Summer is here! Remember as a kid how excited you were about this? Summer meant freedom, play, popsicles and more. All the simple pleasures of life illuminated.
Sadly, for so many women the fun gets sucked out of summer by body food battles.
Charka work is fundamental to a well-rounded yoga practice. It enhances healing by getting into the roots of disconnection and dysfunction. This series will help you understand these personal power centers and supply specialized applications to the common problems women face with their bodies and food.
So what are chakras?
We’re well aware of our physical bodies but did you know we have another body?
Within and beyond our flesh and blood exists the subtle body-a field of energy that carries our urges, emotions, and habits, as well as imprints of all that has happened to us. Our energetic bodies are composed of 7 chakras (in general) and a pillar of light that runs from the crown of the head to the tailbone. About 72,000 nadis (energy “veins”) branch off that pillar and a grounding cord extends from our sit bones down into the center of the earth. Crazy, right!? I know. I was a bit skeptical myself, but yoga, acupuncture, and energy medicine have made me a believer.
Chakras are “wheels” of energy created by the presence of consciousness (our soul) within the physical body. They serve as vital portals between the body and mind. They function to organize the reception, assimilation, and expression of our prana (life force energy) thereby affecting how we feel and function.
Similar to taking food into our physical bodies, we take in life’s experiences through the subtle body. What we consume on both levels needs digested, assimilated, and eliminated effectively. If we’re unaware of, or inattentive to, our subtle body, this process is hindered. Our personal healing (what we’re here to do) gets stuck and life is rough.
As we experience the harsh realities of the human path, our chakras can easily become congested, armored, or imbalanced. This causes us to develop alternate defensive habits. These are well-intended attempts to clear and rebalance the chakras but over time, these cause more instability. Chakra work helps shift us back into balance by healing what wasn’t processed properly in the first place. We’re then able to move on and know peace more easily no matter what life throws our way.
Let’s begin by simply becoming aware of each chakra. Here’s an outline of the 7 main energy centers and what they relate to:
Chakra One: Muladhara
Earth, Physical identity, Self-preservation
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally, this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.
Chakra Two: Svadhisthana
Water, Emotional identity, Self-gratification
The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally, this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Chakra Three: Manipura
Fire, Ego identity, Self-definition
This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
Chakra Four: Anahata
Air, Social identity, Self-acceptance
This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
Chakra Five: Vishuddha
Sound, Creative identity, Self-expression
This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Chakra Six: Ajna
Light, Archetypal identity, Self-reflection
This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy, it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us “see the big picture.”
Chakra Seven: Sahasrara
Thought, Universal identity, Self-knowledge
This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Remember…you are forever healing, always whole.
Blessings on your path.
For more information on this article, check out Julie’s website: http://bodykarmahealing.com/ -American Woman Magazine