I referenced the energy body in a previous post of mine and a friend asked me to say more. I’ve been wanting to write about some of my experiences for a while so I thought I’d put together a whole post about it. I made notes during my practice today and here’s what I’ve got.
The energy body is a system of the body as real as any other system such as the respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system, etc. It essentially functions as an interface between the mind and the body.
It is made up of energetic lines, like invisible circuitry in the body. These are “nadis” in yoga and “meridians” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are “subtle energies” because it usually requires stillness and awareness to feel them. Once you tap into them, you notice a lot of information is stored here through thoughts and emotions around your life experiences. When this energy is blocked through psychological hangups and physical ailments, the energy no longer flows freely. There is a lack of ease… a dis-ease… the beginning of disease.
I practiced yoga for ~7-10 years before actually understanding the energy body. There were often vague and incomplete references to the chakras in my yoga classes, often accompanied by a lack of grounding or experiential wisdom so none of it really landed with me. Then I read Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith. She’s an expert on the energy body and marries eastern and western understanding of the body and psychology, leading to a more holistic understanding of the mind’s presence throughout the body and its effects. She has other books like Wheels of Life, which is simpler, but I think EBWM is her best.
While in Ecuador, I had a few experiences in meditation and also a more dramatic kundalini experience during yoga which I will share about another time. I was also learning reiki on YouTube (ha! :)) and became tuned into the energy centers of each hand. I will describe them as send and receive swirls with a magnetic-like pull.
In India, I spontaneously left my body, saw auras, had meaningful dreams and visions, heard messages, and more. I soon went to a vipassana meditation retreat and felt the actual vibration of each part of my body. (I wrote about this – if anyone has interest, I can find the link to that write up.) I was sober for all of this. Other people have also helped tune me in through healings and conversations. Fortunately things have calmed down since it was overwhelming but I’m still in touch with much of this. When I’m laying still, I can feel the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle vibration of my body. It hums.
It does not have to take 7 years to understand this. Here is how I’d suggest connecting with the energy body:
1. Learn About It.
Prepare for it intellectually by reading or listening to teachers discuss it.
2. Invite It.
Engage in energetic practices like yoga, meditation, reiki, and other energetic practices.
3. Experience It. Knowing it in your body, first-hand.
Once you are intellectually prepared/informed, expect “aha” moments to occur in the experiential realm of learning.
Practice mindfulness of the body while experiencing strong emotions. Do this more and more often – check in with yourself.
You can feel the stream of energy in the movement of yoga or the stillness of meditation. You can actually feel it all the time if you’re tuned into it.