“Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.” Ram Dass

 

First Chakra – Earth, grounding, home, work, finances, manifestation and being here. 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.

Fears that prevent full root chakra functioning: Fear of annihilation for being oneself. Things being out of control. Lack of trust. Abundance issues.

Physical dysfunction when root chakra is unbalanced: Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, depression, immune system dysfunction, varicose veins.

Exercises to balance first chakra: Yoga Postures: Knee to chest (Apanasana) or Bridge Pose (Setu Bhandasana). 

Jogging and/or jumping up and down.

Resting/sleeping

Massage

Eating proteins (helps with grounding)

 

“Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one’s own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self.” May Sarton

Second Chakra – Water, Emotional identity, oriented to 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.   

Loss of control. Being controlled through addiction. Rape. Betrayal. Financial loss. Abandonment.

Physical dysfunctions when this chakra is unbalanced:

Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, Ob/Gyn problems, impotency, urinary problems.

Exercises to balance second chakra:

Allowing self to cry/release emotions.

Bath or swimming.

  
Third Chakra – Fire, energy, ego, power, will, risk, digestion, motivation and action. 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.

Third Chakra: doorway to mental body

(and balance between caring for self and others)

Fears that prevent full solar plexus functioning:

Rejection. Criticism. Failing to meet responsibilities. Powerlessness.

Physical dysfunctions when this chakra is unbalanced:

Arthritis, ulcers, diabetes, indigestion / digestive issues, eating disorders.

Exercises that balance third chakra:

Stomach crunches

Jogging

  
Fourth Chakra – Air, love, relationship, balance, breath, nurturing, and balance. 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, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.

The Sanskrit name for the 4th chakra is “Anahata.” This word means “unstruck” or “stillness.” This seems to imply that deep beneath our brokenness and pain, wholeness abides.

Glands/organs/parts of the body associated with the 4th chakra:

Thymus, heart, lungs, chest, arms, breasts

The primary color for the 4th chakra is green and the secondary color is pink.

The element for the 4th chakra is air. Pranayama practice helps to balance this chakra.

The sense for the 4th chakra is touch, feeling, clairsentient.

The emotion of the heart chakra is compassion and joy. The 4th chakra feels the suffering of others.

The foods for this chakra are air, vegetables (especially green ones), and love.

When the 4th chakra is deficient, you may experience feelings of shyness and loneliness, an inability to forgive or a lack of empathy. Physical conditions can include shallow breathing, asthma, and some lung diseases.

When the 4th chakra is excessive one may experience co-dependency, possessiveness, jealousy, heart problems and high blood pressure.

In yoga, poses that stimulate the 4th chakra are backward bends (anything that opens the chest). A powerful way to energize this chakra is to love ourselves and others.

Heart Meditation

Step one: With eyes closed, place some attention on your physical heart. Notice the space of your chest. This is where the Heart Chakra is. We are going to expand it.

Step two: Feel your heart. Can you notice it beating? Can you sense blood flowing? Realize your physical heart is intertwined with your spiritual Heart, your Heart Chakra. Let their realities blend. That is the key.

See if you can notice a non-physical sensation to your heart, in whatever way possible. It could be a subtle energy or feeling of movement. It could be a feeling of warmth or aliveness. However it is for you is fine. This is your Spiritual Heart or Inner Heart. It comes through your physical heart but it is not bound by it.

Step three: Realize that spiritual union with the Divine takes place in the heart. You can ‘see’ the Universe with the inner eyes of the “heart.” You are the Universe (God/Goddess/All of Creation, or whatever word works for you) in your Heart of Hearts. Breathe into this knowing. Settle into it like you are settling into a warm bath.

This is the seat of Divine Union and once you acquiesce to it, the feeling of longing or of a broken heart will start to weaken. Acknowledging and feeling the LOVE of the Universe mends all broken hearts.

Step four: Despite what your mind may be thinking during your meditation, keep bringing your awareness into your heart. Breathe deep. Let go. Your heart will expand and open.

“Right now, you accept a fixed set of labels that define you. These include your name, age, family, occupation and social status. However, none of these labels is the true you; they distract from the reality that you are spirit embodied in flesh.” Deepak Chopra

  

“Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself.” Paramahansa Yogananda 

Fifth Chakra – Sound, vibration, communication, self-expression, being heard. 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.

  

“Love should be like breathing. It should be just a quality in you, wherever you are, with whomsoever you are, or even if you are alone, Love goes on overflowing from you. It is not a question of being in Love with someone, it is a question of being Love.” Osho 

  
Sixth Chakra – Light, vision, sight, perception, visualization, insight, dreaming. 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.”

Although you appear in earthly form, your essence is pure Consciousness. You are the fearless Guardian of Divine Light.  Rumi

  
Seventh Chakra – Spiritual connection, beliefs, understanding, thought, and awareness. 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. The Crown Chakra connects us to the universal divine energy. This chakra is associated with wisdom, enlightenment and transcendence. When our Crown Chakra is cleansed and open we experience divine union and cosmic love, stretching out forever. Our unique frequency is in tune with the cosmic orchestra. When our Crown Chakra is blocked or closed we feel disconnected spiritually, as though we are living without any direction or purpose.

On a physical level, it can lead to depression, nervous system disorders, migraines, amnesia, ADD, dyslexia, and in the most extreme cases cognitive delusions and mental illness. Lavender flowers and lotus assist in opening your seventh chakra. Lavender brings you into alignment with divine wisdom on a daily basis and is a popular herb for enhancing meditation. 

While lotus leaves and stems are widely used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, and each part has its own set of benefits. Lavender is your best bet because it works well on all the chakras. You can include plants in your life through taking herbs internally in the form of tea, or externally as a bath or aromatherapy, you can enhance the benefits by consciously connecting with their vibrational qualities. 

Lotus essential oil can be used in aromatherapy, or to add scent to personal care products, such as body lotions, massage oils or bath soaps. Both the actual lotus flower and the essential oil have historically been connected with the concepts of spirituality and relaxation. Prized for its intense scent, this aromatherapy oil is believed to create a sense of serenity. The fragrance is often described as floral and earthy. This oil can be used as a single note scent, or as part of a blend, in a variety of aromatherapy products.

Frequently associated with ancient Buddhist, Indian, and Egyptian mythologies, the lotus blossom has deep roots in Eastern history. The life cycle of this aquatic perennial has been connected symbolically to the concept of spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism. An Indian creation myth includes the unfolding of a lotus to represent the origin of the universe as it is dreamed into existence. Egyptian mythology has a similar creation myth, although the flower in this tale is the blue lotus. Aromatherapy practitioners sometimes attempt to connect similar ideas of spiritual enlightenment to lotus essential oil effects.

Chakra Integration – Overview of the chakras, include integration exercises and assessments and a celebration of where we have come in our journey.

Structure of the Chakras: “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheels of light”. This is descriptive of the appearance of the chakras which are like vortexes of energy which spin. Each chakra is structured uniquely to receive and transmit the particular qualities of energy which are necessary for the area of functioning governed by the chakra.

  

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