Interview with Marylee Fairbanks
Interview with Chakras Yoga blogger and teacher Marylee Graffeo Fairbanks. We recently ran across Marylee's blog, Chakras Yoga and were quite impressed with her message. She is a yoga teacher and writer who combines yoga with spiritual teachings on the 7 chakras: Energy Healing Info: What inspired you to start teaching yoga and how long have you been teaching? Marylee G. Fairbanks: I was a singer and actress in New York. When I married and had my son I realized that the demands of that profession would not help me achieve the life my husband and I envisioned. Yoga came to the forefront. My practice improved. Teaching and writing waited quietly to surprise me with their joys. Energy Healing Info: Yoga has become increasingly popular in the United States recently, but information on the spiritual aspects of Yoga isn't as readily available. How do you combine spiritual lessons and meditation with Yoga in your classes? Marylee G. Fairbanks: Many Americans have reduced yoga to an aerobic work out. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras speak of the eight limbs of yoga only one of which is asana. Yoga is found in every moment, action, and thought. I use my classes to explore not only the body, but also the mind and heart. I seek to infuse everyday moments with awareness, and to balance the three. Energy Healing Info: I noticed your recent class, Clearing in the Garden is about letting go of clutter in our hearts and minds. It sounds intriguing! If I lived near Boxford, Massachusetts I'd be participating. Can you share a tip with our readers about how to release mental and emotional clutter? Marylee G. Fairbanks:It is very important to clear out clutter, to let go of that which does not serve, and nurture faith in the abundance around us. I am not just speaking of emotional baggage, but also clutter in our homes, hearts, minds and even friendships. It can be frightening, but we are more than the sum of our past experiences. By releasing that which does not serve us, and by doing so with awareness and grace, we open up to new possibilities. This is how you uncover your highest self. Energy Healing Info: Can you tell us how you combine chakra work with your Yoga classes? Do you have specific Yoga techniques for clearing individual chakras? Marylee G. Fairbanks: I integrate different yoga techniques and energy work into my classes and encourage individual exploration. The Chakras react to a person’s circumstances and outcomes manifest in the emotional and physical self. Pranayama builds heat inside the body (chakra three). I prefer this to forcing up the thermostat to 100 degrees. External circumstances can urge us toward change, but lasting transformation requires internal resolve. Energy Healing Info:What upcoming classes do you have planned? Marylee G. Fairbanks:I am not teaching a weekly class for the summer, but will hold more workshops in the autumn. Autumn for me is a time to take stock, get organized, and strengthen ourselves for the dormant, introspective winter months, which prepare us for rebirth. The summer Garden Clearing encouraged us to let go of what we do not need. The autumn workshops will focus on balancing what we chose to keep, with grace and gratitude. Energy Healing Info: I discovered you through your blog chakrasyoga.com Your post "Where Sleigh Bells Ring" brought tears to my eyes. You really put a lot of your heart into each post! It's refreshing to see. Can you tell us a little about why started the blog and what your future plans are for it? Marylee G. Fairbanks: I enjoyed writing but never learned the craft. My husband is an author and he encouraged me and taught me a few techniques required to improve. This is an example of Chakra Five; our self-expression and creativity center. Singing and performing kept me busy and fulfilled so I stopped seeking. Allowing one expression to fall away created space for new arrivals. Energy Healing Info: How did you first become interested in working with chakra energies? Marylee G. Fairbanks: Something that I learned from my stage experience was to have faith in my experience and the courage to share it. Socrates said “Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.” This is the philosophy behind my Chakras Yoga classes. I teach from my own experiences. Sharing my strengths and weaknesses allows others to explore. Energy Healing Info: As a healing practitioner what would you say are the primary things that a person can do to live a happy, healthy, joy-filled life? Marylee G. Fairbanks: What we choose to think, say and do in every moment is who we are. We have a say in the life we lead. If we continually think about what we lack, that is what will grow for us. To achieve prosperity, in all forms, we must learn to focus on what we have and practice gratitude. When we have true abundance we don’t need to buy into consumerism because we live from the inside out. This is how we heal ourselves and the planet.