If you’ve adopted a serious yoga meditation practice, you might have noticed that sometimes you feel a little…weird. Maybe you feel like your body is a little off-center, or that your senses are disproportional to the physical shape of your body. Maybe you feel like you’re floating, or like you don’t have a body at all!
It might sound strange, but all of these sensations are totally normal, and are a sign that you’re getting in touch with your subtle energy body. Some new-age thinkers use phrases like “getting into balance’ without diving deeper into what “balance” actually is. You, dear reader, are actively finding out, since it’s through working with these subtle energies during meditation that bring balance to your body and to your life!
Can meditation have side effects?
When you meditate, you’re getting in touch with parts of yourself that modern culture says don’t even exist. Modern science is great, but it’s not yet advanced enough to quantify what the subtle energy body is, or how you can use it. We must rely on our own experience for this.
If you feel unbalanced, or like your subtle energy body isn’t synced up with your physical body, you don’t need to force them to match. Instead, stay consistent with your practice! Your energy will slowly align itself to your physical body over time. Yes, it can feel a little disconcerting if your energy body feels shifted to the side, or even ten feet in the air. But this is exactly what your practice is there to correct, so rest assured that you’re doing exactly the right thing. Raja Yoga and pranayama is an ideal practice for this, as is the Chinese medicine technique called Embryonic Breathing. If you follow the Western traditions, the Lesser Banishing Rituals perform the same function, and you can practice awareness of your astral form in the imaginal realm as well.
As you gain a stronger sense of your astral, or energetic form, and bring it into alignment with your physical body, do you think this might have some sort of effect on your perspective, your life, and your experience of objective reality? Hmm…
Can meditation be harmful?
Oh yes, meditation is quite dangerous…if you’re driving, swimming, operating heavy machinery, or doing other activities that require focus while you’re meditating. And that’s just silly! Meditation is something you do to the exclusion of all other activities, even thinking.
You might have heard of “walking meditation,” or a popular phrase, “if you’re washing the dishes, wash the dishes.” This isn’t exactly meditation. This is mindfulness, and is an excellent practice to develop alongside your meditation. With mindfulness, you fully focus on one thing, whatever you are doing in the present moment. If you’re folding the laundry, you are only folding the laundry, not ruminating on an argument with your partner. If you’re driving to work, you drive to work without reliving the traumas of the past or fearing the uncertainty of the future.
When you meditate, choose a safe and comfortable location. While you will generally want to ignore sensations in your body (that’s part of the training, after all), be aware of any serious pain or warning signs of a health condition. Meditation does have health benefits (as shown in many peer-reviewed scientific papers), but always talk to your trusted healthcare professional if you have any worrying symptoms.
Why meditation is bad for you
Meditation is a terrible idea if you want to keep repeating the same patterns in your life that keep you stuck where you are. Don’t meditate if you do not want to discover the depths of your own mind and desires. And absolutely avoid meditation if you’re attached to being “normal” or “part of the crowd.”
In all seriousness though, meditation is the gateway to deeper knowledge about yourself and holds the keys to controlling your mind in a way that allows you to discover and work with your True Will. Most people are unwilling to dedicate the time or energy necessary to develop the kind of meditation practice that will support the kind of life they loudly envy all over social media. You, however, are reading the blog of the premier magick, mysticism, and meditation school, and are obviously much more interested in advancement than you are with being average.
So, in your case, the only caution that’s advised is gradually getting used to your chosen asana, or posture. You can try a few different asana in the beginning, but if you want to make real progress, pick one and stick with it…permanently. Is it comfortable? No, not in the beginning, which is why you should gradually increase the amount of time you sit in asana. This gives your body time to adjust, just like training in the gym. Daily practice will help you to increase the amount of time you can meditate, and you will see over time how much easier it is to bring both your body and your mind to stillness.
It helps to remember that it’s not a race, and we are all working on our own imbalances. The important part is to stay consistent, and when something is too weird to ignore, as an instructor you trust if there is anything you should change in your practice. If you have not yet joined a structured program with a qualified instructor, head over to the Adept Initiative . This course is like a bootcamp for your meditation practice and jet fuel for accomplishing all the goals in your life. You will have personal access to the instructor, Jason Louv, through regularly scheduled office hours, where you can ask your questions and get live answers to ensure you and your fellow students can learn from the experience.