A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted the focus of my final Pilot Program class to be the energetic body. This started with me toying with the idea of having a color focus (Everyone think about the color yellow) and grew into one of the more esoteric aspects of yoga: a chakra meditation. Wouldn't that be fun?? My home studio is O2 Yoga, a place whose motto is "Up Dog, Down Dog, No Dogma." You don't go to O2 to talk about your feelings or release emotion from your tight hips -- you go to practice asanas or postures -- you go to achieve a physical center, not for a therapy session. Of course, anyone who practices yoga on a regular basis will likely tell you that you have emotional or psychological experiences even if that's not what the teacher is cuing you to do, but a studio like O2 lets students explore that less tangible result on an individual basis. That doesn't mean that we don't do our fair share of oming or engage mudras (or spiritual/energetic seals) -- we certainly do -- but students aren't forced to battle demons on their mats. Just show up, do your practice to the best of your ability, and see ya next time. It's something I appreciate as a yoga student -- my practice is truly my own that way.
While Sarah B and I were doing our teacher training, however, we did participate in a two-hour class/workshop at O2 that focused on the energetic body -- and part of that class was the before-mentioned chakra meditation. Chakras are believed to be the centers in the body that generate our auras. Literally translating from Sanskrit as "wheels," these invisible beams of light project out and swirl together to make us who we are. I really loved this class -- a standout for me in teacher training -- and thought it might work as a nice compliment to Dedication Yoga's premise of focusing each practice on a specific goal.
As soon as I made this decision, it seemed like the universe got right in my face with all kinds of chakra talk. A dear friend of mine was about to embark on a teacher training of her own with Kripalu's JourneyDance, a chakra-centric, empowering-your-inner-goddess dance form, and the day before she set out, we were lost in conversation about energy and how it's shared and how the impact is felt. Shortly after that, a group of friends learned about the healing power of Shamballa, whose main belief is the power of love. And then after that I attended my first Kundalini class, a yoga practice that is 100% in line with aligning your chakras to reach a state of enlightenment. It was a very unusual and unforgettable couple of days.
And in case you're curious, I took an online quiz once and learned I was 47% hippie. So that means that 53% of me leaned over these conversations and experiences with a skeptical eye. I don't live my life by any of these philosophies or ideals -- but I find them interesting and conversation-worthy. And I was VERY excited to share the chakra concept with the Dedication Yoga community.
Then Sunday morning arrived -- and it was raining. The sky was heavy and gray and so was my attitude. I had so looked forward to this -- I had gushed about it to so many people -- and now it was all ruined (cue the dramatic music). I got up anyway and cut through Prospect Hill Park on my way to class at O2 and deemed the ground a little wet but not a total swamp, so I sighed and wondered what it would be like a few hours when it was class time. To cancel class or not to cancel class -- that became the question. I was so incredibly bummed.
But that's the best time to get on my mat -- when I feel defeated. Yoga brings me back to myself, it revs me up, it reminds me. So after an incredibly stellar practice, I left O2 and felt bouncy and hopeful -- the sky was still full of clouds but perhaps lightening in color and the rain had stopped. It was even warmer. So I called Sarah B and said I would go to the hill and see who came.
There were just three of us-- one student, Sarah B, and me -- but we practiced anyway under that relentlessly gray sky. I opted to save the chakra mediation for another time when the sun was in attendance and, instead, let the two students choose their own focus. It was actually very lovely to have such a small group and my students were both so in-sync, it was beautiful to watch and instruct them. And when the asana part of class was over, both students asked for time to write -- something that literally warmed my heart. And afterwards as the three of us sat and shared a meal and talked about our lives, the sun came out, even if just for a few minutes.
I guess it was a class on energetics after all.
The light in me honors the light in you --