Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” Brian Tracy quotes
Let’s Talk Chakras:
What is a chakra? Literally chakra translates as “wheel” or “circle”. And they are said to be spinning energy wheels at the axis of energy lines within our subtle bodies. The tradition I work with focuses on 7 main energy centers situated along the spine and at the crown of the head. You will find many different interpretations of the number and location of chakras, in the long run it doesn’t matter. The focus is on tuning into the moving of energy within your body and having a focal point. This is a complex subject that could be studied for years as you delve into the idea of nadis that carry Prana (energy lines for our life force, similar to the idea of meridians that carry Qi/chi) and other aspects of the subtle body. But I digress this is meant to be a brief and simple OVERVIEW!!!
I find it important to note that the idea behind chakra work is that of BALANCE. It is not simply a case of energizing all your chakras, actually energizing where you are already energized can cause furhter imbalance and a lot nasty side effects. With that in mind to more expertly explain the idea of chakra balancing, I offer this excerpt from Anodea Judith’s excellent workbook “Chakra Balancing”. After taking a look at the basic overview of the system (simplified) we will then spend the next 7 weeks looking at balancing each individual chakra. Please note that working with the chakras is a life long, life altering, and powerful practice. As we delve deep into our subtle energies we can uncover many truths, sometimes painful and difficult, about our selves. Prepare to go into this work with joy and patience and remember that sometimes things are darkest before the dawn, but the dawn does come. (PS I’m not kidding if you have serious medical, mental, emotional issues that you are dealing with be careful! Seek out a teacher to work with or at the very least go slow and gentle!)
“When life hands out its troubles, as it does for all of us, we find ways to cope with them. In terms of energy dynamics, there are two main ways of coping with such difficulties. You can increase your energy in order to deal with the problem or decrease your energy in order to get away from the problem. This is an adaptation of the basic fight or flight response, programmed into our survival instincts.
Examples of increasing your energy would include creating a fever to combat bacteria, gathering your buddies to help fight a bully, or staying up all night studying for a test.
Decreasing your energy is a way of trying to get away from threat; i.e.: dissociating to minimize pain, running or hiding from the bully, or simply deciding not to care what happens on the test, perhaps by not showing up at all. As you engage in these defenses, over time they become “hardwired’ into your chakra system, meaning they exhibit their patterns unconsciously, whether or not these patterns really work for you.
When used repeatedly over time, these coping strategies create either excessive or deficient chakra imbalances. If you habitually increase your energy, you may find yourself overcompensating for some injury, fixating on something so that it becomes too important, or creating an excessive behavior in a particular chakra. Deficient chakras are created by habitual patterns of avoidance. Typically, some of your chakras take the lead and become excessive, while others retreat and become deficient. It is also possible to create both excess and deficient characteristics within a single chakra.
For example, if you didn’t receive enough love or attention growing up, you might have adapted by creating behaviors to bring yourself into the center of attention, such as surrounding yourself with friends all the time. This would be an excessive response to a wound in the heart chakra. Yet another person with the same wound might become a loner and avoid social interactions as much as possible, thereby becoming deficient in the heart charka. Others might surround themselves with people yet feel very alone, exhibiting characteristics of both excess and deficiency”
Balance, energy and rest…the ebb and flow of life; that is what we are seeking, that midpoint to accomplish just that. As we look at each individual chakra we will work on identifying excesses and deficiencies and work to Create practices and awareness to bring each into alignment. Any work like this can be disconcerting as you will have to take an honest look at how you react to the world and what you present. So if you are ready, if you are looking to bring about profound change and true awareness I invite you to take this journey with me.
So where are these wheels and what do we call them?
Asana (Yoga Pose) of the week:
Virasana (Hero’s Pose)
The knees should be at center line, heels close to the hips. This can be intense if your quadriceps are or IT bands are tight. If you experience pain you can either sit up on block or blanket or simply bring the heels closer together to start. If you have knee injuries please seek advice before doing this pose.
Wellness Tip of the Week:
Let’s get honest. Start with taking stock of changes and/or goals that you have been working on, then WRITE down those goals. Prioritize your goals and pick your top three. Know make a plan. Make note of where you are today – honestly. Every map needs a starting and an end point…You can’t get where you are going without knowing where you start. This doesn’t mean beat yourself up for anything — simply see and accept where you are and make your plan based on that. I think training for a marathon is a perfect example. If you are running a mile a day right now it’s probably unrealistic to expect to run a marathon at the end of the month…but you can make a 90 plan. Set your point A, Choose a point B and then plot your course — realistically. Good Luck!
MANTRA (affirmation) for the week:
INHALE: I am EXHALE: Balance(d)