Monday, December 29, 2008

Chasing a Dream

After years of thinking about it and wishing for it . . . and a couple more years of procrastination and finding all the reasons why I shouldn’t pursue my dream, I finally decided to just go for it and start my training to become a certified yoga instructor. I am both excited and scared. I do worry that all the reasons I conjured up for not going through with it are still valid. There are some poses that I’ll never be able to achieve. I still have old injuries and funny body parts that will not cooperate in some poses. I am also a little old for a new career adventure. But regardless of all these things I still want to pursue it. Even if I never get out there and teach a real class, at a real studio, it means a lot to me to have the training. Yoga has always fascinated me and my desire to learn more is getting overwhelming.

Due to my current schedule of having way more things to do than time to do it, coupled with the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere, I decided to try a ‘distance learning’ course. This won’t be the first study-at-home certification course I’ve taken. A few years ago I became a certified ‘interior redesigner’ and I was very impressed with the course. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute of it. I knew I wasn’t going to switch careers, but instead I gained a lot of valuable knowledge that I feel enriched my life. I’m taking the same approach to this yoga training. Although I don’t feel that a study-at-home program is the optimal way to achieve training certification, it will certainly teach me a whole lot more than I currently know about yoga.

My course package arrived just before Christmas and so far I’ve read 90 pages of the text book. My head is already bursting from everything that I learned. It is amazing how much more to yoga there is than what meets the untrained eye. Up to this point I’ve spent the past 7 years just exercising my muscles without really understanding the benefits of the postures and movements. My brain is hungry and eager to learn more and more. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to start my journey, but I sure am glad I’m on my way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chakra Balancing Yoga

I find it a little eerie how I never took any interest in chakras before this month and then I all of a sudden felt compelled to buy that Chakra Healing book I wrote about in the previous post. I swear the book found me in the book store. I wasn’t even looking for a book for myself. I just happened to pick the book up and I knew I had to have it. Then, only a couple of weeks later, I was sent a brand new DVD to review — Chakra Balancing Yoga by Sharon Gannon. Do you believe in coincidences? Or do you believe that there are no coincidences? Either way, I’m thrilled to be introduced to chakras. I’m completely fascinated by what I’ve learned so far.

I tried this DVD out today and it was a very interesting experience. I picked the perfect day for it. I was home alone and stayed in the coziest fleece that I own. I didn’t bother with hairspray and make-up and just wanted to be comfortable all day. It was the perfect setting for my first chakra balancing experience.

The video focuses on how to open the seven energy centers of the body to achieve physical and emotional balance. The goal of the exercise is to find new energy, relieve stress, feel more whole within, and more united with the world around you.

This was definitely a gentle and slow yoga routine, focused more on the mind than the body. The video guides you through poses, affirmations, and chants that open and balance the chakras. The 55 minute video is broken up into different segments — one for each of the seven chakras. You can go directly to any particular chakra that you feel needs awakening, or simply go through the entire series for a total chakra balancing. I completed the entire video in one sitting for the complete experience. I have to say, I was happy that I was alone in the house because at first I felt a little silly with the chanting. Every pose involves chanting of the mantra associated with the particular chakra. Once I got over the uneasiness with the chanting and just let myself go with it, it was exciting. Unlike all other yoga routines that I’ve done at home, this one did not allow my mind to wander away from what I was doing. I found that the chanting made holding the poses much easier. Instead of thinking, “How much longer?” I was focused on the chant which makes the time pass quickly.

The video asks you to think back to your past and pinpoint different people or circumstances that may need healing. I love how it explains how events in your past have a direct affect on your life today. The video forces you to focus and reflect with the affirmations and chants. I have never been able to stay focused on just yoga during any yoga routine in my life. This was the most focused my mind has ever been. As far as my chakras being balanced, I guess I need to learn a little more about them to be able to tell. I am very excited to have discovered this and will continue to do everything I can to unblock and awaken my chakras.

Learn more about the new DVD and watch a sample here.