Find out what practices are or aren’t serving you with this simple exercise.

One of the best things about summer is trying new things. Paddle boarding? Zip lining? Mountain biking? Traveling to a new country? Learning to play an instrument or learning a new language? Trying CrossFit or yoga for the first time? How about all those new and delicious and strange looking foods at the farmers market?

Summer can also be a time to let go of the things that aren’t serving you.

But sometimes it’s hard to know. Your mind says one thing, but is it always right? Our mind has the ability to convince us that something is good for us when it might really not be.

So how can you know the truth?

The truth is in the body. The body never lies!

The following tool might just become one of your favorite means of finding out if what you’re doing in your life is serving your highest good, and help you lose the things that aren’t serving you.

What is energy testing?

Adapted from my new book, “The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription,” which comes out September 1 and is available for pre-order. (Receive four free gifts when you pre-order now.)

One of the best tools to have at your disposal is a method for determining if what you’re doing is working, if the area you’re concentrating on is the right one, if the food you’re choosing is beneficial or if the supplements you’re taking are correct for your body. Energy testing is that tool.

Energy testing is a way of asking your body if what you’re doing is having a positive impact energetically, and if it is strengthening to the body or to a particular system—or if it’s making you weaker. Energy testing is both deceptively easy to do and incredibly complex and nuanced. Like diagnosing, it is both an art and a science.

Despite the learning curve and practice hours required to become a master at energy testing, it is still incredibly beneficial to tune in and to ask the body instead of the mind (or instead of just the mind) the questions you have. Doing so also strengthens your intuition muscle. The more you start to listen to the cues your body is giving you, the stronger you become, because the body always knows what’s good for it. The body never lies. It always knows whether something is helping it or harming it. Therefore, you can start to see how your choices are impacting your overall energy and make your decisions accordingly.

I learned to energy test during my very first class at Innersource. The basic mechanics of it are quite simple and easy to practice. We deliberately call it “energy testing” as opposed to “muscle testing”—which is from the Touch for Health and kinesiology schools—because we are testing the energy flows and how they react to certain introduced currents. We are not testing the strength of the muscle. This is particularly important when working with men, because some men tend to view muscle testing as a competition to see who is stronger. The process of energy testing becomes easier once you understand that you are simply working with an acceptable amount of force to gauge if the energy flows or not.

How to: Energy testing

The easiest way to learn energy testing is with a partner.

Stand facing your partner and ask them to hold an arm out to the side at shoulder height. Put one hand on their other shoulder and one hand on their outstretched wrist. Make sure they have an open palm, not a fist.

First, you want to get a “testable muscle.” Say the person’s name and have them repeat it.

You say: “My name is Sally.”

They say: “My name is Sally,” as you apply downward pressure on their arm and they try to resist. The arm should remain strong.

Next, you test for a “negative” to make sure the test is reliable.

You say: “My name is Nancy.”

They say: “My name is Nancy,” as you apply downward pressure on their arm and they try to resist.

If you’re testing Sally, her arm should go weak when she says, “My name is Nancy.” If she stays strong for both, or goes weak for both, you both need to do the wake up practice to get the energy flowing correctly. Then do these pre-tests again.

Once you have a testable muscle, you can work with a substance, a thought, a vow or anything that you want to confirm is or is not beneficial to the body.

If you’re testing a substance, your partner holds it against their belly. You’ll then push down firmly on their wrist. If the arm collapses, the substance is not good for the person. If the arm stays strong, either not moving or moving slightly with a bounce but staying strong, then the substance is good or neutral. You can write a vow or thought on a piece of paper and test that as well.

This is a fun technique to practice with children. They start to see the energetic effects of their choices while learning about the power of energy, and they’re generally very willing and nonjudgmental participants.

This is a deceptively simple technique, but it takes some time to become your own trusted adviser. Like any other new skill, you must practice it to become proficient.

Photo credit: Mark Kuroda/Kuroda Studios