An excerpt from The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription
Your body talks to you in many ways. It talks in dreams, intuitions and emotions. It talks by way of pain and other physical sensations that are often ignored until the body has to find stronger means to get your attention.
Energy Medicine Yoga (the marriage of Energy Medicine with a tantra-based yoga practice) gives you permission, tools and reasons to find a new intimacy with your body. This intimacy is based on self-respect and a deep love for and honoring of the physical form that carries you from cradle to grave. This intimacy requires you to touch, massage, hold, soothe and care for your body in a way most people never do. It’s a powerful permission to love yourself in this way, and it’s deeply healing. To really learn how to love, listen to, and trust yourself is a big step on the way to health and healing.
Some of the easiest and most effective ways to begin to feel your own energy are described here:
• Pain — Most of you already feel the energy in the body called pain. Pain is stuck energy. When you do the EMYoga practices and come to a painful place, it’s important to deeply massage, tap, draw figure eights over, or smooth the area. Unless that pain is caused by an injury or disease, massaging it is always helpful. Pain is the body’s way of trying to get your attention. When the pain is acute, you listen right away. Many of you will find that when you start to palpate the body, there is pain in places you never touch. This is part of tuning in to the language of your body and learning to communicate with it when it whispers.
• Prana — Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life force” or “vital energy.” When you feel buzzy after a yoga class, you’ve likely activated prana in the body. Prana is a very subtle energy, and as energy, it needs space to move. When you do long holds in yoga, the belly of the muscle relaxes, which then increases its overall blood supply and allows the pranic energy to move. There are different names for the kinds and sources of energy, but if you’re feeling energy move in your body, you’re awakening prana.
• Feel Your Aura — Rub your hands together and shake them off. Hold your hands about two feet apart and slowly bring your palms together. Many people feel a denseness when their hands start to approach each other, as if compressing a cloud. That denseness is the aura emanating from the hands. If you don’t feel anything, try the same movement with your wrists. Potent points on both your hands and wrists emit energy, and some people are more likely to sense that energy at one or the other of these junctions.
• Be Playful — Don’t worry about what a pose looks like. Ask yourself, how does this pose feel? If you come at a pose from a feeling sense, you’ll start to understand and reap deeper benefits. Start to feel the energy of the pose, which comes from its structure and how prana is moving through it. When in eagle pose, for example, you could spend your time deepening the bend in the legs or opening the shoulders. Or you could ask yourself, what does an eagle feel like? Eagles are not flying around struggling with balance or looking for points of focus or thinking about their feet. They are flying! Soaring. Seeing vast distances effortlessly. Draw that feeling into your body – embody the pose. This imprints the energy of the pose into the cells and is far more important than crossing the arms and legs exactly right and being perfectly still.
• Be in Nature — Being out in nature is one of the best ways to feel your own energy and the energy of the earth, and to synchronize the two. A major healing tenet of both Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda — after finding balance — is a connection with the natural world. The vibration of the Earth is itself healing, and walking barefoot allows this energy to flow up through energy points on the bottom of your feet, which activate all your energy systems.
An energy field also bathes the planet, and it is called the Schumann Resonance, the frequency of calm, stability, peace and vibrancy. When you leave the loud frequencies of a city or town, or even your own house, which is full of humming appliances, Wi-Fi interference, and EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies), you become immersed in the healing frequency of the planet. You can feel this energy in your body as a wave of peace.