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Vital energy provides your base for working with other energies. It is also the unique force on this level of existence. Anything you are working with that operates to the detriment of this should be tightly contained and monitored.

Vital energy is an odd mix of what you are born with and what you build during the course of your life. Food, air quality, adequate sleep and exercise provide the most concrete methods for influencing this.

While fasciae work, such as the electric and magnetic exercises, are thought to benefit a practitioner’s vital energy it is better explained as they enhance the movement of all energy into and out of the body. The end result is usually better health among other things.

A common theme when working with new students is the issue of yogic practice and exercise. A good instructor always reinforces the point that no amount of yogic practice is a substitute for conventional exercise. What this activity is, resistance training/cardio/etc., really does not appear to matter as long as it is engaged in frequently and with much vigor and kept separate from yogic practice.

Yet, almost universally new students call me six months into their practice and the following conversation takes place.

“How are you doing?” “Um, practice is going well, but I just feel a little drained.” “So, what is happening?” “When I practice, I feel great, but then a few hours later I seem to need a nap and have a hard time getting things done.” “When was the last time you went to the weight room/did cardio/swam/played tennis/etc.?” “Practice made me feel so good I stopped exercising.” “Start exercising again.”

As the base energy from which a practitioner accesses other energies anything that compromises this is a problem.

Granted, no one is perfect, and everyone hates a fanatic. So, we make our choices.

As a general rule anything that promotes fertility in men and women tends to increase vital energy.

So, if your diet decreases free testosterone in men, it is probably a bad idea. Note veganism does this very effectively. The reducing free testosterone part that is.

Smoking two packs a day, likewise, isn’t doing you any favors either.

The main takeaway here is that yogic practice by itself is incapable of making up for a lack of fundamental requirements.

It does an excellent job of enhancing what you have however and if you are young and in good shape the results can be pretty remarkable. Remember that at some point we all pay for prior bad behavior.

Much like the tai chi player who thinks he is a world class boxer, yet he has never learned proper footwork or striking dynamics, if you aren’t paying attention to this issue, you are fooling yourself.

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