May 19, 2-5pm at Pomemaui.com
June 2, 1-4pm at iLayoga.com
I have been on the path of yoga for some eight years, searching for nourishment and a sense of being home. Searching to relieve feelings of yearning, longing, and being lost. The Energy Doorway is a new inner discovery that is nourishing and lets me know from the inside that I am home, like there is no other place to be but right here, in this moment, in my body.
This article is an introduction to what the “Energy Doorway” is, and different components I have used to open the door and allow healing energy into my being from a source that, despite my typically secular mindset, I can only call divine. My work is rooted in Yogic and Somatic practices that increase embodied awareness, discharge the sympathetic nervous system and tone the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system. These components prepare us for “opening the doorway”. (Read more about my experience Finding the Doorway here.)
At the foundation of this work is embodied awareness, or in Somatics, “felt sense”. This is the experience of being aware from within your body, not your mind. With “felt sense” you feel and are the changes in sensation, energy and emotion within. Compartmentalizing, disassociating, repressing, obsessive thinking and hypervigilance are some of the ways we leave the body and remained “cutoff” from our own embodied awareness, and therefor, cutoff from a flowing energy source waiting to fill each of us. It may, at first, sound easy to simply bring your awareness inward, but keeping it there and deepening it is a lifetime of practice and healing. I have daily opportunities (sometimes hourly with my toddler!) to cutoff from my felt sense and operate from the “control tower” of my mind, but this severs me from my source of energy, my joy, my deep sense of belonging.
With a foundation in embodied awareness we begin exploring the inner landscape and get to know, from the inside, our nervous system, the Energy Doorway. Our understanding and awareness of the nervous system is what helps to open the door. The nervous system is where we receive, where energy becomes our physical existence. All of the major energy centers, Chakras, lie along the brain and spinal cord and nerve plexuses. The nerve plexuses are like many fingered hands reaching out for that transmission of the “electricity of God” as Yogananda put it. And so energy distills down through existential layers, from pure being (“God”) to subtle energy (Chakras) to the incarnation of our physical body.
“The spine and the brain are the altars of God. That’s where the electricity of God flows down into the nervous system into the world. And the searchlights of your senses are turned outwards. But when you will reverse the searchlights, through Kriya Yoga, and be concentrated in the spine, you will behold the Maker.” —Paramahansa Yogananda
When the nervous system is constricted and tense, as it often is in Western culture of stress and isolation, energy does not flow as freely. We are left out of balance, run down, with dis-ease and emotional stagnation. Opening the nervous system is crucial to “chakra clearing”, and a component that I am just really understanding after years of “chakra work”. Previously I focused on specific asana, pranayama, mudra and emotional work for chakra clearing, but at times this has felt a bit like trying to get to know someone through a wall. Now I know a door has been there all along, I can open the door and actually feel the energy I have been working with for so long. And the more I consciously connect to the doorway, the stronger the effervescent energy gets, it is a self perpetuating loop.
The “closed”/constricted nervous system comes from over activation of sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight) and under activation of parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest). A basic life imbalance, that many of us feel but cannot point to. There are many causes of this imbalance including caregiver/infant relationship (parents/caregivers regulate and create healthy nervous systems in infants and children that affects us throughout life), trauma, repetitive life stressors, isolated perception (me vs. them) and more. Our goal then for “opening the nervous system” is to find balance and smooth flow between sympathetic and parasympathetic and to be able to bring embodied awareness into a balanced nervous system. Whew, easier said than done, many of us must rewire our brains and retrain our nervous systems to get to this point. Yogic and Somatic practices do this by discharging the over-aroused sympathetic and activating and toning the parasympathetic. This balanced flow is what I call the “Nervous System Rhythm”, which I write about here!
To conclude this introduction, the nervous system is what interconnects your whole body from your brain down through your spinal cord and interweaving throughout your all your tissues. This is your Energy Doorway, a doorway to the wellspring of life energy, your ever present gift. Through Yoga, Somatics and many other practices we can open the door. Not only will we know abundance, nourishment and a deep sense of being home, we will feel it.
I am human but everything is not as it seems
My legs turn into light
My hands and arms turn into light
Everything is shinning and vibrating
And there is a layer I can’t quite see yet
But the edges are peeling up
And the cloth is thinning out …