Welcome to the inaugural edition of “On the Yoga Road”. (Apologies Jack Kerouac). In two weeks we start down the road again with the theme “The Magnificent Seven…Chakras”*
If you have done yoga with us before you will recall we use a theme per term as the framework for the practice of yoga postures, breathing techniques and relaxation. We’ll be doing the usual forward-, back- and side-bends, twists, inversions, standing, seated, vinyasa and stationary postures. We’ll build up the repertoire of techniques as the term goes on and we’ll use the chakras as anchor points for all these things.
I admit when the Chakra theme was suggested again I resisted a little as it has been high on the playlist over the years. Maybe it’s so popular because each chakra is multifaceted. Each has aspects of colour, sound, symbolism, relation to the senses, to organs, position in the body, to the psychological, to the spiritual…the list goes on. There’s something in there to engage all of us.
From my point of view, that’s the beauty of using the Chakras as the map for a yoga practice. Most of us lie somewhere on the spectrum of a literal belief in their presence and influence in the energy body down to simply being a way of mentally organising a huge range of ideas. Where ever you lie on this spectrum there will be something in the subject of the chakras which piques your interest and can serve as a point of focus. In yoga, focus is in indispensable part of the practice of asana, pranayama and relaxation.
Students have made a few special requests for particular areas of focus this term which is always very welcome. Stay tuned to see how the concepts of 1) enveloping movement with breath 2) dealing with change and 3) building leg and buttock strength are all interwoven into the fine fabric of yoga!
*I have titled the theme “The Magnificent Seven” in reference to those energy centres we are most familiar with in the West (not the wild west). In the literature of medieval yoga there are hundreds of chakras all over the “energy body”. I’ll have to save all those for the intensive…