Expanding Self-Knowledge Through Energy Medicine Yoga

Exploring the Five Element Types

By Mary Brophy

At 68 years old, I know myself fairly well and have grown through many years of therapy, energy tapping, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and journal writing.

But to my surprise, I'm now starting a new journey in my life thanks to Energy Medicine Yoga.

I recently took the Energy Medicine Yoga online course with Donna Eden and Lauren Walker. The program also included Dondi Dahlin and Titanya Dahlin, Donna's daughters, as well as a host of yoga teachers.

To me, everyone featured in the program is wonderful, because I'm learning fantastic new things from them.

Even so, the EMYoga teachers who inspire me most are the long-dead, anonymous, and ancient Chinese sages who developed and practiced the Five Element system.

The Five Elements are deeply meaningful for me because EMYoga enabled me to see and embrace my Five Element type. I know myself now in a way I didn't a year ago, or a month ago.

To give you a smidgen of background, I saw an Eden Energy Medicine practitioner six-and-a- half years ago, and together we found that my Five Element type is Metal.

This made sense to me because I'm a spiritual seeker, analytical, good at finding the synthesis of meanings, and can be aloof because it's my nature, not because I'm trying to offend anyone.

Yet, despite how these Metal qualities fit me, other aspects of Metal don’t fit. For example, my home is a mess, and I'm always struggling to keep it orderly. Metals are often tidy, and I'm not.

Rediscovering the Self in EMYoga

Then, as I did EMYoga exercises with Donna and Lauren in their program, I found myself. 

I took the short and sweet self-evaluation quiz, seven succinct questions for each Five Element type, and I came up . . . Metal. I wasn't surprised, because for six and a half years I’d believed I was Metal.

But then, who knows why, maybe the spirits of those long-dead Chinese sages were whispering to me, so I took the self-evaluation quiz again, casually, thoughtlessly, scrawling with a pen in my notebook. And it came up . . . different. 

Water with the most matching answers, Metal a close second, Wood a distant third.

“Most interesting, most interesting,” the wise ancients were saying to me now in voices that engaged me, buzzed me. Something very exciting was, and still is, grabbing me by the lapels and pulling me forward.

Take that test again, I thought. I did, and yes, the result was there clear as a waterfall on a tropical island. I’m Water. I’m Water/Metal.

“I’m alive in a new way now,” a part of me thinks. “Girl, contain yourself,” another part says. 

Today I see this exchange as a metaphor for my Water Self. Sometimes I do need to be contained. Water needs to be held in metal pipes, drinking glasses, and canyons carved into the earth, the depths that hold the oceans.

​​How Self-Awareness Leads to Expansion​​

Within the EMYoga course, Donna and Lauren sit together and discuss the Water element, and Donna says Waters are the best writers and the best unpublished writers she knows. 

Boom. Bingo. My eyes tear up everytime I think of this. This is me. I’m not alone. I imagine thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of writers, just like me, who write a lot but rarely publish.

Now, knowing I'm Water/Metal, I think I can change this, and put more of my writing out in the world.

I feel myself at the beginning of a hopeful, meaningful journey.  Even so, part of me wants to keep it private. Sages within whisper, "Sh, sh."  This, too, comes from EMYoga, a Five-Element sound Donna says you can make to soothe yourself.

I think you can see how my Water element is flowing here, as I write this to you. What does it mean? It means that as I become more aware and accepting of the qualities of my Five Element types, I can be who I am without fighting myself, without trying to be someone I'm not.

Am I a largely unpublished writer because I'm very private? Yes. Am I afraid of what people will think of me? Yes. Do I enjoy being alone and just writing so I can figure out the meaning of stuff? Yes. These are all Water qualities.

But then, do I want to stay sad because so little of my writing is out in the world? No.

I sigh.

I'll keep using EMYoga and the Five Elements to become more joyous and whole, and to publish more of my writing. I hope others will also take something valuable from the personal experiences I’m sharing here.