Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 30 - Sleep is powerful medicine (Chakra #6)

I went to bed at 10:30 last night and it was glorious. I slept so well and woke up so happy. I got right into organizing my week and made a lovely plan for myself and my staff. I'm not normally a 'planning' kind of person, but I don't really have a choice now that my schedule is so full. Plus, it feels good to get things down on paper.

After a quick lunch meeting with Marianne, my studio manager, I brought my mat down to the water. It was heavenly. I did my whole 180 outside looking the lake and then taught two classes outside. The warm sun, the soft breeze, the birds chirping... I was seriously tripping. Everything just flowed beautifully.

(Here's a picture taken this evening of my class in tree pose practicing in our 'studio by the lake.')

My goal this week is to be in bed before 11pm everyday. I'm sure it will make a huge difference in my energy and state of mind.

I am generally an optimistic person, but I am much more enthusiastic and focused when I sleep before midnight. In ayurveda, sleeping between midnight and 2 am is considered very important, because this is when your liver rejuvenates itself, and your liver is your main filtration system. If it's working well, we feel refreshed and positive and if it is sick, we feel sluggish and frustrated.

Speaking of sleep, today's theme is Ajna, the sixth chakra or the brow chakra, which governs the pineal and pituitary glands and is responsible for sleep. Also known as the third-eye chakra, this energy centre is associated with the color indigo and is also connected to our inner awareness and intuition. Its mantra is 'KSHAM.'

As my teacher points out, it's only effective to repeat KSHAM when sitting still and focusing on one point. So, I started my practice in meditation. Sitting comfortably, I relaxed my body, and took in my surroundings through my senses-- I listened to as many sounds as I could hear, I enjoyed the feeling of the sun and breeze on my skin, I smelled the scent of the nearby lilacs, tasted the fresh air and watched the light sparkle in the water. Then, once I was comfortable, I closed my eyes, focused my attention on my 'third-eye' at the centre of my forehead, and began to repeat KSHAM silently.

After about five minutes, I felt a shift. I felt light, calm and energized. I then began my practice with the intent to allow my intuition guide me. By this I mean, whatever I felt I needed to do I did, be it hold a pose or even invent a new sequence to release tension in a particular area, so for today's Surya Namaskar, I invite you to try this practice:

Surya Namaskar Recipe: The Inventor's Salute

With your eyes closed, allow yourself to be guided into a sequence you invent along the way based on what you need and what feedback you are receiving from your body. Be really attentive as to what feels good and go with that. (It's best that you practice alone for this one. Music is often very helpful.)

More info on the Third-Eye Chakra
(from Jamie Lee)

Ajna Area of consciousness for the celestial body
Relates to: Clear sightedness, the bringing together of opposites (ida and pingala unite at the point), inspiration, insight, telepathy, access to the Higher Self (Guru), the pineal, pituitary, brain, ears, eyes, realization of full potential
Gland: Pineal, Piuitary
Sense: Thought
Element: Electric or Telepathic energy
Personality: ‘I am who I am’
Balanced Energy: Charismatic, open to guidance, not afraid of death, not attached to material things, can experience telepathy, past lives or astral travel, self- fulfilled, can be celibate, may have experienced Cosmic Consciousness
Excessive Energy: Proud, religiously dogmatic, tyrannical, demonic
Deficient Energy: Non-assertive, undisciplined, weak-willed, extreme sensitivity to the feelings (energy) of others, afraid of success, schizophrenic

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Yasmin to do the Sun Salutes through feeling what your body and mind truly needs. I will do that after work tonight. I also did a nice solo Yoga session by the Lake in Pointe-Claire about 2 weeks ago and it was heavenly. Such a great spot! Thanks for introducing it to me way back when! :)