Grow your Self and your Yoga Practice – & The Root Chakra

Grow your Self and your Yoga Practice

When you come to yoga in the West, most likely there are a few things in common:  a room, a mat, a teacher, and stretchy clothing.

That is about as far as it goes. Everything from there is up to the teacher and the student, and the style, school or lineage of yoga practice they have chosen to study and adopt.

I find that in the West, teachers of Asana (postures) leave out many of the most important aspects of a good practice, such as good physical cues, instruction of the breath (and I don’t mean just telling people to breathe!), and knowing even just a basic history of the practice itself.

You will find teachers who are bossy, turn the heat and the music up, and make a glorified workout into a “yoga” class… no Namaste, no Om, and no reference to this being the practice of undoing. Hell my business partner took a class with a guy who used the word “crotch” and “butt” repeatedly to a group of mostly women… hmmmmmm.

You will find teachers glued to their mats, doing their practice with you and never looking you in the eye or making sure you are safe, connected and not hurting yourself. I’m not sure how that is supposed to ease the beginner’s mind or advance the on-going practitioner’s practice, but I guess we each have our own way of approaching the practice of yoga.

I have had teachers play raunchy music, repeatedly mispronounce basic yogic terminology, assist with their boobs in my face and back, ignore me when I greeted them (guess I wasn’t cool enough). Assistants have ignored me at big trainings as if I was such a lowly creature and didn’t have friends of my own, and I would cling to them for dear life if they ever looked at me (or anyone else for that matter). Bummer. So much for one love or all men are created equal

Now I know better. I know that yoga has become a part of the pop culture in the West. I know it has been popularized, fashionized (hey I love some of the cloths myself), trendy and so forth. I know that for the sake of getting big, yoga has been removed of some authenticity…heck I just heard of a local studio telling their instructors to not use Sanskrit, THE LANGUAGE OF YOGA!

Yoga and your True Self

Grow your Self and your Yoga PracticeHere is what I know. Yoga is a practice of undoing first, then rejoining to the true self. If you need to wear $100 pants and carry around a rubber mat that cost you a quarter of your paycheck to feel like you are truly practicing, then go for it…whatever it takes to get you on your path and your journey, because for some that is where it might start. We all have a path. Some people want to feel like their ass is kicked to feel like they “did” something in class. Some people want to roll around on their mats and barely feel anything.

Here is what I say and what I teach. If it feels safe and like what you want, rather than what you need, then most likely you are not getting the most out of your practice. Exploring new techniques, classes, teachers, and books can open many doors you may otherwise be too fearful or closed-off to try. The education of yoga holds great power to expand your mind, your values, your heart, and your body.

So many of us want to be told what to do. But we all are perfectly capable beings that can do it ourselves, with a bit of guidance. So here is my guidance. Just one way you can expand, explore and grow. Start by trying something new, something that scares you a little (and is not going to hurt you), something healthy that you are a little inhibited to try, and see what changes you can make. Just trying it is already a start to change.

Namaste!

Root Chakra Meditation for Releasing Fear and Blockages

I teach a lot of Chakra Psychology to my students, teachers in training, and clients. It has enriched my yoga and spiritual practices more than anything else. I recommend to anyone to pick up a copy of Wheels of Life or Anatomy of the Spirit and grab a highlighter because you will need it. This information has healing properties like none other I have explored.

I created a little chart for you on the first Chakra, Muladhara or the Root Chakra, to entice you to go deeper. And of course you can always explore my Chakra Meditation again.

Free Printable Chakra Card – The Root Chakra

Muladhara (Root Chakra) Card by JenniferLangsdale

>>Click Here to download this printable Chakra Card

Journal these power statements, fill in the blanks and see where it takes you!

 

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12 thoughts on “Grow your Self and your Yoga Practice – & The Root Chakra

  1. Pingback: Yoga for the Neck and Shoulders: 15 Minute Yoga Video

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  3. Jessica Sowers

    I agree that everyone can take this journey. If they try and it doesn’t feel like a fit, try again with someone else or another studio. If sweating and a workout is the goal to get you in the door, fine, but just be open minded to what else will follow. Explore, evolve and enjoy the journey!!

    Reply
  4. Mark Apone

    I think innovation is good for yoga, as long as we keep the original intent of the gurus that passed the tradition down to us. I agree that proper etiquette should be practiced by all teachers. I have been in classes where teachers spend the majority of their time doing the poses on their mats along with the students; It leads to a very disconnected practice.

    Reply
  5. Veronica

    Starting off on my yoga journey I had no idea what yoga was really about until I was lead to Awaken. I started my ‘undoing’ in order to realize ones true self before knowing about yoga..and I think this is exactly why I was directed to a school that dedicates itself to this practice. I find this yoga journey challenging and often out of my comfort zone..but it’s helping me change in ways I know I need..and it has been such a value to me.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    I thought yoga was just about stretching and as a runner, that’s all I was looking for. The more I’ve learned about yoga the more grateful I am that Awaken was the first studio where I took classes. Yoga extends far beyond our mat and physical body.

    Reply
  7. Barbara

    I agree whole heartedly with everything you said. I don’t think it takes fancy clothes or high temps to to be considered yoga. When I discovered the center I took my training from, it felt like I had found home. I do have to say that I like when the teacher shows us what they mean by doing the pose with us. I follow cues to a point but then doubt myself so I like to have a visual to make sure I am doing it correctly. I thought most of my imbalance was in my 3rd chakra but looking at the root card, oy!

    Reply
  8. JoAnna

    I think often times what leads someone to yoga initially is different from what keeps them coming back. The details may look different (teacher’s skills or lack there of, styles, classes, etc) but the common thread is the “undoing” and it’s the shedding (and re-shedding) of layers that holds true to your intention & yoga.

    Reply
  9. Maria D'Amico

    This post has made me more aware of the importance of the role of the yoga teacher in facilitating a safe and authentic yoga class. The chart of the Muladara chakra is useful and hits home on many levels

    Reply
  10. Jen T

    Due to the limited offerings of yoga in the area that I live I had only been exposed to what was available. Nobody was able to answer my questions or expand upon what I had felt when doing yoga. This is the reason I sought out training so to learn and find the meaning within what I was practicing.

    Reply
  11. L Hartman

    I’ve been on both sides of this. I remember feeling out of place because i didn’t have “yoga clothes” or a special mat when i first started, then I started trying more physically challenging classes & began to crave that style (until injury took me away from most asana practice for awhile) and I rarely stayed for meditation. Now, i appreciate the need for balance in my practice, including meditation.

    Reply

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