ALL LIFE IS ENERGY
All life is energy and we are an energetic system. When our energy is flowing, we feel good and when it is interrupted we experience discomfort, contraction and suffering. When our ‘personal’ energy is flowing and linked to ‘universal’ energy, this is the meaning of the word Yoga (yolk, or union).Our role as teachers and for ourselves is to remove the obstacles or the temporary interruption in flow that prevent us from achieving our fullest potential. These obstacles present themselves on all levels of our being physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
There is nothing to search for or seek after or find on a mountain top. All we have to do is remove the obstacles that prevent it from expressing itself using:
Asana to remove the obstacles in movement
Pranayama to remove the obstacles in the breath
Meditation to remove the obstacles in the mind.
This process cannot be forced, for example forcing our body open with stretches. The practices are a way of moving us back into alignment moment to moment. When energy is flowing, all things are possible! When we bind ourselves or resist it, we resign ourselves to the limitation of repeated habit. The practices of movement, breathing, meditation and lifestyle in this course are designed as an antidote and system to move back into a state of Yoga (union).
Yogacoach helps us to create a nervous system that can allow us to show up in the world in a more authentic way. This process is done slowly and continually to remove the obstacles and to integrate the lost essence at a level that can be integrated. This module helps us to recognize this, to use the correct practices to dissolve the interruptions to the flow of life force and to support us through good company (Sangha) to create a life where high energy and well-being are ordinary.
HOW DO YOU FLOW?
So how do you flow? We are basically pranic conductors – our intention is to guide us in the direction to be able to create and support a high energy system. It is a simple equation, when our energy is:
- Flowing optimally
- Infinite possibilities
- Interrupted flow (too fast or too slow)
- Off centre
- Limited options
As we resist the flow of prana we settle for a low energy existence and create a nervous system that can only tolerate a limited flow usually only enough to digest, sleep and excrete – and even most of us don’t do that very well. Yet we all have enormous potential and reserves of energy readily accessible; we just don’t know how to access it. Yoga shows us the way!
We all have an energetic container that we are comfortable with and as it expands through stilling the mind, healthy diet, reducing stress etc. it starts to push against the edges, this then is experienced as uncomfortable and if we squeeze on it, then a charge builds up and often we feel the need to get rid of it. The pressure is then released but the structure has not changed, we just blow off the energy.
Familiar gateways to release energy are:
- Over exercise, including asana
- Excessive sex
- Junk food
- Arguments, fights
Yoga says we are a miniature copy of the universe and the principle of resonance is the aligning of ourselves to this.
Eastern traditions have known for centuries that our energy is the energy of the universe and all creation. Modern science is beginning to recognize this through quantum physics: if we looked at ourselves under a microscope, all we would see would be pure space – emptiness, or swirling energy. Even Einstein said “Everything is emptiness and form is condensed emptiness – form and emptiness is the same thing.”
The concept of energy has many interpretations:
Traditional Chinese Medicine details energy pathways known as “meridians”
The Tibetans and ancient Indian sages have mapped out the energy system of the body in the form of “Nadis” and “Chakras”
More recently, Kirilian photography has allowed us to see Auras, the human energy field In classic physics, the term energy refers to frequency, vibration, or atomic or electrical power
In biology energy is referred to as the chemical or neurological systems (nervous system, circulatory system, endocrine system).
Whichever way we look at it, the underlying commonality is that energy is the force that powers movement, and movement powers change. When energy moves, change happens. When energy is restricted, bound and stuck, change stops and stagnation sets in. Energy is the power necessary for movement, change and growth on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. So where did it go?
The body is designed to be a reflection of our inner experience, providing us with feedback through sensation and feeling. When we choose not to engage this mirror in our moment to moment consciousness, we become numb, disconnected and lose touch with our essence, soul, or TRUE NATURE. As we move further away from our TRUE NATURE, or our essence, we restrict the free flow of energy through our bodies. When we disconnect from our own life-force, we become disembodied and unconscious.
When we lose touch with what we are experiencing in any given moment and begin to create a story or pattern, this has a large impact upon the health and vibrancy of our bodies, as well as our relationship with others and the world around us. When the conversations between body and mind become distorted, we no longer sense our emotions as they are happening, our experience of our physical body is blocked, and we lack inspiration, feel cut off and no longer function as a whole system.
The more we do this, and the more we identify with this false sense of ourselves and buy into the story that we have created, this becomes our perception of reality. Tension is essentially mistrust; it is a mistrust of the normal pulsation of life force (prana). Think of a river flowing freely and then along the length of the river some logs interrupt the normal flow. What happens is that the river will change shape finding alternate pathways, or damming up at certain places, causing there to be high energy or turbulence at certain points and low energy and even stagnation of other points. The same goes for us in the sense that if there have been aspects of ourselves (movements of consciousness) that we have not been able to resolve then we begin to resist the flow of life force. We put logs in the way in the form of:
- Tight muscles (imbalances in the musculoskeletal system)
- Disturbed breathing (such as mouth breathing, chest breathing)
- Held back expression (clenched jaw, hunched body posture)
This lost essence can also show up as
- Pain (inability to be aware of sensation in the body that might be alerting us to potential injury)
- Repeated gestures and movements (twitches, tapping of hands, feet)
- Fantasy/dreams – when one creates an unreal world in their minds, and talk about this world as though it were real, but without making any movements towards creating it
- Communication patterns – repetitive, ineffective communication patterns, such as arguments, withdrawal, over-dominance, over-bearing, passive-aggressive, manipulative or seductive behaviour
Overall the interruptions of flow are demonstrated as:
- Bodily distortions of form
- Redistribution of energy flows
- Frozen attitudes to hold it all in place
The pattern then isolates from the rest of experience as it happens moment to moment and asserts its own reality without reference to anything else. The problem then is that the body/mind is drawn into experiencing that pattern as if it is still happening and we keep re-living things over and over. This is representative in the Koshas (layers of being) as we start to identify and re-identify with the interruptions in flow at the levels of the body, energy and mind. We begin to think that these patterns have something to do with what is actually real and who we are but in essence prevent us from turning inwards and connecting with our essence.