Gentle Yoga with Kristiann Maclean
Ruth Arcand Park, Anchorage
Monday, September 23, 2020
Many thanks to Yoga Collective AK instructor Kristiann Maclean for selecting the perfect meadow on a cool, fall evening to teach a gentle yoga class in celebration of the Fall Equinox. She led us through a sequence that helped us gently fan the flame of the Manipura or third chakra. Located between the belly button and breastbone, the Manipura chakra is about personal power and our ability to go after the life we desire. Think of the phrase, fire in the belly. It's not surprising that this chakra is also associated with digestion. Kristiann explained that our practice was designed to help open up our third chakra. Manipura in balance makes decision making easier and helps us manage our anger or control issues. She led us through some chest openers, lengethened the psoas muscle - the big important muscles that connect the upper and lower halves of the body - and some back bending resulting in a sense of open-heartedness, accomplishment, and an increased will to take on the months ahead with decisiveness and fortitude.
She opened the class with a poem by Tu Weiming.
Your vital energy is returning to the Source.
Like the flowing stream returning to the ocean.
Heaven is our Father. Earth is our Mother.
All people are our bothers and sisters,
and all things are our companions.
In this gentle, peaceful journey,
You are forming one body with heaven and earth.
Entrust yourself in the transforming and nourishing care of the Cosmos.
Listen to the voice of love in silence.
You have heard the Way:
Return Home in Peace.
Being out in that meadow amongst yoga friends helped us connect deeply with her words. It was a real gift to gather as doing so in person in such a beautiful setting is a truly meaningful experience these days.