Here’s the thing, I like “Practical Centering: Exercises to Energize Your Chakras for Relaxation, Vitality, and Health” by Larkin Barnett. Quest Books sent me a review copy well in advance of its April release, which I started reading almost immediately. Yet despite my affection for the book and ample time to reflect on it, every time I attempted to put my thoughts to paper (Okay, a Microsoft Word document.) it came out a horrible jumbled mess at best, at worst perhaps the ravings of a mad woman. Sure, ravings of a positive nature, but still not likely what Barnett and Quest Books would hope for when sending a review copy out into the world. So instead of giving a clutter of thoughts that may or may not cohesively flow together, I’m just going to bullet point this bad boy. A practical approach and solution I think.
It’s not all new age, touchy feely stuff. Don’t you worry, there is chakra talk aplenty. But as Kenny Rogers said in “The Gambler”, “There’ll be time enough for your affirmations, when your visual guided imagery is done.” (That’s how they sing it in Sedona, AZ.) The foreword features Dr. Gregory Loewen, a pulmonary oncology specialist, who reassures readers that Barnett is talking some sense.
And to that point, there is real work in here. Massage exercises, stretching, and breathing, lots of focus on your breathing. It’s not just sitting around “visualizing” yourself doing the work, you do the work.
That said, it’s amazingly manageable. “Practical Centering” is broken up into easy to digest sections, and the book itself is a fantastic size to carry in your purse, leave in your nightstand, or put pretty much where ever. Barnett says you can skip around from the start, but honestly I found it good to just sit down and read the book all the way through and then decide what to do. If you’re like me, you’ll soon find yourself at least taking the time to do a few really good full cleansing breaths when taking a break from your desk at work.
But yes, there is talk of chakras, visual imagery, and the mind/body connection….oh my! However you’re not going to feel overwhelmed by a whole new world to take in. Barnett does a great job of keeping things on a need to know basis, telling you what you need to know to get the job done. “Practical Centering” even offers “Recipe Cards” which function like all knowing chakra cheat sheets. If the idea of chakras and the like give you the wiggins (Well honestly I’m surprised to find you reading my website. But do stay, it’s not all chakras and breathing exercises here, I swear!), think of it all as thought exercises that you do in conjunction with the other work.
Larkin Barnett’s “Practical Centering” is truth in advertising. I can’t recall reading a more practical, accessible book on this sort of subject matter.
Here’s the author and Dr. Gregory Loewen, the pulmonary oncology specialist I mentioned earlier, discussing the book.
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