Posts Tagged manipura

Resolution check-up

The first month of 2013 is behind us now. I decided that my class on the last day of January would be a good opportunity for a resolution check-up.

Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, how is it going after one month? Are you still feeling the motivation and resolve that you felt on New Year’s Day? Or could you use a resolution boost?

Fortunately for me, my resolutions have had the support of Yoga Journal’s ‘Boost Your Willpower‘ program. It is in its third week now, and the momentum it has given me with my goals and intentions was a huge inspiration for class this week. I have been more faithful and committed in my yoga and meditation practices, and I feel more centered and focused than I have in years.

When I sat down with the idea of a yoga practice to re-energize resolutions, two things began to emerge. One was the connection to the sacral chakra- the center that governs appetites and desires. The other was the connection to the solar plexus chakra- the center of willpower and the self. Both of these energy centers play a vital role in manifesting positive changes. So, I built this week’s class around checking in with the sacral and solar plexus chakras and exploring the attributes associated with them.

Twists are the category of asana that is most closely associated with the solar plexus chakra. They are deeply detoxifying, so they aid in “letting go” on many levels. Not to mention that the area of the body that is twisting most in most twists is right at the level of the solar plexus chakra. I like to accentuate the attention they bring to that region but pausing in the twist to visualize a glowing, golden sun at my solar plexus. Learn more about twisting poses here.

The many twisting postures in class this week were interspersed with core stabilizing poses to build strength and to activate and balance the sacral chakra. Again, pausing to visualize a brilliant orange jewel radiating at the level of the sacral chakra adds a whole new level to the practice. I fully encourage it! 😉 Check out some core stabilizing poses here.

I wish everyone the best on this first day of February 2013!

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Yoga this week!!

So, nature has had other plans for the North County Yoga Goddesses for the past few weeks, but I have a good feeling about this week.

We are meeting on a new day now- Thursdays at 10am. This Thursday, the 31st, is the last day of January, so we will be checking in with our intentions for 2013. How has the first month of the year been for you?

Join us Thursday to explore that question on the mat!

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Practicing gratitude

“The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.”

~from Kundalini-Teacher.com

My inspiration for class this week came from this quote, which I initially found for my Thanksgiving class last year. My memory being what it is, I had a foggy recollection about gratitude and something about the solar plexus chakra… so, here it is again.

When I dug it up this time, it spoke so powerfully to life at the moment that I decided to take it onto the mat again.

I don’t know about you, but things have felt a bit topsy-turvy for me lately. Words like ‘turbulent,’ ‘discombobulated,’ and ‘chaotic’ have been coming up a lot. This Mercury Retrograde period has especially been a challenging one. At present, I’m down a computer, a mobile phone, an iPod, a vacuum, an electric toothbrush, and as of 5 minutes ago, my camera won’t turn on. Sooo… that about covers all of my activities in an average day. Honestly, it’s left me feeling like I’m not quite sure what to do next. And it could easily lead to an attitude of ‘OMG! What next? What else can happen to me?

But as my amazing friend reminded me yesterday (and others have pointed out often in recent weeks), the time has come for the snake to shed its skin. Everything that came before is falling away to make room for what’s now. Maybe everything has to break in order to force a fresh start.

By searching for the bigger picture lessons, I open up room for new (positive) possibilities to move in. I’m co-creating a new reality here. Will I create it from a place of fear or one of gratitude? Will my attitude attract more chaos or more blessings? Will I realize that things are happening for me, not to me? Will I give up resistance and surrender to the truth that everything is happening in perfect timing? These are the challenges that the quote clarified for me this week.

I built my class around the connection the quote makes between gratitude and the solar plexus chakra. Twists are the category of poses associated with the solar plexus, so I dug up twists and twist variations that I hadn’t done in years. We twisted our little hearts out- opening, activating, and connecting to the solar plexus chakra and our sense of gratitude.

We also practiced “surrendering” with deep forward bends and hip openers. And as a special treat, we practiced counting our blessings as we held certain poses. That was my personal favorite part of the class this week because it stayed with me off the mat. Counting my blessings with every breath in Pigeon Pose prepared me in a new way to deal with “things” as they are presently. When I found myself resisting an activity or situation, when I felt my inner brattiness stomping its feet at having to do something, I switched to thinking of things I was grateful for at that particular moment.

Try it and see! Sitting in traffic, chopping onions, holding Gomukhasana, whatever… count your blessings and see a whole new world of possibilities open to you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Namaste.

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This little light of mine…

Confidence.

What can I confidently say about confidence? That was the task that I set before myself when preparing to teach this week.

Before I had even begun giving too much attention to my class this week, one word kept coming up: confidence. The idea resonated with me, personally, as I am manifesting changes in several areas of my life. In my yoga career, especially, I am recognizing more and more the importance of self-confidence and believing in yourself. It’s fundamental.

But how could I translate my inspirations about confidence into a yoga practice? I felt that the idea was worth exploring. After all, success would mean that one of my students might connect with her own sense of self-confidence in a new way.

‘Ok. Let’s do this.’

I decided to begin where any serious inquiry begins- on Google. I found pages upon pages of insightful quotes about confidence, most of which essentially boil down to the same thing: Have faith and confidence in yourself and anything is possible.

Believe in yourself. In your dreams, aspirations, and abilities.

All of it hitting right at the level of the solar plexus chakra (manipura, meaning ‘cave of jewels’). It is the chakra of ‘I can.‘ Of willpower. Of honoring one’s self. Its color is golden, sunshine yellow, and it radiates from the base of the sternum like a little, golden sun.

Twists are the category of postures most closely associated with the solar plexus chakra, so I included several twists (prayer twist, supine twist, and matsyendrasana).

We also returned to the visualization of the radiant, golden sun in standing poses, like mountain and warrior I.

Fearlessly shine that light of yours in every direction for all of creation to see.

Working with these exercises helped me experience ‘confidence’ in a new light in the days leading up to class. In my meditation and yoga practice, I began to connect ‘confidence’ to other chakras, too, especially the root chakra (muladhara) and the throat chakra (vishuddha).

The root chakra governs our sense of safety and security. Without a strong foundation, we cannot stand tall. How can we make the leap for our dreams and ambitions if we are standing on shaky ground? Standing poses strengthen the root chakra (mountain, warrior I, eagle, humble warrior).

Finally, I integrated several postures that activate the throat chakra (vishuddha). This is our center of communication outward, governing our ability to verbalize our thoughts and ideas and to speak our truth. Forward bends are the category of poses that is associated with the throat chakra. We paused in uttanasana and paschimottanasana for somewhat longer than other poses to allow a deep opening of the entire body and to stimulate the throat chakra.

Taken together, these three chakras and their associated qualities light the picture of confidence that came into focus for me this week. As I said before, this particular combination resonated with me most in this time of manifesting in my life and working to bring about positive changes. I know that these ideas hit home with many of you, too. So many of us are riding the seas of change and attempting to keep our balance. If you were not able to come to my class this week (or if you were), I hope that some bit of information that I have shared has touched you in some way and that you are inspired to recognize that you are, in fact, awesome and fully able to realize whatever you set your mind on.

Yes, my dears, you can.

Namaste!

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Kamelien loves you!

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

~ The Upanishads

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Crystal in the spotlight: Chrysoprase

Day 2 and we’re movin’ on up… to a stone that is associated with the sacral chakra, as well as the heart chakra- chrysoprase. Chrysoprase is an apple-green chalcedony (a type of quartz).

Its name derives from the Greek words “chrysos,” meaning gold/yellow, and “prason,” meaning leek. This name refers to its unique color, which is caused by the presence of nickel. The color can be lighter or darker depending on the amount of nickel present.

Chrysoprase promotes abundance and prosperity at the level of the solar plexus chakra, and it enlivens the sacral chakra by drawing out hidden talents and supporting creativity. It also supports “physical creativity,” enhancing fertility.

It is known for other healing properties within the physical body, like stimulating the liver. Like bloodstone, it is a powerful detoxifier.

Chrysoprase also detoxifies the emotional body and balances the heart chakra. In this aspect, it helps the individual to overcome egotism and judgmentalism- two critical steps in embracing the heart chakra’s lessons about universal love. These beneficial properties at the level of the heart foster greater compassion and forgiveness and grow the ability to express oneself without anger.

Additionally, it aids release of emotions that have been stored since childhood and heals the inner child.

On a spiritual level, it brings universal energy into the body and helps us to see our lives and their events as part of the Divine whole. Realizing the role of Divine will in the details of our lives, we are open to greater trust and security.

Learn more about chrysoprase today and let the healing begin!

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Daily reminder

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

~Alice Walker

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Crystal in the spotlight

My true introduction to the healing power of crystals occurred while I was pregnant with my son and living in Sedona, AZ. For that reason (and many others), it is a subject that I hold very dear. I truly believe in their ability to bring healing and positive change when used with the proper intention. Not to mention that, symbolically, crystals and gemstones represent a transition of the everyday rock into a material of higher vibration- one with a purpose. That leap holds great power for me. And so, for all of these reasons, I would like to introduce you to one of my crystal friends… Citrine.

Citrine is a useful stone for several of my areas of prime focus right now: balancing the solar plexus chakra, aligning the subtle bodies with the physical, and aiding in the free flow of emotions.

Citrine is a stone of abundance and attracts wealth and success. It also repels negativity from the individual aura and from group settings- so maybe keep a cluster around for family holiday gatherings. 😉

It is also noted for its healing properties on the following levels:

Energetic: It protects the aura and prevents it from absorbing negative energies. It stimulates the crown chakra and balances the solar plexus and sacral chakras.

Emotional: It promotes balance by maintaining a healthy emotional flow and preventing blockages. Since it opens the solar plexus chakra (the joy center), it promotes greater joy and the releasing of ego-based fears.

Psychological: It promotes self-confidence and self-esteem, both of which are associated with a healthy solar plexus chakra. It also aids in maintaining a positive attitude and accepting constructive criticism. For this reason, it is also associated with creativity.

Mental: It helps with focused thought and concentration. It also aids in overcoming negative thought patterns.

Physical: It promotes healthy functioning of the digestive, endocrine, and circulatory systems. It is especially associated with the thyroid, the gall bladder, and the kidneys.

If it is worn on the body, the best positions are either on the fingers or at the throat.

Citrine is also the birthstone for this month, November.

So, that’s my little introduction to my good friend, Citrine. I hope that it inspires you to pick up some citrine and connect with its amazing benefits today.

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Practicing gratitude

When I began considering the class I’m teaching this week, I knew right away that I wanted to structure it around the theme of gratitude. Giving thanks.

As I said before, I have recently had a growing awareness of the fundamental importance of maintaining emotional and spiritual health. Since I wrote the post stating my intention to tend to my emotional health and its energetic consequences, I’ve either discovered or re-discovered a multitude of ways to align and balance. One signpost after another pointed to the chakras and the rest of the energetic body as the classroom where I could learn about better health on every level.

Seriously. Every time I asked for guidance since writing that, it was like, ‘Chakras!’… I know but… ‘Chakras!’… but what if… ‘Chakras!’… Ok, ok, chakras!

So, I wasn’t even a little surprised when I asked for help in building my class and the answer was ‘chakras!’ Specifically, the solar plexus chakra (manipura). This is our power center. The center of self and personality. It is also the center of ego-based fear and resistance.

As I began exploring for inspiration and insight, I came across these words of wisdom from Kundalini-Teacher.com:

“The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.”

Not only was I able to build my gratitude class around that powerful idea, I’ve also been working to open and balance my solar plexus chakra each day by practicing gratitude. So, guess how I feel about teaching my class now? Grateful! Funny how that works…

Check out this article by Erica Rodefer for other ideas for expressing gratitude through yoga.

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So, how do you feel about banjos…

We’re pretty much going steady now, so…

There is something about the banjo that sounds so joyful to me. Something about it just screams ‘YES!’- perhaps my WV roots are showing…Shakti willing. Our solar plexus chakra (manipura) is the center of our power, our will, and our joy. When we shut this down and go on auto-pilot, we opt out of so many of the best parts of being a human being.

Check out Mean Mary doing her thing. Feelings?

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Upcoming Events

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Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
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VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.

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