Do you ever say something out loud, and it surprises you – along with leaving you wondering where you learned it?
I come from a long line of spontaneous speakers – that’s a polite way of saying we speak before we think. It has worked out in my work life as I’ve spent a lot of time studying; therefore, what comes from my mouth is usually from an educated place. In my personal life, the results have been a mixed bag.
During the morning practice for the Equinox retreat on Tuesday, I started speaking of the power center in the belly and continued with that as my theme in the meditation. I had had a different meditation planned to share, but something inside told me to share about the hara.
Backstory – I’ve been working with my power center/belly for the last four months in my practice and life. Last year I had lost my connection with this point after giving birth to Karmen and swimming in mommahood. About four months ago, we did sleep training with Karmen as I was at my wit’s end getting up between 3-6 times a night with her. Once we all started sleeping through the night – I felt like I was waking up from a deep slumber. Strange that sleep deprivation put me in a slumber?! I digress.
As I began to awaken from my zombie existence, my belly was calling and asking me to listen. In challenging moments, I instinctively put my hands on my belly and breathed down into my pelvis. It automatically calmed me and brought clarity to the situation – taking me from what Alan Watts calls the bug’s eye view to the bird’s eye view.
I’ve worked with the third chakra in the yoga tradition, the one point in the shamanic tradition, and with hara in the martial arts tradition for many years. I found it natural very for me to connect to – giving me energy and insight. When I feel centred, I speak and move from my belly – when I’m off-kilter, I’m up in the ether feeling untethered and unable to focus. Our bellies hold so much wisdom – as these traditions I mentioned, along with many others, have figured out.
On Tuesday morning, I was offering a meditation to connect to our bellies, our innate wisdom, and the term “hara” just came out. I couldn’t remember, at the moment, where I heard it. I just went with it and continued sharing an exercise I’ve been doing the past few months to connect to my power. Afterwards, I got on Google Oracle and searched it. The first article that came up explained that it’s a Japanese term. I thought,”of course!” — I learned it from my dear martial arts teacher, Constantine Darling, the creator of Chien Lung!
A few traditions believe that we have three minds – our mind, heart, and gut/belly. The mind governs our intelligence, our heart governs our emotions, and our gut governs our intuition. All three are important and need to be heard.
A few questions to ponder:
- Which mind do you listen to the most often? Why do you think that is?
- When was the last time you said or did something that surprised you?
I listen to my belly most of the time. I trust its wisdom the most. My mind loves to overanalyze, and I find that takes me further from my truth. I find I need to get real quiet to hear my heart – she’s harder to hear. For some reason, my gut is very articulate with her truth.
My weekly recommendations:
Equinox Evening – A playlist I created
New Yoga Class: To The Light We Go
We’re ending the month on a light note—a reminder of how important our connection to light is as we move into the darker months.
We’ll move through a juicy 60-minute vinyasa practice working towards kapotasana, full pigeon pose.
There will be lots of front and side body opening along with some of that good ole back strengthening work that Clara loves so much.
This practice is not recommended for pregnant goddesses.
Props recommended: 2 Blocks.
For September, our theme is “Everything but the kitchen sink.” There will be a variety of classes to give you a little bit of everything so that by the end of the month, we’ll have covered all the things – yoga poses, breathwork, mantra, meditation and philosophy.
Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist for this class.
Sign up for the Shadow School DAILY Email Series
For each day of Shadow School, we’re sending a daily email to participants who sign up that provides access to exclusive content.
Here’s what you receive:
- The class calendar for the month of yoga.
- The schedule with 3 opportunities to practice LIVE each week!
- Daily prompts with content inspired by the class.
For all non-members, join us for free at Practice with Clara using the coupon code SHADOW2021—at checkout for the monthly subscription.
Share this with anyone you know who would benefit from 30 days of yoga!
At the end of the challenge, we’ll be raffling the following gifts:
- 3 winners will receive a one YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO PRACTICE WITH CLARA!
- 3 winners will receive a Practice with Clara SWAG BAG!
- 1 winner will receive a yoga mat of their choice or animal print exercise bands from Supported Soul.
- 1 winner will receive a gift card from Lululemon.
- 2 winners will receive a prize pack with a handmade face mask from Joiful Masks.
Here’s the list of classes and content that we released this month:
Mid-month, we launched the 7-Day Mantra Sadhana Series.
Lastly, the Art of Sequencing training starts November 5th at 6 AM PST— enjoy a LIVE 2-hour class each day!
If you have any questions about training, poses, or anything else related to yoga, you can email me, post in the Facebook Group, or write us a review on the apps and we’ll gift you a month of yoga!
Sending love and a virtual hug,