the lungs.
The combination of mindful breathing and creating heat in my body always wakes me up. By the end of class I feel like a brand new person, alive and full of energy. My energy levels and mood are not weather dependent. They are simply dependent upon my own motivation to get up and move. Granted, some days it’s harder to get moving than others. But once I commit and get my body moving I am always in a better place.