A simple movement with powerful results.
If you've ever taken a yoga class with me, you have probably experienced some form of the "finger flick". It's an energy-based practice that I learned years ago from my teacher, JJ Gormley. The physical movement is a simple flick of your thumb off one or all of your other fingers. But there is nothing simple about the powerful energy of this flick. Combined with breath and intention, the movement serves to help you flick away the negative - anything that is no longer serving you - the baggage you're ready to leave behind.
Here are two versions of the finger flick that I like to use at the beginning of a practice to help clear & rid negative energy:
Individual Finger Flick: From your starting position (standing, seated, or lying), take a few moments to come into your breath. Then, call to mind "things" that you would like to flick away. Maybe it's one thing, maybe it's more. Maybe nothing specific comes to mind. That's okay, too. Trust the process. Trust that the flick will still get rid of the things you need to get rid of...even if you can't name them. When you are ready, take your thumb to the tip of your index finger. On you inhale, slide your thumb down your finger. On your exhale, slide your thumb back up your finger. As you reach the top of the finger, flick your thumb off of it. This will create a pause/hold of your breath, as well. Visualize flicking away whatever it is that you called to mind...whatever it is that you are ready to get rid of. And then simply continue. You can work your way through all of your fingers or stay on one/any finger. You can flick away the same thing every time or something different every time. When you are finished, rest your hands and take several rounds of deep cleansing breaths - in through your nose and out through your mouth - and rest in the experience. From there, either continue on with your practice or with the rest of your day!
All Finger Flick: From your starting position (standing, seated, or lying), take a few moments to come into your breath. Then, form a “bubble” with both hands by bringing the tip of your thumb to the tips of your other fingers. In those two bubbles, place a thought or word or symbol of something that doesn’t bring you happiness and joy. Let it be the first thing or things that come to mind. Again, if nothing specific comes to mind, that's okay. Trust the process. Take a deep inhale, and on your exhale, give your fingers a little flick, allowing the bubbles to pop. Do that a few more times, either working with the same thought/word/symbol or perhaps with something different each time. Don’t worry about where it’s going...just know that it’s going away...that you are releasing things that don’t bring you joy. When you are finished releasing the negative, call to mind things that bring you joy: words, symbols, feelings, thoughts. As you inhale, feel these things flowing into your open hands either in bubble or water form. As you exhale, intuitively bring your hands to your body. Inhale and fill up with joy. Exhale and place this feeling of joy intentionally on/in the body. When you are finished, rest your hands and take several rounds of deep cleansing breaths - in through your nose and out through your mouth - and rest in the experience. From there, either continue on with your practice or with the rest of your day!
You can also encourage more specific energetic clearing by corresponding your intentions and finger flicks with the chakra system.
In the tradition in which I studied, each of the five fingers correspond with one of the chakras found along the spinal column - chakras 1-5.
Pinky Finger = 1st Chakra/Root/Muladhara
Ring Finger = 2nd Chakra/Sacral/Svadisthana
Middle Finger = 3rd Chakra/Solar Plexus/Manipura
Index Finger = 4th Chakra/Heart/Anahata
Thumb = 5th Chakra/Throat/Visshudha
*Other schools of yoga have different classifications of the chakras with the fingers.
Each chakra has its own energetic associations, and we can experience blockages in any or all them. To help clear the energy in a specific chakra, you would simply flick off of that finger. Some examples (certainly not an exhaustive list) would be:
1st Chakra = If you are feeling ungrounded, uprooted, uneasy then you would flick off your pinky finger.
2nd Chakra = If you are feeling a lack of creativity or an inability to go with the flow then you would flick off your ring finger.
3rd Chakra = If you are feeling uncertain or you lack confidence then you would flick off your middle finger.
4th Chakra = If you are feeling emotional distress or are having a hard time forgiving someone (or yourself) then you would flick off your index finger.
5th Chakra = If you are feeling unheard or you are having trouble communicating your truth then you would flick off your thumb.
If you are unsure about which chakra to clear, I recommend going through each finger/chakra multiple times since we tend to have imbalances in all of them.
What's also great about the finger flick, is that it can be done anywhere: as a part of your yoga and meditation practice, waiting in line, at work or school, in bed, or even out on a walk. In the video, I share an example of the practice that I like to do while I am walking.
And, I love this song when I think about releasing negativity: Heavy by Birdtalker.
Leave what's heavy What's heavy behind Leave what's heavy What's heavy behind
There's a lot of heaviness swirling around us right now, and it can be easy to get bogged down in the negativity. I encourage you to create some time for yourself, to breathe, and to flick it all away.
Scottie is a yoga teacher, school librarian and coach, wife, and mother. As an extroverted introvert, she has found that sharing inspiration on-line in this time of social and physical distancing quite suits her. She also has a lot more time than usual on her hands these days.