Tag Archives: energy

Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way.

This is just one of the many ideas of Virginia Satir’s Transformational Systematic Therapy. The idea of her workings to me are something I strongly believe in.I have a firm stance that at human is made of matter(body) and energy (brain) coupled with a sense of spirit. 

So why do some therapies not address the spirit, or vital energies and life forces?  As one of the only living animals on this earth that can ponder what happens after life, it makes sense to take care of this energy source while it is alive. 

Satir has an in-depth therapy system that has worked across the world and for the past 70 years. Below lists basics concepts I like to live by and hope to understand more in-depth for the benefit of my life and clients.

1. Human beings are all unique manifestations of the same Universal Life Force. Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way. 2. Human processes are universal; all human beings experience themselves through doing, thinking, feeling, expecting, yearning and spiritual connection. Therefore, these human processes can be accessed and changed regardless of different environments, cultures, and circumstances.

3. People are basically good. At their core, essential level of Life Energy, people are naturally positive. They need to find this internal treasure to connect with and validate their own self-worth.

4. People all have the internal resources they need in order to cope successfully with whatever situations life provides and to grow through them. All necessary internal resources reside within, even those that people may have learned to judge in a negative way or those that are as yet undiscovered.

5. The “problem” is not the problem; how people cope with their problem is the problem. How seriously the person experiences the problem through the meanings they make, their worries and their copings, impacts on how great a problem it becomes for them.

6. The symptom is the subconscious solution to the problem, even if it creates dysfunctional patterns. It is the result of the person’s attempt to survive the pain of their problem. Although the person’s perceived problem needs to be heard and validated, therapeutic change needs to work on wholesome solutions from the person’s Life Energy and yearnings.

7. Therapy needs to focus on health and possibilities instead of problems and pathology. Life Energy is naturally positively directional and therapy needs to tap into the natural process of human growth in a positive direction. 8. Change is always possible. Even if

8. Change is always possible. Even if external change is limited, internal change is still possible. We can learn to be consciously responsible for and decide how we will live on our insides, even when the outside cannot change.

9. We cannot change past events; we can only change the impact that the past events have had on us. It is possible to resolve impacts from the past in order to live with more positive energy and be free of old hurts, angers, fears and negative messages in the present.

10. People do the best they can at any moment in time. Even when they have done very negative or destructive things, it is the best coping that they were capable of at that moment in time and is a reflection of their level of self-worth. Therefore, there is no reason to blame them for their past failures. Helping them experience their positively directional Life Energy will help them make new choices for the present and future.

11. Feelings belong to us. We all have them and can learn to be in charge of them. We can be responsible for them and make choices about them. We can listen to the positive life message from our feelings and give ourselves the validation we need. We can choose to let go of feelings that create negative energies and events and replace them with acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness, love and peace.

12. Wholeness, growth and evolution are natural human processes and, therefore, need to be the focus of any therapeutic change. Transformational change comes from the level of Life Energy and is a part of natural human growth and evolution. It means that people are becoming more of their true, spiritual Selves rather than their reactive, survival systems.

13. The therapist’s use of Self is the greatest therapeutic tool that the therapist has to create the conditions to facilitate positively directional, transformational change. Therapists who experience their own positively directional Life Energy are able to provide clients with therapeutic relationships based on care, acceptance and new possibilities. The therapist often experiences the positive nature of the client’s Life Energy even before the client does and connects with the client at that level.

14. Hope is a significant component or ingredient for change to take place. When the therapist experiences the positive nature of the client’s true Self, hope becomes a tangible aspect of the therapeutic process and guides the way towards change.

(Aspects taken from a briefing by Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT & Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC)

How to quickly acclimate to high altitude, a yogis secret

Growing up I split most of my time between high altitude and sea level and never noticed the difference in my body. After a few years of less frequent visits to high altitude, a detoxification of alcohol and a strong connection with my body through yoga, I for the first time felt what it was like to acclimate to high altitude. Here is what happened and what helped!

Extreme altitude is generally considered to be above 12,000 ft where atmospheric oxygen level falls to as low as 60% compared to sea level.

Currently, I am at what is known as high altitude where the atmospheric oxygen level falls to 80% compared to sea level. I am only about 7,000 ft above sea level, and for the first time in my life, I feel a remarkable difference in my body.

  • High altitude = 1,500–3,500 metres (4,900–11,500 ft)
  • Very high altitude = 3,500–5,500 metres (11,500–18,000 ft)
  • Extreme altitude = above 5,500 metres (18,000 ft)

After being home for 3 days, my body has gone through immediate acclimation and is beginning to acclimate to the long term effects of high altitude, which is awesome. Being born in the mountains and having spent a significant amount of time at this level of altitude throughout my life I have never really even thought about my need to acclimate to the altitude. Through my consistent yoga practice, I am able to see deeply into my bodies current functionalities. So as I began my first yoga class on the 26th hour of being “up here” I realized something was off. I was sucking wind and my breath felt short and unproductive. My carotid bodies or the forks in my blood vessel systems near my carotid arteries were sensing a lack of oxygen. In return, my non-essential body functions like my digestion were being put on hold to figure out what the heck is going on.

My yogic practice of following my breath and diving into pranayama felt completely unnatural as if it was not just my body, mind, and spirit but also my lounges which had a complete agenda of their own, altering my bodies ability to function.

Sitting on my mat, breathing, I acknowledged the struggle. I increased the amount of prana entering my body and shortening how much downward energy I was exulting by keeping my outward breath shorter. This worked to create a wonderful connection, and once again I felt at home in my body as it became one with my mind.

Class, was more difficult and I was much more shaky than I had been living in San Francisco. Knowing what was going on inside of me, I gently reminded myself how great this is for my body. Each of myy organs, which will receive much more red blood to them once I fully acclimate!

On the second evening, my body was exhausted, I took a nap and went to bed very early. My bodies regular cycles were off, I felt bloated. As I lay bloated I did a few Thai Belly messages which were taught to me at yoga school the week before, I fell asleep while doing this.

72 hours into my high altitude acclimation, I awoke with a sense energy (but when don’t I? :))and ready to go for the day. Off to a new studio for “Yoga Shop” class, a class for yoga teachers to connect with one another and go through flows they would like to refresh upon. It was just me and my new friend Ky, who is a beautiful heart. We decided to do a yin/restorative while meditating on loving kindness. As my fascia began to release once again I began to feel the disconnect. Sitting still in my yin pose, I was breathing extremely shallow. As I moved into child’s pose, I was given an energetic modification when Ky placed her hand alongside my back in three specific energy healing spots.

Ky placed her hand on the Prana Vayu, on the back of my heart. I felt as if I could breathe again. Forward moving air being sensed by my body.

Ky placed her hand on the Samana Vayu, between the heart and the solar plexus. I felt a deepening connection between my right and left-side, of my back. I was becoming balanced, as I deeply inhaled the connection built in my prana breath gave deeper synchronicity into the Samana breath.

Ky placed her hand on the Apana Vayu, between my navel and my solar plexus. I felt a downward pull as if the energy gathered from the breathe before was filling up this area inside of me.


As I came out of this pose, I felt like a whole new person. Balanced, aligned and ready to achieve high altitude acclimation where the benefits are endless. Some are less sore muscles from lower, production of lactic acid, more capillaries to carry heavier red blood cells (increasing my body’s bang for its buck of every breathe) and more mitochondria for muscular endurance.

So, the next time you go to the mountains, whether it is to live or just to visit, remember to practice pranayama for the most enjoyable experience.

Three quick and easy exercises you can do upon your arrive are listed below!

Ujjayi breath is the most basic breath of yoga. It is a slow deep breathing pattern where you breathe in and out through your nose, taking slow deep breaths and directing the air through the back of your throat, making a HA sound as if you are creating the ocean inside of your mouth & nose. Slow long breaths are important – 4 to 6 counts on the inhale, 6 – 8 counts on the exhale. For beginners, start with 4 counts of inhale and 4 counts of exhale.


Kapalabhati – this is forced exhalation by pumping contractions of your belly, inhalations happening naturally. This helps detoxify the body by removing more Carbon Dioxide from your blood stream allowing for increased capacity for oxygen uptake once you return to normal breathing. Inhale for a deep whole breathe (4 counts), then kick all the are out by snapping your belly, exulting a small but quick 1 second breathe. The mouth can be opened or closed.