Baron Baptiste explains how yoga clears out old mental and physical clutter, setting you up for new possibilities.
Want to unlock an unexpected world of possibility in your practice—and your life? Then Yoga Journal’s upcoming course The Power of Play Bootcamp is for you. Baron Baptiste—veteran yoga teacher and founder of the Baptiste Institute and Baptiste Foundation—will lead you through four weeks of meditation, asana, and self-inquiry specifically designed to spark awakening and growth. Start the new year with a powerful perspective—and discover how to put it into action.
We all know what it feels like to be stuck. Sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because it seems like another day of the same old, same old. Or maybe you can’t get motivated to start a project even though you know you’ve got to finish it soon. Perhaps an argument you’ve been having with your partner (or yourself) keeps repeating—and now you’re feeling stressed about it. So your jaw is tight and your shoulders are up around your ears. Your breath might be shallow and your head might hurt.
I call that old energy. It can be tied up in anything you haven’t felt or dealt with, or simply be emotions that you have been too busy to feel, to really allow for the time to be with. It can manifest as aches, pains, ailments, and various feelings in your body. It also manifests in how you show up in your life—not wanting to get out of bed is a good example.
One downside to old energy is that it obviously makes us feel pretty bad. The other downside is that it keeps us from experiencing new, good things. It’s the enemy of change, new possibilities, a brighter future. Often we don’t even know what life might hold for us because we can’t even see past all the old energy we’re bogged down with.
In my new course, The Power of Play Bootcamp, we do the work of clearing out old energy. Through svadhyaya, or self-inquiry, we look at patterns we’re stuck in and what we’re willing to let go of to become unstuck. By dedicating time to moving old energy, we create space for something new to emerge—something that may not have happened otherwise. Here are 3 energy-clearing tips we use and that you can try right now:
1. Get physical
Asana always helps us move our old energy, energy that we have been holding on to and that can be stuck, literally, in our bodies. Practicing for 30 minutes immediately allows me the freedom to move energy—but if you only have 10 minutes it’s better to commit to that than nothing.
The simple practice of conscious breathing does wonders. Allow yourself the space and time of intentional breathing and you will be able to access stale energy and move it out.
The act of being still supports emptying out, cleaning out, and creating space. Set aside 5–15 minutes and find a comfortable seat. Rest your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. Systematically draw your attention to each part of your body from your toes up to your head, and then back down if time allows.