I’m just starting out, doing the recommended meditations that I got in the first email from you guys. I’ve been doing them for a few days but I feel like my energy is dissipating after doing a meditation. I feel like I need a nap immediately after meditating in the morning. I’d like to feel more energized instead of less, is there anything you recommend?
—Brad, United States
Thank you for your question. I am surprised we don’t receive this question more often. The brain uses far more energy and burns more calories than most of us realize. Like a rigorous workout at the gym, a period of focused attention in meditation, especially when new to the practice, can result in feeling tired. I recall going through such a period of time.
But this is a passing phase. As one’s practice deepens and extends itself out naturally, one can experience a heightened sense of awareness and alertness, such that, sometimes, falling asleep afterward (assuming the evening meditation before bed) becomes a challenge. Ironically, “you just never know.” Sometimes a good meditation helps me sleep and other times I’m wide awake! Don’t forget that most of us live very active lives on top of our meditation.
As I have lived in an Ananda residential community for most of my adult life and go frequently to early morning meditations (then to the Ananda center for work and staying into the night to teach a class there), I would find that even after a deep and alert morning meditation I would return to my apartment feeling tired. That’s when I developed the habit of using the Energization Exercises AFTER meditation. I would sometimes even lie down for a few minutes (5-10).
Another important point is this: with the heightened awareness of one’s self and body that comes with meditation you might be simply now more aware of tiredness that in a life of only go-go-go you brush aside.
So keep in mind, then, these two important facts: 1) meditation requires serious “brainpower” and 2) the importance of the need to lead a moderate and balanced life in respect to habits such as exercise and rest.
This is where Yogananda’s brilliant system of Energization Exercises can help: 12-20 minutes all standing exercises! And if after meditation, you feel the need to rest for a few minutes, that’s not a problem and not even a surprise. (If you haven’t yet learned the Energization Exercises you could do a few yoga stretches.)
Blessings and joy to you in your new life of meditation!