STOKING THE FIRE: YOGA FOR ENERGY!
February 11, 2011.
Set your life on fire.
Seek those who fan your flames. - RUMI
I read somewhere that “no one is born with healthy self-esteem” we must learn this quality as we face our challenges. In the energy system this is the work of the 3rdchakra, the solar plexus, or Manipura. The energies of this chakra have at their heart the intention to help us mature in our self-understanding like how we feel and take care of ourselves. This spiritual quality is about self-respect. How we feel about ourselves, whether we have a strong sense of self-esteem determines our quality of life, our capacity to succeed in relationships, and our overall vitality.
The spiritual truth here is that if we don’t like ourselves our energy sags. And the lower our energy the less able we are to attract healthy relationships and job situations. To know if your 3rd Chakra is in balance take a moment and honestly ask yourself: are you choosing situations, people, & things that drain your energy or grow your energy?
For meditation ask yourself these questions:
· Where were you last February 2010?
· Where are you now?
· Do you have more energy today?
· Where do you see yourself February 2012?
From this practice of yoga I want us all to keep stoking the fire! I want for you to feel energized and excited about your life. And if you aren't feeling that way then the time is now to set an expectation for yourself – to your own growth and evolution – and surround yourself with those that seek to fan your flames. You are all amazing and as we continue paying attention to the health of our 3rdchakra please know you have all come a very long way already and let's take it to that next level. SET YOUR LIFE ON FIRE! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*Join me with Alchemy Tours www.alchemytours.com to set the fire ablaze full blast!
DO OVER BY GUEST BLOGGER LAURA MILLS
Do Over By Laura Mills
Whether writing a yoga class or an essay, I never erase. Not that I don’t make mistakes, but when I do I scratch them out, content with the messier route in my urgency to shape what I feel is better work. People who glimpse my notes and journals don’t believe I make sense of them, littered as they are with scribbles and swirls. But somehow I do, moving forward after difficult moments to produce something that satisfies me.
I wish moving forward were that easy for me off-paper.
In eight months of teaching yoga, I’ve frequently finished a class feeling less-than-100%. Maybe the sequence didn’t flow as smoothly as I intended, maybe I left too little time for Savasana, maybe the music didn’t compliment the flow, maybe I philosophized too much. And immediately after such a class, I‘ve struggled not to say to my students, “No, wait! Come back! I can do better!” I want to try again, to produce a better version, and I want to do it right away—but of course, I can only hope the same students attend my next class and see me in what I vow will be better form.
I don’t believe this feeling is unique to new yoga teachers, but I do hope it occurs less frequently with time. I wonder how long I will teach before I rarely second-guess myself. I wonder how long I will teach before the chance is excellent that at the end of my next class I’ll be satisfied. For now, while I grapple with my confidence, I remind myself that when challenged on the mat we slow down, breathe and re-center. It's a familiar, easier-said-than-done practice, one that my own yoga teachers have taught me over and over and one that I now teach my students. Instead of pushing ahead in a hurry, we pause and tune back in, return to our natural rhythm, and then move forward refreshed. This lesson impacted me hugely when I first started practicing, a few years ago at a time when I was urgently—and unsuccessfully—attempting to push my way through the effects of a personal tragedy. Like so many yogis before me, the patience and self-care I met on the mat flowed into the rest of my life, and with time and practice, eventually I was able to gently start again and progress towards the future with a newly-centered spirit.
Now, in my role as yoga teacher, after any less-than-100% class I experience that same initial urgency. I want so badly to serve my students in the best way possible, to live up to the credentials I now possess. When I feel a class falls short, I want to go back and improve it immediately…but instead, like I do on the mat, I know I must remember to slow down and re-center, tapping into that patience and self-care that has served me so well in yoga practice and elsewhere.
I know I have everything I need to teach yoga well; I also know I judge myself more critically than anyone else ever could. As 2011 begins, I will work on tending my confidence and encouraging it to thrive. I will also remind myself with love that every yoga teacher, new or otherwise, experiences difficult moments now and then. Unlike in writing, we can’t erase those moments even if we want to—but if we slow down and re-center we can, at least in a way, scratch them out and make them not matter so much. Then we can move forward, refreshed, into our next class, onto a fresh page.
SELF-ESTEEM, CENTERING, INTENTION: 3RD CHAKRA
The spiritual truth here is that if we don’t like ourselves we won’t make healthy decisions about our lives. People with low self-esteem attract relationships and job situations that mirror and reinforce this. So if you don’t like YOU others will walk all over you, taking advantage and bullying. Your physical and emotional strength to set healthy boundaries are from this chakra, your personal power center. To know if your 3rd Chakra is in balance take a moment and honestly ask yourself: are you choosing situations, people, & things that drain you or empower you?
During class we used poses to build physical strength and core awareness to help all of us strengthen our Third Chakra.
The other aspect that we spoke about in class was how a balanced third chakra aids our ability to feel more centered. When our 3rd chakra is out of balance our thoughts are all over the place. And if our thoughts are unfocused then it is more difficult to handle the crisis that life might put in our path. We used the centering breath to return our minds to that place of peaceful balance, sama breathing, no matter what pose or discomfort we faced in a hip opening sequence. We also learned the solar plexus Mudra called Rudra Mudra with the tips of our thumb and index finger and ring fingers together while extending the other fingers out in a relaxed way. Our mantra was “I rest at my center and draw joy from my center, I love myself.”
For meditation we asked ourselves these questions as part of our practice:
· Where were you last June 2008?
· Where are you now?
· Are you able to see how much you’ve grown and give yourself credit?
· Are you on the right path?
· Where do you see yourself June 2010?
I promise I will check in with everyone June 29, 2010 and hold everyone accountable for deepening their commitment to give birth to the life they really want. That this practice reminded us to set an expectation for ourselves – to our own growth and evolution – and remain centered enough to meet our ambitions. You are all amazing and as we continue paying attention to the health of our 3rd chakra please know you have all come a very long way already and with a courageous sense of self-respect and self-esteem little by little we will travel very far by this time next year! May your thoughts, feelings and actions find alignment.
Love yourself, love your life! Silvia