Yoga Journal|July - August 2020
I was reeling from the collapse of my yoga studio and was in the throes of an unhealthy romantic relationship. I’d been practicing and teaching yoga for seven years, but I only had a vague understanding of energy. Even with my regular practice, I felt stuck, unhappy, and ungrounded. In a spark of synchronicity, two friends introduced me to the work of Donna Eden, a leading author, and teacher in the field of Energy Medicine.
Energy Medicine aims to rebalance the body’s energy systems to facilitate healing and vitality. Western medicine still cannot measure these subtle energies, but based on quantum physics and client experiences, Eden, and her thousands of students and teachers believe that life-force imbalances are the root cause of illness—and that working with the body’s energy fields can influence the function, growth, and repair of cells, tissue, and organs. Eden, who says she can see things like auras, says, “Changing impaired energy patterns may be the most efficient, least invasive way to improve the vitality of [the physical body] and psyche.” Once I began adding Eden’s Energy Medicine techniques into my own yoga practice, my spiritual, mental, and physical well-being increased exponentially.
As the creator of Energy Medicine Yoga, I help my students find balance, calm, and healing by combining EM and yoga. My approach weaves yoga practices with varied EM tools including acupressure, vocalizations, tracing, and tapping to ground and strengthen the body, clear the mind, balance the endocrine system, boost the immune system, and help you heal from anything—simply by balancing energies in the body.
Every EMYoga class starts with a two-minute Wake Up (see page 36) to get your energy moving in its most beneficial patterns. The rest of the session includes the five transformative movements of EMYoga: hang, squat, thump, hold, and weave. Each of these actions complements and supports the whole body and offers a way to balance your energy systems. They also assist in the crucial practice of processing past and present emotions—which is important because unprocessed emotions have been linked to depression, heart disease, and lowered immunity.
EXAMPLES: Full standing or seated forward bends, along with expansive poses such as Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute). BENEFIT: Hangs stretch and extend your body—the opposite of squats and contraction poses.
EXAMPLES: Malasana (Garland Pose) and High Lunge. BENEFIT: With hangs, squats help you explore folding and unfolding to notice oppositional forces in your body and energy systems. Squatting massages your internal organs and helps you cultivate better posture and balance by keeping your hips supple.
EXAMPLES: Tapping specific places on your body such as the thymus (the gland located behind your sternum and between your lungs). BENEFIT: Thumps awaken energy and also stimulate your immune system.
EXAMPLES: Hugging and pressing techniques, such as Cradling the Baby—a Tadasana (Mountain Pose) variation that combines a standing, swaying self-hug with folding into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)—or Crown Pull, where you massage your head with your fingertips. BENEFIT: Based on acupressure and massage, holds trace specific pathways on the body in a particular order to help soothe, redirect, and repattern energy systems in order to help clear blockages.
EXAMPLES: Parsva Prasarita Padottanasana (Revolved WideLegged Standing Forward Fold) variation with dynamic arm movements; Happy Baby Pose variation with crossed ankles and one arm wrapped around the other.
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July - August 2020