In June 2019, I received my 200-hour yoga teacher certification through Evolutionary Education in Carrollton, Ga. Prior to this training, I had heard of energy and energy work, mostly in the way of “chi” in Aikido and grounding by walking barefoot on the earth.
I had read about chakras and different vibes people would get in certain places, but the concept was never truly clear to me. Through the practice of yoga, learning to turn inward, tune into the sensations happening within my body, I was better able to understand that I had actually been working with energy my whole life.
Whenever I would go into nature, I felt a physical change inside my body. After dancing, or singing, or humming, I would notice a lighter feeling within myself. Sometimes entering certain places would feel heavy and I would carry this feeling around for days or weeks. The idea of energy work felt foreign and complicated to me, but after breaking it down and learning a little more about what the term “energy” meant, I began to understand.
Our bodies and minds are incredibly intelligent. When we listen to the sensations our bodies and minds register on a subconscious level, we can discover subtle information they are trying to relay. Most of us are too busy or distracted throughout the day to take the time to notice these subtle messages. However, when we learn to bring awareness and sensitivity to these sensations, we can begin to work with ourselves rather than ignore the innate intelligence we hold within us.
Energy can be manipulated and influenced by inner and outer forces. Bringing negative thoughts into a space changes the felt-sense of that space- in the same way some people develop a bad mood after being around someone else who was in a bad mood. The same is true of positive thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we do not notice subtle shifts in energy, but learning to gain awareness and acknowledge these slight (or prevalent) changes can help us to protect our own energy.
We can learn how to raise the vibration through connecting to something with a more positive energy or by removing some of the things from our lives which bring our energy down. Learning where this balance is and how to recognize it, we can live in a more balanced way, and then we can move toward happier and healthier lives.
A simple practice we can all do is energetic dry brushing. I often do this practice when I feel the weight of a difficult conversation or stressful situation staying with me. Standing tall, feet planted firmly on the ground (barefoot if possible), stick the left arm out in front of you, palms facing downward. With the right hand, firmly slide the palm of the right hand the length of the left arm, shoulder to fingertip. Do this movement three times. Flip the left palm facing upward, and do the motion three more times. Now move to the right arm, extended and palm facing down, completing the motion from shoulder to fingertip three times before flipping the right hand up and repeating again.
After brushing the arms, draw the right hand from the top of the left shoulder, across the body to the right hip. Repeat this a total of three times. Use the left hand to draw across the body from the right shoulder to left hip a total of three times. To complete the practice, sweep the hands over the head and neck, and down the rest of the body, returning the negative energy to the Earth to be recycled and renewed.
This is one of the techniques we will discuss in the Intro to Energy Workshop I will be leading at High Mountain Yoga 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4.
To find out more, visit www.highmountainwellbeing.com.