balancing the chakras

The Holy Grail of Chakras

Crown chakra image

The Crown Chakra is the Holy Grail of Chakras—it’s the pinnacle—the highest level of your subtle energetic Chakra body

The seventh chakra is the connection between you, the world and whatever God you believe in.  And to be honest with you, it is not that attainable for most of us “everyday folk”.  But does that mean you should not try — no way. Enhancing your crown chakra in any shape or form will enhance your life. Raising your level of consciousness will ease “physical and emotional pain and release endorphins which create happy and blissful experiences for us,”  according to Ambika Wauters , who wrote The Book of Chakras. Chakras_map.svgAnd she adds, “Once we start living from and within the Crown Chakra, we start to be thankful for our lives exactly as they are.  … we accept  trials and hardships that have shaped our spirit.” In all of the readings I have done throughout my yoga training, it is the ritual of working toward higher levels of connection that enhance your live, not necessarily the goal of pure bliss or Samadhi as it is called in Sanskrit.  In fact, according to Vedic tradition, no goal can ever be guaranteed in yoga or life, so the daily practice becomes the goal.

In helping my students work the Crown or Sahasrara Chakra, which in Sanskrit means thousand petals, we spend more time in quiet reflection than in our other Chakra practices.  When I offer my students either doTERRA Rosemary  essential oil if they are having too many visions or Frankincense oil if they need assistance in accessing the higher realm, I invariably get few takers for the Rosemary and many for the Frankincense.

“Frankincense, considered a Holy oil, is used for meditative contemplation, for achieving tranquil states of mind, and for attaining spiritual liberation.  The spiritual and psychological benefits of Frankincense have long been recognized by many cultures and spiritual traditions. On a physical level, the oil of Frankincense helps with nervous system conditions. Because of the high levels of sesquiterpenes, a type of molecules that have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, Frankincense may help to oxygenate the pineal and pituitary glands, according to www.chakra-anatomy.com .Frankincense is so highly touted in treating a number of physical and emotional diseases and the medical community continues to research more and more of its health benefits.   To top it off, it smells great making it a top seller at doTERRA. Even though it is very expensive, I offer my students to try it topically to help with focus and meditation.frankincense banner

The Crown Chakra Yoga Practice

We do a variety of the hip and hamstring poses to get ready to meditate. See my  Youtube video on sitting comfortably in easy seat.

gentl neck stretch 300 by 225Andrea doing twist 300Tree pose 300dpi

Gentle neck stretches, side to side stretches and twists are done to make sure all blockages leading from the base of the spine to the crown of your head are cleared.  Tree pose is our balance pose to ensure our focus and connection with all living things.

An appropriate relaxation activity for activating the crown chakra is Yoga Nidra.  When I did thisyoga nidra image practice with my students recently, I had several students report some fascinating results.  One student reported being able to visualize the blue pointed star at all 61 points that I mentioned.  Another visualized a colorful Chinese dragon dancing.

I introduce my students to a variety of other ways to quiet their mind and feel connected to their higher self.  Visualizing the color purple,  chanting the OM sound or using either crystal bowls or a 108 bead mala to assist in meditating.  Each of us respond differently to the various approaches of this practice, so I give the students a sampling and encourage them to practice at home.  To find out more about my Chakra balancing series, please fill in this contact form.

 

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

How Yoga Helps the Heart

It goes beyond the Cardiovascular System

Heart chakra banner

When I tell my yoga students we are going to focus on the Heart Chakra (Anahata in Sanscript), there is usually a sigh of relief.  We have worked our way through the physical Chakras of root, sacrum and core. The Heart Chakra, fourth of the 7 energy wheels in our subtle body, lies in the space to the right of the heart along the spine.  This area of our spine is one of the strongest of our skeletal system for good reason.  It is protecting a very important physical organ—the heart.Chakras

We consider both the physical and emotional aspects of the Anahata chakra. Our heart can be very vulnerable depending on our life experiences. What may result is a heart chakra imbalance – respiratory issues, heart issues, depression, fatigue, to name a few of the possible symptoms. When you are unhappy, your thymus, which controls your hormones slows down, which can result in a general lack of thriving.  Emotionally an imbalance in this area can either lead to shutting down or just pretending to be happy.

“The fear of giving and receiving love blocks health, joy and goodness from coming into our lives,” according to Ambika Wauters, the author of The Book of Chakras who adds, “The heart’s unique intelligence is to remember love,  It never forget acts of kindness, friendship or love. “

In order to access love, one must be willing to be vulnerable.  At the beginning of class, I offer my students doTERRA geranium essential oil if they need to open up more or melalueca if they need to protect their heart more.  Both sides of this coin leave one feeling vulnerable.  It’s the paradox of the heart chakra, according to  http://nyapatrinos.blogspot.com/2015/08/chakra-series-yin-yoga-heart-chakra.htmlAndrea meditating “through humility, we find our power; through discipline, we find liberation; by cleansing the physical body, we become more mentally clear and attuned.”

We begin our practice in a seated pose to try and still the mind and tap into the heart; easier said, than done.  It takes practice to distinguish what your heart is telling you versus what your mind is chattering at you. One clue is if thought starts with love then it is coming from your heart. According to Yoga Journal’s Stephanie Snyder in a 2015 article, “Over time you will be able to observe both. This inner listening cultivates a discrimination. Discrimination supports skillful choices, which lead you toward your heart’s calling, your purpose. The result is bringing compassion and love into all you do.”

I invite my students to set an intention for the practice, which is often very personal.

It might include forgiving someone who has hurt you, or opening yourself up to love again after a bad relationship.  It could be working on loving yourself or trusting other people, or being less critical of people. Be sure to listen closely to your heart to ensure your intention rings true for you.

We do the following practice.  Feel free to attend one of my classes on balancing the Chakras or try the routine at home. 

In a seated position we begin by loosening our neck and shoulders.  Be sure to sit on a blanket or bolster to protect your spine.  Sitting on a bolster helps lean your pelvic bones toward the front which keeps your back from rounding.  Half way through this neck and shoulder routine, change the cross of your legs to keep them from falling asleep. (2) Preparatory arm stretches will also include cow face arms and eagle arms (shown). Roll over to hands and knees.  A modified cat/cow with a child’s pose focus on shining your heart each time you stretch up and forward helps get problems “off your chest” (3)

Andrea stretching neck 225 tallAndrea doing eagle arms 225 highCat Cow 225 high

 

Rest in Child’s pose.  Then move into Puppy pose also known as Melting the heart.  (4) Draw your shoulders back toward each other, but be careful not to dump your belly. Move into thread the needle or revolved child’s pose. (5) This is an intense stretch for your shoulder.  Metaphorically speaking, your shoulders are the branches from your heart, which if strong can lead to generosity and compassion. Repeat on both sides.

Andrea melting heart poseAndrea threading the needle

Move into downward facing dog (6)—focusing on your shoulders drawing toward your back.  You might need to bend the knees a great deal to feel this in the upper back.  High lunges, Low lunges or Warrior 1 on both sides will be modified to reflect the opening of the shoulders. (7)  Do both sides. Our balancing series will include both Eagle Pose (8) and Dancers pose (9).  Both work the upper body.  Dancer pose opens up the heart while Eagle pose protects the heart. Do both sides.

3 DowndogAndrea doing warrior 1 with open heartAndrea doing eagle 225 tallAndrea doing dancers pose 225 high

 

Add two full sun salutations, focusing each move on a gratitude practice.  For instance when reaching to the sky, express thanks to the sun, the forward fold, thanks to the earth, half way up, thanks to your parents, all the way down, thanks to your children or friends, going through plank, thanks to yourself including your body. Upward dog, thanks to your mind, and coming back up, thanks to the higher being that you believe in. You can even chant these as you go through the sequence. This practice came from Seane Corne. Make sure to open your heart during your back bends.

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Perhaps the most vulnerable heart chakra pose is Camel Ustrasana (10)

The following description of this pose comes from Yoga Journal. “Camel is an upper-spine backbend that comes from narrowing in the belly and widening your hands to your hips and drive the legs and pelvis down as you lift the low belly, ribs, and chest upward.  Finally drop your head back gently as long as it doesn’t cause neck pain. Spend about 3 breaths here and repeat this pose three times. When you finish, sit on your heels, close your eyes, and enjoy the rush of being alive in an open-hearted body.”

Modified Fish Pose is offered as part of this series.  I do not do a full fish pose.   Fish Pose (Matsyasana) 11 is known as the destroyer of all diseases.  It stimulates your thyroid and para thyroid as it strengths the muscles of the upper back and back of neck and stretches your front body muscles.

Andrea doing camel 225 wideIMG_0003

We end the practice in a restorative version  of  Reclined Bound Angel Pose.  Supta Badda Konasana (12) Lie on on your back placing either two blocks or place a bolsters length wise and incline it with a block or two.  Lay back with your spine directly over the bolster. If you are using blocks make sure one block is right across your shoulder blades (for ladies, no lower than the bra line).  Once comfortable open your heart and allow your shoulders to sink towards the floor. Then place your feet together and let you knees fall out to the side.  Roll a blanket into a rope and wrap around your ankles or place blocks under your knees to support you. Visualize the color green, which protects your heart or pink to represent your heart as you relax in this pose. The heart seed mantra is YAM.  Breathe in unconditional love for yourself and others.  Exhale and release old hurts, regrets, anger and grief.

ANdrea doing fish pose 225 highAndrea meditating with hands at heart 225

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

Are you a Warrior or a Servant? Exploring the Manipura Chakra

 Yellow flower wide shot manipura chakraThe Manipura Chakra is not only strength in your abdomen but also strength in  your convictions.

Are you a warrior or a servant? That is the one of the questions to ask yourself when exploring the Manipura Chakra, the third of the seven energy wheels that start at the base of your spine. (for basic explanations of the Chakra system see this earlier post ) Located in the Solar Plexus region of your body, the Manipura Chakra is considered your energetic wheel of strength.  It is commonly known as the core.  Yellow is the color associated with this Chakra, which makes sense since the sun is considered the ruling element of the Solar Plexus. Energy here provides the fire needed to help digest your food and the world.

Chakras_map.svg

Determining if you Chakra is Over-active or Under-active

If your chakra is over-active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  “you may be judgemental or critical – and you will easily find fault in others. An overactive solar plexus chakra can turn you into an arrogant, self-centered power grabber. You end up chasing name and fame to the exclusion of everything else. Soon enough the ‘my way or the highway’ lifestyle inevitably results in dysfunctional relationships and high levels of stress.” according to www.do-meditation.com.

“If this chakra is under active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  it can cause severe emotional problems. You may have a lot of doubt and mistrust towards the people in your life, and worry too much about what other people might think about you. You may also run on “auto pilot” avoiding your feelings of depression orchakra picture courageous anxiety; you may feel afraid or alone when you start to look at what you have been avoiding. You also may feel that you are not good enough and be seeking a constant approval of others. “A blocked third chakra could lead to low self-esteem, hyper-sensitivity to criticism and attention seeking behavior. The resultant indecisiveness, poor self-confidence and self-image, and fear of rejection can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks and turning dreams into reality. Both over-active and under-active Manipura Chakra can lead to physical problems such as digestive disorders and anxiety.

 

Of all the Chakras, Manipura is the one mostly closely associated with your ego. Your identity including feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence is often established in your teens.   As an adult, it affects your feelings of personal power and freedom of choice, according to Ambika Wauters, author of the The Book of Chakras.

In teaching a Yoga class on the 3rd chakra, I offer my students the following doTERRA essential oils — Bergamot if they feel like they need to fortify themselves or Wintergreen if they are feeling overly aggressive.   Bergamot is a member of the citrus family and helps one feel more secure and abundant.  Wintergreen has a cooling effect.  Learn more about doTERRA oils by checking out my information page.

Here is a Manipura Chakra Yoga Routine.  Feel free to do at home or join me for one of my public offerings of Yoga.

Childs pose 225 by 241Andrea doing cow 225 by 241Andrea doing cat 225 by 241

Andrea doing balance on the mat

IMG_98013 Downdog      High Lunge Andrea 600 dpi Andrea doing reverse triangle   Andrea doing Boat poseAndrea doing bridge pose

Throughout the practice (shown above and described below)be aware of your strength, which should give you confidence to move through life’s changes. Pictures are in order from left to right and top to bottom. Start in child’s pose Balasana and focus on your breath.  Feel the ground supporting you offering you safety and security.  If you are undergoing a major change in your life or are feeling ungrounded, affirm yourself with a statement such as “I have the strength to weather these changes and I have a right to the life I chose.” Move into cat Marjaiasana cow Bitilasana stretch. Coordinate the next series with your breath.  Then move into Balancing Table Pose dandayamna-bharmanasana. Raise the arm as you inhale and lower as you exhale.  Repeat three times.  One breath in between and then three times on the other side.  Then raise your leg as you inhale and hold it for three complete breaths.  You can add your opposite arm to make the balance and core work more challenging.   Rest in child’s pose (picture 1). Whenever you need to rest your wrists, go back to child’s pose. Move into a cat cow stretch with one leg bending and bringing your knee toward your  nose compressing your abdomen .   Then hold in plank Kumbhakasanafor three to eight counts.   You can modify on your forearms or hands and knees -Dophin Plank.  Move back into a downward dog -Adho mukha śvānāsana , making sure to engage both your inner thighs and your abdomen.  Move in and out of downward dog and plank several times—generating heat and becoming aware of your core strength. Come up to the top of your mat by bringing one left forward and end up in a Forward Fold. Safely come up to  chair pose Utkatasana (7). Be sure to engage your core and fronts of your thighs. There are many ways to both amplify and modify chair pose depending on how much or little you need to stoke the fires of your solar plexus.  If you have a strong sense of yourself, you might not need to push as hard.  If you tend to be afraid to try new thinAndrea meditatinggs, then pushing yourself may allow you through this challenging experience may develop the courage you need. High Lunge with or without a twist Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana . Repeat on both sides. Move into Triangle and/or Reverse Triangle Pose Utthita Trikonasana(shown above). Come down to seated and set up for Boat Pose Navasana  which if done properly put yours puts your spine in a sated V.  Because this pose requires so much core strength,  I am modifying it by holding my legs with my hands. (12) Moving Bridge works the core and strengthens the back from the ground. Be sure to feel the front body engaging and to not squeeze the buttocks. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Make sure to do Constructive Rest. Savasana .

A great way to finish  the Manipura chakra work, is to do a seated meditation using the following seed sound mantra– RAM, RAM, RAM.  Notice how this sound actually causes a vibration in your solar plexus region. Remember, the fire at our navel center is vital to your spiritual growth and fulfillment!

 

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

Sacral Chakra the Seat of your Creativity

sacral chakra 675

How do you know whether a Chakra is in balance or not?

How do you know which Chakra is out of balance and the bigger question, why is out of balance? As my yoga students and I have been exploring Chakras the past two months, we have answered these questions by conducting an inquiry into our bodies, minds and hearts.

During our Sacral Chakra Yoga class, we used several essential oils to deepen our Chakrasappreciation for our sensual self – Wild Orange  and the other citrus oils such as Bergamot are uplifting and encouraging. When we feel stuck or ravaged by life and age, our sacral area can go dormant.  If you have ever felt like you are sleeping walking through life – just getting through your day without feeling love or passion, you might be experiencing a Sacral Chakra imbalance.

 

Here is the routine we did for balancing our sacral chakra.  Feel free to try this at home.  Of course, you can contact me through my website.

 

First we tap into our spine and sacral area at the base of our spine by moving through a cat/cow sequence on hands and knees, making sure to inhale when your belly drops and head lifts and then exhale as you pull your navel to the spine looking  down at your knees (1) (2).  To keep moving this lower area of our spine in another direction, we then look sideways over our shoulder doing a C curve, making sure to keep our back in the table top position as we wag our tail the same direction. (3) Coming up on your knees, extend one leg to the side balancing and reach away from your outstretched leg. Then reach toward your outstretched leg. (4) (5) Do this Gate lock pose on both sides. Carefully come up to standing perhaps through a safe forward fold and set up  for Warrior 2. (6) To release the  front hip in this pose, come up on the ball of the front foot briefly (7) and then lower (8) being sure your knee remains behind your toes to keep them safe.  Repeat on both sides.  Lift your arm straight up to the sky with the front knee bent, stretch out your side body in a Reverse Warrior. (9) Repeat this post which is also known as Exalting the warrior on both sides.  A wonderful balance for activating your creative nature is Dancers Pose (10) If you need to set up next to a post or wall and then release your forward hand this is a great way to access this pose safely. Make sure to do this pose on both sides as well (noting any differences between the sides, without judgement).  Your body should be warmed up sufficiently to do Pigeon Pose, known as the king or queen of hip openers. (11)  Notice how I am using a bolster to even out my hips in this deep pose.  You can stay up right or fold forward to feel this pose deeply in both the front and the back of the sacral area. If you have knee issues, pigeon  should be down lying on your back.  Your last pose is a seated cobblers or butterfly pose. (12) Elevating hips on a blanket can keep your pelvis and lower back safe in this pose.  While in this pose, you might want to say the following 2nd chakra mantra VAM, VAM, VAM.

 

End your practice in Savassana.

Savasana

When you balance your 2nd chakra, you enable yourself to experience joy and creativity without the need to overdo it.  You take good care of your body with healthy food and clean water.  Your emotions are balanced.  Leave your comments or questions below.  Namaste.

 

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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Balancing Your Chakras with Yoga and Essential Oils

Chakras

Chakras are fascinating and the more you learn about them, the more empowered you can become to heal yourself and thrive.

Throat chakraMy two favorite ways of working with chakras are through yoga poses and essential oils. I was first introduced to chakras (pronounced with a hard CH like cheese) during Yoga School in 2014.  I had a vague understanding that chakras (a Hindu word meaning Wheels) were associated with parts of my spine and that each chakra could be represented by a color of the rainbow.  My instructor filled in some of the blanks with an excellent book entitled The Book of Chakras by Ambika Wauters.  In it, I learned how chakras could be thought of as energy centers of your physical, mental and emotional bodies.  I took a chakra self-assessment to figure out which of these energy centers were blocked and need to be balanced.

I was shocked when my imbalance showed up in my throat chakra known a Vishuddha. I laughed.  Me — the person who majored in Communication, spent years as a broadcast journalist, then a lobbyist for environmental causes, then a school teacher.  I was known to my friends as someone who willingly would give them a candid, if not blunt, assessment of any situation.  I also was known as a good listener.  In fact, many friends and students called on me when they needed to vent.  As I re-read the description of the throat chakra , it finally dawned on me that what was blocking this wheel of energy was my belief that I had so much to offer the world and no one was listening.  I was teaching to mostly empty classes at that point in my yoga career.  Today my classes are generally full and I feel much more balanced as far as my throat chakra is concerned.

yoga-eoI continue to help my students learn more about the Chakra System and its role in physical, mental and emotional health.  Using the essential oils as I teach my students yoga seems to enhance their  practice. I only recommend doTERRA because they have no chemical fillers or other additives which can actually be harmful.  In addition, they are carefully harvested in a sustainable way. Here is a quick primer on doTERRA Essential Oils

  • They are pure therapeutic grade of oils extracted in an environmentally sound way from different parts of the plants—leaves, stems, flowers and roots.
  • Each oil has specific chemical properties that can be powerful tools in health if used correctly.
  • Oils can penetrate cells through topical use, aromatic use(smell) or through ingestion.
  • Oils, as opposed to most medicines, don’t have serious side effects and are safe .

In the next series of articles, I will be exploring the Chakras, Yoga and Essential Oils.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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