Through meditation and mindfulness, we learn to become more aware of what yogis and mystics call the subtle body. In brief, the subtle body is a vast system of energy centers. Yogis of the past were able to label this inner dimension by extensive practice in meditation and mindfulness. Through meditation, they were able to map 72,000 energy centers called nadis. These centers or nadis connect to and support our internal organs and anatomical functions. The breath of prana or life force flows through these energy channels. When prana flows freely through these channels, then it is said that our bodies’ internal functions will be working optimally.
Of these 72,000 nadis, there are 7 main energy centers known as the chakras. The chakras extend out from the sushumna channel which runs along the spine. You can think of the sashumna channel as a riverbed with estuaries flowing from it. Like the river bed, all the nadis extend out from this central channel.
The 7 chakras support all of our internal functioning. When prana flows freely through these channels then we are more likely to be healthy through body and mind. To learn more about the 7 main chakras you can check out my blog here. http://yogaawakeningwithsue.com/explore-the-chakras/ or try a yoga class here. Everything is Energy
Why it’s Important to Bring Awareness to the Subtle Body
When we draw awareness to our subtle body, we begin to manage how we exhort our energy both on the mat and in our daily lives. On the yoga mat, we learn to use less effort in challenging poses. In our daily lives, we learn to be less reactive and go about our day effortlessly, no matter what we are faced with. Holding onto our troubling thoughts uses our precious resources of energy.
In yoga, we call these negative impressions samskaras. We hold these emotions deep within our cellular structure. Unless we learn to find emotional release, we may hold onto these samskaras our entire lives. These impressions suck up our energy and weigh us down both mentally and physically. One way to release this negative energy is through yoga and pranayama techniques.
Ways to Practice Awakening the Subtle Body
Take a moment now to go inward and observe your body and mind. Where are you gripping in your body? Where are you using excess energy? Is your body calm, or is it tense with effort? And what about your mind? Are you focussed here in this moment, or is your mind wandering, judging, multi-tasking? All of these things use our precious resources of personal energy.
Through the many aspects of yoga practice, we can find emotional release. One of these techniques is full-body breathing. Here is a wonderful exercise that can help you to calm the mind and sense the prana flowing through the body. This is also a great practice if you have trouble falling asleep. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VywfdZQbY
Another way to practice balancing our energy centers is with a pranayama technique called Anulom Vilom or alternate nostril breathing. You can practice this technique in this daily ritual video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqfqRjN0SmE
For more reading about our subtle energy, check out Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul https://amzn.to/3bDDk3u. He states, “It’s actually a shame how little attention the Western world pays to the laws of inner energy. We study the energy outside and give great value to energy resources, but we ignore the energy within.”
The more we take time to be alone in self-awareness, the more we can enter the world of our subtle bodies. Try and dedicate 10 minutes a day to self-study, and you will be amazed at the changes it can bring to your life!