The Enneagram shows how we see the world and act accordingly from our innermost motivations, based on fears and needs. These are often mental habits so close, so ingrained, they are difficult to perceive. Once we see clearly, we can be open to transforming illumination. The Enneagram is a map of personality based on motivations. It has ancient origins, yet is now finding its way into contemporary psychology. Far from typing you into a box, discovering your type allows you to see how you perceive things through a colored lens. With this knowledge, you are able to transcend your habitual pitfalls and build on your inherent strengths. This study of the self combines well with the practice of yoga, for then you are able to understand what gets in the way of your full expression of Self, your Divine Inheritance.  I am certified with Riso and Hudson, leading developers of the Enneagram. You can go to their site,  www.EnneagramInstitute.com for a wealth of information on this. With an understanding of how yoga affects one’s energetic anatomy, I have been researching and designing the optimum yoga practice for each personality type.  I am now offering private consultations, workshops and retreats based on this work. Contact: 601-613-4317, deb@joyflowyoga.com. 

The Enneagram of Personality and the Practice of Yoga


The Practice of Yoga and the Enneagram are powerful when used together. First, an understanding of oneself is valuable as one explores a spiritual practice. One can also use the yoga postures to experience deeply, on a cellular level, the concepts presented in the Enneagram and to achieve emotional and energetic balance. Using this knowledge an optimum practice can be designed for each Enneagram personality type. The foundation of the Enneagram pattern is a triad of centers: the Gut, the Heart, and the Head. Each personality type has a certain balance of these three centers. When we’re stressed we’ll find ourselves thinking with our feelings, feeling through our minds or acting out, motivated by feelings. We then neglect the third center and the result is a state of unbalance. Riso and Hudson, leading developers of the Enneagram, have observed that working with the third, or unused center, is very helpful for finding emotional balance. The idea of centers brings us to the study of chakras. The practice of yoga is directly related to balancing our energetic anatomy, which includes the seven chakras. The chakras are vortexes of bio-electrical energy located along the spine, occurring in basically the same location as the physical nerve complexes, and each corresponding to a certain aspect of our lives. Each chakra has a certain energetic influence over the mind and body. Particular yoga postures, sequences, and even breathing techniques (pranayama) affect the chakras.  I reasoned that based on this understanding an optimal yoga practice for each Enneagram type could be developed. My proposal is that you go into your practice with the primary center. Let it inspire and draw you in. Then work on postures related to the unused center. After achieving a sense of mastery and balance work on the second, or last center.

You can learn more about this in my book Yoga Nine Ways, available through Amazon and here at this site.  I