For the second year in a row, I’ve taken a seven-week sunrise chakra yoga class (6 a.m. – this morning, it truly was sunrise). Each week focuses on a different chakra, starting at the root and ending at the crown. We work through each one, trying to find it, connect with it, and make it function better to enhance overall health, well-being, and for me, creativity.
Here are the seven chakras with their associated body positions: attributes: color: and element.
- Sahasrara: Crown: Spirituality, Universe: Violet: Thought, Ether
- Ajna: Third Eye: Awareness, Intuition: Indigo: Light
- Vishuddha: Throat: Communication, Articulation: Blue: Sound
- Anahata: Heart: Love, Healing: Green: Air
- Manipura: Solar Plexus: Wisdom, Power: Yellow: Fire
- Svadhisthana: Sacral: Sexuality, Creativity: Orange: Water
- Muladhara: Root: Grounding, Basic Trust: Red: Earth
The art of clearing the mind
Several weeks ago, I was taking a yoga class with a wonderful teacher. During the practice, he said something that, at the time, I thought was a bit hyperbolic but might have some merit. He encouraged everyone in the class to find 5-10 minutes a day to find a peaceful, calming place and sit quietly. The idea is to clear your mind, to think everything and nothing at the same time, which is a very common part of yoga practice. About those 5-10 minutes the teacher recommended, he said, “It will change your life.”
I love the idea of these moments of peace each day, but to be honest, I haven’t made time for them yet. However, about a week after hearing that advice, I did start applying an adaptation of it to my writing. Continue reading
This past weekend, I got to do one of my favorite things, which is visiting my daughter. One of the things we do when we visit is attend classes at the excellent yoga studio near her apartment. While attending a class Saturday morning, the yoga teacher gave us one of his many definitions of yoga, which is joy plus hard work. Because he told us this more than an hour into a very intense practice in an 85° F room, at a point where our muscles felt like spaghetti and some of us were questioning the wisdom of the way we’d chosen to spend our Saturday morning, it was easy to understand the part about hard work. The joy, that wasn’t quite so obvious at the time. And that’s the way it sometimes is with something else that can be defined as joy plus hard work: writing.
Writing is hard work, and some days are harder than others. On those days, we might see the joy after the writing is done, just as it can be easier to see the joy of having survived yoga class hour after class is over. Continue reading