"Crystals are formed by a dynamic process called crystallization,
that signifies transition from chaos to perfection"
~Molecular Structure Laboratory
This week's class theme focused around chaos. I came across the quote above while trying to explain how crystals form to my 6 year old. "Mama, how do they get so pretty?" (I have quite a few around the house) So we sat down and looked it up together. He was very impressed. Then he immediately turned his attention to Pokemon cards. Through that tender (fleeting) bonding moment I was brought back to an experience that happened during my teacher training. The topic continued to come up and most of my teachers wore crystals in some way throughout the training. Being around bodies all day, while teaching, and having to feel their students energy in the room, they found themselves drained and exhausted at the end of the day. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of using crystals to balance energy, however, when one of my teachers explained the process a crystal goes through to form, my skepticism quickly faded. When liquid magma cools slowly crystals can be created. Think of the energy of a volcano, the searing heat of lava, and after it cools, crystals take shape. After the dust settles, the energy it takes for the Earth to conceal it in all its perfection; weight, pressure, and gravity. That's a lot of energy to create a crystal, it seems natural they might absorb some of that intense energy within themselves. As I reminisced, an idea for a class came to mind. It had been a particularly chaotic week. Hurricanes* were bearing down on the southern parts of the US and the beautiful islands in between. Every day more news of people fleeing their countries due to discrimination and violence. One thing right after another. I felt heavy. I wanted to avoid that heaviness in my class so I started to think of ways chaos can manifest itself in other forms or scenarios in ones life. Once it calms down, and the dust settles, a new perfection can be revealed. It doesn't have to be on a large scale; going outside of your comfort zone can create chaos within. So I started there.
As I wrote my sequence I thought of subtle ways to get my students out of their comfort zones. For anyone who teaches yoga, it is eye opening how uncomfortable students get when they find themselves off their mats or facing other directions. So I decided to get them off their mats a little bit (just a little bit) to create some "chaos." I had been struggling with some IT pain (Illiotibial Band: connective tissue connecting the hip muscles to the tibia of the lower leg) in the last few weeks so I decided to incorporate IT lengthening poses throughout my sequence. If you're a runner, this is for you! My focal pose was revolved triangle or Parivrtta Trikonasana, which I added throughout on different planes and in different variations. Prone RT, Supine RT, Standing RT, hand to big toe pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana) across my body, and finally, I added a low lunge variation that targets the IT band, which I dubbed, "wonky low lunge." Each pose is pictured below along with videos to show how I got into each one. More detailed descriptions of each pose are in the captions on my youtube channel. Get there by clicking on the YouTube icon on the videos.
"Wonky Low Lunge"
I will leave you with the main flow I came to for my chaos sequence during Sun B (Surya Namaskar B). It is a challenge, but once you flow through a few times, it starts to flow seamlessly together. Let it sync with your breath, start to let it flow like a dance, and with that your mind will quiet. I hope you will find the peace through the chaos, the perfection after the storm and a new understanding of yourself within. Cheers to you yogis!
"May peace and peace and peace be everywhere." ~ Mundaka Upanishad
(Music By GunnarOleson, "Chaos")
In case you wanted to know where your IT band is!
*If you are wondering how to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria please click the link below to be directed to OneAmericaApeal.org. Thank you.*