200 Hours of Yoga: One Year Later

So last year about this time I was pushing towards the end of a 200 hour yoga certification class. The experience was a bit of a whirlwind and I’ve spoken before about jumping into the deep end  so soon after discovering yoga. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I would suggest that for anyone else. I had about three months of classes before I entered the program and, while it worked for me, I don’t think I would recommend it for anyone else. A year of regular classes would have served me well. But, that being said,

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Notes on the Chakras: Sahasrara

In the terms of the classical system, the seventh chakra, Sahasrara, is the finish point. It resides at the top of the head or in some observations, just above the head and it’s visualized as a thousand petal lotus that shines with the radiance of pure spirit. It is the point of connection between us and the Universe. In theory, if all the chakras are spinning and the seventh is open, then you are in tune with the cosmos and open to her wisdom. I won’t say much about this one and not because I don’t have much to say.

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Notes on the Chakras: Ajna

What is real? What is the definition of reality? For most, this isn’t even a question. “Real” defines itself. “Reality” is proof of reality. I’m here, aren’t I? How much more “real” can you get? But what if we remove the filter of subjective perception? What’s left? What are we actually experiencing in the midst of this crazy mishmash of energy and matter? Our brains take the perception of various wavelengths of radiation through ocular nerves and process that mess into a coherent vision of a local reality. But what if our nerves or brains or eyes were different? Would

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Notes on the Chakras: Vissuddha

So we come the fifth chakra and I almost don’t know what to say. Which is ironic considering that the fifth chakra is the throat chakra, the center of speech and communication and listening and expressing. I’ve heard it called the chakra of consequence due to the fact that words have power and how we express ourselves to the world is our effect on that world. Some express too much and some express too little but I have to wonder what the balance is. The eternal challenge is when to speak and when to shut up. And I usually opt

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Notes on the Chakras: Anahata

The fourth chakra, called Anahata, is deemed most important in many yoga traditions. It’s the center of feeling, the source of caring, the fountain of compassion and the engine of love that drives our spiritual connection to this physical illusion. When it’s open and nurtured, we feel connections and empathy towards the world. When it’s closed, we feel isolated and alone. Now, interestingly enough, I don’t think too much about this particular chakra but I pay attention to it all the time. For me, it’s the center of the system and the gate to processing what the other chakras are

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Notes on the Chakras: Manipura

So we’ve worked our way up from Muladhara to Swadhistana and now we come to Manipura. The basics are out of the way. We survive and thrive and seek creation through means both subtle and overt and so we can begin to actually develop a sense of self. We can worry with an ego and the baggage that it brings.  We survive, we thrive and we discover our boundaries. Manipura is located behind the solar plexus and is associated the element of fire. So we’ve moved up from the earth (Muladhara) to water (Swadhistana) and now we have the fire.

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Notes on the Chakras: Swadhistana

So let’s talk about sex. This chakra is Swadhistana and it’s traditionally located about an inch or so below the navel. It’s associated with the ovaries and prostate and it’s element is water. It is the next logical progression, the step up from Muladhara where our main concern was survival. If we have survived and become somewhat comfortable in that space, the next concern would be to procreate to ensure the survival of the species. Every organism on the planet responds to this energy in some way. Along with hunger, it is one of the primary forces that drives behaviors

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Notes on the Chakras: Muladhara

I’ve studied the chakras for most of my life, long before I began practicing yoga for no other reason than the system makes sense to me. For the uninitiated, the chakras are the energy centers of the body located at various points along the spine, each associated with a nerve cluster or a set of glands. Energy or prana flows through these centers and manifests in many ways both psychologically, emotionally and even physically. Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and other systems manage these energy centers and encourage an open flow that generates vitality and health. Should the energy become

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Heavy Metal Yoga Revisited

A while back, I talked about the possible connection between yoga and the heavy metal music genre as well as a way that “negative” emotions may be processed in a positive way. Recently, I found this article that describes a metal yoga class and if it was closer geographically, I would be there with metaphorical bells on. I see what the teachers are doing (especially if you filter out the writer’s cynicism). I get the idea on truly fundamental level that is thoroughly grounded in recent experiences with the purification process that comes with a regular practice. Strange thing is, I

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