We are made of energy. Each cell in your body is vibrating with energy, and we are attracting, dispelling, and blocking certain things in life based on our individual and unique energetic fields. There is a vast world of communication and reactions happening beneath your conscious awareness, and we are fueled and compelled to act constantly by this world. To become a more congruent, whole, and integrated person, we must experience things that allow new, healthier, more efficient linkages to be cultivated in our brain; away from the pathways that do not serve who we are, and more strength and resolve to create new pathways that do serve us. Long before modern technology and science, ancient cultures honored this energy by labeling seven main centers in the human body that housed everything that it is to be human. They called these, the Chakras.
In the ancient language sanskrit, Chakra translates to ‘wheel,’ which alludes to the spinning nature of this energy, and the importance of all seven chakra centers moving/spinning, communicating, and flowing in a balanced manner. When one center is blocked or in excess is spinning too quickly, we are out of balance and our health suffers in mind, body and spirit. This system gives us something tangible to look at when we notice these imbalances, and offers many different practices, both physical and mental, to get to know ourselves better and create balance in our body and life.
Chakra Pop is a yoga class that I have created to offer such an experience. It is an opportunity to feel the energy of each chakra, aligned with music, movements, breath, and words that will connect, cleanse and strengthen each chakra. Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or a complete novice, my goal with this class is to share the amazing philosophy that makes yoga what it is while providing a lived experience to support the shifts you desire in your life.
If you are brand new to yoga or yoga philosophy, here is a brief introduction to your Chakra system….
The FIRST chakra - Root Chakra (Muladhara - in sanskrit)
The literal translation of Muladhara means “root support.” This chakras role is to connect all of you and your energy with the Earth, aka Grounding. This is the home of safety, needs for basic survival, which includes financial and emotional security. Anything that promotes survival and generates a sense of “home frequency” is in the realm of the root chakra. And it is the most important area to check in with first, because until you tune into a sense of safety, and support the exploration of a solid foundation, nothing else matters. You will constantly be distracted and pulled towards finding safety until that sense of grounding sets in. Once you are stable, safe, and connected, you get access to your other levels of being.
The SECOND Chakra - Sacral Chakra (Svadhishana)
The translation from sanskrit means, “the place of the self.” This chakra is the wheel of creative energy and your identity as a human being within the realm of emotion, pleasure, sensuality, and your ability to adapt and flow from one moment or experience to the next without attachment or craving. Your health and vitality is deeply effected by your sacral chakra, as the intensity of emotion and addiction can create major imbalances, while a healthy relationship to sex, pleasure, flow, and emotion can be the grounds for a life full of joy and vitality.
The THIRD Chakra - Solar Plexus (Manipura)
Translated it means “lustrous gem.” This is the home of confidence (aka a healthy ego), personal power, fire and passion. A strong connection and balance in this chakra allows you to be a person of action, as you trust your self and trust the process, and are not one to be stopped by fear or self-doubt. The gut is known as a secondary brain in our body because of the intricate and complex hormones and communication systems that reside there. A healthy gut provides energy and power, while an unhealthy gut becomes an energy drainer.
The FOURTH chakra - Heart Chakra (Anahata)
The translation from sanskrit means “unhurt.” This is the home of love, compassion, and a balance between the bottom three and top three chakras. This center also represents the important balance between giving and receiving. There is immense power for health and healing in this chakra. Your heart has oxytocin receptors that literally heals past wounds and traumas when in balance. Give the people in your life permission to break your heart and trust that being open and full of compassion is the only “armor” you need.
The FIFTH Chakra - Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The translation from sanskrit: “very pure.” This chakra is your expression of your personal truths. Your ability to fill the space with your presence and your voice. A balanced and open throat chakra provides the clarity and ease of communication, as you trust your voice and speak non-violently, as well as patiently listen with generosity. Through conscious communication, you continually update your belief system to align with your highest-self, and you know your words vibrate with healing energy and will inspire the ears they land on.
The SIXTH chakra - Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
From sanskrit, the translation is: “beyond wisdom.” This chakra offers wisdom that is beyond the five senses and the material world. Often explained as the “seat of the witness,” this center represents one’s ability to step off the emotional roller coaster of the ego and see the space to pause for a response rather than go with auto-pilot’s reaction. When we learn to observe ourselves, notice and witness without judgement, but rather, with curiosity and a desire for a deeper knowing, we get access to the wisdom of the third eye. The actual location of this chakra center resides in the pinecone shaped gland, called the Pineal. This gland has light receptors, which is responsible for helping you feel awake in the daytime and sleepy at night.
The SEVENTH Chakra - Crown Chakra (Sahaswara)
From sanskrit to english, this chakra means “thousand petaled.” This is the home of pure universal consciousness. While this center is where our own consciousness resides, it is also the gateway to everything above that is unseen. It can feel like bliss, or as if you are everything and nothing all at once. Being in alignment with the bottom 6 chakras will support you exponentially in experiencing the energy that is beyond the physical or beyond your own individual. It is in this chakra that the sentence, “I AM” is full and complete as it is. Beyond labels, beyond stories and limitations, this chakra connects you to the limitless and the formless.
Now that you have a familiarity with the chakra system, which one stands out to you? These provide a map for you to get to know your mind-body connection, and give you access to a cleansing and strengthening with avenues from within and from outside your body. What you need now is not going to be what you need later. This is a constant process in flux, as you tune into the subtleties of the chakra system, and skillfully learn how to assess, connect, cleanse and heal yourself on a daily basis. One step in that direction….join me at Chakra Pop (Tuesday’s 4:45pm at Liv yoga + wellness).
See you there ;)