I co-taught my first workshop as a yoga instructor in Costa Rica with a Reiki Master who I also lived with at the time. She welcomed me warmly into her home for three of the most magical months of my life. She taught me all about the chakras, or energy centers in the body, and suddenly my own yoga practice and teaching took on a whole new form & meaning. Teaching this workshop of three beautiful students was a turning point in my life, one of the most powerful & rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.
I came up with the name “The Colors of Your Practice” because we devoted the workshop to education about the chakras, how they are related to the physical practice of yoga (asana), and how to incorporate the two to live a more balanced life. I designed the flyer! Check it out…
Prior to my experience living in Costa Rica, I had always felt like there was something missing in my own understanding of yoga, which in turn made me feel the same about my teaching. Sure, power yoga is a great way to stay in shape, but what is it about practicing yoga that brings such euphoria, such joy – on the mental/emotional/spiritual level… that element that makes yoga so different from all other forms of physical exercise? For me, knowledge & understanding of the chakra system was that missing piece of the puzzle. There is actually a reason why practicing yoga feels so damn good! And this knowledge is ancient, Eastern philosophy. Each yoga asana has a specific intention designed to stimulate & awaken energy in the chakras… to balance them, & in turn, create a more balanced you… a healthy body whose vibration is in greater harmony with the Universal energy it is made of.
Practicing yoga is like peeling away the layers of an onion, like coming home to our true self… it’s easy to get buried under a busy work schedule, taking care of family, nurturing friendships, meeting deadlines, going here, going there, doing this, doing that. Putting myself first has never been the easiest thing for me. But, like yoga, it’s a practice, and awareness is always the first step. How can we expect to love & take care of anyone else if we do not fully understand and practice self love? Consider this a lesson in loving yourself… by understanding your chakras, you will begin to understand why you feel out of wack at times and content, or even blissful, at others. You can literally heal yourself from the inside out.
Our bodies speak to us everyday… tight hamstrings, the common cold, a sore neck, digestion issues, poor posture… in the Western world, these things are often seen as problems that some type of pill can correct, and we go on with our day. But is this actually curing the problem? No. It’s just a quick fix. A numbing agent. We need to get to the root of the problem if we want true healing. Physical pain and ailments are our body’s way of talking to us. They are a response to buried feelings that we need to deal with… issues at our core that we can access through our chakras. We have the ability to identify what triggers an imbalance in a given chakra and apply this knowledge to balance ourselves naturally using yoga postures & meditation. You can heal your life. YOU are your own best doctor!
Chakras are wheel shaped, spinning vortexes of energy. There are many chakras in the human body, but the main seven are stacked along the spine, starting at the base of the spine with the root chakra, leading up to the crown chakra at the top of the head. The colors of the rainbow will never be the same for me. I literally think of the following every time I see a color…
Red represents the 1st, or root chakra. Our sense of grounding, survival, security. “I Am.”
Orange represents the 2nd, or sacral chakra. The center of our emotions… sensuality, sexuality, & creativity. “I Feel.”
Yellow… 3rd, the solar plexus chakra. Our confidence, sense of identity, & personal power. “I Do.”
Green… 4th, the heart chakra. Love, relationships, compassion. “I Love.”
Blue… 5th, the throat chakra. Communication. All of the ways we express ourselves & speak our truth… our voice. “I Speak.”
Purple… 6th, the third eye chakra. The seat of our intuition. Our center of perception. Our ability to manifest & visualize the life we want. “I See.”
White, or pink… the 7th, or crown chakra. Our connection to the Divine & to our Highest Self, our source of inspiration. “I Understand.”
As human beings we have the ability to manifest anything we desire. All we have to do is tap into the infinite energy that already resides within us. The chakra system is not part of our physical body, but of the softer, subtle energy body that is just as much a part of our being as as our arms and legs.
Over the coming weeks I will break down each chakra in its own article and explain yoga postures & meditation practices to help balance that chakra.
Stay tuned & get ready to live with INTENTION on and off your mat!