Throughout teacher training and my own reading I’ve come across this idea of energy loops or circuits in your body to focus on proper alignment. Every time I read through it I get totally bummed by how boring it is, but then after reading I find myself incorporating these ideas into my asana, and…it works. It’s particularly an awesome concept because everyone has radically different bodies so having us all try to have the alignment of Iyengar would bring us to the hospital. By focusing on energy circuits instead, people of all different shapes can find a more beneficial alignment.
These loops have strengthened my practice and allowed me to make my own adjustments in postures when a teachers cues aren’t jiving with my body. After reading each loop I urge you to get into a basic posture and practice visualizing and engaging the loops in your asana. You’ll be amazed how helpful this seemingly dull idea can be. There are different interpretations and loops/circuits that people have chosen for this practice, below I have John Friend’s “energy loops.” I like these ones since they are simple and there are only seven, but if you take to this idea know that there are more complex circuit interpretations to go out and find. Enjoy!
Ankle Loop: Start from the center of the ankle bone, run down to the heel, under the sole of the foot and back up to the ankle.
Shin Loop: Start from the center of the ankle bone, moving up the calf to just below the knee, then returning down the front of the shin.
Thigh Loop: Start at the pelvic points, run down the back of the thigh to just below the knee and back up the front of the thigh.
Pelvic Loop: Start in the core of the lumbar spine, loop down the back to the pelvic points and back up the belly.
Kidney Loop: Start at the core of the lumbar spine, run up the back ribs to the heart focal point and back down the front, to knit ribs in.
Shoulder Loop: Start upper palette (in your mouth), run down the back of neck and shoulder blades, through the heart focal point and back up across front upper ribs and throat.
Skull Loop: starts from the upper palette and draw over the back of the skull and down the face.
Bam! The loops, simple as that. Now just apply them to your practice, I promise that this simple practice will take you a long way.