My mom, a new friend, and I all attended this workshop at Tribalance this afternoon…
Chakras Mudras, & Bandhas
Presented by Gabriel Halpern
Yoga posits 7 vortexes of energy, up and down the cerebro-spinal system. According to yoga philosophy, our evolutionary energy moves up from the base of the spine (1st chakra) its final destination in the top of the skull (7th chakra), enriching and illuminating all of the centers it passes through. Today’s workshop features a Power Point presentation on the chakras and their respective outlooks and then offers a class of hatha yoga poses, which show yoga asanas open up the different “lotuses.” Mudras seal pranic energy in our bodies while building a reservoir of vitality to draw from and Bandhas distribute that prana from one section or region of the body to the rest of our anatomy. Mudras and Badnhas will be demonstrated and taught.
And it was really neat!!!
I have been doing yoga for over 10 years now. And although I have gained understanding of the poses, this was an eye opening lesson in the non physical aspects of yoga. I couldn’t help but wonder…would my yoga practice have been different had I known all this from the start? Would I have liked it more or less?
The course started with an opening meditation to set our intentions. Gabriel asked us to think of times when we were skillful and at our best and then reflect on times when we were unskilled and not our strongest self. We wrote a silent diary in our head focusing on these times. Then moved on to a powerpoint, using pictures to activate the right side of the brain while listening to the explanation from Gabriel. To learn more about Yoga Circle or Gabriel, you can listen to some of his chats on his website. One of the ideas that Gabriel presented was that yoga is really our gym, the place where we get moving and see physical changes. It is also our university, a place of learning and study. And lastly our temple, a place of spiritual enlightenment. What an interesting thought…it stuck with me for the rest of the class. As I look back on 10 years of my yoga practice, it has encompassed all three of these aspects. Currently, I feel so lucky to have found a studio near my house that I feel comfortable enough to learn and grow! And I am hoping to continue on this journey through more workshops in 2014.
My other form of enlightenment came from my intention to stay present throughout today and throughout this year. I noticed that other people were taking notes during the workshop, which got me thinking that maybe I should have brought a notebook. But then I realized that when I’m taking notes, I’m not as good at participating. This of course made me think of my blog. Sometimes when I’m doing a new activity, I’m already thinking about blogging about it. I think in some ways, this makes me a lot less present. Now don’t get me wrong, I was narrating my life (in my head) way before I even started blogging, so it’s not my blog’s fault, it’s just who I am. And part of what I’m hoping to change this year as I try to be more present with everything I do. Afterwards, I can try to remember as much as possible to blog about and share with you.
Next, we moved on to numerous poses intended to open our chakras and move energy up towards the 7th and highest chakra. These movements were challenging, especially as we added in the breath of fire. Since I didn’t write them down, I don’t remember all of them, but I can say it was fun to participate in this unique yoga journey. We completed the session with a long relaxation that had me almost asleep. By the end of the 3 hours, I felt more knowledgeable and physically fatigued and this seemed to be a common theme amongst the other participants. I guess my take home message for you is that if you practice yoga as a beginner or have been for many years, I recommend trying a workshop to learn more about the poses in sun salutation or the deeper meaning of chakras and pranas. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with friends learning more about yourself and challenging yourself to be a more skillful person. In this early part of the year, I look on towards the rest of 2014 with excitement knowing that I will be a more skillful and present participant in every day’s journey.
Do you practice yoga?
Have you taken workshops?
What other parts of your life have become your gym, university or temple?
Are you more or less present when you are blogging?