Can Yoga Help a System in Fatigue?


—Hema Singh Champaign, IL

Tias Little's reply:

You may wish to first consult with a specialist to determine whether you have a systemic fatigue syndrome (like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, for example). Yoga can help with fatigue syndromes, but it is helpful to have a full understanding of your health before you begin to craft a yoga program.

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Factors such as diet, your emotional disposition, and your overall state of mind has an impact on your sleep cycle. In yoga, we refer to life force as prana just as in the Chinese medicine system it is referred to as chi. Doing yoga postures increases your circulation as well as the flow of prana through your body and mind, which contributes to health and well being. Blocked prana can cause disease, or at the very least, discomfort and imbalances in your body. In yoga we channel the breath and do postures to move the prana through blockages. This should remove some of the sluggishness that is causing you to feel bed-ridden.

Doing a dynamic yoga practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher will promote cardiovascular health. The increase in blood-flow and oxygen flushes all of your cells and balances your endocrine system. Increasing your cardiovascular strength will affect your overall metabolic rate and, in time—and changing sleep patterns can take time—reset your biological sleep clock.

In particular, practice sun salutations, which pump the spine into flexion and extension and quickly stimulate the body. Practice standing poses with vigor to increase the power in your legs and increase your inner fire—this will burn off some of the sluggishness in your body. In a seated meditation practice, focus on a clear, steady inhalation to stimulate your system with prana. By incorporating these invigorating practices into your life, you should find that you are more energized and can better focus on your college texts!

Tias brings a wonderful play of metaphor and imagination to his yoga teaching. He is trained in the Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa systems and his perspective clearly reflects the Buddha's teachings. He is a licensed massage therapist and has studied extensively in cranial-sacral therapy and Rolfing. Tias earned a Masters in Eastern Philosophy from St. John's College. He currently co-directs Yogasource in Santa Fe New Mexico with his wife Surya and leads yoga intensives throughout the country. Tias' teaching schedule is available on his web site