Category: Movement + Mindfulness

Energize with Intention!

Energy means vitality. It is an impetus expressed in our bodies, in our moods and in the way we relate to others.

We might say someone has “good energy” or “bad energy” for example, or that we are energized by an idea. This all has a physical expression—as scientific studies continue to reveal. The body’s physiology and one’s particular life experiences in the mind are intricately connected—we could almost say inseparable. In fact, every day in our clinic, we see how our patients’ perceptions of what is happening to them in their lives is expressed by their bodies through symptoms. That is how the body itself communicates our emotional relationships with the world.

Intent_Exercise Screen shot 2011-12-03 at 6.29.50 PM copy

This is great news! It means that we have the power to influence our health at all levels with our thoughts and actions, and that each influences the other.

Our thoughts influence our energy instantaneously. Our movement also influences our energy levels and our thoughts. When we move with intention, this has an even more dramatic influence. Moving with intention powerfully affects the state of your mind and your emotions, as well as your physical experience of being in the body.

Being Energy’s daily Mind, Body + Spirit classes are a great example of moving with intention. Here is a sample of these practices (about 35 minutes)—it’s just the right amount to do daily to keep fit and healthy.

We invite you to enjoy the experience of movement, and wish you good energy!

Why Do I Teach?

“Get on stage and give your very best. Follow your body; it knows what to do.” Carlos Castaneda said this to me just before I got on stage in 1996 for the first time to teach —there were 700 people in the audience. I felt unprepared and unfit for the occasion, and yet his words vividly resonating within, cleared the path for me to step onto that stage.

DSCF4389 copy“The only way of knowing if you have learned something is by teaching it,” he said. “Share what you practice, share what you love to do.” And I did. That was 20 years ago, and I am still teaching and sharing. I still get butterflies before each class I teach or lecture I give. I review my notes, I prepare, I practice. Each class is a new experience, each person in front of me is unique. I can be guiding the same sequence of movements I taught to that audience back in January 1996, but I do it with wonder and awe.

What is the secret? And why do I do it?

I teach because I like to take risks, to put myself out there. I teach because it makes me vulnerable. I teach because it creates uncertainty within me. I teach because it awakens new resources within me that I didn’t know I had. I teach to learn to fail, to make mistakes, and to revamp myself. I teach to learn about success and to love with whoever is in front of me. I teach knowing that there is nothing to teach, and that whoever is in front of me has all the answers he or she needs. I teach to be reminded of my strengths and my weaknesses. I teach because I practice and because I breathe.

Why do others teach Being Energy? Some of our teachers share their experiences below. Maybe teaching will open up something in you, too? We are offer a comprehensive teacher training program. Learn more about that program.

Why become a Being Energy teacher?

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.02.57 PMThe first question to ask yourself is: Is the practice Being Energy a path with heart for me? If it is, and you have committed yourself to the practice, then teaching others will help you along the path more than you can imagine. When we commit to teaching others, it brings out the best in us; something comes to our aid in spite of all the doubts and hesitations that inevitably arise. The decision and commitment to teach is truly magical. Something else takes over. Not all the time, but even when we find ourselves out of alignment, we learn something and continue working, confident that we are doing the right thing, following our path with heart. Come join us!

Pilar Soro, BE Teacher in Spain: 

“I offer the classes as a volunteer and teach Module 1 material. I leave the classes with a lot of energy, I can say that there is a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ with giving the BE classes. I have a new purpose for my projects, strong and sustained, as the fruit of these classes.

“Yesterday, a 65-year-old man who has had fibromyalgia for 15 years told me that he ended the class feeling so well that he went in the ocean for more than five hours, swimming and diving; that he had tried a lot a things before these classes, but this was the thing that worked best for him.

“In my school the other day, I also had two children who were very angry at each other. After talking a little, we did the movements that I called ‘A Shower of Energy’ to get rid of the bad vibes, to clean ourselves. They followed me for five minutes and then left the room laughing and very much friends; I really liked their smiles and loud laughter—they were very happy.”

Erika Gavin, BE Teacher in Mexico:

“Teaching helped me, among other things, to feel and convince myself that I am an instructor. I did not have enough confidence before. What made me change was the consistency, and trying to be there, as I have always been sure that this path is my path and I feel love and passion for it.

“After three years, I felt increasingly confident and creative in preparing a class and incorporate everything I need to do, movements, books, what pops into my life. I am very grateful and honored to share that with others.

“I want to tell you about a student called Thamara. A few years ago, she had pain throughout her body; she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Now since taking Being Energy classes since August, it is better. She is very attracted by the philosophy and is very motivated to generate a change in her life, especially regarding the relationship with her body.”

Crisólogo Chavez, BE Teacher in Mexico:

“After several years of thinking, in late September 2014, I decided to jump off to start teaching BE movements, with great excitement, even though I did not feel sufficiently prepared. Now I teach a regular group of 10 to 12 people each Saturday for about an hour and a half. It has been steady, constant. It seems incredible to look back—I gained confidence to do the movements; teaching has put greater demand on my personal practice and a result I perceive in my physical and energetic body. Most gratifying, however, are the comments I hear from student practitioners about their pleasure in doing the movements.”

Tom Reavley, BE Teacher in Mexico:

“When I guide Being Energy classes or teach it to others, my only option is to suspend my own story—which includes plenty of self doubts about handling something that can’t be reduced to logic or reason—and let the spirit channel through me, even if only for a while. Under the pressure of my commitment to present something, I have to relax at some point and let ideas flow—what to emphasize, how to express it, what sequences of movements to do—and then connect to the energetic feeling that the movements and practices create.

“By deciding to teach, you are committing yourself. You are choosing to put yourself on the line and rally your energy each time you lead others, even though you have no guarantees that you will succeed. When a class approaches and you feel lost, the commitment comes to your aid. It focuses your attention and activates your intent so that you can genuinely connect to the inexhaustible source of life and creativity. You stand before others not knowing exactly what you will say, but with a feeling of certainty that expresses itself in your voice, your eyes and your movements. And in that moment you have changed your story—you are someone or something else, an expression of the infinite.

“What a great gift is this opportunity to share beauty of spirit with others!”

Pavel Pavlov, BE Teacher in Bulgaria:

Pavel recounts how powerful it was to teach a Being Energy workshop recently in Bulgaria:

“At the end of the workshop we left some time for everyone to ask questions or just to say how he/she felt. Most people shared that they now had a new vision for their lives. One of the newcomers explained that she was expecting to practice yoga, since we also announced the event through our yoga teacher friends. At first the movements confused her. She was astonished when we spoke about Carlos Castaneda, as she had recently begun reading Castaneda’s books. Upon making that connection, between reading the books and this event, she realized that she was not here by chance.”

This is some of why we teach!

Why Gratitude Matters and Becomes Essential in Moments of Fear

It’s Thanksgiving time in the U.S., and we’re reminded of the power of gratitude. When we are grateful, a whole cascade of neurochemicals is released in our bodies, lowering inflammation and stimulating repair and immune mechanisms. When we are in a state of gratefulness, our hearts open and we feel connected to others. Fear dissipates.

We can take this opportunity to pause and to think about what we are grateful for in our lives. It may seem simple, but this is avery potent thing that we can do for ourselves, for others and for the world right now.

What are you grateful for? To what and who would you like to say, “Thank you!”? We invite you to breathe into it and really connect to that feeling of gratitude. To also connect to the experience of freedom that comes from that.

What also does freedom mean to you?
If you’re inspired to share your answers with us, we would love to hear from you! You can share your thoughts with us on Facebook or even by email (info@energylifesciences.com).

To really catapult yourself into the mystery and embrace your own power, join our current Path with Heart course—registration is still open.

We want to take this chance to tell you, too, how grateful we are for you. Our Being Energy community continues to grow and inspire and nourish all of us as we walk our path and find our freedom.

Mind over Matter?

How powerfully do our thoughts influence our health and wellbeing?

The intricate connections between mind and body are only beginning to be scientifically understood. What we do know at this time is:

  • Our emotions affect our physiology
  • The brain is an amazingly adaptable and powerful organ
  • Regular exercise can improve memory and cognitive functioning

Studies continue to illuminate the interrelationships between the mind and body, and suggest that we only understand a small fraction of what we’re capable of (see what Drs. Deepak Chopra, Dan Siegel and others say on Discovery). What has become clear is that what we think, feel and believe plays a role in how our DNA expresses itself.

So what can we do with what we do know? We can be self-empowered in our own healing process. We can think loving thoughts, be compassionate in our relationships with others, exercise and eat healthfully. We can recapitulate, meditate and form health partnerships with caring and knowledgeable health-care providers.

The relationship between psychology and the immune system, between mind and body, is at the core of my medical practice, and helps inform my Energy Life Sciences classes.

5 Steps to Feeling Good

Feelings. The senses. Our emotions. Being aware of your feelings can have a directly positive influence on your health and wellbeing. I’ll share a couple of exercises with you here, visual and physical, to help you hone that influential connection between feelings and health.

For more detailed information about this and other topics, consider subscribing to our Nutrition + Health video library, which gives you access to all of the videos of classes I’ve presented on nutrition and health.

For now, let’s look at connecting to your feelings. Here is a very effective visualization exercise for you to try.  To prepare, begin by writing any physical symptoms that cause you discomfort. Also write down a few things that symbolize your ideal of wellbeing (for example, clear thinking).

Now, look at the first item on your symptoms list. With that in mind:

  1. Connect to the symptom. Close your eyes, breathe easily and allow any feelings, emotions and/or images related to this symptom and this part of your body to rise up, without judgment.
  2. Connect with the feeling or image. Clearly identify what’s coming up for you. What are you feeling? (For example, “My knee gives me pain when I walk; it makes me feel unworthy, and incapable of moving forward.”)
    Stay with the feeling. Resist avoiding it and instead just be there with it, allowing it to exist for what it is. Be open to what it has to teach you. Then open your eyes slowly and write down the feelings that came up for you.
  3. Track the feeling to its origin. Close your eyes again and return to the feeling or image. Once it’s clear in your mind, ask yourself: Where is this coming from? When have I felt this before? Does it relate to a past experience?
  4. Learn from the feeling. How is this feeling or image preventing you from enjoying optimal health? What past experience or belief is standing in the way of you feeling your best? What is the payoff for you holding onto this feeling? What can you learn from it? What will it take for you to resolve this feeling, or dissolve this image? What do you have to let go of in order to change?
  5. Take action. You have the power to decide to let go of this feeling.

Repeat these steps with something from your list that symbolizes wellbeing, shifting the focus in step 4 to what is preventing you from having the sense of wellbeing that the image or feeling gives you. What barriers are in the way? And what is the payoff to staying within those boundaries?

You may want to repeat this for other symptoms of disease and symbols of vitality on different days, focusing in on one pairing at a time.

This also relates to a physical exercise we want to share with you. The exercise is part of the body of the Being Energy work. The following video takes you through this simple exercise, called a Being Energy pass.

In the video, you’ll notice me mention “recapitulation”—this word in the Being Energy work means to look back to the past to the root experiences of behaviors and beliefs that are blocking you in the present. Recapitulate, as defined in Merriam-Webster and how we use it in Being Energy, means: “To give new form or expression to.”

6 Windows to Perception: Overcome Sensory Overload and Optimize Your Awareness

It’s almost here! Being Energy’s next Nutrition class—all about the senses. I invite you to join me live, online on Saturday, October 3rd. We’ll explore the importance of the five senses and how to optimize them, and even give you an exercise for activating your 6th sense for expanded perception.

So why are we doing a class all about the senses? The senses are our windows to the world. They give us information that we use to stay safe, interact with others, experience our world and understand life (the hallmark of our species).

The challenge is that we’re so constantly bombarded with a stunning array of input, that most of us suffer from sensory overload. What we register consciously at any given moment is but a fraction of what is coming at us. So what should we pay attention to? How do we prioritize? How can we focus on what is important and ignore the rest?

The art of developing our attention is perhaps more important than ever before in human history because we are faced with more sensory information than ever before.

We do have a natural filter, the reticular activating system (RAS), that enables us to sort out what information to pay attention to and what to prune so that we don’t go crazy. Moreover, it is a filter that is trainable. We can consciously engage our awareness to manage our sensory perceptions.

An important thing to understand is that our beliefs and past experiences shape how we filter sensory input. The great news about this is that we can focus on the senses to quiet the mind (and vice versa) to affect our interpretation of what we are sensing. We can free ourselves from belief systems that don’t serve our overall wellness to activate a greater awareness of what is both seeable and un-seeable around us.

The eyes are especially important. They are often more fatigued by overstimulation than any other sense organ. We make countless decisions each day based on what our eyes are telling us. There is a voluminous amount of information to process. Computers, smart phones and TVs vie for our attention and cloud our visual sensibilities.

In the Being Energy Nutrition class on Saturday, I’ll teach a technique to soften the eyes, and relax and release the eye muscles to open up your perception.

Relaxing is a key thing for all of our senses, in fact. When we can quiet down the way we normally use our senses, we make way for opening to a more expansive way of interpreting sensory data. When you relax your eyes, for example, you’re able to see other aspects of the world. When your eyes become silent, you can see silence. This is true of all five senses. It is also a key for waking up the 6th sense.

When we activate our 6th sense, we have the capacity to apprehend what isn’t commonly available to us—something that we sometimes feel in our gut or our heart.Nutrition 2015_Featured_2

I’ll talk more about the 6th sense and how to cultivate it on Saturday. I hope you can join me!

The class airs live on September19 at 8:30am Pacific Time. For more information, and to register, please see beingenergy.com.

GONGS: Creating Balance, Health and Harmony with Sounds

We are beings of energy, and we are vibrational Beings. Because we are energy, we vibrate. Everything in the Universe is vibrating, moving all of the time. This motion generates frequencies, which become sounds.

A sound, vibration or frequency can be harmonizing for us, or can create disharmony, leading to physical and mental dis-ease. Conversely, a vibration that has a certain resonance can spark a fundamental balance in our being, affecting powerful healing for our bodies, minds and emotions.

Enter gong healing. We’ll be featuring this transformational and time-tested healing experience during our October workshop weekend in Amsterdam. We think you’ll all love the feeling of harmony and Inner Silence that the gongs so immediately activate.

Gongs have been made and used by people from a variety of cultures for many centuries, dating back to at least the Bronze Age. Yet their demonstrated ability to create a sense of peace has never been more needed. We are bombarded by all manner of vibrations in our modern lives. The sound frequency of the gongs can help us feel more harmonious, and balance the experience of energetic chaos that puts roadblocks in the way of our true energy shining forth.

The ripples of sound from gongs that are played with intention bathe your body in waves of balancing vibration. You can think of it as a sound massage that has a positive impact at the cellular and even molecular levels. The effect can be both subtle and dramatic.

The vibration of the gong creates a bridge to connect to your energy being. It penetrates to the subtlest levels of our physiology. We could compare the effect of gongs to the flow of energy crossing the assemblage point and illuminating a segment of fibers.

Christof Bernhard, the gong master who will be with us in Amsterdam, says that, “Every sound we encounter is a painting, a painting created by vibrations of varying complexity. These paintings act on our bodies, minds and emotions.”
Every sound has an effect on us. The sounds that gongs create resonate in a very positive way. We can use the sound of Gongs to dissolve blockages that prevent our full expression.

Learn more about our Amsterdam workshops, where Christof Bernhard and Viviana Molinari will bathe us in the transformational sounds of gongs.

Energy Redeployment: More Energy! Reclaiming Your Vitality through Movement

During our apprenticeship, Carlos Castaneda emphasized practicing sequences of movements to regain focus and alertness.

“When paying attention, not only to what movement comes next in the sequence, but even more importantly to ‘how’ you are practicing each movement,” he said during a class break, “you align your mind and body, working in unison with a clear purpose. That is what don Juan called energy redeployment— bringing back one’s energy flow to the center of the mind-body unit.”

It was a hot, dry summer evening in LA; my mind was meandering and inner thoughts jumping while I watched myself performing movements in the mirror, trying to not mess up the sequence. For several months, I had followed the practice of not watching myself in the mirror, even when brushing my teeth or applying facial lotion. It was Castaneda’s suggestion, and I found it very liberating. Looking at myself in the mirror had become torture—I couldn’t stop judging myself. However, in the yoga studio in Santa Monica were Castaneda used to teach his classes, there was a long mirror and it was difficult to avoid watching myself as I practiced and getting lost in thoughts such as, “I am good at this move,” or “Oh, I can’t get this move like he is doing it”—an endless comparison.

“Energy redeployment is required to meet It,” he said, interrupting my thoughts. “LO Infinito,” he added, with piercing eyes looking towards me. A shiver ran through my sweaty spine.

He went on to say that seers of his lineage described “Infinity” as a field of infinite energy where we can expand and evolve as beings of awareness. Infinity, the universe or source, as named by other traditions, is where our lives originate, and where we return after our journey of awareness on earth has ended.

Castaneda came closer and almost whispered in my ear, “redeployment of energy beings about your energy body.” I didn’t understand it and felt a bit spooked by the idea of another body that resembles me, but is not really me.

He then continued telling the rest of the class that there are caches of energy that exist within the self. Don Juan told him that these caches are composed of energy that originates in the body itself and becomes displaced, pushed out of reach by the circumstances—the wear and tear—of daily life. In this sense, the practice of movement sequences with focus, precision and alertness, gives us a means for redeploying our unused energy.

“In the alignment of mind and movement, pay attention to your breath,” he said to all. “That is when Spirit whispers you.”

In Being Energy’s upcoming workshop in Amsterdam, we will practice the same movement sequences that Carlos Castaneda taught to me (Aerin Alexander) and Miles Reid.

Redeploy your energy to bring daring and purpose to your actions and allow the Spirit to speak through you.

How to Be Flexible to Stay Strong

Movement. Energy. Health. Vitality. It’s all tied together. At Being Energy, we think it’s important to take the whole into consideration. But to understand the whole, you must look at the parts, and vice versa.

Movement is a key part of what we teach in our classes and workshops because movement, in one way or another, is a fundamental part of life, and a key for staying healthy and happy.

We want to cultivate flexible movement. To be flexible is also to be strong. So we offer the practices we do ourselves every day in Being Energy’s live online daily Mind + Body + Spirit classes.  We also just launched a new Video Library, with a collection of daily 30-minute classes, many of which focus on movement.

In a presentation during one of Being Energy’s Nutrition + Health classes this year, our colleague Jordan Hoffman shared some philosophy and simple exercises of Aikido. Jordan is a longtime Aikido practitioner, and 2nd Degree black belt, in addition to being an outstanding acupuncturist. He shared some valuable insights.

Aerin and YelenaBecause the class theme was bones, tendons and muscles, Jordan spoke about keeping the tendons and ligaments nice and open, and how this enables energy to flow throughout the body.  In every healthy joint there is space. That space allows for comfortable, easy movement. When we’re stressed, tight or tense, we tend to contract, reducing that space, which results in more tightness and tension. This also slows us down, and creates an environment ripe for injury. But if we’re supple, we can move faster with more fluidly and grace. When presented with an obstacle, the more supple we are, the better we can navigate in the situation.

Think about the branch of a young tree. You can bend it and it won’t break; it remains flexible; but an old branch can snap. Just so, we want to keep our bones and joints supple. We want to be able to move easily with the winds of change and challenge.

An inspiring example of flexibility and grace at any age is Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba (December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969). In this video from 1935, these qualities, and more, are made clear.

Here, you can see his last public demonstration, in 1969, at the age of 85 (it’s a little fuzzy, but nonetheless worth watching).

So how can we embody this? What can we do to meet the challenges of life with power and grace? We can start with awareness.

At the end of every day, you might notice that you feel shorter, tighter, contracted, more compressed. Cultivating awareness is an important step in remaining strong yet flexible. Hold the image in your mind of spaciousness in your joints. Think of elongating your spine. If you’re standing and notice that your knees are locked, soften them, letting the energy flow through the joint and through your body.

To your health, strength and suppleness,
Dr. Miles Reid

8 Great Reasons to Meditate Today

You can enjoy positive effects from even just one meditation, and the long-term benefits multiply with continued practice.

Recent studies show that meditation not only reduces stress—which would certainly be enough reason to try it—but it actually affects our DNA, protecting the life of our cells and slowing aging. One study showed that just one meditation session can have a positive impact.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.”

Scientists are just beginning to understand how and why meditation works, but its mental, physical and emotional benefits have been appreciated since ancient times.  It has been proven to lower stress and to help combat illnesses such as:

 

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems

The greatest benefit comes from a daily practice, and there are many forms of meditation to try. From Mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation to Tai Chi and yoga, it can involve movement or stillness, attention or transcendence.

Meditation is something that helps you turn the volume down internally, and shift away from the stress response toward a parasympathetic response. It may include breathing in a purposeful way, using guided imagery and your imagination or focusing on an object. I often coach patients in meditation techniques to address their particular situation.

The effects can be very powerful.

Here are eight scientifically proven benefits of meditation:

  1. Stronger immunity. Multiple studies show that meditation improves immunity in a variety of ways, from boosting antibodies to slowing down the production of CD-4 cell counts to stimulating the brain areas that control the immune system.
  2. Less pain. Meditation can reduce the experience of pain and lower activity in the brain’s pain-processing regions.
  3. Stronger and faster mental function. Meditation strengthens the connection between brain cells and may lead to increased gyrification (cortical activity linked to the brain’s ability to process information more quickly).
  4. Brain restructuring. It’s amazing to consider, but meditation can change your brain structure—brain scans of longtime meditators show increased gray matter, which is associated with intelligence, sensory perception, emotional stability and stress response.
  5. Increased learning ability. Research shows that students who meditate have better test scores, improved attendance rate, increased intelligence and creativity and less stress.
  6. Emotional stability. It appears that when exposed to stress, long-time meditataors show less activity in the right amygdala—the part of the brain that plays a key role in processing emotions.
  7. Better focus. A University of Washington study conducted by Dr. David Levy showed that those who are trained in meditation experience less negative emotion in multi-tasking tests and can switch tasks less often and more effectively. Meditators also showed improved task-related memory.
  8. Weight control. It turns out that meditation can actually help reduce belly fat. Increased stress increases certain hormone activity that can lead to weight gain, and study after study shows that meditation can significantly reduce the body’s response to stress as well as increase serotonin, a hormone that influences sleep, mood and appetite.

Meditation, in whatever form we choose, can play an effective and enjoyable role in our health and wellbeing.

If you participate in our upcoming LA retreat Radiant Health + Radiant Energy, you can experience the benefits of meditation in a fuller context. Or join us in Amsterdam in October!