Decor, Personal, Yoga

Home Decor Obsessions and Root Chakra Clearing

At the very moment I type this, I have a West Elm shibori duvet and matching shams in my shopping cart. I am trying to convince myself not to buy them. One part of my brain is saying:  “You don’t need them. Save your money. Who cares if they’re on sale?” The other part is shouting, “But they’re so beautiful. And you may not need them now, but you will definitely need them later. What if they’re no longer available then? You’ll be sad you didn’t buy them when you had the chance.”

It is no coincidence that I had a pretty awful day at work yesterday.  I like to buy myself nice things when I get stressed out. Especially when the stress is job-related.  I tell myself that I deserve to spend the money I earn on something that will make me smile.  I hardly buy clothes or shoes anymore because a) I like to travel, so I save for two trips per year, three if I can get the time off; and b) if I do shop, I usually buy things for my home. I’m slowly amassing a collection of home decor items to take with me when I finally move.  My most outrageous purchase yet was a set of end tables from World Market.  When they were delivered to the house, Marvs said, “You can’t buy furniture. That’s just crazy. This isn’t a storage unit. This is my house!”   That exact thought actually crossed my mind when I hit the checkout button, but I ignored it because I’d been drooling over the tables for at least a year and they were finally on sale for HALF of their original price.  World Market had already discontinued the coordinating coffee table, so I thought it would be my last chance to get them.  They’re in their boxes in the sunroom now and I check on them once a week. It sounds absurd because it is.

I recently found myself enamored by this Tretchikoff pillow.  Laurie overheard me talking about it with Tiff and asked me the same question I have asked myself many times: “Why do you keep buying all these things when you have no use for them now?” I had no real explanation other than: “Because I want to?”

Her assessment: my root chakra needs some clearing.  Located at the bottom of the spine/groin area, the root chakra is associated with survival . Self-preservation.  Individuality. Security. Symptoms of a low-energy root chakra include lack of confidence,  anxiousness about finances, job, or home, weight issues, and feeling lost. All things I’ve experienced intermittently in the last several years.  Laurie thinks my need to collect all these pretty things allows me some semblance of control.  Sounds like she and my old therapist (still on the hunt for a new one) are on the same page.

So, I’m probably not going to buy the duvet and the shams, even though I really, really want them.

And now I need to figure out how to heal my root chakra. A quick search yielded this Mind Body Green article. I think I’ll start by practicing barefoot in the backyard to ground myself. And maybe I’ll try out all the reds in my nail polish stash.

My yogi friends, do you have any other suggestions?


Crunch Time


found on Pinterest, via The Alchemy of Life

My final exam for yoga teacher training  is THIS Saturday, March 9th, and the practicum in March 16th.  I have been studying and practice teaching and trying not to freak out!  I don’t know how much it’s working.  I have to teach– and mirror– ankle-to-knee pose. Which I hate. My hips are tight, so it’s really uncomfortable.  I just want to get through this so that I can go to Spain and eat a lot of yummy food and drink a lot of delicious wine.

Please forgive me–  I just don’t have the energy for a real post this week. So I hope you enjoy this lovely rendering of the chakras I came across on my favorite social media site.  I’m glad I found it because it’s helped me to memorize the order of the chakras:  Mulandhara (the root chakra), Svadhisthana (the sacral chakra), Manipura (the solar plexus chakra), Anahata (the heart chakra), Visshudha (the throat chakra), Ajna (the third eye chakra), Sahasrara (the crown chakra).  I bought a few bottles of orange nail polish   (Orly Melt Your Popsicle and CND Electric Orange) as a reminder that I need to work on clearing out my Svadhisthana chakra.  I think I’m going to wear an indigo polish for the exam (I’ll search my stash for it, I know I must have one), and blue for the practicum.

Ugh, I’m queasy just thinking about it.

Send me love, guys! I need it.  I really want to do well!


Notes on YTT

Note: this is pretty long and includes a rant. My apologies.  It’s close to the end of my training and I’m getting slightly anxious.  Feel free to skim!

  • Since my last similarly-titled post, I have finished all 20 classes with Laurie. I’ve also completed 13 observations, so I only have two left. And I’ve taken two classes with Jennie, so I have 6 classes left to take with her or other Prana Shakti Flow teachers.  I’ve finished all but two short essays for the homework.  Our last practice teaching session was a smashing success. I definitely know the cues for  Surya A and B by heart.  Laurie said I commanded the room.  It was awesome. So I’m getting closer to fulfilling all of the requirements.  We can get an extension after the practicum on March 17th, but I don’t want one.  I want to be done with everything by then so all I have to do is wait for my registration from the Yoga Alliance to come in the mail.
  • On Sunday we had the Advanced Asana Lab.  It was hard. Fun, but hard.  I did Eka Pada Koundinyasana II  for the first time.  I also did forearm stand for the first time, though it was only at the wall.  I managed to lift myself off the ground in Bhujapidasana, but I couldn’t quite get my ankles crossed.  Arm balances and inversions teach me a lot about myself: I’m an undercover perfectionist, and I’m easily frustrated when things don’t work out the way I want them to, even on my first try. I have to wonder though…would these “flight” poses be easier if I weren’t quite so heavy?  Literally and figuratively.  Literally, because I weighed myself last week and discovered that I am back up to 144 lbs. And figuratively, because I haven’t been to therapy since August. I’m trying to find a new therapist and I haven’t had much success.  I feel like this could be another post, so I’ll stop here.
  • I need your opinion.  In case you haven’t noticed, I am very serious about completing all of my requirements by the end of the program.  A large part of my focus comes from the fact that I just like to do well in school, so I am treating yoga teacher training as if I am back in school.  Some of my fellow trainees have not been as diligent as I have.  I am not bragging; this  is just the truth.  So, two weeks ago, one woman said that she was going to both observe and take Laurie’s Saturday class.  Another trainee overheard her and told her that wouldn’t work; she explained that you have to fill out a form for the observation and it’s impossible to do so while simultaneously practicing. The woman shows up this past weekend saying that she meant to come early to take Jennie’s class so she could observe Laurie’s class (which is what I had done). She sees me sitting there with my notes and asks if I’m going to observe the class. I tell her yes. She says, “Oh okay, good.”  Then after class, she asks me if she can see my notes. I again tell her yes, mostly because I am irritated and, although I’m 30, I have not yet learned how to mask my irritation. I have no poker face and I cannot be tactful when I’m angry. If I’d said no and explained exactly WHY I was saying no, I would not have said it very nicely.  Or at least, maybe the words coming out of my mouth would have looked nice on paper,  but my tone would have said very clearly, “NAWL! DO YOUR OWN WORK!”  The whole scenario really just annoyed the living daylights out of me. For the last month, I’ve been at Bonda Yoga no less than four times a week– I observe class on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  On Saturdays I practice first, then observe, then sit through 7+ hours of lectures/asana labs.  I’m doing what the hell I’m supposed to do. So why can’t you???  Her excuse is that she has to work. Guess what! We all have full-time jobs.  I go straight to Bonda from work. I sit in the studio, still wearing my work clothes, and take notes on those classes. Then I come home and type them up.  It’s really not that difficult; inconvenient, maybe, but difficult? No. She complained that she always wants to take the class she’s observing. Well, guess what! SO DO I! It hasn’t been easy to sit there and just watch when Laurie’s teaching side crane and handstand and eka pada galavasana  and a bunch of other cool poses. If I had it my way, I would’ve taken every single class that I observed.  But we are required to do the observations, so I’ve done them.  I don’t like the idea that this woman is basically mooching off of me, pretending that she’s observed the class when she really hasn’t. So the next time she asks for my notes, I’m going to tell her no.  But how do I explain?  Because I know myself and I know that whatever comes out of my mouth will probably be along the lines of, “NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE MY NOTES!  IF YOU WANT NOTES FOR AN OBSERVATION, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN AND OBSERVE A CLASS LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO, TRICK!” And that would not be very yogic of me. Le sigh.
  • Laurie had us do a yin-yang meditation. She asked me how it went and I told her– I’d envisioned the yang traveling up the back of my spine in purple, and the yin traveling down the front of my spine in orange. Where they met– at the tip of my tongue, and at the base of my spine, they were yellow. I told her that I’d felt a heaviness settle over my forehead.  She interpreted this in relation to the chakras.  Purple (my favorite color) reflects the seventh, crown chakra, Sahasrara; she said that I find comfort in knowledge, spiritual development, enlightenment.  I am acutely aware of a higher consciousness.  Orange represents  the second chakra, Svadhisthana, which is located between the navel and the genitals, and is the center of sexuality, emotions, pleasure, and movement.  Yellow represents the third chakra, Manipura, which is located at the solar plexus; it relates to personal power, will, and assertiveness.  Laurie said that I don’t trust myself, my creativity, or my sexuality.  The pressure I felt in my forehead was in my sixth chakra, Ajna, located at the third eye center; I don’t trust my intuition, either.   This all makes a lot of sense to me. I have so much work to do. (For further reading on the chakras, I highly recommend Chakra Therapy, by Keith Sherwood and Wheels of Life, by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.)

I hate to say it, but I’m almost ready for this to be over.