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cinnAmini's avatar

How do you tap into your energy during yoga practice?

Asked by cinnAmini (29 points ) October 1st, 2012

Today my yoga teacher led us through a posture that she said directs your energy up through the chakras. She’s also said that when she’s really into a deep yoga practice, she can feel her energy moving through each chakra center and throughout her body. I’ve tried to focus on it but I can’t seem to tap into this aspect…for me I’m just breathing and feeling my body. Am I missing something?

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19 Answers

Seek's avatar

Just a mild hallucination brought on by wishful thinking.

I’m sorry it sounds harsh, but there’s quite frankly no such thing as a “chakra”, and I’m sure your yogi would be hard pressed to define what exact “energy” she’s talking about.

Using meditation, yoga poses, and controlled breathing is fantastic exercise and great for your physical and mental health, but it doesn’t make you magical.

Pazza's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – Respect your opinion 100 percent, but I think that’s a very closed minded view on this particular issue.

You can no more prove nor disprove the existance or non existance of an energy chakra than you can an atom. its all observable phenomena.

Pazza's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – unless we’re going to define existence as observable phenomena of course, in which case both exist.

bookish1's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: If you are an atheist, why did you need to respond on a thread that is about what is, at its origin, a religious practice?

Pazza's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – About meditation not making you magical, please see the following which is an extract from a BBC documentary that never went to air.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZM3t9JpGjw

Apparently this guy has meditated most of his life.

I see only three explanations

1 – The BBC made an elaborate april fools video
2 – The guy in the video conned the BBC
3 – He is actually doing what he appears to be.

Seek's avatar

Many things are religious in origin, yet commonly practiced in secular life. Yoga is one of them. It is often recommended by physicians as a way to relieve pain and to improve posture, as well as help in certain cases with psychological issues such as depression.

If the girl is wondering why she can’t feel ribbons of energy hitting certain imaginary contact points on her body, it’s probably because they aren’t there. Energy is a very real thing – light energy, heat energy, gamma radiation… all of these things are observable phenomena that actually exist in an identifiable manner. The energy of the human body is identifiable as well, in nerve firings, muscle movement, body heat, etc. Chakras have nothing to do with it.

I’m certainly not going to tell the girl that she’s missing out on something because she’s not imagining hard enough. There are many amazing benefits of yoga practice that have nothing to do with the “supernatural”.

Pazza's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
1 but there’s quite frankly no such thing as a “chakra”
2 it’s probably because they aren’t there

If I keep picking I can see a 180 happening…...

3 Energy is a very real thing

You could quite successfully argue that energy is the only thing there is.
Also we’ve only just discovered that there is such a thing as dark energy, although many moons ago it was known as eather amongst other things, yet at that time the main stream religion known as science said that there was no such thing and that people who believed in it were mental.

It is my understanding that main steam science can only measure and accurately predict about 5% of the known ‘measurable’ universe, the only reason that the eather has come back into play is because science cannot account for the behavior of the 5 percent we can measure unless there is something else interacting with it, hence the term ‘dark energy’.

Maybe the ‘I’ which is the soul or mind is interacting with the energy flowing in the chakra’s and it resides in, or is part of the ‘dark energy’ field which it seems to be imaginary to the scientific community because they can’t measure it, because everything they try to measure it with is made of the 5% stuff we can manipulate and not the other 95% we can’t see smell touch taste hear or manipulate.

@cinnAmini – I think part of the yoga excersise it to get your mind to let go of all that has gone on during the day and become quiet, so that you can concentrate on the energy within, or moving through the chakra’s.

Have you looked into isolation chambers? There are lots of videos on the net of people who use them for the same reason as yoga, it calms the mind, and allows the body and mind time to fully relax. I believe also, that there is documented and possibly peer reviewed scientific research to corroborate this as it is used (again I believe) in sports therapy.

gailcalled's avatar

@cinnAmini: Let those who feel the energy or whatever they want to call it, feel it. Let yourself feel what you feel.

I took a ten-week Tai Chi course and had the same response. Several of the women seemed to have become transcendental while I was enjoying the postures and the breathing only. I was hoping that they would levitate or something, but I was disappointed.

The women whom I mentioned above, expressed a need to please the teacher, who was too “far out there” for my purposes.

Live and let live.

Don’t beat yourself up. There is an argument going on here where one side will never persuade the other side of the validity of either argument.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I don’t do yoga so I’ve got little to add directly. However in meditation, t’ai-chi, martial-arts, I’ve found breathing, visualization, and self-awareness very effective in honing my focus. In those cases it’s about practice, practice, practice. It’s definitely not something that happens overnight so rather than focusing on your end goal you may want to try focusing only on where you are and the next step you take. I’d also suggest sitting with your teacher before class and seeing if they can provide you some additional guidance. I say before because then you can immediately apply it during class and discuss it after. Good luck and don’t be discouraged by lack of progress, be encouraged by the progress you’ve made.

Pazza's avatar

@gailcalled – indeed. Fair play to your sit on the fence posture.

@Seek_Kolinahr
some people believe what they believe because that belief was in some way forced upon by stealth. The mind is a funny old thing.

Seek's avatar

@Pazza I would be happy to discuss my feelings on secularism vs. spiritualism in PM or another question.

Pazza's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – Fair play. Though I actually thought the video I posted was relevant from the point of view that, @cinnAmini may have some physiological barriers that could be hindering progress (as well as the fact that my ego very often gets the better of me and I love a good argument ;0)....)

cinnAmini's avatar

Wow I had no idea this question would cause such a philosophical debate! :] Thank you all so much for your opinions. @Seek_Kolinahr I understand where you’re coming from but I have to politely disagree. Although I am having trouble tapping into my energy during yoga, I have had several very real experiences involving chakra work, energy release and the like, so to me there is no doubt at all that these things exist. To each his (her!) own :] @Pazza and everyone else who joined in, thank you so much for your input. This really helps me along my path, not only your wonderful points and encouragement but also the fact that there is such a community and interest around the topic. Namaste to all!

gailcalled's avatar

@Pazazz: “Fair play to your sit on the fence posture.” I have no idea what you mean. I stated clearly that I had one response to the issue that the OP raised.

I did not suggest that anyone follow my lead. If you have a transcendental experience, more power to you..

Mate, I am so full of shit its untrue! Can I take your statements here seriously if that is your belief statement on fluther?

Pazza's avatar

Self Moderated.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] I know this is Social, but let’s get back to attempting to answer the question. Thanks!

dabbler's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr “no such thing as a “chakra”” Thanks for your opinion, as uninformed as it clearly is.

Call them by other names if you will, each of the seven major chakras maps to a known physiological substantial bundle of nerves. Just like you can feel your big toe, if one trains their attention one can feel each of these. That exercise and the discipline and attention required to do it lead to all kinds of energetic benefits.
“Chakra”, the sanskrit word for wheel, is just a way to describe what people who are tuned into their bodies experience when they feel those nerve bundles.

Sure there is plenty of vague ‘information’ out there about chakras written by folks who don’t know about the grounded factual connections to contemporary scientific knowledge about the body. Their ignorance and vagueness does not prove the phenomena to be fantasy.

dabbler's avatar

To answer the OP. Breath is the key. The mind follows the breath and will relax and still itself when the breath is calmed. Controlling the breath can allow the attention of the mind to be focused along with it.

“Sending” your breath into a part of the body to feel it and energize it is not meant literally (so please calm down if you are expecting five-thousand-year-old descriptions of meditative practice to have the same semantics and scientific vocabulary of a contemporary doctoral thesis). You aren’t ‘sending’ respiration gasses anywhere. It’s a matter of focusing the attention, with intention.

If you aren’t doing some already, try some pranayama breathing exercises, if possible with the guidance of a teacher. Classical yoga can employ several different pranayama each for different effect/benefit, but two that are great for starters are Kapalabhati for cleansing the lungs and energizing the body and AnulomaViloma for balancing the energies you have.
This book has a lovely description of AnulomaViloma, though it’s description of KapalaBhati does not include a mildy advanced practice of breath retention after a series of pumping breaths.

There may be those who say this is all just hyperventilation, big whoop. They will be partly correct about they hyperventilation, but completely naive about the ‘just’, and ignorant of the powerful potential of bringing intention and attention to focus while doing these exercises.

dabbler's avatar

p.s. Yoga is not a religion – Hinduism is, and yoga is often mistaken to be part of that. Yoga is older than Hinduism and is a philosophical system that includes the physical practice of asanas and pranayamas (breathing exercises) and meditation commonly associated with “Yoga”.

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