Shaking: Your 5 Minute Energy Make-Over

  • Can’t get moving in the morning?
  • Hit your 3pm slump?
  • Is your mind saying “go faster!” but your body saying “find the couch!”?
  • Feeling frenzied…frantic and moving non-stop?
  • Carrying an emotional potato sack on your back?

In this non-stop busy world, how can you overcome the everyday strain that zaps your energy, keeps you running around and high-jacks your emotional resilience? And the last thing you need is another thing to add to your to-do list, right?

We can’t fix the world, but what if there was a simple and effective way to optimize your energy – and feel revitalized, no matter what’s happening around you?

Have you ever noticed that a dog shakes his fur when he’s waking-up, excited, over-stimulated (and sometimes just because he’s wet)? Dog’s shake their fur and bodies as a way of resetting their physical and mental state – it’s a natural and instinctive response for them.

Dog Shaking

Shaking is an easy and effective way to connect with the body and to check in with how your energy is moving. A way to shift what needs to be shifted, to move what’s stuck AND supports good circulation. Shaking rebuilds the connection with your mind, emotions and your physical body and almost instantly you’re more centred, calmer!

Did you know we usually start our Yoga and Meditation classes with shaking?

Ever had your leg or your arm fall asleep? When you first shift it, try to “wake” it back up, what do you do? You shake it. You get it moving. Next comes the pins and needles sensation, which is the feeling of the energy and blood beginning to move again. When that pins and needles sensation ends, the blood is moving, you’ve restored circulation and harmonized the flow of energy.  The simple act of shaking the limb is easy, effective and we do it instinctively.

This same flow of energy extends throughout our whole body.  In Yoga, this energy is referred to as Prana. It is the lifeforce that flows to sustain us. In our physical bodies, Prana flows through the subtle channels known as Nadis. In simple terms, these are the pathways that carry energy.

Energy Makeover Display

When you recall the sensation of your arm or leg falling asleep, perhaps you also remember the loss of feeling or sensation in it.  Ever tried to walk on a leg that’s fallen asleep? You can’t, right? When our channels are blocked our energy is not flowing properly. Sensation, function, liveliness is lost. Energy is stuck and the place where it’s blocked is prone to damage or disease.

Still with me?

  • Hold your left arm out to your side and give it a shake.
  • Mindfully but thoroughly shake your arm from the tips of your fingers, up through your wrist, into your elbow and all the way up to your shoulder and shoulder blade.
  • Do this for 5 long and full breaths.

Take a few more long and full breaths, see what you now notice about your arm. Maybe it feels lighter? Maybe you’ve noticed a crick in your wrist or shoulder that you hadn’t noticed before? Maybe it feels like it’s floating? Does it feel different from your right arm? What you’re feeling is the Prana, the energy. And what you’re noticing is how it’s flowing through your arm or maybe you’re noticing the places where it’s stuck or blocked.

In this shaking practice, you’ll shake each limb and then shake your entire body.

Long, full breaths as you shake can calm and cool your energy or heated emotions. Full, fast or more breaths as you shake can wake you up and warm you up.

How you shake, when you shake, where you shake is up to you – you can customize it for what you need!

I love to have a gentle shake upon waking to help break up the stagnation from sleep. 

Try it while waiting for the shower water to warm up, or the kettle to boil, or the coffee to brew.  It can fit in to any morning routine.

Shaking before bed can calm the energy in preparation for sleep. 

Jump in your jammies and then shake one limb at a time or a gentle full body sway and shake before getting in to bed.  HiNT: this is also a great practice for helping the kids to settle for the night!

A mid-day “shake-break” can harmonize and restore. 

I’ve shaken in an elevator, on an airplane, in the washroom on a break between meetings…. You’ll soon find that you can shake just about anywhere and its a perfect mid-day pick-me-up!!

Shaking is your 5 minute energy make-over!

And we’d love to hear WHERE and WHEN you think SHAKING could benefit you!

About Kim Fulton (Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Consultant, AT THE CORE Contributing Author) As a student of Yoga and Ayurveda, Kim’s ongoing endeavour is to make these teachings practical and a true living experience. She continues to delight in how simple things, done daily, make the most profound impact and are truly life-changing!

Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational and information purposes only. Please consult your doctor before engaging in physical activity or program.


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