Energizing Your Daily Practice

I learned these wonderful energization exercises at The Expanding Light at Ananda in Nevada City, California (www.expandinglight.org) when I attended a month long Yoga Teacher Training in 1998 and I have returned for personal retreat each year.
We include a few of these exercises as preparation for meditation each week in our Monday classes at Synergy.  This week let’s explore them more deeply as motivation for including them in daily practice.
I will be returning to the EL January 13 – 16 to attend a Meditation retreat with one of my beloved teachers, Gyandev McCord.  Here’s the link for more information:


    Paramhansa Yogananda, the well known yoga master, created the Energization Exercises as a scientific and systematic method for increasing the flow of life-force and sending it to every area of the body in order to strengthen and energize it.  These exercises also heal the body, clear and focus the mind and prepare you for meditation.  Combining the double breath – double inhalation and double exhalation – with the tensing of each muscle in a wave:  low, medium, high, then relaxing the muscle – high, medium, low, allows the conscious flow of energy throughout the body.  A chart of all of the 39 exercises can be referenced atwww.crystalclarity.com.
Double Breathing – Tense & Release
Double inhale through the nose, tensing the body upward from the feet, with arms opening to the sides.  Double exhale, relaxing the body downward.  Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Single Arm Raising
Side to Side StretchStretch left arm over head with feet slightly apart, tensing with double breath, then on right side, bending to the side at the waist.  3 times.
Medulla MassageFinger tips of both hands on the base of the skull, massage in small circles, then lift the chin with a double breath in and tuck the chin exhaling.  3 times.
Skull TappingGently tap all over your scalp with fingertips of both hands.
Scalp Massage – Press fingertips into the scalp and massage the scalp on the skull, moving the fingers around all over the scalp.
Whole Body Breathing
Bend over from the hips, pushing sitting bones back behind you), relaxing the entire body, especially the arms, neck and back.  Double inhale as you smoothly bring your arms and torso back to the upright position, arms overhead, fully tensing the arms.  Tense around the spine as you do this.  Exhaling fully, relax back down.  3 times.