Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 25 - Go Habs go! (+ Chakra #1)

Montreal has what we call "Habs Fever." Our hockey team just won Game 7, 5-2 against Pittsburg, which means we are off to the Eastern Conference finals. People are going absolutely crazy. Cars honking, bottles smashing against the pavement, strangers hugging and high-fiving. The main street, Ste Catherine's, was turned into a pedestrian street in honor of tonight's game and as much as I'd like to join the fun, I need to be a good yogini and finish my 24 sun sals, do my blog and head to bed early-ish.

(Oh, the sacrifices! Just kidding, I'd, honestly prefer getting to sleep before midnight.)

I watched the second and third period in the McGill ghetto with Craig and his buddies after teaching. It was pretty exciting and sitting with them during the game was truly a cultural experience.

Craig and his ten best friends meet in a basement apartment on Durocher and watch every Canadians game together. It's really entertaining to watch them react to each pass, whistle and goal. Several of them have "playoff beards" and almost all of them, including my dear boyfriend, are wearing an item of clothing they refuse to wash until the playoffs are over. (Seriously, Craig freaked out thinking I had washed his grey t-shirt, which I didn't.) They are a great group of characters-- an actor, an engineer, a comedian, a musician, several entrepreneurs, a film producer, and a guitar maker. They scream at the TV, threatening throw their beer bottle at the flat screen if the refs make another bad call. They refuse to let their upstairs neighbour in the door, because last time they did, the Habs lost. But the best part is, they do a group prayer together before the game, whereby one of them, this game it was Craig, leads the gang in his rendition of the Lord's Prayer. Amazing dedication.

Speaking of dedication, it's DAY 25! I can't believe it! I'm almost 1/4 of the way through. I thought time would pass slowly, but now it's really moving fast, and honestly, despite the tough moments I've had thus far, I'm really enjoying this experience. My practice and even writing this blog gives me something to look forward to and it's becoming more and more cathartic for me.

This morning, I got up at about 6:30 am and meditated for about 25 mins before starting my sun salutations. I wanted to get a bunch done early so I could watch hockey with Craig tonight. Like usual, I didn't feel like changing into "yoga gear," so this is me in my pajamas practicing in the living room. (I highly recommend yoga in pjs, it's really comfortable.)

Nevertheless, sun salutations in pjs is not our featured practice for today. Today, I thought we'd continue along the chakra path and tweek the basic sun salutation with the mantra "LAM."

Surya Namaskar Recipe: Day 25 - The Root Salute

'LAM' is the mantra associated with the root chakra or the sacral chakra known as muladhara in Sanskrit. This energy centre corresponds to the color red and rests at the base of the spine or coccyx. It is connected to earthly pleasures and our basic survival. It is in harmony when we feel grounded, secure, and confident. (As we, Montrealers, do now that the Habs beat the two best teams in the NHL.) However, when the root chakra is out of balance, we feel insecure and fearful.

To balance muladhara in a basic sun salutation, like surya namaskar A, repeat the mantra LAM three to ten times while holding downward dog. Alternatively, as mentioned yesterday, you can repeat the mantra throughout the sun salutation every time you exhale, and like with AUM, L - A - M should be held for equal lengths of time.

WHAT IS A CHAKRA, ANYWAY? My definition:
Chakras are powerful energy centers located from the base of the spinal column to the crown of the head. The word “chakra” comes from the Sanskrit word “cakra” meaning wheel or circle. A chakra is often described as a “wheel of light” and each of the chakras has a distinct color and specific functions corresponding to certain organs. When the charkas are in harmony, then the body is in harmony. When the charkas are congested or not functioning optimally, then there is unease and stress in the body.


  1. Thanks Yaz for the great and clear definition of the Chakras!

  2. I always do yoga in pyjama at home.. it is truly comfortable...

  3. I actually like practicing naked (at home of course lol!)....Makes me feel free and natural! :)