Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vipassana Inspired Yoga Class

Every Monday nights yoga class at Bamboomoves, promises to challenge the body, inspire the soul, and relax the mind. I like to switch up the play list with a variety of music selections like Radiohead, Coldplay, MC Yogi, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, The Dead, My own originals (Ambria), Sade, and many more amazing music selections. Sometimes we have live music, sometimes we have an entire night of music selections that are inspired by one particular artist. As a musician, and a practitioner of Yoga, I believe in the vibrational energy that we all are made of. Scientists are now discovering how Samuel Barbers Adagio for strings has the ability to create a euphoric change in the human body, creating a sense of getting high. If you have listened to your favorite music and got lost in the amazingness of it, you know that high that this study is speaking of. This study was predated with the ancient Yogis, who found the connection of certain instruments, and frequencies to specific chakra (energy points) in the body.

While it is awesome to have great music in a Yoga class, it is also awesome to challenge yourself to a quieter class. Since I love to change things up, this coming Monday night will be a "Vipassana" inspired Yoga class. Vipassana is a popular meditation practice done worldwide. Many people spend a week in total silence at Ashrams that offer this practice, with guided meditation and pranayama. Respecting tradition. No words.

Students at Bamboomoves will enter in silence, meditate in silence, practice in silence, and challenge themselves to remain in "silent obedience" as (Sri Dharma Mittra calls it) to the practice of Yoga. Without any regard to the student next to them except for mentally offering love and compassion, and instead digging deep for the purpose of self transformation. This type of yoga practice is meant to bring self transformation through self observation and introspection. It is a powerful and ancient way of practicing Yoga.

While it is fun to joke with friends, and catch up in a yoga class, especially if you have a "Cheers" like vibe as Bamboomoves does, sometimes it is good to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to go within. These silent moments can bring about life changing epiphanies, but people must be open to the opportunity. Yoga Journal and many Yoga publications debate over the concept of Yoga Etiquette.... Are we respecting the practice when we talk? Are we respecting the instructor when we talk? Are we respecting our classmates when we talk? Are we allowing the Mind-Body-Spirit connection to take place? Are we embracing our pranayama practice? We must always remember, group fitness classes are fun & engaging, and yoga is too, but it can also be a spiritual opportunity for fellow students to discover and uncover things they avoid facing. Ultimately, the energy of the class is usually facilitated by the Instructor. In truth, when we talk too much, can we allow our minds to calm and quiet? Can we find Samadhi when we are always chatting/giggling? While I tend to talk through class, and even crack jokes, especially in my Fitness inspired class "Zoga-laties", I am excited to deepen students focus and spiritual experience in this Monday nights level 2 Yoga class. Light instrumental music may echo in the class, and Spiritual transformation will take place.

Ironically, this week when I assisted in the Harmony By Karate Kids Class, Sensei Joseph challenged the kids to go through their katas, and drills in total silence. The focus that kids displayed was amazing! The energy that was created was outstanding! To witness how creative the kids got was truly inspiring! I felt like Sensei Joseph had read my mind, when he introduced the exercise to the class. If kids can do it in Karate, so can adults!!!

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