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5:45 pm

What is Chakra Therapy by Anodea Judith


Everyone seems to know about chakras these days – at least as a concept – but do they really know the ins and outs of activating, balancing, and healing using the model of the Chakra System as the profound formula for wholeness that it is? 

This elegant map to human consciousness is not only a ladder of liberation for achieving higher states of awareness, but an opening into our own deep psyche, with all its issues and illuminations, from its depths to its heights.

Think of it this way: Your body is like the hardware of a computer, while your mind is like the software—programmed into you since the day you were born. The software contains your memories, your beliefs, your habits, and your thoughts. Some of that programming was unconscious, installed before you could even think or question. Some of that programming includes the things you’ve studied, the realizations you’ve had, the beliefs you’ve chosen for yourself. All of that programming runs your life.

What enables the hardware and software to work together is the vital life force, prana, or energy. Without that, the hardware and software, or mind and body, have no way to interface—just like when your cell phone battery goes dead. Without the vital “juice” going through the system, your phone is useless, no matter how fancy the model, or how many photos you’ve loaded onto it. It needs that electricity, just like we need prana to run through our system.

The software or programming tells the energy where to go in the body or hardware—what to access. It may tell us to hold in our belly, to keep quiet, to be careful, or that we’re not safe. This then shapes the hardware, or the body itself, which forms around the energy of the chakras. Most of this is unconscious, yet can be seen in our activities or the way our life works (or doesn’t).

The chakras are organizational centers for the reception, assimilation, and expression of that life force energy. Each one works on a different level, from the root chakra that processes all our survival programs, to our emotions, actions, relationships, communications, visions and beliefs. You could say that each chakra stores programs for these essential levels of being. Just like a computer, these programs can have bugs in them, resulting in problems in your life, and issues in your tissues.

Chakras also contain gateways into and out of your core. They regulate what gets in and what gets out.  Defenses block the chakras by blocking the gates in order to keep energy out or to keep energy in. Then our consciousness gets caught in the blocks, and is no longer in the free flow of awareness and experience. That can render a chakra out of balance, which usually takes the form of being excessive or deficient.

When a chakra is blocked, a person lives in the frustration and suffering of the block and cannot access their core. The internal gears that move and regulate energy up and down the core get sluggish. This creates further defenses, discomfort, and eventually illness, addiction, or dysfunctional behavior.

Chakra Therapy looks at the physical body, the human psyche, and the flow of the life force as a result of our past conditioning. As each of the chakras contains a vital key to unlocking the life force, Chakra Therapy uses tools from Yoga and Bioenergetics, (the healing of the human psyche through the energetic process of the body) as well as models of childhood development, to root out these unconscious programs, move the energy to new places in the body, and bring not only understanding and awareness, but greater aliveness and freedom.

Anodea Judith, Ph.D. has been called “a prophet for our time.” A groundbreaking thought leader who is the founder and director of Sacred Centers, and a writer, therapist, and spiritual teacher. Her passion for the realization of human potential matches her concern for humanity’s impending crises — her fervent wish is that we “wake up in time.” She holds Masters andDoctoral degrees in Psychology and Human Health, is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher (E-RYT), with lifelong studies of psychology, mythology, sociology, history, systems theory, and mystic spirituality.

Anodea Judith integrates both mind and body within a spiritual context by exploring the inner psychology of the Chakra System as a model for transformational healing and personal growth. Since 2010 Anodea has visited DYC to teach yearly workshops designed for yogis and healers of all types who wish to learn new skills, as well as laypeople in the process of their own healing journey. Her classes combine guided trance journeys, yoga asanas for opening the chakras, bioenergetic exercises, and partner work for integrating your process. And her more advanced trainings go to deeper levels with psychological exploration, therapeutic demonstrations, and group process, giving participants a chance to work on their own issues, and to practice these techniques with each other.

Anodea will be teaching the Psychology of the Chakras using her acclaimed book 'Eastern Body Western Mind' in January of 2015.

Stay tuned for more info. Also you can visit her website at http://sacredcenters.com

8:49 am

When You Lose Your Balance by Al Vreeland

In the practice of Hatha Yoga, balance of opposites is a gentle, intuitive concept to guide the movements of body, energy, and mind. The balance of sun and moon was already an ancient concept in Egyptian culture, and it is found in all pre-axial age developed cultures. It reverberates through the centuries as an accessible symbol of source and image, potential and realization. As we begin to experience and understand the balance of body with the embrace of earth, hatha may seem simple and easy. But like all symbolic expressions, the metaphor can open to much deeper and wider development if we go beyond face value, with careful questioning and the pursuit of deeper appreciation.

We are minds which have been born, raised, and educated in modern western culture. With western assumptions “in our bones,” it can be easy to overlook subtle meanings and the deeper intent of ancient practices. Consider the term “opposite.” As westerners, we tend to think in dichotomy, with opposites being literally “opposed” like a seesaw. Light and dark bring images of the sunset, when light gradually and precisely yields to dark. But in the much more complicated world of mind, pairs of concepts are not always symmetrical and not always opposed. For example, happiness is not the balanced opposite of depression; happiness must be developed carefully for itself. Our favorite major pair, good and evil, is even more complex.

When we ponder the term “balance,” it gets worse. It is not at all clear that a feeling of fulfilled happiness is in counterbalanced symmetry with sadness. Think of a funeral for a favorite grandparent. We can feel deep sorrow for the loss of a valuable person in our life, while at the same time celebrating happily the presence of so many loved family members.

In my reading of ancient texts, I try to remember that the philosophy of the east is dialectical philosophy, not the dichotomy of opposites found in Greek philosophy. Dialectical pairs are best thought of as indivisible but sharply differentiated dimensions of a single higher unity. For example, quantum theory is a dimensional theory. A dialectical pair is the velocity and position of an electron. Heisenberg made famous the axiom that velocity and position cannot be apprehended simultaneously, but they clearly are attributes of a single electron entity.

In the same way, our self, or core identity, is necessarily independent of our context. We lose all freedom if we define ourselves merely by our reflection in the ever-changing world. It is not a paradox that we simultaneously are free of the world and are inseparable from it. Thus, if we balance deeply self and world, the experience is better captured by language such as “integration” or “harmony,” and happiness takes on a depth and fullness that is beyond language.

Al Vreeland

7:30 am

Heavenly Hatha - ‘As above, so below’ (Ancient Wisdom Texts) by Patty Sanders


As Hatha Yoga draws our attention to our breathing pattern, we can also imagine it drawing our attention into the pattern of the heavens with root words that translate to ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’.  The Sun is the center around which our solar system revolves and the Moon is our earth’s heavenly ‘night light’.  We are bereft without either of them and can become aware of our connection to the larger cosmic matrix through breath in our yoga practice and in the shadow and lights in our study of the heavens.

Studying the heavens through Jyotish (Vedic astrology) offers us a glimpse of the Divine Light in the sky at the time of birth.  And, even with the light of the Sun and Moon and all the other planets combined in a natal chart, we often find that unraveling the mystery of our karmic patterns can take quite a while, perhaps lifetimes, as sages suggest. Both Hatha Yoga and jyotish require discipline and practice, and a desire to know more than seems apparent.

The ‘union’ – the yoga - of the Sun and Moon reflects a balance of opposites in the heavens because in Vedic astrology all the planets are male and it is heaven Herself that is female.  In this sense, it is the active energy of the planets (grahas) operating within the receptivity of the heavens that maintains balance in our solar system and offers guidance below to those who can balance their own active and passive energies here on earth, those who seek to center their focus on this cosmic dance.  Cosmic and karmic fields unite to keep us afloat in the skies and grounded here on earth.

Jyotish – Divine Light – offers us a window through which to view the larger matrix (macrocosm) reflective of our own karmic lessons, gifts and challenges so that we can be a conscious, active part of the heavenly dance.  As Swami Sri Yukteswar has said, "A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in the mathematical harmony with one's individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing one's unalterable past and probable future results.”  This message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse our will to action.

We are all part of the dance, the balance in nature. Jyotish and Hatha yoga are two connections to the active and the receptive, the play of light and shadow that bind us to each other and to our Universe.

Patricia Sanders, M.Ed.
Certified Vedic Astrologer
Instructor, American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA Online)

Patricia is in private practice at the Dallas Yoga Center and has a world wide clientele connected through telephone and travels. For more information, call (972)758-9383, email: starpath5 AT yahoo DOT com, or visit her website shown above.

12:46 pm

Hatha: Embodiment, Dualism, Archetypes and the Search for Meaning by Martha Murphy Hall

“He who knows the truth of the body, knows the truth of the universe.” – Ratnasara, Tantric Master

The Medieval Catholic mystic, Meister Eckhart, described for us Westerners a way out of our dualistic dilemma: body and soul.  His vision told him, “The soul does not so much dwell within the body as the body dwells within the soul.”  Of course, this was considered heresy because it challenged the Church’s belief that the body was a lowly thing to be discarded for eternal life as a spirit.  Earning heaven was what one physical life was all about.  

But, conceive of your body as a Russian doll contained within another larger doll and even larger forms. The essence of each suffuses the smaller ones in a continuous stream.  They are not separate, but emanations from the largest to the smallest.  One way to look at it is to imagine that the realm of spirit can emanate an individual packet of spirit we call soul, soul can emanate a mental body, mental body can emanate an astral body, astral body can emanate an etheric web to contain the emanation we call a physical body.  All the bodies can come into form and go out of form in dynamic universes like ours.  But here we are for now, embodied spirit.  Mystics see these auras.  What a stupendous creation taking billions of years and who knows how many permutations to create human animals on Planet Earth.  Body in soul.

Dualism is really a problem of consciousness. We are what we are, we just don’t always know it.  Descartes had it backwards.  We make up mental constructs of opposites when they can only exist as dynamic wholes.  Take attraction and repulsion.  For something to hold together it has to have just the right balance between these two.  Think subatomic particles.  Think relationships.  Health in the cells requires just the right mix of toxins and nutrients.  As a doctor friend pointed out to me years ago when I wanted to be a healer, too pure or too polluted will make you sick.

Hatha Yoga knows this of old.  Where seeming opposites exist, yin and yang, the yogi knows that they form a third reconciliatory thing, the Whole that joins them into a circle.  Or, viewed from a three-dimensional perspective, a spiral that keeps evolving like our DNA?  Dynamic balance is achieved this way. 

But, “Perfect balance would be death,” as Mabel Todd observed in The Thinking Body.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Supreme Court Justice, wrote a monograph about walking in which he pointed out that in walking we experience a balance point for a split second and then we fall forward, catching ourselves as we go.  That’s why Islamic art is not perfectly symmetrical.  Or why a Navaho rug has an uneven thread.  It is a dynamic universe, always changing as Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, pointed out long ago when he wrote, “Everything changes (everything moves).”

Even the sun and moon-opposites of the meaning of the word, “Hatha,” is really a way of sorting out in our minds how things work.  In some western cultures the moon is feminine and the sun is masculine.  In Mediterranean cultures the feminine power to create life takes a reflective role as the moon to the generative masculine sun god.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam have a masculine “God the Father” who harkens back to the sky god with his thunder and lightning and no “God the Mother.”  Jesus is “God the Son” but Mother Mary is not a god but an earthly body.  She basks in his glory like the moon.  Joseph Campbell has given us a story in The Power of Myth from a Native American tribe in which the moon is masculine and the sun is feminine. In Japan, creation was seen as coming from the sun’s body, hence a feminine goddess, Amaterasu, their “rising sun.” The wholing truth is that our Earth depends on both planetary bodies for it’s unique way of operating.  A child is the third reconciliatory thing needing both the masculine and the feminine to exist.  We tend to project our form of heterosexual reproduction onto our gods, which is why I prefer to call it “godness” instead of god or goddess in English because it traps us in static polarities.     

Our archetypal stories are a way of sorting out the qualities and forces that we discern in the world and in ourselves.  Hence, the panoply of gods in Hinduism each representing different characteristics and counterbalanced by their polar opposite.  Light and dark is everything in Egyptian mythology.  Modern physics is beginning to understand how much dark it takes for light to emerge and to be reabsorbed into the dark.
Yogis seek conscious unitive experiences in “this very body.”
I celebrate my existence.
I stand before you and say,
Don’t wait for the dark.
Beatific beauties await me
    here and now.
Hell’s bells, too.
This ground my springboard.
This air, my aphrodesiac.
Fire illuminates my dawning.
Water makes me fertile and ripe
    with myself.
I say I love this here and now.
Even it’s going touches me.
And I pass on.
But celebrate!

Enlightenment is available to the yogi directly through veering consciousness to our physical bodies because our macrocosmic universe is contained in our microcosmic selves.  We are a pinch of star stuff.  We are all mystics in hiding.

Martha Murphy Hall

12:47 pm

Hatha in Asana by Fred Dowd

Fred in Vira 2

Asana is dynamic and active even though the body appears still. Each pose contains a multitude of actions – extensions, contractions, lateral movements, vertical movements, and circumferential movements. Each of those actions is balanced by an opposing action. In Virabhadrasana (Warrior) II, for instance, the action of the right knee bending is opposed by the action of the left thigh lifting. The right arm extending forward is opposed by the left arm extending backward. The lift of the spine is opposed by the feet extending into the earth. As those forces balance, the body is still but not static. It is vibrant.

Initially, the mind treats each part of an opposing pair as separate. The left thigh lifts, the right knee bends. Gradually, a sense develops that the thigh lifting and the knee bending are parts of the same action of opening. The mind integrates the two opposing actions and that integration becomes something more than its parts. The opening becomes the focus. That opening integrates with other openings, like the balance between the right knee and left thigh both moving from front to back. Both of those openings merge into a single action which incorporates the two original pairs of opposing actions.

Each action can also be broken down into component pairs of actions. In Virabhadrasana II, on the bent knee leg, the head of the femur drops as the hip bone lifts. On the straight leg, the external rotation of the leg balances with the depth of the groin. The awareness can break down a pose in an almost fractal way into component balancing pairs.

The practice is to penetrate a pose into its component parts even as those parts are integrated into a single whole. Over time, you learn to balance these two opposing processes.

There is also the practice of creating balance between the right and left side of the body. The lessons learned doing Virabhadrasana II with the right knee bent may be different than those learned doing the pose with the left knee bent. An action that is easier when you do the pose on one side can teach you how to do that action on the other side where it is more difficult. And when that action is learned on the more difficult side, there will be a depth of understanding that will be able to teach the easier side.

Over time, as you learn to balance the left and right side of the body, you create equal strength and flexibility between the left and right arm, left and right leg, left and right side of the trunk. Our asymmetries pull the spine out of alignment, which distracts conscious awareness and makes it more difficult to access core energetic and emotional strength. When the functional core of our structure is held by the muscles or organs rather than by the spine, there is a greater tendency to seek identity outside of ourselves and a large amount of vitality is consumed by maintaining that false core.

The chronic gripping that maintains an unbalanced body makes it much more difficult to access that sense of spaciousness or peacefulness inside. The balance learned through asana not only can remove impediments to that inner peace, but the discrimination and integration learned on the physical level teach you how to approach the deeper levels of yourself.

2:09 pm

Come celebrate 25 years with us!

Before yoga was a buzz word, before yoga studios and resources could be found easily on the internet and in Dallas, the Dallas Yoga Center began with just one yoga studio in a modest office building off of Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway close to downtown Dallas. It was impossible to see then how quickly the yoga movement would take off and how we would help facilitate this new wave of spiritual growth in Dallas in the years to come.

Twenty five years since our inception the Dallas Yoga Center has wholesomely enriched both the yoga community and the local community. Through honoring and celebrating the ancient transformative power of yoga and the healing arts from our space, we have planted seeds of profound personal growth and evolution within the community at large. We have inspired a powerful movement in Dallas made of a demographic of all ages and backgrounds to lead more healthy, mindful, and spiritually centered lives in today's world.

We are so blessed to have recieved so much love and support from the beginning when we were just a single yoga studio to the present. As our community grew, we grew. No one knew in the years to come we would expand our space to what is now a total of four yoga studios, a boutique and an integrative wellness center occupied by over a dozen local and international doctors and practitioners from a wide spectrum of alternative and natural health disciplines. Thanks to you, our community, the Dallas Yoga Center continues to enhance Dallas and the yoga community at large by supporting the deepening of personal evolution on a number of levels through a variety of resources and personally driven services.

We are so very grateful to all who have been a part of our journey from a being simple yoga studio to becoming so much more since we first opened our doors 25 years ago! Our space continues to become enriched, evolve and grow just as all the people and parts of our community continue to be enriched, evolve and grow. We thank you and we invite you to join us in celebrating our 25 year milestone.

On Friday, September 19th, 2014 starting at 5 p.m. we are opening our center to all for an exciting 25 hours of nonstop yoga and wellness related classes and events! Come and celebrate with fun back to back yoga classes, yoga movies, dancing, food trucks, a picnic in the park, disco glow yoga, and so much more.

Here's to 25 more years of spiritual growth in Dallas, Texas and beyond! We look forward to seeing everyone celebrating with us next weekend. Be sure to check out the full schedule of activities and arrive early!


5:12 pm

Why Soma Yoga? by Carla Rudiger

Soma Yoga brings students deeply inward. From a neurological perspective we re-pattern, restore, and re-awaken places in the body that have hardened and darkened over time. Students leave feeling quiet, grounded, relaxed and connected.


Wouldn't it be wonderful to approach asana in that state of awareness? Extending further the principles established in Soma Yoga and applying them in the vinyasa class to the more familiar yoga poses that many of us have inhabited for years!


What if you were to meet the challenging poses in your practice with more ease? Wouldn't it free you up to move forward to even more challenging poses?


Or maybe the ease that comes with Soma Yoga allows you to be more emotionally available to the people in your life. Perhaps you might also experience more physical and mental endurance to invest in the things you love with more energy and enthusiasm and ultimately more presence. 


Maybe the work will give you the power to create necessary boundaries and remove things in your life that don't support you.


I offer this exploration to you and it's many benefits because of my own profound and powerfully transformative experience with Body Mind Centering and Yoga.


This work has allowed me to return to poses that over time I started to avoid because they had become uncomfortable, hard and painful.


As we get older, our movement choices seem to shrink. I often hear students use this phrase, "I used to be able to do that when I was young". As I've aged I've noticed that transition in myself, the awareness of things I used to do that I no longer attempt. It's through this work, that I feel inspired to return to all that I may have been avoiding, from a much more integrated, mindful place. Not to mention that life off the mat seems more fluid and I notice often how things fall into place more easily. Even my relationships have improved and I can say that generally I feel happier and more content.


Taking yoga off the mat and into your life is not an intellectual endeavor. It is one of embodiment. For me, the practice of Body Mind Centering and yoga has made the transition from the mat to life, flawless. Uninhibited and complete. Leave all the rhetoric and lingo behind. This stuff is real.


I sincerely hope you'll join me!


Carla teaches a Saturday drop-in Soma Yoga class from 9 to 10:15 and teaches Embodied Vinyasa Flow from 10:30 to 11:45. She invites you to join her for BOTH classes, back to back as a mini somatic immersion that would be available to you EVERY Saturday!