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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey


Jul 01, 2022 10:17PM ● By Nicole Zornitzer

In a yoga class, it is common to hear the instructor referring to toxins. These toxins may be referred to as physical, emotional, spiritual or some other indication of imbalance in the body. There are a variety of ways that the yoga therapist can communicate on how to “release” or acknowledge what may be toxic in the practitioner. My interpretation of toxins or toxic behavior is anything that diverts us from finding our true dharma or happiness or purpose in this life. My life experience and education have brought me to a heightened sense of what is welcome in my mind, body and soul, and what is not. This journey to understand, recognize and accept what may be an obstacle in my life’s purpose has not been an easy path. It is said that through pain we find solace, through challenge we find happiness and through acceptance we find peace.

When one is functioning at a higher vibration in life’s journey it is common to attract others that may want to take this precious energy away. I view this as the term energy vampire. This vampire is attracted not to your darkness but rather to your lightness and, in turn, wants that energy or is intrigued by the idea of walking the path of lightness.

There may be people, events, surroundings, food, habits or a plethora of outside energies that create imbalance in the mind/body connection. When a yogi steps onto the yoga mat or attends a healing session in sound or reiki or Ayurveda, it is the healer’s role to create a space that encourages release of such toxins and turns this knowledge into power. This power is the power to not be seduced by the temptations that an energy vampire may introduce. However, as with life, we sometimes do get caught up in the moment of overindulgence, participating in an activity that does not align with our higher purpose or allow other humans that are not good for us into our realm of being. However, this temporary lack of judgement does not define the individual, rather it is a moment to face these challenges and stand secure in who we are and what we will allow to penetrate our being.

The physical practice of yoga asana is one way to release physical or even energetic toxins over time. There are specific asanas that promote release of said toxins, such as twists or a power vinyasa class where we “sweat it out”. The harder practice is the practice of releasing emotional toxins and this takes time, focus and patience to achieve wellness of spirit. Some may engage in meditation or gathering with other highly vibrating individuals, while others may seek alternative methods of emotional healing. All these methods are valued and necessary as a person evolves through life.

When we open our mind and our body to the idea of releasing toxins, we also must face difficult decisions regarding people, circumstances, and environments that we expose ourselves to. The more vulnerable one is to truly “see” what is beneficial for a fruitful life, and what or whom may not be. This requires a greater degree of feeling secure on slick rocks. Life is going to present us with detours and roadblocks and people that are not deserving of our gifts. These moments are the universe or source testing us to ensure we are learning life’s lessons—now—in this lifetime. It is my belief that we live each lifetime to evolve, to grow, and to understand ourselves better. Then, we arrive in our next lifetime having learned the lessons we needed to and ultimately move onto another plane of living that leverages this consciousness to be one with the spiritual world.

Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey; Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey; Roseland, New Jersey; and Delray Beach in Florida.