In our busy lives, it is essential to our health and well being to take time each day to center, unwind and renew. YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine is a form of Hatha Yoga that uniquely combines yoga poses with chi-energy work to cultivate a life rooted in joy, ease and abundance. In YEM, we see the body as a vehicle for vital, life-force energy.
Through mindful breathing, energy work and subtle attention to yoga poses, YEM shows us how to let our body become receptive to life-force energy. We learn to direct energy where healing is needed so that we may animate our yoga practice from deep within. Let me guide you through one simple YEM exercise.
Science now confirms what yogis have known for thousands of years. As we relax, our field of perception expands, and in so doing, we are more aware. With greater awareness, we have access to a wider range of options in each moment so that we can make the most informed decisions. When we feel rooted, vital and expansive, our sense of value comes from our unique connection to life-force energy rather than from what we are doing. We rest into our true nature as human beings rather than identifying as human doings.
EXERCISE: SAVASANA (Corpse Pose)
There are two zero points in yoga. One is horizontal, the other vertical. These are the foundations upon which all poses are built, and points of reference we can consider as we move through more complex poses.
Today, let us start at the beginning, with a deep relaxation. Whenever you may be, you can remember this simple centering exercise to help you enjoy the most out of life.
Lie on your back, feet one foot apart and arms alongside the body, palms facing the ceiling.
Breathe in and out through your nose a few times, allowing yourself to settle and feel supported by the ground.
Allow your mind to settle, noticing any passing thoughts without getting involved in them, as though you were watching clouds pass through the sky.
Scan your whole body from head to toe. Where do you hold tension or feel relaxed?
Allow your breath to deepen as you continue to relax, open, unwind.
Now breathe in and draw energy through the crown of your head as though you had a whale spout at the top of your head. Then sense that the breath moves down your spine, as though it were a tube.
Breathe out. Allow that life force to move back up your spine and out your crown.
Breathe in and out in this way for some time. Draw in life force and exhale ease and peace.
Then breathe in through the crown, down the spine and down to the toes, then exhale up the legs, spine and out the head. Do this for some time.
On your next inhale, draw that life force through your crown and through your spine, then let it radiate into every cell of your being.
Rather than collapsing on the exhale, let the exhale feel spacious, feeling rooted, vital and expansive.
Continue breathing in and out in this manner for some time without any force, as though your whole being were effortlessly breathing, every cell alive.
When you feel you have had enough, breathe the way you feel is normal. Then roll over onto your right in fetal position, using your right arm to support your head. Take a few breaths here.
Then slowly roll up into sitting position, using your left hand as support.
Breathe in through the crown down the spine. Exhale back up the spine and out the crown of your head. Feel rooted, vital and expansive with each breath.
Slowly stand up, as though you were growing up from the ground around a whole new axis of being.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator. Having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, Parvati developed her own yoga teaching style called YEMTM Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her music, including the singles “I Am Light” and “Yoga in the Nightclub”, brings forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream. Her book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” is a road map to a revolutionary life makeover for sincere spiritual seekers.