5 Ways I Wasted My Prana
Nothing like a trial to make you realize the value of your energy.
In yoga, we often refer to the life force that drives our human existence as prana. In fact, the whole point of doing yoga is to build and maintain this vital life energy. It’s fairly easy to maintain prana when things are going well in your life. But what about when you face a real trial? Illness, death of a loved one, a breakup or a divorce?
While recently undergoing a health-related trial of my own, I found I simply had no energy to waste on things that didn’t matter. Here are the five areas I learned I had been “wasting prana,” and simply couldn’t afford to do so when the going got tough.
5 Ways I Wasted My Prana
1. Caring too much about what others think. This is an old pattern I work constantly to overcome. For instance, I realized I was wasting lots of energy being concerned with what my husband was thinking or feeling at any given moment. Of course, it’s good to consider your spouse…but I was hyper-focused on it. I didn’t realize what a drain it was until times were tough. I withdrew my energy from this pattern and guess what? My husband was just fine. In fact, it created greater ease in our relationship! What a lesson I learned.
2. Worrying. This is a tough one. Worry can be hard to avoid when you’re facing something that scares you. But it is so true that worrying does nothing to improve your outcome. In fact, it can definitely make things worse, putting further strain on health, relationships, etc.
3. Giving energy to relationships that don’t serve me. Sometimes I think I like to have others around so I don’t feel lonely. But how many relationships are truly supportive, instead of a drain? I realized this distinction when I had less energy to give. You can say “no” to whomever you please. Refer back to number 1 if you have doubts :)
4. Taking care of others at my own expense. We all know this principle, because it’s something we talk about often in the yoga world: take time to fill your own cup before you can fill others. But how often do we actually take this to heart? If you constantly giving more of your energy than you’re taking in, you will find yourself drained and useless. Many of us desire to give. But the art of balancing self-care and caring for others is extremely important to learn if we are truly to be of service.
5. Fighting what is. When something goes wrong in your life, how much energy do you waste fighting what is? I find I often fight any negative thing that comes my way, instead of accepting what is. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. Rather, it means directing energy away from the fight and into envisioning positive outcomes, or healing, or working towards a solution.
Do you find yourself drained from any of these things, like I do? What else robs your energy? Yoga is an excellent way to recharge. What else do you do to fill your cup?