In Week 3 of our YTT at The Yoga Mandala, we learnt about the 7 Chakras in the human body. Jessica then explained how Chakras can be opened with different yoga poses targeted at specific areas of the body. For example, the grounding poses (i.e. standing and seated poses) help to open the Muladhara (Root) Chakra , while the chest opening poses help to open up the Anahata (Heart) Chakra.
With this newfound knowledge in mind, it is interesting to finally understand how the flow of yoga sequences are formed – usually in the order of standing, seated, prone, supine, invert. This sequence serves to open the Chakras from the lowest (Muladhara Chakra) to the highest (Sahasrara Chakra, aka Crown Chakra).
We were tasked to list 3 poses per category following the ‘standing, seated, prone, supine’ order, plus 1 inversion. The rule for this in-class activity was that we were only allowed to use 1 pose from our ‘cheat sheet’ of poses. Jessica explained that the main objective of this activity was for us understand the categorization of the poses, so there was no need for us to think about the transitions from one pose to another.
It was glaringly obvious how quickly and easily the regular/long-time practitioners in the class completed this actitvity, while I was struggling to come up with poses outside of the ‘cheat sheet’ even without having to think about the flow of these poses. I eventually called it quits for the day and requested to send in my assignment that same night instead.
As a relatively new yogi who skipped the beginner/fundamental levels and dove (a little too) bravely into the slightly deeper end of the sport for less than a year, this task proved to be extremely difficult for me. My yoga vocabulary was very limited as I mostly attended ABI/Pincha classes on Zoom and did not explore other styles of classes. Moreover, when I attended the classes, I went through the flows without really paying too much attention nor did I try to remember the poses until the fun bits – the arm balances & inversions.
Reflecting upon this activity, I realised that I really do need to be more exposed to yoga and also be more aware and present during classes. It will not only help me to be more versatile and ensure variety in my sequences, but also improve my own practices.
200 Hour YTT Feb-May’21