Judy is a regular member of the Healing Waters Qigong practice group and she likes to read books and enjoy her retirement. Lately her yoga practice has been leaving her too energized to curl up on the couch and instead she’s shoveling not just for herself but for her neighbors too. She says it’s all mysteriously related to her yoga teacher’s guidance to feel herself “release her energy.”

I know so many people who wish they had more energy to do what they love. I hear many people doubt their own will power or discipline because it is so hard to get into action. I know many people who wish they had Judy’s energetic “problem,” so what’s going on in this concept of “releasing your energy?”

How much strength and energy does my cat have to sustain this position? When will he release his claws from the screen?

I asked Judy to explain more and she gave me permission to share this story. When she practices challenging yoga postures, the ones that make her quiver and desperate for relief, it’s in that moment that her yoga teacher explains that the body will use secondary, back-up muscles to deepen the asana. In her effort to survive the postures, Judy builds more muscle strength and also discovers added energy resources. The big surprise is that after class she is Energizer Judy.

The punch line is that “release your energy” doesn’t only mean exhale, drop your shoulders, and clear your mind; it also means unleashing your creative power. Usually we want the later (liberation) and forget that it is intrinsically linked to the former (letting go).

Why we need to practice

The idea of release used to terrify me because I had no idea what I was releasing into. I didn’t want to be the person leaving the yoga pose early, the person who gives up. Yet muscling through life completely exhausted me. I have needed practices like yoga, dance and qigong which are designed to train the body into experiencing a release into a bigger who that consequently sets free our energy in the world.

The traditional dances I practice are very much about duration. I can dance them for hours. When I was learning them I had less stamina. In order to sustain the dances I had to learn an efficiency and sense of release of the movements. I had to experience a form of sustainability in my body. To this day, this is my kinesthetic map for what our sustainable future will feel like.

Releasing your energy for the long haul

What would it look like to release your energy while you take in the news? I don’t mean sounding off on social media. I mean discovering a resource for staying creatively and powerfully engaged with the world even though it is heartbreaking on so many levels.

What would it be like to release your energy as you engage with one of the more difficult relationships in your life? Can you imagine feeling some sort of sustaining support within you that didn’t require your to clench up? What might then be possible?

These will only be abstract questions until you have practiced the skill of releasing into our infinite source of sustaining love. Create a body memory of this feeling. And like a fractal, it will transform every aspect of your life

With love,



Embodied Spiritual Practice Groups

Strengthen your ability to cultivate balance in your life and tap into the source of healing love by dropping into either (or both!) weekly practice group. No experience required. Healing Waters Qigong is a Spring Forest Qigong practice group. The Wisdom Dances dance practice is based in Laura Shannon’s research in traditional dances as sources of healing and transformation.

A Tender Space for Transformation

It can be so frustrating to feel that, despite your best efforts, the healing or creation you want to make happen eludes you. This is why I help people address the root energetic and spiritual nature of their challenges through qigong healing.

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