Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chakra Yoga

I took my first yoga class when I was twenty-one (so, uh, around eight years ago), and I've been hooked on it ever since. Back then, I remember being struck by how "free" I felt when I practiced, and how yoga made it easy for me to turn off that constant inner-monologue. Yoga allowed me to feel happier and more present. 

Since moving up North (and far away from any yuppie yoga studios), I've tried to practice at least several times as week (either in the basement or on the balcony). I've also expanded my own views on yoga through dvds, magazines, and books. I've become more liberated and self-assured, along with being more flexible (although, I honestly feel that I'll never ever be able to do a decent cow face). 

In brief, I feel like my relationship with yoga is still constantly evolving and changing - this is a good thing.

As previously stated, I try to learn as much as possible about yoga.  I have books upon books about the varying styles of yoga, and I still get excited to read something new. I recently read Alan Finger's Chakra Yoga: Balancing Energy for Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Well-Being. Finger's style of yoga, ISHTA yoga, concentrates of usage of physical practice to stimulate the seven chakras. Through asanas, meditation, and chanting, Finger believes that it is possible for one to create positive energy and to balance the chakras.

Personally, I loved this book. Yep, this book is FANTASTIC!

I found Finger's writing style to be easily understood, and I liked how Finger ties personal experiences with his ideas. As a reader, these personal touches make the book to be an engaging spiritual text rather than a heavy philosophical tome. Finger should be applauded for adding important details on how each pose should be done and including pictures of said poses. Far too often yoga books include poses, but have little details on the finer nature of these poses. Alignment is important! Finally, I found that his daily chakra practices could be easily incorporated into my own routine, and really do feel that these practices have also furthered my feeling of contentment.

Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student of yoga, I recommend that you check this book out. The practices in here will only help to enhance your practice!

4.5/5 (I just wish there was a little more variation in the routines)

Chakra Yoga: Balancing Energy for Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Well-being
Shambhala (2005), Paperback, 160 pages

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