During the summer season, we usually spend more time out in the sun and in the water—and likely with more of our skin and ourselves exposed. Summer is a beautiful season, and yet for many, it raises anxiety about how we feel, about how we look, and stories we create in our heads about what we think others may think of us and our physical form. Our negative thoughts compound and lower our energy and our enthusiasm, especially if we have been slacking in our self-care routines like exercise, healthy eating and sleeping. How can we break through this vicious cycle and raise our vibe to enjoy all that the season has to offer?
24Life: How can Energy Medicine Yoga help to release old thoughts of negative self-image?
Lauren Walker: Energy Medicine Yoga helps you accept yourself as you are now, and from that place, it helps you transform into your best self. There are many techniques we use to help you release negative thought patterns.
24Life: What can we do to disrupt negative self-destructive thoughts?
LW: One of the best ways is tapping. You can check out the section on tapping in my second book.
24Life: How does food interact with our energy?
LW: Everything in your environment affects your energy. Food has a major and immediate effect on your energy and your physical body. Eat something that doesn’t agree with you? Try tapping or massaging your spleen points, located on the side of your body at your bra strap line or on the lower ribs under your chest. If it’s sore, they need this work.
24Life: How does time in nature interact with our energy?
LW: Our pineal gland (considered the third eye, connection to your inner wisdom, as well as the part of your endocrine system that controls your circadian rhythms and reproductive hormones) contains magnetite as well as rods and cones. That means it is sensitive to both the magnetic field around us as well as primed to see the light within, which is both metaphorical and actual, as your body communicates in electromagnetic signals that give off light. When you spend time in nature, you attune your pineal gland to the alignment of the earth, which helps you to feel grounded and connected, as well as help you heal. There are actual frequencies, called the Schumann resonances, that the earth puts out, which make us feel at ease.
24Life: How is Energy Medicine Yoga different from acupuncture and tapping?
LW: In Energy Medicine Yoga, we use acupressure points, which are similar to acupuncture points but don’t require a needle. We also use tapping points, many of which are similar to the points used in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). The main difference is that we use these modalities within the framework of a yoga practice.
24Life: How does our aura interact with our physical body?
LW: The aura is like your body’s atmosphere, keeping beneficial energies in and keeping difficult energies out. One of the best ways to strengthen the aura is the “hook-up” (part of the Wake-Up routine, below).
24Life: What are a few practices we can do to improve and uplift our energy and mood to feel better instantly?
LW: The Wake-Up!
The Wake-Up is the baseline practice for getting the energies of your body moving forward and crossing over—the two most important directions of energy in the body.
It acts as a stand-alone practice and is a way to start understanding how energy works in the body. This is how you can start changing your energy patterns to work for you. It takes only a couple of minutes and should be done daily.
The Four Thumps
Press your first two fingers and thumb together into a little beak or make a fist. Thump or tap on the following points:
- Kidney – wakes your energy up and gets it moving forward
- Thymus – generates and educates T cells, boosting your immune system
- Spleen – helps digest and integrate everything you take in, from food/drink to experiences and information
- Stomach – grounds your energy
This gets your energy crossing over your body so you’re working at your optimal capacity and increasing your body’s ability to heal.
- March in place, striking your right knee with your right hand as your knee rises and your left hand striking your left knee.
- After 10 to 12 of these, brush your hands together as if dusting them off.
- Now do 12 crossover marches in place with each hand slapping the opposite knee. Your right hand slaps your left knee, and your left hand slaps your right knee. If you find the crossover march challenging, it is quite likely that you need to do it more.
- If you are physically unable to do the cross crawl standing, you can do it sitting in a chair, moving just your arms and not lifting your legs and knees at all. You also can visualize the practice and get your energies moving by moving your attention.
This stabilizes the energies around the core of your body, bringing greater stability both physically and emotionally.
- Hold your hands in front of your pubic bone, palms facing your body, and run your hands up the front of your body to the level of your chin.
- Your hands can be either touching your body or just off your body an inch or two. The movement is similar to swiping the screen on a smartphone or tablet device.
You also can use this motion to seal in an affirmation for yourself or set an intention at the beginning of your Energy Medicine Yoga practice. Simply pause with your hands at your pubic bone, take a moment to connect to your affirmation or intention for the practice, and then zip up the words along with the energy.
This “sets” the prior three energy changes in place in your body, helping you to remain solid and “hooked in” to your own good energy.
- Put one finger in your bellybutton and one finger at your third eye, between your eyebrows.
- Push both in gently and pull slightly up.
- Take three deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
Photo credit: Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com