Explaining Energy

It is not easy to explain energy. Energy travels through multiple dimensions and in subtle channels. Yet one can witness energy. It’s palpable. Energy is both objective and subjective and, because of this, everyone will have a different experience of its movements. Energy is what keeps us alive.

While it is complex to explain energy, one can learn to cultivate its flows with fairly simple exercises and observations. Moods are a manifestation of energy. Observing one’s and other people’s moods is a study of energetic clusters. Often different energies move at the same time. We feel happy and sad, we are in a good mood but with the potential that bad moods can rise at any moment.

I have noted that the birth of a mood is faster than the awakening of my awareness of it. So far, my observations have only started when the mood was already present in myself. With observation, I saw how my physical (posture) and emotional selves (breath) embodied the mood. That’s a study of energy.

To explain energy is also difficult because we can rationalize energy only to a certain extent. The rest belongs to the realm of feeling. They are both necessary and, in fact, interdependent.

When I teach awareness through yoga, I do my best to support the students as they are trying to feel certain energies that they may have never experienced before. Cultivating one’s subtlety is a privilege that is free, but it requires, as Maharishi Patanjali teaches us, practice and detachment, a letting go of the effort. (Yoga Sutra, I.12)

It is important to have some tools when trying to describe something that is not perceivable with the physical senses alone. For example, energy can flow up or down, sideways, in spirals, intermittently, weakly, moving from the inside to the outside, or through certain parts of the body alone. We can feel energy coming from a plant or another person who is half a block away. Some people see energy through shapes and colors; others through sounds. A feast of inner visions and symphonies; darkness and tones. Other people hear stories or chants. Energy dives into memory and enlivens it, makes it alive again.

While it is important to have a vocabulary to express energy, let’s not get lost in empty words. Always go back to feelingHow does this energy that I am feeling moves me? How am I feeling? Observe yourself beyond judgment (no self-hate, please). Then, an a second beat, allow yourself to explain how you felt, and how the energies felt.


Explain, v. Early 15c., from Latin explanare “to explain, make clear, make plain.” Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that “explain into leaves.” (source: etymonline.com)

The unfolding of material things, like you. You are also a material thing. In this sense, explaining is becoming.


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