Another busy day "working" in my She-Shed! Typically, on Wednesdays, I attend a 6-hour yoga teacher training in Cedarburg at Yoga One Studio. But nothing these days is "typical." Today we adapted, and the 7 teacher trainers joined nearly 40 others for a live Zoom Level 1-2 yoga class taught by Meg Galarza. Following this class which emphasized light back bending (Camel pose) to encourage heart opening; the teacher trainers met with Meg for a time of lecture and discussion pertaining to the yoga chakras. Literally speaking the word "chakra" in Sanskrit translates to "wheel" or "disk," but references an energy center within the human body; 7 in particular that run along the spine and through the neck and crown of the head. Within the chakras is 'prana,' healing energy, that's all around us and within us to keep us healthy, happy, and vibrant. While this may sound rather "woo-woo," chances are we have all experienced a shift or turn-around in our mood when we escaped into nature, worked in our gardens, went on a walk, relaxed in a hot bath, or danced. In addition, the foods we eat can leave us either feeling lethargic and heavy or light and energetic. Energies reflected in hoarding, obsessiveness, emotional instability, being bored, rigid or controlling can be interpreted as an imbalance in our chakras. They certainly resonate with me during this time of quarantine, thus the importance to practice self-awareness and take simple, constructive steps to balance our energy and our lives. Left unchecked, there may be a propensity for the negative energy to cause a more prolonged issue like depression; something I continue to address through healthy lifestyle choices, yoga practice, and even counseling.
I completed the movement series below following a brisk 45 minute walk outdoors using my Aaptive trainer, Kenny, for motivation. This morning, I intended to record these stretching progressions, however I was in a bit of a funk. My yoga practice, lecture with yogi friends, and time walking in nature transformed not my physical body but my mental and emotional body. Ultimately, although our world tends to emphasize the outer body; the practice of yoga is a practice of quieting the fluctuations of the mind and finding steadfastness from our spirit. From my Christian perspective, it is the act of maintaining one's focus on what truly matters in life; compassion, kindness, joy, peace, relationships and not being unduly influenced by the external; can we steady our minds and our thoughts even if the world feels turbulent?