Posts Tagged ‘yoga and the chakras’
What is grounding?
For our purposes, grounding is an overall or localized experience of the thinking mind rendered lighter. In other words, the thoughts that fuel our day in general or any experience, specifically, become less “heavy” and overwhelming because the body has energetically plugged into the ground. Like a plug into a socket, a person becomes instantly aware of the relaxation response associated with living in relationship to gravity when she “grounds.” Grounding, in other words, is the baseline psycho-emotional experience of awareness. As thinking recedes, awareness rises, anything rising is coming up from below. In this case, the rising is awareness from the support of the earth.
Students of energy must practice feeling this actual, embodied experience in order to lay the groundwork (there’s no better word) for the release of dormant, acute, or recurring emotions associated with thoughts and stories that have too long dominated their consciousness. Without grounding work, the release of emotions cannot work. Emotions will move in second chakra (i.e., emotional/movement) work, but if they do not know the way out of the body, they will then circulate, confused, and continue causing as much pain and dis-ease (if not more) as when they lived in their unreleased state.
-excerpted from Kim Weeks’s notes for the Hands-On Energy Seminar.
breathe in, breathe out, part 1
the first chakra, as carolyn myss likes to describe it, has to do with culture and community. it has to do with where we choose to root for a while, however briefly. the first chakra has the deepest and lowest vibration in the subtle body, and its closest physical analog in the body are the bones, and in the known universe, the earth. so it’s how we connect to the earth around us — not so much globally, but locally.
yoga and the spine
yesterday, after a restorative class i’d taught her, a client of mine said,
huh, that’s interesting. so restorative yoga is mostly about bending the spine this way and that way, in order to release it.
she was sitting when she said this. when she said “this way” she bent forward; when she said “that way,” she bent backward.
it was a simple moment after a simple practice. What struck me, though, was not that her observation is mostly correct–restorative yoga requires the practitioner to hold poses for long periods of time in order release through the spine in several directions. what struck me was the point my client was making about all yoga poses. the point of yoga is always to release energy through the spine. that’s what makes an asana (pose) different from just about any other practice you could engage in.
one of the markers of the west is its emphasis on the superficial. yoga, by definition, is intended to take us away from that superficiality into deeper levels of consciousness–through the unwinding of the spine. each pose has been designed over thousands of years to enable us to examine the steadiness and ease in each posture–so that we can examine the stillness, or lack thereof, in our own minds.
and thus, we engage in practice. even one of the most demanding poses you could imagine:
is meant to release energy through the spine for the same purpose as the most relaxed you could imagine:
this is what we are learning in a yoga class– how to be steady and easy no matter what the “pose.”
on chakra one, muladhara, in yoga class
experienced in a yoga class, the first chakra comes alive in the legs, eyes, and inner ears. the stronger and more tubular the legs, the more relaxed and receptive the eyes and ears (and, by association, the rest of the senses).
try it. in your standing poses this week, imagine your legs waking up like as though they were controlled by that game litebrite some of played as kids, and see how you feel. post here to tell me what happens.