In our busy lives, it is essential to our health and wellbeing that we take time each day to center, unwind and renew. The practice of yoga is a beautiful way to do so.
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.
YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine uniquely combines yoga poses with chi-energy work to cultivate a life rooted in joy, ease and abundance. In YEM, you discover that your body is a vehicle for life-force energy, connected with the Earth and the cosmos.
Through mindful breathing, energy work and subtle attention to yoga poses, YEM shows you how to let your body become receptive to life-force energy. You learn to direct energy where healing is needed so that your yoga practice is animated from deep within.
A simple restorative yoga practice
As we move into the holiday season and come to the end of 2018, give yourself the deep restoration of Savasana, a simple YEM exercise.
There are two zero points in yoga: horizontal and vertical. They are the foundations upon which all poses are built, and points of reference we consider as we move through more complex poses.
The horizontal zero point, Savasana, is an opportunity for deep relaxation. It helps you establish a full body relationship with the ground, while being open to the universe as a whole.
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? Where do you feel relaxed?
Allow your breath to deepen as you continue to relax, open and 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. Sense that breath move down your spine, from your crown to your tailbone, as though your spine were a tube of breath.
Then breathe out. Allow life force energy to move back up your spine and out your crown. Let your exhale feel spacious, rooted, vital and expansive, rather than a collapse.
Breathe in and out in this way for some time. Draw in life force down your spine, and exhale ease and peace up your spine.
Then breathe in through your crown, through your spine, right down to your toes. Then exhale, feel the energy rise up your legs, spine and out your head. Do this for some time.
Once this down and up rhythm feels complete, breathe in again through your crown and down your spine, but this time exhale out both your head and feet simultaneously. Sense that your whole body is a tube of breath. Exhale two-way moving energy.
As you do so, feel your whole body soften into the ground. Notice how you are fully received by the unconditionally loving presence of the Earth. Allow yourself to rest into that embrace, while feeling deeply recharged. As you let go, the unconditionally loving energy of the Earth gives back to you. Feel your internal organs release, your thoughts and emotions release into that love.
As you lie fully supported, open to the heavens above and all around you. Feel your contact with the universe as a whole, while you remain grounded in the Earth. Continue to breathe in through your crown, and exhale two-way moving energy, out the head and feet. Feel your whole body breathing, in harmony with the universe, as though you are one with the lungs of the universe. Allow life-force energy to radiate into every cell of your being.
Continue breathing in and out in this manner for some time without any force, your whole being effortlessly breathing, every cell alive. Feel more love, more support, more interconnection, more effortlessness and ease through your every cell. You are one with pure consciousness, one with pure space, one with all that is.
When your practice feels complete, take a few long, deep breaths. Then roll over onto your right side in a fetal position, using your right arm to support your head. Take a few more deep breaths here, still feeling present in unity within the whole.
Then slowly roll up into sitting position, using your left hand as support.
Now vertical, still breathe in through the crown of your head, down your spine. Exhale two-way moving energy, down into the ground, and back up your spine and out towards the cosmos. Feel your spine lengthen on the exhale, while effortlessly rooted, vital and expansive.
Slowly stand up, as though you were growing up from the ground around a whole new interconnected axis of being.
Parvati is an award-winning musician (“I Am Light”, “Electro Yog”, “Yoga In The Nightclub”), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (“The Grace Mindset”, “Aonani of Avalon”, “The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness”) and founder of the not-for-profit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.