I’d like to preface this blog by saying, that this article has been in the works for over 2 years. This is a topic that means a lot to me, and one that I’ve been dying to talk about, yet have not had the courage to actually publish.
Talking about the chakras, energy healing, spirituality, drumming circles, and reiki can sometimes garner me funny looks like….“what in the world is she talking about?” Thus, I am very reluctant about bringing these topics up as a way to avoid other people from thinking I’m a total luny or quack. And in the health and fitness sphere, we are not short on quackery.
However, I’m at the point in my life now that I say, fuck it. I’m gonna write what I wanna write, say what I wanna say, and speak from my heart.
Not only is that driving me to write this, but I also would be doing you an injustice by not sharing this information with you, because over my years of coaching clients and through my own personal development, I have experienced the powers of tapping into a deeper and subtler aspect of our health.
It’s very easy to search the web and find information on how to deadlift, how to eat paleo, how to lose fat, etc, etc. Although this information can be very helpful, I feel that these topics are a grossly superficial way to look at health and life in general.
For everything that we know, there is an infinitesimal amount of stuff that we don’t know. And it’s the stuff that we don’t know and don’t always pay attention to, that truly fascinates me.
I firmly believe that in order to achieve optimal health (and that means something different to everyone), we must consider the body as a whole: physical, mental, emotional and yes, spiritual. If we envision each of these aspects as a leg of a table, supporting us, we can see how if one of these legs is loose, or weak, how it will affect the entire structure. Each leg must be strong on its own to support the whole.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to introduce you to our chakra system, what the hell it is, what it does for your body, how it affects the way your body looks, feels and functions but also, how harnessing the power of your chakras can help you live a vibrant and abundant life.
In this first post, I’ll discuss the origins of the chakra system and follow it up with 7 posts, each describing each of the 7 chakras.
What is the chakra system?
In a nutshell, the chakra system is an ancient Hindu system of healing dating as far back as 2500 B.C. It consists of 7 energy centers located along the spine. Each energy center, or chakra, not only corresponds to one of the glands of the endocrine system, but is also associated to a certain smell, sound, taste, color, emotion, astrological symbol, organ, and even stage of human development.
The chakra system is also made up of the sushumna which is a staff that extends from the coccyx (the tailbone) up to the crown of the head. It is on this staff upon which the chakras are held. Like a radio antennae, the sushumna channels energy from the Universal Life Force throughout the chakras, thus allowing them to spin and vibrate.
Universal Life Force??? Ooooookkkkkk…
Yes, its the stuff that makes the seasons change, the stuff that makes us fall in love, the stuff that makes us think of an old friend who randomly sends a text out of the blue, the stuff Yoda was teaching to Luke, and the stuff that is responsible for all the stuff we can’t explain…liiiiiiiiike why chocolate is soooooo good.
A third piece of the chakra system is what is considered the Kundalini. According to Hindu tradition, the Kundalini is the serpent goddess that coils around the root chakra and pierces each one on her way up the sushumna.
Still with me?
Great. We’ll get to the sushumna and the Kundalini later on, but for now let’s focus on the actual chakras.
What exactly is a chakra?
In Sanskrit, chakra is the word for “wheel” or “disk”. Each chakra is positioned along the spine against the sushumna and is typically depicted as a lotus flower (see below for example). There are 7 chakras located along the sushumna, starting from the base of the spine, at the root chakra, and going all the way up to the top of the skull, to your crown chakra.
This is a depiction of the 3rd, or solar plexus chakra.
As mentioned above, each chakra corresponds to a certain gland in the endocrine system, and it is through this connection that the chakras are used to help heal the physical body. By looking at certain ailments in the body, we can pinpoint the corresponding chakras that may need to be balanced. Take diabetes for instance, a disease that is effected by the pancreas (where insulin is produced), the gland that is associated with the 3rd chakra.
There are 7 main chakras. Starting from the base of the spine, they rise up to the crown as follows:
- 1st or Root Chakra
- 2nd or Sacral Chakira
- 3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra
- 4th or Heart Chakra
- 5th or Throat Chakra
- 6th or Third Eye Chakra
- 7th or Crown Chakra
How do the chakras affect my health?
When balanced, the chakras rotate in oppositional directions from each other, much like the gears in a watch, and when rotating in harmony, the body functions optimally and feels good.
How do I balance my chakras?
There are quite a few ways, but here are the most widely used:
Reiki – A Japanse form of energy healing and stress reduction that channels the Universal Life Force energy into the body to restore balance.
Sound healing – Usually performed by an experienced practitioner, through the use of various instruments like flutes, drums and bells. I personally see a Peruvian Shaman named Pierre, who’s quite kick-ass. Check out his site here: Sound Light Healer
Crystal therapy – Since each chakra vibrates on its own frequency, there are corresponding crystals that can help restore balance. I’ll dig more into this as we make our way through each chakra.
Aromatherapy – Through the use of various essential oils, we can trigger various physical responses in the body which can help restore balance in the chakra system.
Mediations – By focusing on various meditations, we can target specific chakras based on an emotion or developmental stage of life.
Nutritional therapy – Various foods and flavors can also be used to help target certain chakras. Again, I will go into more detail as we dissect each chakra individually.
Movement therapy – Through various yoga poses and tai chi based movements, we can stimulate energy to specific points of the body that correspond to a specific chakra.
A quick note about balancing your chakras: Be sure to work with an experienced practitioner that you trust. Whenever you are dealing with releasing past emotional issues and traumas, which can typically happen when working with your chakras, you can experience physical side-effects that, unless you are ready to experience, can be quite alarming. I’m not trying to scare any one, but from my own experiences of energy work, this can happen. There is even a phenomena called the Kundalini Syndrome which can occur from awakening the Kudalini (that serpent, remember?) into rising up the sushumna.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll make our way up the chakra system, starting with the 1st chakra, or root chakra. With each post, we’ll gain a greater understanding and appreciation for this ancient system of healing and I’ll help show you how this affects the way your body looks, feels and functions.
So now that you’ve read this, what do you think: Am I on to something or just out of my mind? Let me know below.
Till next time, may the force be with you…