|Anne working with Barbara on her warrior II pose|
|Heart chakra image|
We began the class by talking about the heart chakra, the symbol for which is coincidentally the logo for the Yoga Sanctuary. The whole chakra thing is a bit mystical for me, but I enjoyed listening to the discussion and doing the heart opening poses before the actual meditation portion of the class. One of the things I liked most about the class was Anne's incorporation of Tibetan bowls that she got from Robert Austin. (See my post from December 4th if you don't know about his Tibetan and glass bowl concerts. They are truly amazing.) She talked about her experience shopping for the bowls and how Robert "played" different bowls on different parts of her body in order to determine which bowls were the right ones for her. It turns out that the bowls choose their owner rather than the other way around. It's kind of like when you go to the pound thinking that you are in the market for a miniature poodle only to end up with a labrador retriever. (If you haven't done the whole bowl thing, this must sound incredibly ridiculous and crystal-ly and you probably think we've all gone over the edge. All I can say is that you should reserve your judgment until you've had a chance to experience a Tibetan bowl concert. Then we can talk.) Anyway, Anne played the bowls during our meditation and, as always, their sound took me to another place. Towards the end of the class she made her way to each student, placed the bowl above his or her heart, and played it. I could hear that the bowl in fact sounded different on different people. When it was my turn, the vibration of the bowl resonated through my body. It was an incredibly cool feeling. At the end of the class I was relaxed and refreshed and ready to conquer the world (or at least the pile of papers on my desk).
It's great fun to explore different yoga classes during the challenge and find out what I've been missing out on. This week I'm going to take my first "yin" class, which I think involves holding poses for extended periods of time. I'm hoping to make the chant for peace the following week, during which participants will chant "om" 108 times followed by a brief meditation. And I'm going to try a tuning fork session, which I would describe to you if I had a clue what's involved. All in all, it's shaping up to be quite a memorable month.