Greetings and welcome to my first blog for this new yoga term.
As I have been reflecting on what to share with you through this platform I felt that a great way to start the yoga term would be to shed some light on these amazing sequences we refer to as EBRs. Some of you are very familiar with them and others not so much. It is always good to refresh our memory on why we are doing certain things and learn more that will add to your practice of these amazing sequences.
As a traditional Dru yoga teacher I stick with what has been tried and tested and proven to be most effective. In the Dru tradition, we always start our classes with what we call an activation. This involves the first ten to fifteen minutes warming up the body with movements to enhance circulation and our awareness of the physical body, also this activating process awakens the energy body layers. It is especially important to awaken the energy system before working with the EBRs to ensure you get optimum benefits.
As human beings we operate on many different and subtle levels. In yoga we refer to these levels or layers as “koshas”, of which there are five we commonly refer to. We can understand them as layers of human experience, if that helps. They are:
- Annamaya Kosha = Physical body
- Pranamaya Kosha = Physiology layer
- Manomaya Kosha = Emotion layer
- Vijnanamaya Kosha = Thought layer
- Anandamaya Kosha = Bliss layer
I will go into more depth about the koshas another time but briefly, all our interactions in our everyday life affect all these layers. For example, if we have a creative idea that we share with a friend or colleague and it is received with great enthusiasm and acted upon, we would most likely feel good, validated and valued, and this would have an overall positive effect on these layers of our being. As this creative idea finds a place in our mind to be expressed and shared, it ripples out and bounces back in an affirming way. It would produce feel good hormones to be released into our bloodstream, and our physical posture would very likely be open and upright, with feelings of worthiness and contentedness towards those we shared with. Overall, an affirming experience that supported our whole being in a positive way.
On the other hand, if we received some criticism that we felt was unjust, how do you think we would feel? It might evoke the emotion of anger; we might feel hurt. Can you see how this could then percolate outwards from the mind through to the other layers, affecting us emotionally? If we don’t recognise it and take action, the emotions of anger and hurt may be felt in our physical body as we tighten up, moving into our joints to cause stiffness and aches. From our joints this energy, if not discharged from our body, will transfer to the muscles and from there into our internal organs. Once this happens the energy block becomes deep-seated and over a long period of time creates dis-ease within our body.
So take a moment to reflect on all the thoughts you have every day. As typical human beings we often have thoughts, as we look in the mirror in the morning, that are more negative than positive. Do you look in the mirror and say “Gosh you are so beautiful this morning, take your amazing self out into the world and share your goodness!”? Or is it more like “Oh God, look at those bags under my eyes and I really must book that hair appointment!”. You get the idea, I’m sure, that our internal self-talk is often more negative than positive over the course of a day and it is that, as well as our interaction with other people, our environments, what we consume and feed ourselves with, and so much more, that affects our energy layers.
Negative thoughts and attitudes create rigidity in our actions and patterns of behaviour. These can become quite entrenched and we may not even be aware that we are losing touch with our capacity to feel what we are really feeling. This includes our capacity to not only feel love and joy but also pain, sadness, grief or loss.
Emotions are part of our experience of being human and unfortunately we are often not taught how to deal with all these emotions and they therefore can become stuck.
The process of Energy Block Release, over a period of time, softens and begins to melt this rigidity around the energetic and emotional layers. EBRs reverse the process of absorbing energy into our joints, muscles and organs and allow us to detoxify from the inside out. The movement work on its own releases energy initially at a physical level, and then gradually at deeper levels. When we bring in affirmation and visualisation that move into our mental and intellectual layers, the whole process is greatly accelerated.
So you might like to think of the Energy Block Release as a process that assists detoxification at every level and therefore helps us clear the dross and create space for us to see more clearly, find the way forward, and open up as we bring about self-transformation.
As you know there is always more going on beneath the surface than we often realise. This is why it is vital to train yourself to be fully present moment by moment. Work at it and you will gain so much more from these EBRs. You will begin to feel the benefits and bring a sense of aliveness and freshness to each movement. I encourage you to come to your mat, in this precious time you have given yourself, with a sense of wonder about what you might discover about yourself each and every time, as though you are doing this EBR for the very first time, every time!
Once upon a time there was a beautiful little village nestled in the hilltops overlooking green rolling hills and open space. A lovely stream ran through this village, which on one side was bordered with trees from an old growth forest.
The village council paid a man to be the keeper of the stream and his job was to keep it clear of debris that fell in from the trees and that washed down from upstream. The stream provided fresh water for the village and the people of this village lived simple lives and enjoyed good health well into their older years.
As time went on the council had to make some cutbacks in their budget so they decided that the keeper of the stream would have to go as they directed funds to more important things. Before long the stream became blocked and stagnant pools of water began to form in places along the stream. The village people started to get sick, their health declined, moral dropped and the once healthy village with clear running water was slowing getting more and more energetically blocked as the effects of the blockage moved into the many layers of their lives.
So the moral of the story is never under estimate the power of our Dru EBRs to nourish your soul and put some time into them. Set your intention to be fully present with every part in your next class.