Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Creating Balance

Creating Balance

I believe that it's no secret that the yoga practice is a method of creating balance - not just on our mat, but also in our life. As any one of you can attest, this is not usually an easy process. And, for those without the proper tools, it can take a lifetime or more to determine how to create balance.

Through my own yoga practice, teaching my students and many years of conducting yoga teacher training programs, I have found the biggest results of creating balance when I focus on the five basic elements of earth, water, air, fire and ether, their influences and energies. Sometimes these energies fall under the guise of the Chakras, or energetic wheels of energy in the body. How our Chakras are aligned and spinning influence all aspects of our body-mind. And each of the lower Chakras is commanded by a certain element. So, when the Chakra is out of whack - so is the element.

For instance, the element "earth" is linked to the first Chakra. It is an energy that is grounding, rooting and establishes our basic foundation of knowing and trusting that we have a right to be here. When we are connected with the earth element and our first Chakra is open and spinning, we feel this energy in our lives, we move slow and steady, yet with grace - not just our body, but our whole life moves this way. Certain yoga postures, vinyasas, and breathing techniques cultivate more of this element. For those who are not necessarily grounded in this element, you simply need to learn the type of things to do to create more of it. It is possible, however, to be too grounded! This is when you become"stuck" and immobile. Because just like in class, we need to be able to move with the flow, so cultivating more of another element to get things moving again.

The questions then become, which elements to cultivate, why we should use those particular ones and how to use them appropriately?

Since I have had so much success working with the elements, I've decided to add some "Element" classes, which really work like workshops - part discussion and information and part yoga class. Of course they can be taken independently, but to truly gain the whole picture and how to cultivate overall balance, I recommend taking all five. Each week we will explore a different element. We will learn its basic form and energy, how it manifests in the body, how to cultivate more or create balance. Those that are already knowledgeable with the Chakra system will find that these classes open up the door even more to your understanding of how to work with the energy of each Chakra to create balance.

These classes will meet Thursday evenings in East Windsor from 8:15 - 9:45 pm beginning July 15th - August 12th. Cost of each class $25 or $120 for all five. Bring a notebook and your yoga mat.

So, what is your basic elemental constitution? And which other elements do you need to cultivate to create more balance in your life?

This is what we will discover together in these special classes. As always, I look forward to helping you discover different ways to assist you in creating balance in your life through the amazing yoga practice.
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Director/Owner