How Can We Take Charge of Our Energy?
Fatigue, irritability, poor sleep, PMS, weight gain, sugar cravings….what do all of these symptoms have in common?They all most likely stem from a condition called adrenal fatigue or adrenal dysfunction: a state of exhaustion where the body is no longer able to optimally balance stress hormones. Chronic stress and trauma can lead to adrenal dysfunction, as well as inadequate rest, poor nutrition, and over-exertion.
Yoga practice, both on the mat and off, is a great tool to help the body recover from adrenal dysfunction. Restorative yoga poses such as, “legs up the wall,” child’s pose, lying twists, and savasana aid in recovery from adrenal dysfunction by shifting the body out of “fight-or-flight” and into the state of “rest-and-digest”, also known as the parasympathetic state. These restorative poses encourage blood flow into the vital organs and the brain, which helps quiet the mind and reduce stress hormone production.
Practicing yoga off the mat by being mindful about how we react to stressful circumstances can reduce the negative effect of stress on the system. My favorite way to use yoga to help me manage my stress is through my study and application of the yoga sutras, a text that defines yoga and its benefits, as well as how to practice it.
In the first chapter of the sutras, the author(s) suggest seven practical stress
- Cultivate feelings of friendliness to those who are happy, and feelings of compassion towards those who are suffering. (1.33)
- Focus on your exhalation (1.34)
- Observe the nature of your mind, notice without judgment, how your mind is
pulled in different directions. (1.35)
- Focus on your inner light (1.36)
- Talk to someone who has been through the same struggles you are currently
dealing with. (1.37)
- Analyze your dreams and see if they can provide you with insight. (1.38)
- Choose an object to focus on in meditation. (1.39)
The above are accessible tools anyone can utilize to help reduce stress in order to stop adding fuel to the fire in an already depleted state. Practicing yoga, along with the right nutrition, adequate sleep, and the prescription of specific herbs and nutrients can lead to full recovery of the adrenal system in order to have high energy, smoother menstrual periods, deeper and more restorative sleep, a healthier weight, and a more balanced mood. To learn more about how to address your fatigue, irritability, PMS, poor sleep, weight gain, or sugar cravings, please join me on October 21st for an in depth discussion of adrenal dysfunction. We’ll be exploring what it is, how to test for it, and how to begin healing from it. Please bring your questions!
– Dr. Reddy
Dr. Dhurga Reddy is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing at Coastal Acupuncture and Natural Health Center in Costa Mesa, CA. She sees patients of all ages, with a particular focus on hormone balancing and pediatrics. She is passionate about educating and empowering her patients to live mindfully in order to help them achieve their highest level of health.