Hello! As we speak I am uploading Class 14 onto the website. It features Half Moon - a great balancing/strengthening pose -with a challenging option of using a flat palm. Try it and let me know how it goes!
As mentioned in the last few newsletters, I will have some exciting treats for you guys as soon as it becomes Leo season! From July 22-August 22, I’ll have some great referral bonuses. Free stuff! Yay! Leos love to give. PS...this photo is of me running in the hills of Costa Rica during my Jivamukti Teacher Training, July 2012. Talk about energetic intensity!
Energetic intensity! What are we talking about?
"listen to your gut"
"open your third eye"
"speak from the heart"
Undoubtedly these are all cliches we are all familiar with. What makes a cliche a cliche is the fact that it mirrors some undeniable truth of everyday life. When we are told "listen to your gut" - this is actually based on the science that we have a nervous system in our gut that is linked to our central nervous system. When we feel butterflies, or nauseous, or sick, many times those reactions are based not on a dietary choice but on an emotional connection to our environment, circumstances, or interpersonal interactions. Our third eye represents intuition, that non-intellectual sensibility that tells us "look deeper...". Speaking from the heart (highly recommended when appropriate!) allows us to speak our truth without the filter of rumination or self doubt.
In Yoga, these locales in the body are represented by chakras, or bundles of energetic intensity. They are system used to help conceptualize patterns of human behavior and personality characteristics. I want to give a brief overview of the chakras here: (photo courtesy of http://www.handsonhealthsheffield.com/health/the-seven-chakras-for-beginners/)
Muladhara: at the very base of the spine, this chakra governs our feelings of being grounded, centered, and secure. It is the place of healthy elimination, both anatomically and otherwise. Color: red
Svadisthana: located at the sacrum, this chakra governs our desires/pleasure seeking behaviors. It is the place of a healthy relationship to sex, patience, creativity and responsible relationships. Color: orange
Manipura: located at the belly button, this chakra governs our personal power and commitment. Our sense of strength, inner balance, inspiration and good health are cultivated here. Color: yellow
Anahata: located at the sternum/breast bone, this chakra governs our sense of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, service and love. This chakra also represents our ability to see these qualities in other people. Developing a relationship to this chakra and its qualities is an important part of awakening to spiritual awareness and growth. Color: green
Vishuddha: located at the throat, this chakra represents our relationship to truth, language, knowledge and effective communication. Authenticity is expressed through a healthy embodiment of this chakra (speaking your truth, "lump in your throat"). Color: light blue
Ajna: located between the eyebrows, this chakra is our center of intuition, visualization, fantasizing, concentration and determination. This chakra is very powerful! Our relationship to our intuition and all the associated wisdom connects us to our purpose here on earth. Color: Indigo
Sahasrara: located at the crown of the head, this chakra connects us to our highest self. This is where we can tap into feelings of enlightenment (to truly recognize and understand our humanity means to see ourselves in every other living being. Think Buddha, Jesus, Mother Theresa, Saint Francis of Assisi). Color: violet
Why is this important? Well, that depends entirely on your belief system. Do you believe that there is an energetic body as well as a physical body? Do you believe that yoga practices, for example headstand (tapping into the crown of the head), or abdominal practices like plank/navasana/deep belly breathing tap into our personal power? Essentially, do you believe that your yoga practice has helped you develop awareness, insight and capabilities that you did not consciously recognize before?
I will leave those questions and answers for you to enjoy. Its not about an instant overnight "I get it!" feeling, although that does happen when we experience a physical or mental breakthrough. It is more about being open to the idea that there is more to us as humans than what we can tangibly articulate. Sometimes having a visual of these energetically intense points of connection serves to help us on our path to greater self awareness.