Eating all the superfoods in world won’t guarantee that you’ll jump out of bed in the morning, full of energy and bounce off the walls with vitality for the rest of the day. My top 5 non-food tips for maximizing your vitality:

Happy Buddha1. Sleep

This one’s a biggie. Lack of sleep throws everything in your system off, affecting the nervous system, mood, memory, concentration and coordination. Plus tiredness often leads to unhealthy eating choices. If sleep time tends to be less during the week try to catch up on weekends. Take long savasanas at the end of practice to calm the nervous system. Take savasana during the day if feeling depleted. Try to have a regular sleep time, aiming to get to bed before 10pm (when pitta time kicks in, giving you that second wind!).

2. Water

Feeling sluggish? Try drinking more water, lots more water! Hydration is crucial to operating at your maximum. To get the most out of your water and to ensure maximum absorption add minerals like lime and/or rock salt to make a super easy electrolyte drink, perfect after practice. Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning (before the coffee!) will help rehydrate after sleep and kick start the digestive system. A constipated body will never be full of energy – if this is a problem try sipping warm water every 10 minutes throughout the day.

3. Laughter

How fun is your life? Has it become a little too serious? All work, work, work simply isn’t good for anybody. We need fun. Laughter truly is medicine worth taking – it releases endorphins and actually increases energy. It’s all too easy to allow life to get unnecessarily serious sometimes with so many responsibilities, but we can choose to be sincere about them without being too serious. We can choose to allow ourselves to chill out every now and then and have fun. So whatever is fun for you – do more of that. Whoever it is that makes you laugh – spend more time with them!

4. Self-care

Always worrying about other people first… kids, partners, bosses, colleagues, friends, family, students, pets…? It’s so easy to forget about our own needs. But by taking care of ourselves we naturally increase our own vitality therefore benefitting everyone else around us. Schedule me time every week, if not every day. And not just on your yoga mat. Have that massage, have regular massages in fact! Read that book you’ve been putting off. Get up earlier and spend some quiet time writing with a cup of coffee. Take that trip away to reenergize. It’s not selfish – more energy for you means more for others too.

5. Movement

We all know this. Our bodies are designed to move and movement creates energy. Or so it should if done with awareness i.e. paying attention to cycles – times when you have more energy, times when you have less, and moving accordingly. Whatever form of movement you love, whether it be your yoga practice, dancing, running, swimming etc. being conscious of your body’s needs and abilities each day will determine whether you increase or deplete your energy levels. As my teacher often says: practice nicely, with awareness!