Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Yoga Narrative

Okay, I'll tell you another story that happened in Yoga Teacher Training on Sunday:

The afternoon was winding to a close, and S was wrapping things up. Instead of just letting us go an hour early, he wanted to lead us through meditation.

He spoke about the Chakras, the seven energy wheels that are aligned with our spines. According to him, Hatha Yoga came into existence as an offshoot of earlier practices about 1200 years ago with the description of these Chakras. I don't know the Sanskrit off the top of my head (yet), but the first Chakra is at the top of the head. The next is at the third eye or forehead. The next is the throat. The heart centers it all. Then the solar plexis has energy, so does a spot in from the navel at roughly our center of gravity, and, finally, the "lowest" the root of the spine.

So S was being S, making these grand pronouncements. "In my opinion, nobody has ever tapped into the energy of the lower Chakras," he said. "Well, only a few, and they've probably been corrupted by the energy. The energy of the lower chakras is as powerful as a train coming down the tracks. It's a good thing we can't access it, and most people probably shouldn't even try..." And so on and so forth.

I sat there churning this around in my mind. Is this true? I wondered. I thought of my own fairly limited meditation experience. I'm actually pretty sure that I HAVE tapped into this chakra energy. I've felt that. Besides why would there be all this energy inside of us if we couldn't access it? That makes no sense.

But S is very into the "danger" of yoga - he advises caution in everything he teaches. (Remember, he warned us that a side effect of breath practice might be death. Which was an interesting conundrum. Breathe and you might die; don't breathe and you will die!)

So he talked for about 15 minutes about all the dangers, then he said, "Okay, let's give it a shot!"

And I burst out into peals of laughter.

Which I think may have offended his sensibilites, and ruined the dramatic mood he had set. Defensively he said, "Well, it's no good if I warn you AFTER something happens."

So we meditated on just the lower three Chakras. Everyone seemed to make it through the experience undamaged.

Teacher training is fun!

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