Esalen's First Yoga Teacher — Teaching yoga since 1968

Einstein Simplified

Copyright Pam Walatka


We are surrounded by energy. We are made out of energy.

Albert Einstein expressed this in his formula E=mc2. The E stands for energy. The m stands for inertial mass, which is similar to (but not the same thing as) weight. C squared stands for the speed of light multiplied by itself. E=mc2 means that the energy (E) within something is equal to the mass (m) of the thing times the speed of light (c) squared. Einstein was not talking about a small amount of energy. The speed of light squared is almost 90 billion km/sec. Mass times almost 90 billion equals energy. In any units, that has to be a lot of energy.

Matter is just one of the patterns that energy follows.

Things are made out of energy.

Everything that has mass has energy. We are not only surrounded by energy; we are made out of energy. Einstein said, "Mass and energy are therefore essentially alike; they are only different expressions for the same thing." Einstein has shown that where there is mass, there is energy.

Air has mass. Therefore, air has energy.

There are many forms of energy. It would be a tremendous leap, and a reinterpretation of standard physics, to say that the energy in mass is available to be used as the type of energy that gets you through the day. Nevertheless, I think that there is a lot of energy available for personal use.

Your body has mass--I am sure you have noticed that. When I was much younger, I used to get tired a lot, and feel like I did not have enough energy. Then I went to Esalen Institute in Big Sur California and took breathing lessons, and came to understand a bit about how energy works in the human body. I feel like I have more energy now than I did when I was young.

Most classes in yoga, meditation, or aikedo include breathing lessons. With some practice, you might gain access to the tremendous amount of energy within you and around you. Sometimes you can feel more energetic just by knowing that the energy is there.