When I say Body I am talking about the physical body. When I say Emotions I am talking about feelings, how one feels - happy, sad, angry, anxious, loved, or a sentiment that surfaces from a thought, memory, reflection, or future event to come. When I say Energy I am talking about breath (prana), how an emotion makes one feel (hyper, sad, depressed, excited), and/or movement within the body. For this particular article energy related to emotions/feelings.
This topic will get one thinking about how energy (normally related to negative emotions) can get stuck within the body in cetain parts - hips, stomach, back - to name a few places. Usually energy related to an event in life (for example a traumatic event) causing whatever feelings that arise during that time to get caught within the body if they are not processed properly. For example, if someone is bullied as a child and they never receive an apology from that bully. The person never has a chance to process, heal, and forgive the bully. Any feelings that upset the person may get buried deep down in the mind or body. This could cause future unrelated events to upset the person, leave them in a state of fear, low confidence, or anger. As you can see it is quite important for forgiveness, peace, and love to be a part of one's life. When this is unable to occur naturally it's important to use movement, breath, meditation, and other forms of self healing to help move negative emotions from getting stuck within one's body (the physical, mental, and spiritual body - which can begin with the physical).
In the yoga community there is a lot of discussion around energy (also known as emotions or relating to) stuck in the lower body and its release through forms of Yoga like Yin, or Restorative. These forms tend to focus on opening the lower body. I recently did a podcast touching on this subject matter. Which brings attention to not only opening the lower body but the center. How it can also hold (negative) emotions, release emotions, and heal one from opening the core, center, or abdominals. This can also and usually include the lower back, side, chest, and obliques.
Emotional energy or stuck energy usually caught within the lower body, like the hips or groin, can be the following: fear, anxiety, or sadness.
Emotional energy or stuck energy usually caught within the core, heart center, or abdominals can be the following: gief, tension, or stress.
For each area of the body different types of emotions can get stuck. So just as it is importnt to release emotions from the lower body, it's important to do so for the upper body.
There are various ways to release these emotions from within the body - breathing exercises, meditations, physical activities like walking, jogging, yoga, and streching. It's wonderful to incorporate various types of activities to promote the release of stuck energy from within different parts of the body to find a sense of calm, peace, and love.
To learn more you can listen to a deeper dive on this topic by clicking here and listen to my podcast.
As I've started diving deeper into my own yoga practice the question "Which way should my mat lay?" has repeatedly come to mind. So I did what anyone would do- I Googled it.
There were many different reasons for why yogis and practitioners face their mat a certain direction. Some face their mat in whatever direction gives them room to move freely during physical practice. Others stood facing true north to welcome the sun, life, or connection to the universe to their practice. While a couple articles I read mentioning people who liked their mat to face East. This also welcomes the sun and Divine into their practice (whether meditative or physical).
Some directions seem to have similarities for why a mat or body faces a certain direction. Here is a review of my findings. For a deeper understanding and discussion on this topic click here to listen to this discussion on my latest podcast.
Mat or Body facing North: Pulls one in the right direction of life. Welcomes stability, one to be unshakable, keeps goals in mind, and open's self up to guidance from the universe or Divine.
Mat or Body facing East: Related to the mind - retention, memory, and meditation. It is also the direction the sun rises. So it welcomes sun light, guidance, and protection into one's life. For some it's the direction for prayer.
Mat or Body facing South: Looks inside one's self. This direction you want to leave things behind. It also relates to sleeping or physical death (of the body). It's going within the individual. Said to be good for meditation when you need physical relaxation.
Mat or Body facing West: Sun sets in the west. Leaving the day, fear, negativity, and other not so great happenings behind you. Find rest to refresh.
Some last considerations:
Don't get caught up if you can't physically have your mat facing a certain direction. Spacial considerations are something to keep in mind.
If you're in a class you're not going to want to cause a fuss if the teacher has their mat facing a certain direction. They're setting their mat in the best direction for participants to see and hear them.
When in your own space feel free to take a moment, get quiet, and come into awareness. This will allow you to feel which direction calls you to set up your mat.
Finally, breathe and open your mind and body to the world around you as you dive deep into your practice.
One of the most exciting things I couldn't wait to do was showcase my yoga skills after completing my 200HR training. The only thing I didn't realize until I was deep into recording videos was that I kept running into issues with Youtube licenses and the social media police about the music being used.
After trying some free music applications, creating my own music, and teaching in silence I still wanted sound. Music helps practicing yogis focus on breath, movements, and have something to make the class and showcasing videos a whole EXPERIENCE. I will jump to the good part...
Just when I thought I'd be teaching classes in silence forever I came across the fabulous DJ Taz Rashid. I came across his music being used in another yogi's post on Instagram. I joined his email list and was fortunate to have found his music.
DJ Taz Rashid has a variety of music for every type of yoga style, class, and event. His music can help make YOUR yoga practice, class, live stream, or event the whole package. Offering whatever vibe you're looking to flow.