Each of us carry around unneeded energy, yet very few of us have a clear concept of energetic hygiene. Because of that, our energy is all up in each other’s energy and nobody is clear on whose is whose.
No wonder life often feels like a big, confusing mess.
But here’s the good news: When you clear out energy that doesn’t serve your life’s purpose, you’ll feel really good. Many people have a sense of lightness, focus, reduced anxiety, even deep peace—and realize how crushing it was to carry around all that unneeded energy.
Whether you’re a yoga teacher who comes in contact with many people (and all of their energy) on a daily basis or you simply find yourself in a heated meeting at work or feeling sensitive after scrolling through social media, here are five energy-clearing practices to help you make room in your energy body, manage your boundaries, and cultivate more of what you want in your life.
This is a common practice because it is both simple and effective, and you can do this technique seated, standing, or lying down.
Close your eyes and focus on your inner core. Imagine a flame igniting and burning white, bright, and strong. Charge this flame with the task of protecting your energy body. Determine that nothing will permeate or attach itself to you unless you permit it. Encourage its light to expand until it fills your body. Once your body is filled with this light, push it through your skin in all directions, infusing your energy body. You can start each day with this practice or simply employ it whenever necessary.
It is especially effective in situations where there is a lot of energy flying around. For example, heated meetings, fraught social or family gatherings, or unpleasant social media interactions are excellent times to cloak yourself in light. You’ll feel more like your true self and be able to share your light and help others.
See also 12 Yin Yoga Poses to Awaken Dormant Energy and Recharge Your Practice
Perhaps a better name for this exercise is de-cording, because that is what this shamanic-inspired technique feels like. It is technically both a cleansing act (as it removes something unwanted) as well as a method of containment. A cord is an energetic connection between two people, a person and a place, a person and a thing, a person and a group, or a person and an idea. The cord is not only a connection but a conduit that allows energy to pass back and forth between the two ends of the cord. The energetic give and take is not always equal. Someone can attach a cord to you that siphons your energy or infuses energy to your energy body.
There are a few ways that we develop cords. First, when we have a relationship with someone, something, some place, a habit, an emotional wound, or an idea, we develop a cord with it. A second way that cords develop is when someone attaches one to you, even if you aren’t in a relationship. As an author and teacher, this happens to me frequently. The people sending the cords aren’t necessarily doing it with malicious intent. Admiration, gratitude, and respect can form cords as well as jealousy, annoyance, and disgust. Whether well-intended or not, we operate best when we are conscious and in charge of our own energy, so even these kindly-meant attentions can have unwanted effects. A third way cords are formed between you and something else is when you are reaching out energetically and attaching to someone or something else, usually unintentionally, although sometimes we do it on purpose. A version of this is when a relationship ends and one person isn’t willing to let go. They keep trying to re-establish a cord with their ex. Removing cords has been such a useful practice in my life, and I hope it helps you, too.
This technique is best done while standing. You are going to remove the cords and let them dissipate, with the energy within them being absorbed back into the earth to be redistributed as needed. When I do this, I usually feel and hear a soft sucking noise, as if a suction cup is being removed. You will do three rounds. The first round of cords includes the ones that represent mutual relationship. The second round focuses on cords others have sent to you. The final round is for ones that you’ve sent out. Here are the basic steps, which you will repeat three times:
1. Stand in Mountain Pose and close your eyes.
2. Imagine your energy body, in your mind’s eye seeing it and all the cords that are attached to it.
3. Starting from the top of your head and moving toward your feet, mentally pluck the cords and drop them.
After your third round, finish either by imagining the points of connection healing over or with the bubble of light practice.
See also The Ultimate Guide to Energy Healing
You know how at the beginning and end of a yoga class, practitioners put their hands in a prayer position and say Namaste? Why do they do that? As a casual yoga practitioner, I admit there are probably some deeper, more meaningful reasons that I don’t know about. What I do know is this: In yoga, there is an emphasis on both clearing and cultivating the space and energy within the body.
After putting in the effort to release what isn’t needed and inviting in what is desired, placing the hands in prayer position—hands flat and palms together in front of the heart—completes a symbolic circle. The active and receptive hands form a closed circuit so that whatever was released stays on the outside and whatever was cultivated is kept inside. This is a quick and easy technique to use after any clearing or cultivating practice, but it can be done at any time. If putting your hands in prayer position would be awkward—for example, in a meeting—you can simply clasp your hands together under the table. The most important element is that the palms are touching. This metaphorically expresses the idea of nothing coming in and nothing going out because the expressive and receptive centers in the palms of your hands create a single continuous barrier.
See also The Meaning of "Namaste"
The skin is a metaphor for the energy body’s boundary, because they both inhabit the same space and perform similar functions. This is similar to how the heart chakra, while invisible and nonphysical, inhabits the same area and has attributes similar to the physical heart. Your energetic skin is permeable, just like your physical skin. Unlike your physical skin, your energetic skin is also sticky. It contains, protects, and gives form to your energy.
You can intentionally treat your skin as the physical symbol of your energy boundary and use specific oils or herbs to protect it. Salt is cleansing and it is also grounding, which is a form of protection. A salt-based scrub used with intention in the shower or bath can help protect your energy boundary. Add a boost or more specific intentionality by adding oils or herbs that support your desires. As always, do check for health and safety issues before using any oil or herb on your skin.
Select oils that you associate with protection or grounding and try different blends to see how they smell and how they feel energetically. You could take this idea even further and drop a small crystal in the bottle to infuse the lotion with those qualities in the same way as a water infusion.
As an added benefit, beyond energy containment and having soft skin, catching a whiff of the scent throughout the day will help remind your conscious mind to pay attention to the energy around and within you. Your skin is your largest organ. It is both strong and delicate. Take care of it so that it can take care of you.
See also 5 Essential Oils Combos That Smell Better Than Your Favorite Candles
The proper use of the words “yes” and “no” are imperative to good energy containment. Energy containment focuses on the energy body’s boundary, and these little words are important tools for determining and maintaining your energy boundaries. When you say yes to something, you are agreeing to expend your energy on whatever was asked of you. We all say yes too often, usually out of fear of upsetting someone else or a sense of obligation or guilt. None of these are reasons that support our values, unless your life values are to make sure no one is ever upset but you or that you always do what others expect. Before saying yes to something, make sure it is in alignment with your beliefs and values. If it is not, then use a strong and confident “no” to honor your energy and your soul’s purpose.
This does not mean we can say no to whatever we don’t feel like doing. Energy work and cultivating your spirit requires responsible discernment, not childish indulgence. You and you alone are responsible for your energy. Make sure your “yes” or “no” responses consistently close the space between you and the values you want to live by. As in all things, there are pros and cons to being a mature, healthy person. Use your words in ways that express your authentic soul’s purpose.
See also 6 Poses to Open Your Energy Channels & Boost Prana Flow