Root Chakra: Stability and a Sense of Belonging

1st Chakra Themes

Your body is the journey, and it is where you begin. It is your connection to the physical world, your foundation, the home of your dance. You are the place from which all action and understanding will arise and to which it will return. You are the testing ground of truth. – Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.

What we call home is an idea we create within ourselves. Our connection to a physical space, inanimate surroundings, and the people we love undergo the change and flux of the universe. We can’t always control our surroundings or rely on those who support us; by creating a sense of stability and safety from within, we learn how to self-soothe and regulate intense emotions.

The body is our initial connection to the earth, and yoga is a tool to shift how we feel. We can always come back to the practice- be it asana, pranayama, or meditation. We might use these as tools to shift states of dis-ease. The practice allows us to come back to a place where we are grounded and feel a sense of belonging.

The root chakra, Muladhara, connects us to our inner stability and grounding. When we’re balanced in this chakra, we feel connected to the earth, those around us, and ourselves. When we feel out of balance in this chakra, we may feel overwhelmed, agitated, disconnected, and over-excited.

Seeking activities that are slower and closer to the ground and eating dense and heavy foods may quell anxiety. Especially as we shift into the heat of summer and months marked by activities outside, creating rituals and practices that have a grounding effect may help bring the energy downwards, so we don’t overexert ourselves and burn out. 

This week Clara and I focused on yoga poses that build strength in the legs and abdomen. We talked about a pranayama/breath exercise to slow the heart rate and deepen the breath. We shared the rituals we do after a busy day or a day of travel.

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 
1st Chakra Interview with Clara Roberts-Oss

Themes for Muladhara

CROWhen we connect to our root chakra, in terms of the yoga practice, we deal a lot with the legs, connecting to the legs, and feeling the connection to the earth itself.

If you want to have a more earthbound practice, you will stay low to the ground. You would do things that are very leg-heavy and hold the poses for longer. 

SDTWhy is an earth theme and connecting to the root chakra something we want to work with at this time of year? 

CRO This is usually a time of year when many people get physically burnt out because they’re doing all of the fun, physical activities that they do outside. And to balance that energy, we want to create a slower moving, a darker, heavier class to kind of counter the excitement that we’re experiencing outside. 

SDTTalk about some of the elements in the class this week- Stay Low– as themed around the root chakra and the body parts you would open. What kind of things would you include in a class to honour this theme for yoga teachers? 

CRO One of two ways I theme with earth classes is with a lot of standing leg poses and warrior poses. I would include a lot of hip openers. I would have a longer floor series, the lunar part of the class, and I would include a lot of forward folds to invite a space for introspection.

With the earth element, you want to create a feeling of staying low to the ground. One of the descriptions of the earth is generally dark and heavy. So those elements are two things that we would bring into this class.

SDTTell me about Anna Forrest and Forrest Yoga, which you add to your sequences, and what Forrest Yoga supports and strengthens? 

CRO I love Forrest Yoga for the therapeutics that work specifically around the lower back and activating and stretching the psoas, which I think are two things that we don’t pay enough attention to in yoga.

One of the things Ana Forrest gets people to do is to create a roll by rolling up a mat or a blanket. The roll is rolled up and placed between the thighs. I sometimes use a block. And the deep core work comes from hugging in at the upper inner thighs around the block. If you’re a member on the site and you’ve done the core work classes, most of that is on Forrest Yoga.

It’s very subtle work; it’s really about the deep core muscles activating, the muscles that I call the stabilizers. If you want your stabilizers to work harder versus your, what I call your movers and shakers, then you need to do smaller movements to activate the stabilizers. 

SDTParvati is the Goddess who symbolizes the Earth and is a deity I would associate with the root chakra. Can you talk a bit about Parvati’s relationship with Shiva and what they create together? 

CRO I call Shiva the patron Saint of yogis. He’s the meditator and quite the rebel. He’s dancing the Tandava, which is a dance of destruction and transformation, or he’s seated in meditation. What he does is he goes to Mount Kailash, and he lives in this cave. He goes up to this cave, and he sits there for centuries at a time, meditating.

When he’s meditating, he’s connecting to higher consciousness. Parvati, his wife, gets annoyed, and she starts to get bored because her husband is off meditating and not spending time with her. 

So Parvati goes to find Shiva in deep meditation. Nobody can wake Shiva from his meditative state, but Parvati goes to him, and she begins to dance and move all around him. She has a particular scent, and it’s the scent of her perfume and the dance that pulls him from meditation.

Parvati is the one who brings him back to the physical world out of the ethereal realm. She has a grounding effect on Shiva, and through their connection, balance is achieved. 

Parvati symbolizes the earth, and she also symbolizes the ultimate partner or the ultimate wife. Parvati is very disciplined, and some stories share how Parvati started being a spiritual practitioner at the age of three or four. She surpasses Shiva in terms of how enlightened she is or connected to the divine, so Shiva is attracted to that aspect of Parvati. She is his equal or a little bit above in terms of her spiritual practice.

SDTWhat are some rituals that help you ground after a long day? 

CROI prefer meditation or putting legs up the wall. Putting legs up the wall is very grounding; it gets you into the parasympathetic nervous system. It allows me to arrive.

That’s the thing that I do, usually when I show up in a hotel room or when I’m travelling. Then usually, if I’m fortunate enough to have a bath, I’ll immerse myself in water. 

I use my yoga practice now as a tuneup. I’m tuning up parts of my body and therefore tuning up parts of my mind and spirit.  

SDTWhat are some pranayamas that have a grounding effect? 

 

CRO Nadi-shodhana, alternate nostril breathing, is one. Nadi-shodhana balances the hemispheres of the brain as well as the lunar and solar sides of the body. 

The other pranayama I would recommend would be bhramari breath or bees breath. I would place my hands on the lower abdomen or hands-on thighs and then hum down into that area. 

The last one would be a moving meditation that’s kind of like a Tai Chi movement. You stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and inhale hands upwards toward the sky and exhale hands back down toward the ground. I would do this standing to feel my feet on the ground and connect to the stability of the earth. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Second Chakra: Svadhisthana Themes and Yoga

You are water, the essence of all forms, yet formless. You are the point from which each direction flows and you are the flow. You were the one that feels. You were the one that moves. You were the one that embraces the other. 
– Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.

As humans, we are 70% water. It’s our natural inclination to embrace spontaneity, go with the flow, and adapt to new surroundings.

Yet, we may oppose change and go against our instinct. This is represented as a blockage in the second chakra, Svadhisthana. Located at the sacral area close to the womb and the sex organs, the second chakra embraces themes such as fluidity, creativity, change, relationships with others, and pleasure.

As we move up from the root chakra, Muladhara, which connects us to our strength, groundedness and a sense of surrender, we come to the second chakra, where we begin to explore how we express ourselves and connect to the world around us.  Balancing duty with desire, relating to others, and going with the flow are some of the central themes of the second chakra.

Read the highlights from our talk below, or feel free to watch on #PracticeWithClara or listen on Spotify.

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 

Second Chakra Themes

CRO– The second chakra is Svadhisthana, and the element is water. Generally, it deals with our emotions and our sexuality, and our creativity because this is literally where our sexual fluids are.

This is the space where we connect to our fluidity, going with the flow. When we work with the second chakra, we’re working with how we relate to others. We would examine the second chakra when we want to work with our relationship, not only with our bodies but with the people in our lives.

The second chakra deals with desire and pleasure.

Questions for the second chakra include:
  • What is your relationship to pleasure?
  • Do you seek it?
  • Do you shy away from it?
  • Do you indulge in it?
  • Is there a balance between duty, what needs to get done, versus pleasure?

Discovering the right balance is important because you need to feed your spirit. If your heart’s not in it, then what’s the point? 

SDTAnother theme of this chakra is the idea of the empath in discovering our emotions and how we relate to others and adapting to fluidity. 

CRO– Yes, and that’s where the whole idea of boundaries is. The second chakra is also how we create boundaries in relationships and come together with those around us. 

SDTHow does Prana Flow by Shiva Rea help one embrace this idea of fluidity? 

CRO–This is a style of Vinyasa Yoga that my teacher Shiva Rea created, and I’ve studied off and on with her since 2003.

Prana Flow was born out of her creativity of playing with styles of dance, as well as yoga, and being in her own body. Shiva realized that there was so much power in fluidity. Prana Flow deals with what she calls moving meditation. So you start every single class in the moving meditation, similar to the moving meditations for the rituals for the chakras in the coming weeks.

The idea is to remind ourselves of this flow naturally moving through us since we’re made up of at least 70% water. We walk around thinking that we’re mostly solid, even though we’re mostly liquid. And so connecting to that liquidity reminds us of our natural state.

When I met Shiva in 2003, I felt like I had come home. Because here was a woman that was creating movements that I’d been naturally doing on the dance floor and the nightclubs of New York City.

In Prana Flow, we’re connecting to the natural contraction and release of the breath, but also the fluidity of your body with the breath itself. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Manipura Chakra: The Will to Thrive

3rd Chakra Themes

Manipura, known as our power center, is located at the solar plexus. It represents our will, our purpose in life, and our ability to execute our passion. The element is fire, capturing the essence of this chakra with its heat, intensity, and ability to transform.

When Manipura is in balance, we’re able to assert ourselves without becoming too aggressive or overbearing. There is a sense of fluidity and ease within our power, as we’re able to ride the wave of momentum and opportunities that arise with a sense of pragmatism in how we execute our will.

Imbalances in Manipura chakra result in digestive issues and discomforts and a feeling of powerlessness and lack of control. Misalignment in this chakra could appear as being overly-rigid, demanding, egotistical, dogmatic, challenging, or on the other end, needy, clingy, and an utter lack of confidence and self-esteem.

This week, we sat down with Shiv Derek Oss, Clara’s father, to discuss the will to power, passion, and purpose. Shiv is a teacher and photographer whose passion for mythology, mysticism, and music has influenced his discourse and direction in life. Below are the highlights from our discussion where Clara and Shiv advise on how to harness the power of the third chakra by taking risks, sitting in discomfort, and discovering your gift. Feel free to watch the full episode or listen on Spotify.

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 
Third Chakra Interview with Shiv Derek Oss

Manipura In Action: The Flame and Fluidity

CRO–Purpose is such a big part of the third chakra. The idea is to find and connect to our purpose.

In the yoga practice, for the third chakra, Manipura, we would do kapalabhati breath, also known as skull shining breath, or Agni Saraj, to stimulate the inner fire. Other ways we’d work with the third chakra would be around the solar plexus through lots of core work.

SDO–I like thinking of the third chakra as the connecting to our collective unconscious and instinct. And so, when you are living in your purpose, you need to connect to that core or that base of the fire, the ember quality, the undercurrent. And then from that undercurrent, the undercurrent supports the turbulence, which is the fire and the flame. Above the turbulence, you have the blue heat, which is the serenity. So you have all three parts: the embers at the base, the fire turbulence in the middle, and then the blue halo of light which is the serenity. And that’s what I feel power is about: being connected to those three aspects of the self. 

CROAnd also being balanced in all three. When I think of power, it’s something that can be aggressive. So I like to think of all three aspects, with the idea of the blue. I love this imagery of serenity. So when I connect to my power, I also connect to all three aspects versus letting one dominate. 

SDO–Balance is crucial because that’s the distinction between force and assertion. Force is to impose the self on another, but assertion comes from the harmony of those three elements, those three levels of awareness that you bring to your purpose. Otherwise, you become inflated. 

CRO–And dogmatic. I feel like sometimes, within that idea of power, there can be rigidity. So I would ask: can I still be fluid in my power? 

Embrace Spontaneity and Idle Time

CROSo much of the experience like art and the practice and yoga is spontaneous. It’s this idea of this feeling that’s kind of arising through the action of doing Asana or the action of reading poetry or listening to music or looking at art.

I feel like any expression if you have the space to play and allow it to be experienced inside of you, then it hasn’t been contained. It isn’t dogmatic in a sense, which I feel is very important. 

SDO–Then comes in a very interesting dynamic where let’s say you feel that you need to do yoga, but some part of you doesn’t want to, or there’s some part of you that wants to make art, but yet another part says, why don’t we go have a coffee somewhere? So how do you work with that? 

CRO–This is where the idea of tapas or discipline in terms of the spiritual practice. And I would ask, when is it appropriate to let it go to surrender to what’s happening, or when do you dig deep and do what needs to get done?

I’d say it all depends on my intention. If I’m not showing up to shy away from the work and avoid, that’s one thing. Or am I doing it because I need a break and I’m overloaded and I should be naval-gazing and enjoying idle time. 

In doing nothing, we’re healing and we’re reflecting so that when we go back to doing what we need to do, we’re rejuvenated.  

SDO–Bob Dylan says it in a really interesting way, he says it comes down to how to hold and to release in a Holy way. Meaning wholeness, so you’re entering into a sense of wholeness and you’re coming out of that wholeness.

Now, how do you, because I think yoga has to do with that unity and maintaining that wholeness between those three levels. We were talking about. How do we go about doing that in our daily lives? Because what we’re doing in essence is where we’re using our power upon ourselves. We’re regulating ourselves.

And so where does that come from? You know, where does that, where does that knowing this come from? Is it coming from the discipline? Does it come from the practice itself or where does it come from?

Sit in Discomfort: Advice On How To Persevere

SDTI’m getting the sense that part of honoring the third chakra is to be uncomfortable… 

SDOYes. 

CROAnd the idea of that, is that through the fire, whatever it is that we’re uncomfortable with transforms. It’s not the fire that is uncomfortable. It’s what we’re bringing to the fire that has discomfort.

SDTThere’s a lot of risk involved in going alone on your path, which is what both of you have done at some point in your work or art. The ability to follow your purpose and go out on your own, to have the will and confidence to go against the norm, these are all themes of the third chakra. Do you have any advice for people who are struggling to launch their own business or pursue their art, or do whatever it is that takes them to the next level? 

CROA lot of it, I feel, is perseverance. 

SDOBeing an artist, you don’t have a choice after awhile. You know there is no choice because the other way of living is not amicable to your being.

CROIt’s in really following the momentum. And I think that that’s like in terms of stepping out of the village compound, meaning the nine to five, the typical milestones that we’re supposed to go through in life.

Instead, you need to kind of follow your nose and also ride the wave of momentum. So you need to be conscious of what’s happening and what’s coming towards you and moving towards what you think is going to feed you.

I literally stumbled upon working for myself. I was working at a restaurant and I was in university and I stumbled upon doing a yoga teacher training through a friend of mine, and I decided to join her. I thought I would just learn more about yoga, but I followed it and it felt like the right thing to do. And then I realized how I really enjoyed it. And then from there, a friend of mine was working at managing a studio and somebody had just left and so he was offered me all of these classes. And so the key is, you need to follow your nose.

Go with instinct and ride the wave. And they’ll definitely be points of discomfort where you’re like, am I going to be able to make a living? Trust in your gut and what you do, but also be pragmatic. Feel the current is as it’s coming towards you.

You’re just kind of allowing yourself to be there and observing like what’s coming towards me and how is that going to feed me? But the other thing that I love that she has said is, is that you need to be fed by it.

Discover Your Gift and Give It Away

SDO–This brings me to the notion that we carry gifts, that we are here and we are a gift.

We are a gift from creation to creation. And that a lot of what we are for me, meaning is about, is getting in touch with my gift. Now the thing then is who will accept this gift and who will reject it.

It’s been my experience that it’s difficult when you come, when you bring your gift, because your gift is unique, each person has a unique gift and that unique uniqueness threatens the status quo. It unsettles people they want to know. 

And then what you do with the gift then is you give the gift away. And only when you give the gift away, that cycle is complete because you pass it on.  

CRO–We talked about this before in terms of when we’re in a relationship or when we’re in dialogue with somebody other than ourselves, and we are triggered by them. We talked about this before in terms of when we’re in a relationship or when we’re in dialogue with somebody other than ourselves, and we are triggered by them. It’s an opportunity.

When we feel an agitation, the anger illuminates that there’s something there that we need to work out. The irritation is fodder to chew on and ask, what does this mean for me? How can I grow from this?

So you can progress or you can move beyond your irritation and anger, and where you currently are. What we consider the comfort zone of where we are right now, it’s time to go to the next level of whatever that means.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Anahata Chakra: Healing Through the Heart

The heart can be a source of love and where we can connect to our truth. Love for ourselves is possible when we honour our truth and continue to check in with what serves us at any given moment.

The heart chakra, Anahata, is also where we house our pain (i.e. heartbroken). Our physical and emotional ails may be transformed at the heart if we connect to our truth and explore what activities, communities, and relationships bring a sense of lightness and love into our being.  

Anahata is the fourth chakra and is at the center of the seven chakras. It serves as a bridge to connect the lower chakras, which relate to our tangible connection to the earth, with the upper chakras, which relate to our consciousness and immaterial aspects of nature.
It is within our hearts that we can create harmony and balance between our internal and external worlds. The heart is where we can discover a state of ease, compassion, and serenity. The themes of the fourth chakra themes include love, forgiveness, sadness, and grief. 

The element for Anahata is air. Our breath is our life force, our vitality, and is one of the key indicators of how we’re feeling emotionally. Tightness or shortness of breath is a sign of stress or can indicate we are holding pain in our chests. When our breath is smooth, slow, and deep, we are in a state of ease. When we are at ease, we can interact with our environment and other people with more integrity.  

This week on the podcast discussion, we responded to your questions around balancing community with compensation and issues surrounding cultural appropriation. We opened this week’s talk with an overview of the chakras in what they are and why they’re essential to the practice and unpacked the heart chakras themes, blockages, and imbalances. 

Watch the talk on the Practice With Clara Site, or listen on Spotify

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 

Introduction to The Chakras

We have thousands of chakras in our bodies. The ones that we focus on as yogis go up to our main energy channel, Sushumna or the spine, which starts at the pelvis and goes through the middle of the spine all the way to the top of the head.

The seven chakras are located at Sushumna. The first one, Muladhara, is at the base. The second one, Swadhisthana, is just below the belly button. The third one, Manipura, is at the solar plexus, The fourth one, Anahata at the heart. The fifth one, Vishuddha, goes to the throat. The sixth one, Ajna,  is at the third eye center, the middle of the head. And then the seventh one, Sahasrara, is the top, the head, or just above the head, depending upon who you talk to. 

Why do we focus on the chakras as yogis?

It’s said that at the base of our pelvis sits our creative force known as Shakti or Kundalini. This is this dormant creative force that lives inside of the pelvis. As yogis, we want to ignite or awaken that energy to have it rise up from the pelvis to our third eye center where our consciousness lives. When the kundalini energy rises, it’s said that we are awakened or that we receive enlightenment.

This is why we wanted to focus on the chakras. When the chakras are all open, the energy flows freely, and we are awakened. The asana and pranayama help to move the stagnant energy that day-to-day life can create in the body. Yoga is a way to clear the stagnant energy by observing the themes and blockages of each chakra and then creating a practice to clear and move the energy. 

Themes for Anahata

CRO–It’s said that the union is found inside of our hearts, which I love. Themes of the fourth chakra include compassion, love, forgiveness, acceptance, healing. Self-love. Love for others. On the shadow side of the heart chakra, we have grief and sadness.

Anahata means, unstruck, which is the unstruck sound that lives within each of us. It’s the vibration that lives inside of us. It’s the potential. I love this idea, the potential of the sound of vibration. And that is the heart, the potential of connection to all things.

One of the ways we observe if we’re blocked around a specific chakra is to ask, where do I feel tight or where does it feel uncomfortable or sticky? Another way we discover if the heart chakra is blocked is through ideas of sadness of grief.

So now, you would go into the emotional body where you may find constriction or a lack of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a big one that has to do with the heart. So you’re not able to forgive to let go. You can’t surrender; you’re holding on tight. And again, that tightness you generally feel in the chest. Self-care comes into this chakra as well, which is part of self-love. 

Blockages of Anahata

CRO–The most obvious one is tightness in the chest, like a physical tightness in the chest. Or another way is to look at someone’s posture or look at your own posture and if shoulders are rounded forward. With rounded shoulders, there’s this idea of physically protecting your heart. Or if you have any injuries in the chest or the shoulders that generally tells you that something’s going on in the heart. 

A shallow breath would be the other biggest obvious one. So if you can’t breathe deep, there’s a constriction in the chest. As physical yoga practitioners, we practice Asana versus meditation, and we always come to the body first because the body never lies. I like to take a couple of deep breaths and go into my body and observe how you feel. One of my favourite things to do at the beginning of my own practice is a body scan to see how I feel and where my body needs attention. 

I’ve been doing this so long, living yoga to the best of my ability, that it bleeds into all that I do. Running a business, teaching yoga, parenting; all of it is living yoga. I strive to always come back and connect to myself and my integrity. One of the reasons I wanted to create an online platform was to grow a global community and continue to connect with people. It felt like a very natural progression. You have to follow your instincts, receive, and respond to what comes naturally. For me, shifting my passion into a business was a natural progression from where I was. 

Community versus Compensation

My experience right now is that there is a very low glass ceiling in this room. Studios where I live and it is more economical for them to hire brand new instructors versus paying an experienced instructor, more money. I see the value in teaching in studios because they serve as a place to practice and the presence of community and meet new students. I feel a struggle about teaching in studios when the pay is so low and I’m being asked to perform lots of other non-yoga tasks. 


SDT– I think this is related to heart chakra because we love teaching. And I’ve been in this position where you’re teaching for free, or you’re teaching for very little because I get so much out of giving that to others.

CROI think the first question that I would ask is what do you want, I want, like, what does this student, or what does this teacher want?

I used to teach 25 classes a week and my Tuesday would start at 7:00 AM. And my last class ended at 8:30 PM and I taught at three different studios. It was crazy but I put in my time because that’s what I believed in, it was what I wanted to do. Through putting in all that time and effort, I started to build a following.

So I would ask: what’s most important to you? Is it most important to you to be part of a community, or is it most important to pay your bills? It’s a real thing to have to pay your bills and be validated as a teacher. Community is one of the main reasons I teach, and in the past, I’ve actually chosen to work for free and donate proceeds to a charity over making an hourly wage that didn’t sit well with me. 

I’ve spent over $10,000 on my education in this field, so anything less than minimum wage, I would rather work for free. I’d happily do Seva, which translates as selfless service towards others. 

If teaching is your main source of income, the other thing you need to think about is your worth.

Honouring the Roots of the Practice

I’m curious about appropriation. I have an interest in interreligious dialogue. Some people believe yoga cannot coexist with Christianity or Catholicism. How do we successfully respect and incorporate different traditions? 


CRO– So yoga is its own philosophy. Hinduism means philosophy from India. The biggest thing with yoga is it believes in a higher power. There’s Vedantic yoga; there are all kinds of yoga. You can fit whatever your religion or philosophy is into yoga. There’s a space for it. 

Are we culturally appropriating a philosophy and a way of life, a lifestyle that is not ours? The short answer around this is there is space for everything. In terms of you, take what works for you, and you leave the rest. But that being said, you honour where it came from. So we honour that it does come from India. We honour that. Traditionally, we talk about the chakras, and traditionally we do mantra and meditation and all these things, but the practice should evolve as we evolve.

As we’ve evolved as humans, the practice also evolves. I don’t think it should be rigid or static, and that’s why there are so many different styles of yoga and so many different cultures have taken it on and you’ll talk to most Indian people and they’re thrilled to share the practice of yoga.

It’s a benefit to all of us, because essentially it’s a tool kit, whether or not you’re doing the Asana practice or whether or not you’re doing meditation or mantra. It’s a toolkit to make yourself whole again. My understanding is that the great religions are about connecting to the divinity right inside of us or outside of us, depending upon which religion you’re talking about, but to find wholeness again is to be a part of something greater.

And so yoga fits, I think yoga fits in that. I think it’s really important to honour where it came from. And to know the history of it. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Vishuddha: Storytelling, Self-Expression, and Sound

Sound, space, and truth influence the fifth chakra. 

Located at the pit of the throat, Vishuddha translates to ‘purifyer’ in Sanskrit and represents our ability to express, speak, communicate, voice opinions, and bring our authentic vision and values to the world. 

How we feel is directly correlated to our thoughts and modes of self-expression. The words we choose shape our attitude, preserve culture, keep traditions alive that may or may not serve, and bond us to cycles of suffering when we fail to see our participation in shaping the future. Creating habits that express how we feel in ways that promote health, longevity, and sustainability rid our environments- and the world- of the disease that ensues due to miscommunications. 

Yoga is an alchemical process of acknowledging our emotions and shifting how we feel.

An asana practice moves the energy in the body while pranayama, mantra, and meditation target the subtle body to create new neural pathways in the brain. The nadis are channels of pranic/energy in the subtle body. The main Nadi of the body is Sushumna which runs from the base of the spine to the crown. There are seven main chakras along the spine that have both physical and metaphysical properties.

The chakras represent energy points that correspond to a specific organ in the body and the physical, emotional, psychological, and emotional states.

The earliest mention of the chakra system is from the Vedas between 1500 and 500 BCE. The word “chakra” is a word in Sanskrit that translates to ‘wheel’ or disks that have the ability to transform the body’s subtle energy. 

This post explores the themes for the fifth chakra, Vishuddha, that is located at the throat. Read on to learn the blockages and imbalances, or listen to the interview.

Themes of Vishuddha Chakra

Voice & Authenticity

The discovery of inner power and purpose is associated with Vishuddha. The upper chakras relate to the masculine intellectual realm (Shiva) and the ethereal properties to manifest and give birth to ideas. Connecting to the lower chakras relates to the creative feminine realm (Shakti) and the physical properties to amass the strength and focus for our desires. Vishuddha chakra represents voicing our dreams and aspirations. It’s where we find the ability to vocalize our purpose and bring our inner dialogues out into the world for others to witness. 

The throat chakra is where we develop the confidence and free will to express our authenticity, bridging the gap between our creative second chakra and the all-seeing awareness of the sixth chakra at the third eye. 

Truth & Purification

The Eightfold Path of Buddhists provides an outline of practices to lead to the release of suffering. Right speech is one of eight precepts for practice to develop the connection of the body-mind. It includes abstaining from lying, divisive and abusive speech, and idle chatter. Developing the right speech would be speaking that which you know to be true and beneficial to others. Understanding how gossip, assumption, judgement, prejudice, and fear shade our language and completely shift the receiver’s dynamic is part of honouring right speech.

As you cultivate a practice for right speech, you might ask yourself:
  • Is this statement true?
  • Will this statement bring the other person some benefit?
  • What is my intention in what I am about to say?
  • Are these words my own, or am I speaking through a layer of social/cultural conditioning? 

The purification process through Vishuddha occurs when we acknowledge how we feel and vocalize our truth. Discovering this truth is an individual process and often requires space for inner reflection through meditation. Our mind-body connection is one of the powers of yoga as we become better at sitting with how we feel and developing skills in language to communicate with the world. 

Words & Communication

The language we choose creates our reality. Selecting the correct words to describe ourselves and our actions influences who we become and how we see ourselves in the world. Observing the words we choose and their origin may give us insight into whether or not the language we’ve learned shares our current vision and values. Clear and effective communication includes expressing our thoughts and feelings without the assumptions, fears, or judgements of others’ influence over our speech.

Sound and the Power of Mantra

Mantras are a repeated word or phrase that aid in meditation and are a powerful tool to tap into the energy of the throat chakra. Chanting mantra is a way to evolve communication and expression, deepen listening skills, and refine sensitivities of the subtle body. When we chant mantra, the sound currents and vibrations interact with our brainwaves and the body’s energy field. We activate the electric impulses in our brain that control our thoughts and hormone secretion. Emotions are generated from the process of the brain’s electrical impulses activating the release of hormones into the body.

Repeating mantra subconsciously redirects the brain’s electrical impulses to induce a state of calm and rewire the brain to improve our attitude and habitual beliefs. 

Mantra is a Sanskrit word from man, meaning mind, and tra, meaning instrument. The purpose of mantra is to release the mind from unconscious thought patterns that trigger the release of hormones and influence our emotional state. The repetition of mantra out loud may induce a state of meditation where the sound waves and vibration release stuck and/or stagnant energies, purging the unconscious thoughts and emotions that don’t serve and cause disease.

Chanting synchronizes the right and left hemispheres of the brain, bringing more oxygen to the brain, reducing the heart rate and blood pressure. On a metaphysical level, the vibration of sound through mantra brings us to a positive frequency that aligns with the natural environment. The brain’s new neural pathways are created through mantra to amplify our ability to bring our truth to the physical world, manifest our desires, and acknowledge our prayers.

The bija mantra for the throat is Ham. Each chakra is associated with a bija seed sound to focus on the said area and direct our energy. Chanting this mantra encourages healing and transformation related to the themes associated with Vishuddha, such as expression. 

Expression through Intentional Language and Silence

Sitting Vipassana for 10-days and honouring the silence and meditation required introduced me to the power of words and the influence of language in the world. This process made me more aware of the power of words, the magic in speaking the truth and voicing fears and desires. I became more attuned to the process of bringing the inner, invisible realities and dialogues I created out into the material realm where others could bear witness to what felt, thought, or wished to actualize.

Vipassana gave me a space to reflect on how I could be more intentional through my words. Intentional language requires that we sit with how we feel, make space to reflect, and decide how we wish to communicate, be it verbal or non-verbal.

Silence is just as powerful a tool in self-expression. 

Non-verbal forms of expression may be preferred to communicating how we feel and venting emotion. Dancing our anger, painting our sadness, singing our angst; physical activity and art are therapeutic forms of purging excess emotion and expressing truths that are difficult to vocalize.

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 
Fifth Chakra Interview with Shiv Derek Oss

The Power of Storytelling

When you read stories, you relate to characters who express similar triumphs and conflicts, giving you a sense of belonging to a greater narrative. Storytelling may diminish feelings of separation, loneliness, and anxiety when we realize that we are not alone.

SDOThe biography of Joseph Campbell, it’s the hero’s journey. Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist, and he brings together these themes that Carl Jung would call the collective unconscious. Campbell says that every society has this with this myth that the soul, the individual, goes through. 

Campbell uses symbols moving throughout time to track this, this motif moving throughout all time and space. And I think this deals with storytelling as well, this essence of ‘once upon a time.’ This connects with therapy and the therapeutic notions of the cycle of the Aum, about these elements and forces that are within us. Symbols are externalized through the deities, Shiva and Vishnu, and so on. These are external symbols of internal processes. That’s how I got involved in mythology and my journey.

CROThe book that I’m reading right now is a book by Sarah Wilson; she’s an Australian author who wrote, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story About Anxiety. It’s a book all about anxiety, and she is a woman who’s worked with anxiety since she was 11 or 12 years old. She’s been in different kinds of therapy, and she’s done all sorts of self-help to medication- anything to kind of help her with anxiety. And she’s been diagnosed with bipolar, and she was diagnosed with OCD and many other things. It’s not a medical book. It’s a book of her experience of anxiety. 

I didn’t realize it until reading this, but I guess I battled with anxiety quite a bit in my teens and early twenties. Then through yoga, I was able to move through it and kind of work with my anxiety. 

SDTThrough someone else’s story, you found solace. The thing with storytelling is it’s not a prescription to living, it’s someone presenting what occurred, and you can choose how you relate to it and how you want to adapt it to your way of being. 

CROWe need to express because it builds intimacy with the people around us.

SDO This reminds me of a quote by C.S. Lewis, an English author who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. One of the things that Lewis says, especially in shadow lenses, we read to recognize that we’re not alone. And so storytelling gives us that sense that we’re not alone, and mythology gives us the universal sense. 

CRO–The shadow side of Vishuddha is when it’s blocked, and a blockage shows up when you can’t speak. It goes one of two ways. The other side, in an imbalance of Vishuddha chakra, is that you overshare. 

SDO– A blockage occurred when I was in a boarding school because we were not allowed to speak. And I carry that with me. To balance this, what I’ve done is I’ve learned to sing, and I’m thinking of people who stuttered, people who stutter can sing, and they typically don’t stutter when they’re singing.

What I do instead of singing, I do images. And what gets me going is how light operates and how life is dependent on light. I express myself, not through my throat chakra, but through the photographs and vision through light. 

One of the things I recognize as part of my shadow is now my throat is caught, still caught, and I’m working on that. I do this by massaging myself at my throat, and I’m conscious of wanting to express myself and share my truth.

CRO–When I feel imbalanced in Vishuddha chakra, this is expressed through a nightmare that I have had most of my life is. People can’t hear me in the nightmare, I’m trying to speak, and it doesn’t come out. I’m trying to scream or yell for help, and it doesn’t come out. In the nightmare related to work, I call it a ‘work-mare.’ I walk into the yoga studio, and nobody listens to me. People are on their cell phones. People are talking loudly, and anytime I speak, nobody hears me. No matter how long or how loud I speak, they just keep doing what they’re doing. And so, in that way, an imbalance shows up in my dreams that I’m not heard. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Ajna Chakra: Trust Your Intuition

The third-eye center, or Ajna chakra, is where we connect our wisdom and intuition. 
The sixth of the seven chakras, Ajna, translates from Sanskrit as ‘command’ or ‘perceive.’ The third eye symbolizes our ability to transcend the ego and move to a higher consciousness where trust, intuition, acceptance, and clairvoyance guide our actions. 

At the third eye, we practice listening to our intuition through meditation to allow the answers to arise naturally. Ajna chakra reminds us that we can balance self-doubt and questioning with a deep appreciation for honouring our instincts and trust in our process. 

When we become still and silent, we create the space to sit with our discomfort and receive our body’s messages. The body does not lie. The practice of yoga may be a tool to cleanse and purge the physical, mental, and emotional tensions so we can come to meditation and listen to what we need. 

When Ajna chakra is balanced, we see things as they are. We can step back and examine more than just the objects in front of us; we might step back to take in the full room and explore each item’s relationship. When Ajna chakra is out of balance, we live in Maya, the illusion, and can be disconnected from the truth.

This chakra asks us to deepen our understanding and acceptance of the world precisely as it is, so we might see how we belong and interact within the world around us. 

This week on the podcast, we discussed Ajna and its themes, blockages, and imbalances. We also discussed how we might connect to inner wisdom and intuition and explored Patanjali’s Sutra 11.6 in terms of falsely identifying with the ego over our truth. 

Read the highlights below, or get the full episode on Spotify

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 

Ajna Themes, Blockages, and Imbalances

CRO– The sixth chakra is at the third eye center. If you were to draw a line from one temple to the other and then from the middle of your forehead to the back of your head, where those two lines intersect is where the third eye center is. The third eye center has a lot to do with intuition, wisdom and clairvoyance, beyond reason into a more profound knowledge. When we connect to our third eye, we see the bigger picture, step outside of our experience, and look at the world objectively versus a subjective point of view.

Ways of connecting to the third eye chakra and creating harmony would be meditation. Another way you could connect to the sixth chakra would be through jiva bandha. If you’re doing a yoga practice, you take the tip of your tongue and place it to the roof of your mouth, where the top pallet meets the back of your front teeth. It creates a soft opening of the jaw, but it also may activate the third eye center.

When there’s an imbalance, you’re generally not grounded, lose all sense of who you are, and get lost in the ether. That’s a person who doesn’t know what’s going on. 

The blockage around the sixth chakra is that you can’t hear or feel your wisdom. And so, in that way, you’re running around in your ego, meaning the survival part of yourself. And you don’t know. What it is that you need. Another way a blockage would be expressed around the sixth chakra is that you can’t see the bigger picture when it’s closed.

Watts talks about this being like the bug’s eye view versus the bird’s eye view. The bug’s eye view is the idea that all you can see is what’s directly in front of you. You can’t see the bigger picture and kind of an idea. And when we’re in a bug’s eye view, we can’t see all the things. We can only see the stuff directly in front of us. So that would be a blockage. 

False-identification is confusing the nature of the seer or Self with the nature of the instrument of perception. In other words, false identification happens when we mistake the mind, body, or senses for the true Self. – Sutra 11.6

CROThe yoga sutras are one of India’s oldest texts written by a person called Patanjali. It’s a how-to for meditation to connect with your higher self or your inner wisdom. The sutras are a guide on how to meditate, how to connect to self.

The yoga sutras are ways to break free of the Maya, meaning the illusion we live in. So, a large part of the practice is this idea of connecting to our consciousness or the space that actually lives in the third eye center.

The third-eye and the concept of truth versus ignorance make me think of the Matrix, and the moment Neo must choose between the blue pill (to see the truth) and the red pill (remain in ignorance). The thing is, if you take the blue pill, you can never come back. You can never unsee what it is that you saw. So the question around Ajna chakra is, do I want to stay ignorant, or do I want to go deeper? 

This idea of false identification. It’s because we live in illusion, and we do not see the truth for the way it is, meaning that we’re hanging out with the red pill and not the blue pill. (If we’re going back to the Matrix metaphor). 

A lot of yogis believe that we are not our minds, bodies, or emotions because they are always in flux. We’re looking to connect with a part of ourselves that is unchanging: the higher consciousness or collective consciousness.

The bigger ‘S’ self is the higher consciousness, and the lower ‘s’ self is the ego. The ego in this definition is who we think we are, our thoughts, our emotions, our bodies. If we don’t stay connected to our bigger ‘S’ self, our consciousness, we’re in reaction mode versus response mode, meaning we’re not connecting to the greater wisdom that lives inside. We’re constantly in survival mode and living in the ego that’s always changing. 

Ajna: Ego versus Inner Wisdom

SDT When have you felt your ego push up against your inner wisdom and went against your gut instinct?  

CROThe most recent, the most recent event that happened would be around my child last week. When I breastfeed or when I pump, I do a lot of Googling. Google is not necessarily the best Oracle, as we like to call it. And so I was Googling about breastfeeding, and then I was Googling about sleep training because she’s coming into her four months, and I felt like I needed to figure out about sleep training. Suddenly, I got into my head about the fact that I’m not doing what all these things are telling me to do, like what I’m supposed to be doing. And then I got into my head that I couldn’t put my daughter down properly and couldn’t feed her properly. I couldn’t because I was so in my head about what I thought I should be doing. And from being in my head, I couldn’t Intuit. I couldn’t tell what it was my daughter needed. I ignored my intuition.

I texted a friend of mine, and she was like, stop reading, you know what to do. For the past four months, I’ve put her down when she needs to go down. I fed her when she needs food. But all of a sudden, after reading, my ego took over and made me question what I should be doing. I stopped connecting to my wisdom.

We need to listen, but there’s still so much space for a moment of self-doubt. Doubt is a good attribute to have. One thing I love about the Jewish faith is that they ask you to doubt. They ask you to question. It’s essential to ask questions because when you doubt, it solidifies what you believe.

To connect to our sixth chakra, we need to get quiet. I generally need to get still or meditate, or some people like to do some repetitive movement. You need to turn your brain off and just listen. 

That is the most direct way to connect to our intuition, connect to our wisdom, and connect to our innate knowing. Listen. Whenever I start to get too busy, that’s an indication that I’m not connecting to my inner wisdom; I’m lower down in my first chakra where there’s fear. So I need to stop, be still, and listen. That’s the ego’s job to keep you alive and protect you, but we need to observe what else is there and listen to what arises to honour our inner wisdom.  

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 2nd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 3rd chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 4th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 5th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 6th chakra.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Sahasrara Chakra and Collective Consciousness

You have gone on a journey. You have touched, you have tasted, you have seen, and you have heard, you have loved and lost and loved again. You have learned, you have grown, you have arrived at your destination intact. – Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.

We’ve arrived at our final destination in the Chakra Series, the 7th chakra, Sahasrara, at the crown of the head.

Sahasrara translates from Sanskrit as the thousand-petaled lotus; it’s where we come into connection with the collective consciousness and with the divine. At the crown chakra, we discover the ability to merge the individual self with the creation of all beings. We discover and create our philosophy and spirituality, examining what it means to be human and the beauty that comes with our fragility.

Sahasrara represents peace, abundance, and profound contentment through a deeper connection with what it means to be alive in every moment.

It’s at the crown chakra that we dissolve the ego-self’s desires in pursuit of the greater good for humanity. The crown chakra is where we connect with the divine or God, depending on your philosophy. The word yoga means to unite or to yolk. At the crown chakra, we honour this merger by placing our faith and trust in the universe and elements we may or may not be able to see.

Trust in the universe and its cycles, connection to the self and one’s unique expression, and faith in the evolution of humanity harmonize at the crown chakra.

Sahasrara asks us to go beyond what we can see, hear, touch, feel, and taste; to go beyond the senses and imagine a world where all beings exist in freedom and happiness. Nirvana or liberation is achieved at the crown chakra.

In this week’s podcast episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Moon. Anatomy buff, yogi, reiki practitioner, teacher, actor, and co-founder of the World Spine Yoga Project. Erin brings over a decade of experience and expertise in the anatomical and subtle aspects of yoga. Clara and Erin shared their knowledge of the crown chakra and its themes in this week’s discussion.

Highlights from our conversation are below, or you can watch or listen to the full episode.

You have many chakras (intersection of energy lines) in your body. We, as yogis, focus on seven that run up our main energy channel known as Sushumna.

In this series, explore each chakra with unique classes geared towards lighting them up.

 
Seventh Chakra Interview with Erin Moon

Connecting to Collective Consciousness

EMThe crown chakra is the thousand-petalled lotus flower. It represents different types of intelligence and different types of conscious thinking and consciousness. It’s a consciousness beyond our comprehension, beyond the consciousness we currently have, and beyond what we’re able to wrap our brains around or intellectualize. 

I feel like there’s a lot of digestion that happens at the crown chakra. The digestion aspect being what intelligence is used. We can over-intellectualize things, and we can overanalyze things, and we can become trapped in that place. That’s when you get into issues within the aspects of the crown chakra.

Every one of us has different digestion, a different way of processing. Energy needs to be able to flow through our digestive system, and it needs to break its bits apart again, you know, like they break a bit, they break apart, they grow at the root, and then they break apart a little bit, and they become something more. Then they break apart just like the petals continue to grow.

At the crown chakra, we digest all experience and what does on around us. 

CROThe crown chakra is the portal between the individual and the collective; the collective consciousness lives outside us. At the crown chakra, we open up to how we might listen and receive others and listen to what is happening around us.  

When I’m teaching, I realize how connected we are to each other in this river of thought that’s swirling around us. We’re no longer the individual. The practice may serve as a portal to see how we are a part of the collective consciousness. You realize that you’re not the only one going through these experiences.

Being with others and around others helps you realize that you’re not the only one going through whatever you’re going through. That’s how I would define collective consciousness. Meditation is a big part of the crown chakra in practice. Meditation helps widen the perspective, step back, and see the bigger picture and how we join the collective. 

EMThe other theme I feel at the crown chakra is the idea of surrender. The same way we surrender in meditation, there is a sense of surrendering to your seat; you have to somehow. And trust, you have to trust in some manner that you don’t have to know everything and that you can’t know everything and you can’t hold everything in your brain.

At the same time, it’s like you’re leaning in the same way you would in a relationship where there are things that you hold that I don’t, and vice versa. I don’t have all of the intelligence, I can’t hold all of it, and that’s fine with me because I can lean to your brain and lean to your soul and lean to your life experience and lean to your philosophizing. And I can lean into those things to expand my opportunity to pontificate or think about something or have somewhere to land.

I surrender to the fact that I can’t hold everything; I can’t know everything.

Ideally as we progress in our teaching, we find different ways to articulate anatomy, so every student has a greater opportunity to be more embodied. – Erin Moon

EMIf you think about anatomically where the crown chakra lives, it’s at the top of our head. And if you think of our anatomy in our body and you think of the gross aspects, inside this dome of our skull, there aren’t bones, It’s this big space, a lot of tiny weeny, little neurons with the receptors, and what’s happening up there is so unfathomably awesome. You can Intuit that there’s this space upstairs full of these tiny little bits and pieces that talk to one another, and they can talk fast or talk slow, and receive in different ways and give off in different ways.

CROIn terms of the seventh chakra and your experience of connecting to the collective consciousness, you must first understand who you are. Ask yourself, how do you relate to the world around you? There’s also a deep listening and also to watch for, to wait for the signs. Meaning, you put what you want out to the world- through saying it or writing it or some other form- and wait to see what comes back.

You put your intention out to the universe and stay proactive in looking for the signs as they’re coming towards you before deciding to move in that direction. You’re still listening and watching, active; you’re not sitting back and waiting for something to happen. 

EMIt’s interesting because as soon as something gets brought into your awareness, you see more because you’ve brought it into your consciousness. So, as Clara says about placing it in the world, you put your intention into the world and then follow up with it through meditation or spending time with it. Then perhaps you take action and test it out tentatively, or you can test it out intensely. The idea is that when you do those actions, you’re putting out more of your conscious awareness. 

CROThe opposite of paranoia, which means that the universe is out to get you, is pronoia by Rob Brezsny, one of my favourite astrologists and a fantastic writer. Rob has a book called Pronoia
Pronoia is the idea that the universe is out to support you. So, you can be paranoid, or you can be pronoia. It’s up to you because whatever you decide, generally speaking, your mind will naturally look for ways of validating your decision. You get to choose how you interact with the world and what events arise from your outlook. 

About Erin Moon

Erin Moon IAYT 800, ERYT 500, YACEP. She has been teaching since 2005 and teaching teachers anatomy and more since 2009. She has been a teacher in Vancouver since moving here in 2014 from NYC where she lived for 13 years via Alberta born and raised. Erin is the Director and co-creator of the World Spine Care Yoga Project, an international NGO bringing the practices of Yoga to people suffering from spinal and musculoskeletal disorders, pain, and limited mobility, in communities around the world. She also has her Level 2 Reiki, Level 1 Thai Massage, is a C-IAYT 800 Therapist, and has her 200hr certification in Applied Positive Psychology from The Flourishing Center. She is currently teaching intro to advanced anatomy for Lila Vinaysa, Prema Yoga Institute (NYC) and Illumina Yoga (upstate NY). Erin loves learning and knows that part of living well is growing. Whenever possible, she continues to study with PT’s, OT’s, Chiropractors, Researchers, Somatic Psychotherapists and Neurologists, and pursuing her hunger for knowledge through deep self-study.

Her focus in public classes is embodiment and curiosity, whether she is teaching Restorative, Yin, Hatha or Vinyasa; practicing listening to the wisdom that our mind-body connection holds. To do this, Erin believes we must start the conversation through quieting, noticing, and contemplating. This way we may become more somatically (felt sense of the body) aware, developing greater connections within, which then translate to greater connections in our communities and the divine in all things.

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Connect to the Power of the Chakras

Your guide to each of the chakras with movement practices including yoga and meditation, to create balance and connect to the potential of each energy center.

Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 1st chakra.

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Learn the themes, imbalances, blockages, and ways to connect to the 7th chakra.

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