Monthly Inspiration: Febuary 2015
Inside each of us is an incredibly powerful energy system working round the clock. As we move through our daily lives, we rarely take time to understand or think about the fact that the intricate balance of this system is what affects us in every moment. I chose the Seven Chakras as my focus this month so we could all take a pause this winter to heal, realign, support and learn about this major subtle energy system within all of us. We can do this by diving further into the power of each of the seven chakras by learning the importance of how they all work together in unison, each resonating at different frequencies. I am hoping this month of February will be a time we can work together to find ways to utilize our yoga practice to balance and release blockages of energy to invite in more support, emotional balance, personal power, love, self-expression, wisdom and spirituality. The chakras act like the valves in a system connecting a water tap to a garden hose. When the tap is turned on the water should flow smoothly through the system. If there is a kink in the hose it will affect the proper functioning of the whole unit. When unbalanced, dysfunctional or blocked, a whole range of mental, emotional and physiological conditions can manifest.
As I go through life, there are days when I stand firm in my Warrior poses feeling very solid. My feet grounded, rooting me into the stability of the earth. Like a warrior with a feeling of unwavering strength that allows me to stay in my center when challenge shows up. Then there are days when I feel wobbly, (for lack of a better word), foggy, doubting myself, somewhat anxious. It’s an overall feeling of disconnect. This is when I know my First Chakra is off and needs balancing. So what do I do? Where do I begin?
Fortunately, through my extensive learning and work as a yoga teacher and psychotherapist, I know there are techniques that can help. The first step is always awareness and recognizing something feels off. In order to get grounded I may take a walk in nature; feel my feet on the earth. It can also be as simple as sitting in a chair and feeling the support under my feet, seat and back. I may stand in Mountain pose and draw energy up from the earth into my body. Once I feel that stability, I may try a balancing pose like Tree pose and visualize the color red washing over me.
Maybe a ten minute meditation may help as well rooting my sit bones down into the earth or possibly breathing in a Restorative pose like supta baddha konasana for 10-20 minutes is also an option. The pranayama technique of Nadi Shodhana, (alternative nostril breathing), can be another helpful way to open up my first chakra which is the root chakra of survival and support.
I have found it is incredibly important to understand the working of the seven major Chakras, or energy centers, in order to know what can be done to balance them. These energy centers are anatomically undetectable. They are metaphysically linked with a number of different systems within the physical body. The chakras parallel the spine and are closely associated with a specific organ or endocrine gland. They each have certain qualities and associations. However, it is important not to let any one or two chakras overpower the rest. Yoga, as it does with so many things in our lives, comes to the rescue again in helping us to balance this internal energy.
The word chakra comes from the Sanskrit meaning “wheel” or “disk”. These spinning vortexes of energy are part of the subtle energy system, which forms the basis of ancient Indian approach to healing our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual selves. This system is really a universal template for understanding consciousness and behavior, ultimately connecting you to Divine Consciousness.
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