October 30, 2016

The 7th Chakra

mandala courtesy Sacred Centers, Anodea Judith
The first energy centre located outside the physical body – the crown chakra – is associated with awareness and consciousness.  Though it takes being aware of the physical body to reach this level, the 7th chakra is not as concerned with the physical.  In numerology, the number 7 is the number of trust, devotion and a deeper connection to ourselves and to the life force . . . . all qualities of the crown chakra.  Working with this energy centre is about trusting what you know, searching for truth, both about yourself and about existence in general, and  becoming aware that reality is often hidden behind illusions.  Getting past these illusions is often the key.

“Sahasrara” is the Sanskrit term assigned to this energy centre, and it refers to the one thousand petal lotus flower.  This flower is a spiritual symbol in many traditions and often represents spiritual potential.  The lotus flower grows through dirty, muddy water and experiences much of its growth before it rises out of the muck to become a magnificent flower.  Likewise on our path to awareness, we go through heavy, dark times in order to become fully conscious of our light and magnificence.  This week in class, we'll draw our attention to this space that sits just above our head, and the potential that we hold physically through inversions.  For more information and work with the crown chakra, continue reading below.

October 23, 2016

Free Your Mind

Mandala made by David Goulet of Pyramid Yoga Center
The 6th chakra, or third eye chakra, is associated with the element of the mind.  As we move higher up, the work is less about the physical and more about the mental and internal world.  The third eye chakra is about perception, with the verb or phrase associated with this chakra being “I see.”  This energy centre relates to seeing what is happening in our physical reality, but also being aware and seeing what is happening within our inner landscape.

“Ajna” is the Sanskrit term that refers to this energy centre, and loosely translated it means to perceive and command.  This centre is activated and strong when the two hemispheres of our brain are both used, valued and allowed to work in harmony.  The left, logical, analytical side is used to become aware of facts, logistics and to be a witness to the physical.  It is the “perceive” part of the equation.  The right, intuitive, imaginative side is used to assess our feelings and access our intuition to become clear on where we want to go.  It creates a picture and a “command” of what direction to follow.  This week in classes, we’ll be focusing on observing how the different sides of our body and mind work and simply witnessing our dualistic nature.  For more ways to work with the third eye centre, keep reading below. 

October 16, 2016

Express Yourself

Earth, water, fire, and air are elements that most of us are familiar with.  The 5th chakra, or the throat chakra is associated with the element of ether.   Ether is related to the concept of vibrations and is said to be the stuff that angels are made of.  While the heart chakra acted as a bridge between the tangible and intangible, the throat chakra tends to act as a gateway from the physical world to that of the spiritual.

In Sanskrit, the throat chakra is referred to as “Vishuddha” which loosely translated means to purify.  It is represented by the colour sky blue and is located at the neck or throat.  When working with this energy centre, it is largely about communication and expression.  What do you say?  What do you hear?  Can you purify your thoughts and recognize what thoughts are truly yours and what thoughts came from elsewhere?  When you express yourself, are you sharing what is true to you, or are you expressing what you think others want to hear?  Do you truly listen to what others say to you and what you say to yourself, or are you filtering the information and perceiving it from a certain slanted point of view?  Lots of heavy work and soul searching comes along when focusing on this throat chakra! 

October 02, 2016

Lovely Little Brain

We’ve moved from earth to water to fire and now to air. We make our way from the tangible to the intangible. Air will be the focus for all of my classes this week. Air is the element associated with the heart chakra or Anahata. Anahata loosely translates as “centre of unstruck sound.” It is our own unique vibration that emanates from our heart, which coincidently is the physical location in the body for the air element. The area of the heart, the chest and the lungs represents air in our body - the lungs which we use to breath in oxygen, and the heart which has the power to produce a light, airy quality in our body, mind and spirit. It is our heart that allows us to connect to such intangible things as our genuine and authentic thoughts. Due to relatively recent research, the heart is beginning to be referred to as the little brain. It was mostly believed up until this point that the mind was what controlled the brain, when in actuality the heart has it’s own ability to learn, remember and act independently of the brain.  In fact, the heart is being shown to send more information to the brain on a daily basis, than the brain sends to the heart. The air element is the element that represents things such as possibilities, inspiration, joy, and freedom. What better way to achieve these things than by allowing ourselves to be led by the heart. This week we will focus on feeling lighter by taking those amazingly deep, full breaths, and opening up our hearts in order to access the wisdom of our little brain. See below for further ways to work with this chakra.