The subtle body, or energetic body, represents one of five body’s within each individual. Alignment within the five body’s creates harmony and unites the physical and energetic realms. The five bodies consist of the physical body, the prana (breath) body, the intuitive or wisdom body, the emotional or mental body, and the bliss body, which is also called the soul. The five bodies are known as koshas in Sanskrit—learn more about the koshas in this interview.
Yoga and other movement practices provide a means to engage the physical body. Breathwork, or pranayamas, is a way to ignite the pranic body. Healing modalities such as acupuncture, meditation, Chi Gong, and visualization provide a way to stimulate the intuition/wisdom body and the emotional/mind-body. The bliss body may be discovered through any of these techniques; tapping into the spiritual self or the soul depends on the practitioner and what brings you joy.
In this week’s podcast episode, we interviewed Irene Sanchez of the AdiShakti Method. Irene is a TCM practitioner, Doula, and yogi who works with the energy flow to create a healing space for clients to discover a deeper connection to themselves and their bliss body.
“Energy is everywhere; it’s all around us. In Chinese medicine, you’re working with meridians, which are energetic channels. The same can be said of Chi Gong, which is energy management. Meditation and yoga tap into different energies. All are ways of working with the energy we have and share with our environments.” – Irene Sanchez.
Your preferred treatment to receive?
IS— I love acupuncture for chronic pain, hormonal balancing, and managing stress. Acupuncture helps to boost my immune system. I love cranial sacral therapy. I love chiropractic sessions. Many people don’t like to be cracked, but I love being cracked because it creates a space of possibility for healing in the body. I love therapy. I love Watsu therapy, which is a form of massage in a body of water.
The instrument that captures your soul?
IS— I would say piano because it has a lyrical quality that brings me into this ethereal space, and I love living in the ether. I feel like I have a lot of earth energy, and I’m very grounded, but I love playing in the energy realm, which is the ether.
I’m a psychonaut, exploring different states of consciousness to investigate the mind and the human experience. I use various tools to examine other states of consciousness; one of them is yoga. I also use meditation and Chi Gong.
What’s your relationship, or understanding, of energy?
CRO— Nine years ago, I taught a 200-hour teaching training that Irene attended, and on about day fifteen, the energy was really heavy. It felt like many people were going through a lot of their transformation and going deep into their journey. I chose to lead a Kundalini mantra for healing and asked everyone to come to sit in a circle. And then I say, if at any point you feel like you need some healing, you sit down in the center of the circle, and you receive the mantra from the group around you. A couple of people go into the center, and we start to sing this mantra. And as we’re singing the mantra, I’m starting to feel the energy, not only in the room but in the jungle around us. We were in a place on this beach in Ko Pen Yang Thailand, surrounded by the jungle.
As we chant, I start to feel the jungle awakening, and as we’re chanting, I feel that we’re opening a portal of energy, and other energies start coming towards us. It was as if the jungle woke up energetically, and I could feel that there was all this outside energy trying to enter our circle. There were four of us in the circle who I could feel holding the energy down, almost like pillars representing the four directions. I felt that the four of us wrapped ourselves energetically around the circle so that these outside energies couldn’t come in. I remember feeling like I was being pushed; that’s how much energy was trying to enter.
When the chanting ended, it was so intense; many people cried, and we burned incense to clear the room and over each person to clear their energy fields. There are a lot of times when I don’t know. What’s going to happen, but I know that something needs to happen, that something needs to shift. I could feel that in the room that day when I chose the Kundalini mantra.
I have guides who work on different planes, teachers who work through me and tell me what to do. The guides don’t give me the why or how, or what’s going on; they’re just like, you need to do this. I trust that, and I trusted that what we did that day needed to happen for the energy to move.
IS— Energy is everywhere; it’s all around us. In Chinese medicine, you’re working with meridians, which are energetic channels. The same can be said of Chi Gong, which is energy management. Meditation and yoga tap into different energies. All are ways of working with the energy we have and share with our environments.
What I’ve found is that mainstream people are not very aware of yoga. They’re very aware of the physical world’s density, but they don’t have as much of an understanding of the subtle body, which is the energy we work with in acupuncture. We use a needle to move the energy around and direct the flow of energy. I love giving first-time clients or people who are unaware of the subtle realm the first glimpse into this dimension; that there’s more to the world than we can physically see.
A short mantra and meditation to experience the bliss body, this class invites you to experience joy as a felt sensation. As you take your seat, ask yourself, what does joy feel like in the body? How do I experience joy? You’ll join Clara to chant a mantra for bliss, Om Shri Anandaye Namaha. This mantra translates to the idea of recognizing and honoring the bliss we carry within.
Om = primordial sound
Shri = blessings and salutations
Anandaye = bliss
Namaha = I bow to thee
How do the vayus work with energy?
CRO—The values are how prana moves through the body. There are five directions of the vayus in terms of how energy moves.
Prana Vayu is the most vital direction of energy as prana represents the body’s life force. Prana refers to the inhalation, so its direction moves inward. We take in prana through our nose and mouth in the air we breathe, but prana is contained in all things. It’s in the water and food we consume, and prana is contained in how we see, hear, and feel the world around us.
Samana Vayu is the assimilation of prana; its location is at the stomach and intestines as this vayus function is primarily digestion. It’s often associated with the solar plexus, Manipura chakra, and Agni—the digestive fire.
Vyana Vayu moves energy outwards to the peripheries of the body; it moves in all directions to distribute the prana to all parts. It moves upwards and downwards, from side-to-side, and is centralized around the heart chakra to stimulate the lungs and respiration of breath.
Apana Vayu moves downwards and is responsible for the exhalation and all down and outward movement of energy. Digestion, elimination, menstruation, ejaculation, and childbirth are all influenced by Apana.
Udana Vayu moves upwards and is responsible for the inspiration; the inhale of the breath. Udana influences speech, song, and communication.
IS—There are different levels of anatomy in the body; we have the physical body, and then we have the energy body. The energy body is more subtle, whereas the physical body is denser. The acupuncture meridians are connected to the physical body, while the chakras are connected to the subtle body. The energy moves differently through different systems and in different channels.
We have the 12 main meridians with the acupuncture channels, and then we have the eight extra meridians. The 12 main meridians are related to our internal organs. The 12 standard meridians are divided into the Yin and the Yang groups. The Yin meridians are the lung, heart, pericardium, spleen, kidney, and liver. The Yang meridians are the large intestine, small intestine, triple burner, stomach, bladder, and gallbladder.
It’s cool because our bodies keep an internal clock where each organ and meridian has a two-hour time period where the energy is at its peak at that specific area. The energy, we call it qi in acupuncture, moves through the body in two-hour windows over the full 24-hour time period and shifts between the Yin and Yang energies. The organ functions best when the power is flowing and focuses on that point. In acupuncture, we tap into the energy flow and where the energy is focused to benefit the individual’s overall health.
How do you prepare to receive energy?
CRO—To prepare, this means living my life with as much integrity as possible, because as we said, this energy shift can happen at any time. To the best of my ability, I take care of myself to get enough sleep, ensure I’m eating correctly, and stay hydrated. That’s what living with integrity looks like, on a fundamental level.
When I’m healthy and feel good, it’s going to put me in a better state of mind to navigate anything that comes towards me or anything that shows up in my path.
Other ways I take care of myself is to include some sort of daily mindful practice. Navel-gazing, meditation, yoga, playing with my little one; all are ways I take care of myself.
IS—I’m an introverted extrovert, meaning I can be very social, and I love connecting with people, but I can get zapped by all the energetic output. So I need to make space to retreat, to settle and ground in my own space. Or I go out into nature and spend time in the trees.
Sitting and meditating, talking to plants, being in the stillness of nature, I am so blessed that I can live with this beautiful playground on the Squamish nations’ sacred ancestral land. Being in nature is one of the things that fill me up so that I can show up for people.
What’s the AdiShakti Method?
IS—The AdiShakti Method integrates all the different modalities that I have studied for the past 20-years. It bridges Western Medicine with Eastern practices and traditional Chinese Medicine, with body-mind therapy. My focus of study has been primarily yoga and tantra. I merge a lot of tantric meditation with practices like yoga and Chi Gong. I also use a lot of herbal medicines, and I work a lot with plants.
My goal is always to open the flow of energy for the person. We all create defense patterns to cope with our experience that may show up as blockages in the physical body. I believe that healing occurs on many levels, not only the physical body but also the emotional and spiritual body. I believe in integrating all the parts of the self, that this integration is necessary to heal.
AdiShakti is a beautiful combination of all these different modalities. Depending on what the person arrives with, I have a toolkit of methods and practices to choose from based on my intuition, which will assist in the healing experience.
Learn more about energy transformations and relaxing your body and mind through our vinyasa flow yoga, online yoga classes, or try out the 30 day yoga challenge and try something new. Learn more about Clara’s 300 hour yoga teacher training OR 200 hour yoga teacher training courses.
I want people to remember their one true nature, to remember their divinity in this body, in this reality.
Teacher of Yoga, Mantra & Meditation
Seeker of the Sacred.
Facilitator of conscious movement.