The world of yoga can be very conusing to understand. Is it a spiritual practice? Is it a religion? Is it just exercise? It can actually be any or all of the above depending on your own approach to it. Yoga is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices often associated with India. The original meaning of yoga roughly translates as “union with the soul.” This doesn’t mean doing it has to be a spiritual practice. Millions of people wear Nike running shoes but only a small percentage actually run or race in them, which is their original purpose for being invented.
The aspect of yoga that works so well for a spiritual practice is the same aspect that works for back pain. Yoga opens you up to experiencing energy flow in and around your physical body. In Ayurvedic medicine you have a system of nadis or energy channels that flow all around your physical body in the energy field around it. Nadis are India’s equivalent to meridians in Chinese medicine. Just like acupuncture releases and reestablishes energy flow around the body, yoga connects your physical body up to its surrounding energy field and the nadis. Try to think about it as allowing your body to reconnect with its blueprint or instructions on how to work. This system is present for every human being and its just part of how we function as energetic and physical human beings.
The beauty of all of this is that you don’t need to know any of it to benefit from yoga. You’ll just feel more alive and relaxed when your physical self starts to connect with aspects of your energy self. Just like with the running shoes you wear everyday, it might be meaningless to you but the opportunity is there for expansion – you are putting yourself in a position to have an experience. If you’ve been following my writings you might have noticed this theme of putting yourself in a position to have an experience. I talk about it all the time with the adaptogenic herbs we use in our formulas for Inner Peace and TianChi.
That experience may be feeling more vital and alive, more relaxed or on the flip side, moving through an old emotional issue and breaking down crying in class. It may sound odd but I’ve been in several yoga classes where someone will suddenly start crying and run out of the room, never to return. I’ve also seen some cry in class and become lifetime yoga practitioners. I’ve even had the same response from people using Inner Peace. It’s usually someone who is also moving theyir physical body on a regular basis. So what is that all about?
Remember we are energy beings. It’s been talked about for thousands of years but always relegated to spiritual ideals. The reality though is that all this energy discussion is being brought into the limelight in theoretical quantum physics. It’s really just science – the science of your quantum or energy self. The energy field around the physical is your vital body or the morphogenic field. Think of it as a blueprint directing the form of your physical body. This field contains the yogic nadis and Chinese meridians. Physical movement often helps connect you back to your blueprint. This makes you feel better. Yoga is used to make this connection with your own energy or self, leading it to be part of a spiritual practice.
Surrounding your vital body is another layer of energy called your mental emotional body. All of your past emotional traumas and regrets are stored here waiting to be processed. Humans have perfected the art form of burying their emotions. Well this is where it ends up and it heavily influences out physical health. The mental emotional disrupts the vital which carries on down to the physical. This may create patterns where the energy is just not fully flowing in a certain area and over time disease may occur. The Chinese call this blocked chi. So what causes all these blockages and disconnection from our own energy? It’s chronic, unreleased stress.
Yoga and herbs are both powerful ways of opening blockages and getting into the flow. The combination of both is like a runner buying better shoes and coaching to reach the next level. You’re just positioning yourself for a better experience. For yoga and herbs the experience you’re having is the experience of the real you or self. This may bring up some old emotions and you can either run and hide or just experience the release.
I became an herbalist because of this experience. I had dozens of intense crying dreams when I began taking herbs. I released decades of grief I had stored away and didn’t process. With each dream I felt tremendous relief. I ended up running toward that experience instead of running away. It’s always a choice. When I receive calls about Inner Peace triggering a crying episode, my advice is always the same. Keep taking it. It will move out in a few days and you’ll feel better for it. Being human is an experience itself. I find herbs to be an amazing way of enhancing that experience and it is why we created HerbWorks and the formulas that we make.