I’ve been doing a series of classes over the last few weeks on the chakras. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve taught these classes and I’m not the same person anymore. Teaching these classes has held up a mirror to the many ways that I need to work on myself. It’s brought both clarity and anxiety. This series is not only a journey for my students, but also for myself.
In week one, we broke down the root chakra, Muladhara, our connection to the Earth. As I guided my students through a series of postures to ground them in an effort to feel safe and secure in the world, my own insecurities about money and my ability to take care of myself were highlighted. I’ve felt ungrounded for the last couple years, since I moved to the Bay Area and its high prices constantly loomed over my head. Since I’ve moved back, I’ve had a hard time escaping fight or flight mode, I’ve had a hard time trusting the world I live in.
In week two, we discussed Svadhisthana, the sacral chakra. This chakra is about enjoying the pleasures of life, the “demon” for this chakra is guilt. I became hyper-aware of the immense amount of guilt I feel, it seems to pop up everywhere. I feel guilt with food, I feel guilt every time I spend money, I feel guilt when I miss yoga or meditation, I feel guilt when I don’t teach the best class I know I can. All fucking day, it never ends. This was a huge eye-opener for me. I know that big brother isn’t looking over my shoulder making sure that I’m picture perfect. I have to constantly remind myself that my guilt is made up in my mind, it’s only real if I make it real.
Last week we moved through a naval chakra flow to stoke the inner fire, our place of confidence, power and discipline. This class brought up a lot of questions such as, “Am I disciplined enough?” Is teaching 18 classes a week enough? Is it okay to nap and enjoy downtime? Am I slacker because I don’t have the energy or desire to take pictures of myself and post them on social media with some sort of inspirational quote? Between being in survival mode and feeling guilty all the time, I find it so incredibly hard to discipline myself and do more. Is it enough or not?
This week is Anahata, the heart charka. After the trauma of returning from California under the circumstances that I did, my heart is not the same. Yesterday as I led the first classes on connecting to the heart, I felt like a fraud. I could barely look my students in the eye and discuss self-love and the importance of being open and vulnerable. I felt like a fake, a phony. I don’t know how I made it through. I went home and broke down.
After a night of engaging in self-pity and doubt, I woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed. I realized that I need to make my friendship with myself my number one priority. I rolled out my mat and did my own heart chakra class with kriyas, chanting, pranayama, asana. As I lay in savasana, I felt connected to my essence. I was able to see myself again, I saw that it was possible to reconnect to my heart. I’m not saying that 90 minutes on my yoga mat solved all my problems, but it filled me with hope and possibility. I connected with that unstuck part of myself that can’t be touched by rejection, betrayal or doubt. I felt that warm, gooey center where unadulterated awareness resides.
While I may not be able to teach the most moving heart chakra class ever this week, I do understand what it means to be in pain, to feel deceived and abandoned and to choose to heal by falling in love with myself and in turn being kind to others. Love is a currency, you get what you give. I can at least teach this much. Alas, I’ve found some footing to be authentic with this week.