Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 31 - Only connect... (Chakra #7)

I had an amazing practice this evening in Viateur Park near my house. It's a lovely spot with a little water canal thing running through it. The sun was starting to set, but it was still warm. I practiced all by myself for just under three hours. The time passed so quickly, I could have stay out longer as I was really starting to get into a deep meditation, but it was starting to get late and as I mentioned yesterday, I am trying to go to bed earlier. (Last night, I managed to sneak in before midnight, but only by about 25 minutes or so. Tonight I'm going to try harder, because I have a 7am practice date with my neighbours.)

So, today we are discussing the seventh chakra. Located at the top of the head, the crown chakra, or Sahasara in Sanskrit, is associated with the 'color' white, and as mentioned last week, its sound is AUM or OM. This energy centre is kind of like the gate keeper for all the other chakras. When it's out of sync, everything else is affected. Not only does this chakra control the nervous system, but it also is the point of entry for spirit and the divine. It gives us a sense of being connected to "something bigger" or to you know, "G-O-D" or whatever you want to call it/him/her. So, when the energy in this area is balanced we have 'faith that everything is working effortless the way it's supposed to' and feel supported, reassured, confident, strong, creative, optimistic-- all this good stuff that we channel down into the other areas. This is my experience anyway.

I spent a bit of time last night and today contemplating how I could integrate the chakra into the practice, beside just OM-ing through another sun salutation. I thought about what make me feel connected to something bigger than myself and I kept thinking about nature and trees in particular. Then on my way to the ayurvedic school, I caught an interview with botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger on CBC's The Current about the magical properties of trees and everything made sense. In her discussion, Ms Beresford-Kroeger talked about the healing properties of trees and how trees communicate with each other. Did you know that if one tree is sick, the tree next to it produces an antibody for its illness? Crazy. The botanist also discussed how our genetic blueprints are so closely connected with trees.

I found the link to the interview. I highly recommend you have a listen:

Anyway, my thought process is that trees and nature remind us that we too are part of nature and that everything in life is beautifully connected.

Surya Namaskar Recipe: Day 31 - The ONE Salute

Practice by yourself outside in nature under the canopy of some big, old trees. Take a moment to connect to your surroundings. Become sensitive to sounds, smells and feelings. I recommend you even loose your mat for at least part of the practice and take the time to feel your hands and feet and heart on the ground. Appreciate. You may even want to say a little prayer or ask for some divine guidance to channel its way through you.

  • Avoid practicing between 11am & 3pm (The sun is too strong then)
  • Bring a long sleeve shirt or blanket to wrap yourself in when you finish
  • Find level ground or not, if you want to challenge your balance!
  • Do it in bare feet without a mat
  • My friend Christine say to "stand on your head. Richard Freeman says, 'You are crowning yourself with the earth!'"
  • If buggy, wear thin long-sleeves and as my mom says, "Pray to the Diva of the Mosquitoes and ask to be left alone."
  • Turn off your phone and loose the ipod
  • Take time to watch the clouds pass by and the movement of the leaves in the trees

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