Chakras, Spirituality, ReligionDec 11, 2018
Ok, I will admit it. During the beginning of my 200-hour yoga teacher training journey, my focus was on learning the moves so that I could become a yoga teacher and have a regular class at the YMCA. Sure, I knew there was a spiritual component and I was excited to work on my flexibility and range of motion, but my main motivation was to be able to teach. This past weekend, for Full Training Days 3 and 4, we spent a lot of time focusing on the spiritual components of Yoga and diving into learning about the first 7 Chakras.
At first, I had no idea what the heck the rest of the class was talking about. Then, with the help of conversation jogging my memory, I started to vaguely remember hearing about chakras and the spinning life energy sources within each of us. But that was it and I sort of just pictured little mystical fidget spinners. Quick pause – for those of you wondering, “Chakras are energy centers located through the human body which channel life into our Aura.” Yup, some interesting stuff right there.
I truly appreciate other cultures and perspectives so this workshop was a fantastic learning experience. I am still mulling over what I truly think of it all and how it will or won’t fit into my life, but that isn’t really a decision to make right away- there is a lot to absorb first. Personally, I like the idea of different energy forces and can comprehend that through various physical movements we can unleash blockages/ tensions. Past that, I am just not sure.
In particular, it is when the practice/mentality becomes a bit more divine that I struggle. What was great is that we addressed this during our conversation. Many in my class are practicing Christians and a few identified themselves as PK’s (which I learned to be Preacher’s Kids) and every single person was open to discussion, explanation, and respectfully learning from each other. We discussed the misconceptions and internal battles the spiritual practice of yoga and the religious practice of one’s faith can bring about. The main point our group agreed on was that Yoga and religion can live harmoniously together as spirituality resides within religion and vice versa. Yes, as a practicing Catholic, I see merits in the calming, focused, and meditative aspects of yoga where it can be a way that I can become closer to God. To an extent, I even believe in the Chakras and that they are an energy where the holy spirit can manifest in our bodies. However, that is about it.
I do enjoy learning about the Chakras and appreciate hearing other people’s beliefs. For me though, yoga is primarily a means to work out the physical kinks in my body and secondarily a way for me to decompress and calm my mind. So, if working to improve balance in my Sacral Charka can help me with my tight hips, then I am all for it. If it also can help me release some tensions that enable me to think more creatively, then I am also all for it. Quick pause #2 – the Sacral Chakra is supposed to be where much of our creative energy is stored, so when we are in balance there we can most effectively tap into our creativity. What I am saying here is that I believe much of this is a mindset that can affect our actuality- a bit more of a placebo effect than anything else. I amok with that. Provided there is no harm done, and in the end, I am feeling better, that is all that matters.
Original post here!