Chakra Awareness and Development
Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means wheel.
The chakras are subtle energy centers of the body. Like pinwheels, the chakras spin at the speed of light, each resonating with a particular frequency. There are seven to eight major and numerous minor chakras in the body. Their locations correspond to regions of the body where nerves collect and electrical activity is high, such as the elbows, and knees. The first chakra relates to the lower body, sacrum, legs, feet and relates to your sense of grounding, stability. The second chakra rules our ability to pro-CREATE, feeling a sense of fluidity. The third chakra reflects our personal power, your ability to manifest your deepest desires and intentions with effortless ease,. The fourth chakra rules your heart, arms, lungs. The fifth chakra is your throat, neck, ears, mouth. The sixth chakra relates to your intuition, intelligence, your center of knowingness, and the seventh chakra represents your sense of feeling connected to all that is, when open you feel the unity between you and the universe, there is no sense of separation.
The flow of energy in the chakras can become blocked by life events. It very important, therefore, to develop our consciousness and refine our sensitivities so that we release old, stagnant emotional energy in the form of dreams, memories, and feelings that weigh down our spirit. Chakras are the repositories of our thoughts, feelings and attitudes about life. If we choose to have narrow ideas about life and limit our existence then our energy field will reflect that state of thought.
When you become aware of your feelings, recognizing how they affect our physiology, you are better able to channel your feelings through modalities that are more creative and helpful for sustaining and maintaining health. Though you may not see your energy centers, they are real. Listen to the feelings of your body, and you will be better able to restore balance in all your energy centers. Do you remember hearing people say that they have a creative block? Creative blocks are usually manifested in the pelvic region, and can cause discomfort, bloating, with an inability to find creative solutions to issues we deem as obstacles. Perhaps you have blockage present in your throat chakra, therefore impeding your ability to speak your truth or express your unique gifts and talents. When you are worried about what other people think, or have feelings that it’s them against me, this is usually an indication of a blockage in your heart center.
Chakra balancing becomes the ladder of love that takes us from the lowest and most basis aspect of life which is concerned with survival, to the highest realm of consciousness which is healing, vitality, and feelings of unexplainable bliss. There are sounds that can be used to stimulate and tone the energy centers with in the body, while practicing these sounds, you can actually feel the vibration in the associated area of the chakras. There are also many exercises that can open and balance out your energy centers. Remember that the chakras are major junctions points between consciousness and the body. Each center identifies a core human need. When the center is open, the energy that flows through the chakra allows you to meet those needs more effortlessly. If there is a blockage in one area of the body/mind system, energy becomes stagnant and your intentions are more difficult to actualize. You can activate each center by putting your attention in the location of the chakra and sounding the associated mantra aloud.
- First Chakra-Muladhara (root, grounding) – associated with your Sacrel plexus and adrenal glands. LAM
- Second Chakra-Svadhistana (creativity) -associated with your Lumbar plexus and reproductive glands. VAM
- Third Chakra-Manipura (energy-self esteem) -associated with your Solar plexus, and is associated with your pancreas. RAM
- Fourth Chakra-Anahata (heart) Cardiac plexus-associated with your Thymus gland. YUM
- Fifth Chakra-Vishuddha (throat) Cervical plexus-associated with your Thyroid gland and sense of expression. HUM
- Six Chakra-Ajna(intuition) Carotid plexus – associated with your pituitary gland, your feelings of knowingness. SHAM
- Seventh Chakra-Sahaswara (unity consciousness) Cerebral cortex-associated with your pineal gland, sense of oneness. OM
- The sounds associated with the chakras from the bottom upward are LAM, VAM, RAM, YUM, HUM, SHAM, OM.
For toning, exercises, with chakra awareness and development, please come practice with me, or call to schedule your private or semi-private classes. You can find a teacher in your community, by going to Chopra.com, go to community and after adding your zip code you will be better able to find a practicing Chopra Certified Instructor in your area. Call me to schedule a one hour consult for exercises, and breathing exercises, all consults are one hour and $150.00, payable through paypal, Visa, MC, Discover, and American Express available on the My Story link.
Namaste, and may all your chakras be toned.
Hip Rocks & Jathara Parivrittasana
This is a flexibility Pose – and opens your hip area which is governed by your second chakra. Allow your creativity to flow with this beautiful asana. The benefits are enormous, this simple pose calms the mind and helps relieve mild depression. Knee down turns and hip rocks help nourish and lengthen the muscles around the hips and the entire spine. This asana also improves digestion, helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and is therapeutic for insomnia.
Lying on your back, extend your arms out to the side in alignment with your shoulders. Gently press your shoulders toward the mat relaxing your fingers, hands, wrists, and elbows. Begin with knees bent, feet touching the earth or mat with feet underneath your knees. Breathe in full, deep breath, notice how you feel, exhale and allow your knees to spill over to the left, turning your head to the right. Notice that the feet naturally turn to their sides. Do not force your knees down with your hands. Breathe into any resistance, and repeat to the other side being mindful to follow your breath while keeping your shoulders and hands pressed gently into the earth.
Do this variation of Jathara Parivrittasana or hip rocks for about ten sets, following your breath. Notice how much lower your knees naturally relax~closer to the ground below you. Pause in between movements, rest, relax, directing your breath towards your lower back and hips with the intention to relax the knees naturally to the ground. Say to yourself, I AM grounded, I AM creative, I AM fluid like the ocean.
Jathara Parivrittanasana Variation 1 – Lying on your back, bring your right knee in towards your chest, the back of your head is resting on the mat with your chin towards your belly. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, with both shoulders relaxed toward the mat, gently bring your right knee to the left, allowing your right hip to lift off the mat. The right foot or toe reaches towards the floor, do not force the knee down, or allow the foot to touch the mat (or rest it on the inner thigh). Extend your right arm to the side with your elbow relaxing on the mat, with palm up. Gently press your right shoulder towards the mat, allowing your left hand to massage the hip area and right leg. Relax and enjoy. Repeat other side.
Follow this sequence with a Full Body Extension. Listen to the signals of your body, create space within your body. The breath is the bridge between mind and body so pay attention to the sound of your breath. Say to yourself, I AM breathing in, I AM breathing out. Enjoy.
Healing from Cancer
Believe the prognosis, but not the diagnosis. In November 1980, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma cancer and immediately had surgery to remove a tumor from my forearm, with lymph node resection and a skin graft. Pathology informed me that the cancer was a stage 3 and Dr. M at UCLA informed that the cancer would likely be back within five years. Everything was happening so fast. I experienced a disconnect between my mind, body and spirit. Abstract and surreal, it was as if my spirit hovered above me as I listened to Dr. Morton inform me of Western statistics.
Consciously, I knew that this diagnosis was an opportunity for me to review my deepest desires. It offered me a chance to engage in a conversation with myself. I had to ask myself some tough questions, including-what was it that I really, really wanted? At age 26, cancer was not foreign to me. My mother experienced it, my grandmother died from it, and my best friends first child was born with cancer. Though I felt disfigured after surgery, my mind searched like a flashlight peering into the crevasses of my spirit, looking for reasons why this was happening to me. Where was I? Somehow I remembered the saying, “Believe the diagnosis and not the prognosis.”
Uncertainty became the fertile ground for opportunities to manifest. Surrendering, helped creative choices emerge. The adventure of the unknown was grounding, frightening, challenging. I had a choice to stay stuck in fear, or learn how to prepare for the worst. Imagine Life~Prepare for Death. These were thoughts that haunted my imagination, while bringing me into the starkness of reality.
I realized that, thanks to having cancer, I was able to harvest and live a fuller and richer life than if I hadn’t had a disease. According to the doctors, time was against me. To beat the odds of recurring cancer, I knew that I would have to become more selective with my choices in all areas of my life. I would have to become more conscious of my relationships, of the foods that I ate, the jobs that I accepted, and of how I spent my time. I no longer wanted to sit around and waste hours, days, weeks, months, holding on to worn-out memories, or nursing hangovers.
There were moments when I had to shut out the world, keep the drapes drawn, when I had to be sedated so that I wouldn’t feel so much physical or emotional pain. My illness forced me to honor the needs of my body, mind and heart. I had to give my physical and spiritual self the time it required to reset itself.
Granted, the vision and expectations I had wanted to manifest in my pre-cancer life were completely different from the cancer road. I had wanted to be rich in material abundance, free of most responsibility and liberated from boundaries. Suddenly, my life was riddled with medical appointments, surgeries, and negotiations. I was also the single parent of a small child. Hearing hysterical and fearful family members saddened me, leaving me frustrated, helpless, and feeling alone.
I had to prepare for my death. Preparing for death meant that I had to find a support group with other cancer patients. Just as I was learning how to live, I had to learn how to prepare to die responsibly, what was I supposed to do?
In 1988, malignant melanoma cancer spread to my stomach and throat with tumors noted on my pancreas. This became the start point of all change. After many surgeries, I first became a participant and then a TV Spokesperson for a nonprofit organization called The Wellness Community. They provided me with an arsenal of tools, empowering my life as a cancer patient. I found everything at the Center very liberating, and learned about new treatments for my type of cancer. My heart opened as I became more empathetic to others who were also suffering. We learned to let go of the prison of ours secrets. We learned that secrets create deep seeded shame that can manifest in disease. This was an important tool for healing that I use to this day. I have no more secrets, I have no shame, sure there are many things I would have done differently, but the past is history.
Professionals in alternative medicine guided us through visualization, meditation, laughter and sharing. I was becoming an integral part of a community. I learned that when I began to embrace the possibility of my death, the quality of my life improved. Life had a new meaning. Things like credit card debt or worrying about what other people thought were no longer areas where I wished to focus my attention. By accepting disease, death became a friend, possibly another gift, not an enemy.
Having cancer has helped me learn how to live fully in the present moment. The difficult road was mapped out, yet it was also colored with compassion, appreciation, and a quiet stillness. Some of the lessons I learned along the way were remembering all the things that bring me joy, being a parent, a yoga teacher, a fashionista. I love expressing myself through art. Had I continued living on the same path after my cancer diagnosis, I believe I wouldn’t be here today. My life-in-the-fast-lane as a model would have surely destroyed me. When you begin to accept, embrace, and envision death, you can experience a renewed sense of life. Healing is easy when you sit back, witness, and observe your experiences from a removed state of expectations.
Change has not been easy, yet my choices became non negotiable. I choose life, and have learned to become responsible for my actions and their consequences. I AM the miracle that I seeded in my mind 30 years ago. I AM humbled and in awe of the power of the human mind. There is no magic bullet for healing, all that is needed is a willingness to try new ways of living, being, and acting. Get yourself in a support group, use expression, and face your mortality, prepare for the worse, expect only the best. Celebrate the gift of life. Ask for what you want and continue to live the life you desire.
Please view my reference page for resources and books to help you accept, embrace, and become a patient active. Living is a gift, enjoy the journey don’t focus on the destination. You too, just may heal your body!
Harmony & Love,