What the heck is a chakra? And does it really matter if they’re all aligned? I mean, last time I checked my body stood straight upward. I’m not a New Age version of a play dough Gumbi. With one chakra way left, and another one squished into my face. I decided to investigate.
I’ve mentioned once or twice how much I LOVE Wanderlust Hollywood. Not only do they offer amazing yoga classes, they also offer meditation, kundalini, Sound baths, and my new favorite, Amplified Yoga. “What is this?” you ask. The best way I can describe it is you feel like you’re on ecstasy at a rave, except with no drugs. Which is an assumption because I’ve never done ecstasy. And I’ve never been to a rave. What it DOES have is a live DJ. (Yes! A live DJ playing a mixture of house and yoga music. It’s awesome!) And strobe lights. (Don’t worry. Those don’t go the whole class. I mean, we’d have a seizure.) But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The class started with us walking around the room making eye contact with each other. WHY IS MAKING EYE CONTACT so hard??? I feel like people today would rather stab themselves in the stomach and pull out their small intestines than smile as the make eye contact with a stranger. What do we expect to happen? The nice looking lady passing us on the sidewalk is actually Medusa? And if we look her dead in the eye we turn into stone? Or worse, forever undateable? Do we think if we make eye contact with a stranger they’re going to yell, “Stop looking at me Swan!” and then chase us ten blocks with a homemade machete made of glass? I mean, please. But, just in case, I’ll stick to smiling at people in crowded places. With lots of witnesses.
We were instructed to stop, make eye contact with the person closest, raise our right leg and intertwine it with said stranger, and JUST STAND THERE. We were told to witness our thoughts. Mine started with, “Where has this person’s dirty ankle been?” And, “Why are my feet always so sweaty? I hope my current ankle partner doesn’t feel this and decide I’m a swamp monster.” But eventually I relaxed. It actually felt good. By the third and fourth person I found myself supporting them in my mind. As they wobbled on one leg trying to balance, I heard myself telepathically telling them, “We’ve got this.” Instead of, “If you fall I will cut you.”
This exercise awakened us to the fact that our mind controls many of our experiences, and most of the time it stays crazy and screws everything up. Uh, go talk to my last 5 boyfriends… and maybe my current one. They can confirm this. But tonight, in Amplified yoga, we were going to awaken that sixth chakra, aka the third eye, aka intuition. As this is something I definitely need, I was all ears. Or eye. Third eye. (Puns make me chuckle.)
Our teacher took us through the seven chakras and we chanted a sound for each one.
EK- your root and stability
Ong- your creativity and sexual energy
Ka- your determination and perseverance
Sat- your heart and center of love
Nam- your voice in the world
Siri- an Apple iPhone robot. I mean, oops, your intuition. (Though I did think a lot about iPhones so if this doesn’t work for me that’s why.)
Wahe Guru- ecstasy
As we chanted these mantras we had corresponding motions that really cemented the meaning into our bodies. And no, ong wasn’t a pelvic thrust for sexuality. Though, it was a very sass hip swish. We formed a large circle in the room and chanted in unison. And then things got crazy. We’re all revved up and our instructor tells us to stop and visualize anything we want to get rid of. Whatever limiting belief is holding us back, we are literally going to shake it out.
So for three minutes a room full of 50 people were shaking the crap out of every limb in their body. We looked like a bad epilepsy warning video. I shook my legs and arms so hard I was sore for four days. And then we just moved. Moved however we wanted, wherever we wanted. One guy even got hit in the face. Seriously. But he was on such an ecstasy high he DIDN’T EVEN CARE! (I think they should utilize this on “Jerry Springer.”) We all just danced and spun around to great house music while the strobe lights engulfed our identities and the music muffled our shouts. This is when I thought, “This must be JUST like a rave,” before losing myself into oblivion.
Because this was BLISS. It is what life is SUPPOSED to be! Not worrying about whether we’ve worked hard enough to make $100,000 a year to afford LA housing! Or if we look cool enough to sport a fedora in Silver Lake! This was REAL. No judgement. Just pure, creative energy. Needless to say I was hooked. I feel a tad dramatic saying it was life changing but, “IT WAS LIFE CHANGING!” (I’ve never felt self conscious about being over dramatic before. So why start now?)
So how do you experience this? If you have access to a yoga studio with kundalini yoga, GO! Or you can easily google chakra meditations for free. Click here See. I found one for you. Turn it up loud and dance like someone possessed.
When class ended, and the lights were back up so we could no longer hide in anonymity, we were left with one last challenge. Strike up a conversation with someone in class instead of reverting to our previous behavior of putting our heads down, avoiding eye contact, and running out of class as fast as we can. So I introduced myself to this really cool Indian chick who works right down the street and comes to these classes often. Who knows, maybe I just made a new friend. And, hopefully, I FINALLY cleared my head.
And so it is.