As a reiki practitioner and a yogi, I’m interested in energy. Good, bad, energy in, energy out, sources of energy, energetic connections and so on.
This can be an intellectual pursuit, but more often my encounters with energy are on an instinctive level.
When I put my hands on a reiki client, it feels like they and I have both transformed suddenly into two purely energetic beings with one intentional touch. The mysteries and hidden truths of that energy continue to unfold as a reiki session (or a yoga practice, for it is a similar experience if we are aware of it) progresses, and by the end we have likely achieved two things: an intuitive understanding of the energy we have been a part of and a raising of its vibration.
We can have these experiences whether or not we are yogis or reiki people—or know the names of chakras, or any of the theory behind these ideas—or not.
I realized today as I lay in savasana (not for the first time, but it was the first time it occurred to me to share this thought) that sensing our own energy can actually be quite a straightforward endeavor. Not only is it straightforward; it is fun and chock full of useful information, too.
Here’s how to do it:
First, do some good hard physical activity.
Get your heart rate up and your “monkey mind“* turned off, if possible. (You will still get a good read on yourself if your monkey mind is involved, but you’ll get a wider scope of information if it isn’t.) A half hour of pretty intense yoga, a short run or a weight lifting session should do the trick.
Next, lie as you would in savasana or final resting pose.
Recline on your back in a comfortable posture, propping up your knees with a pillow if you have irritable vertebrae (like me). Allow your palms to fall open toward the ceiling. Gently relax all the muscles of your face, neck, arms and legs, chest and belly, legs, knees and feet. Focus in on your breath—do not change its cadence, simply observe it as it comes and goes.
Then, begin your energy reconnaissance.
Feel for places that are warmer than others. I suggest doing this first, because these are the least subtle sensations. (I find my hands are usually quite hot, which may or not be from my reiki work, depending on who you ask.) These hot places are where energy is abundantly flowing, and that can indicate many things. Injuries can run hot, but so can our third eye—one might be the body trying to heal itself, and the other could be our spirit trying to sort out a new concept.
Either way, finding and observing the quality of this heat and reflecting upon its possible meaning is a good meditation. What might our body be trying to tell us that we haven’t been able to hear? What abundant sources of love can we feel bubbling up from our center? Are the hot places deep or surface level, and what might that mean to us? It’s all open to interpretation, and usually our first guess is the right one.
Once we have pinned down the hot spots, we can start to explore other feelings.
We might perceive certain parts of our body to be tight (that usually indicates a blocked chakra or energy point. My belly is invariably tight because my first and second chakras, which connect with stability, creativity and sexuality, among other things, are apparently always compromised.) while other parts may feel unusually relaxed (an indicator that energy is running smoothly and optimally) or we may feel nothing, or what I call “neutral” in an attempt to take away the negative connotation of nothingness, (which might mean there is some pain that is too scary to feel, or some other kind of energetic disconnect).
There are many other adjectives we can (and should) use as we describe to ourselves the many sensations we can observe in our bodies. Whatever words pop up in our mind are important, because like the feelings they describe, they reveal information about our state of being. If I choose the word “fiery” instead of “hot,” I am perceiving something different than mere temperature.
Lastly, we should remember that the wisdom we need to understand what’s going on inside of us is already there. We don’t require a guru or a teacher or anyone at all to interpret it for us. Try it one time, and you’ll be hooked.
What could be more wonderful than allowing ourselves a moment to bask in, and really connect with, the pure magic of which we are all made?
*Monkey Mind: The state of mind in which our thoughts are jumping up and down like baby goats on a hot plate.
Author: Erica Leibrandt
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Coley Christine/Unsplash