JOURNEY THROUGH THE CHAKRASChallenges
Day 1 is the Root Chakra or Muladhara Chakra, also referred to as the first chakra.
This energy center is located at the base of our spine and pelvic floor. The element is Earth and the color is red. The organs associated with the root chakra are the large intestines, the rectum and somewhat the kidneys.
Our first chakra has to do with safety and security. Are your basic needs of food, water and shelter being met? Often times this relates more so to our early childhood than our present situation. Were you safe as a child? Did your caregivers meet your needs? Did you learn that the world was a safe place or was it a scary place in which safety was precarious?
When we have root chakra disturbances many symptoms can occur. Emotionally, we may be needy, have low self esteem or engage in self destructive behaviors. Anxiety disorders and eating disorders are much more common in those with an out of balance root chakra. On a physical level, a blocked root chakra may manifest in lower back issues, leg or foot issues, prostate problems, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, sciatica, etc. The list is long! Side note here: Just because you suffer from one of these issues, it does not necessarily mean your root chakra is the problem!
When Muladhara chakra is functioning optimally we feel strong, connected to the world around us and have a general sense that we can stand on our own two feet.
There are many ways to heal our first chakra. Spending time in nature is healing to all the chakras, but in particular, walking barefoot on the earth is wonderful for the root chakra. So lose those shoes, walk on the grass or practice yoga on your lawn without a mat!
Wearing the color red is helpful as well. Gem stones are also a great tool for chakra healing. Since red is the color or the root chakra, red gemstones such as garnet, red jasper, bloodstone, etc are helpful. You can place the stones near the base of your spine along your back as you lie down or simply put them in your pocket and keep them with you throughout the day.
Obviously our yoga practice is a great tool for healing as well. Focusing on grounding poses like standing poses and balancing postures is key. Engaging Mula bandha throughout your practice is incredibly helpful.
For the ladies: Kegals or even using yoni eggs can be an incredibly powerful tool here! This is a great practice to use your yoni eggs with!
We can also use sound healing and chanting heal our Root chakra. The vibrations created in our body when we change the sound "LAM" corresponds to and helps clear Muladhara chakra. If you're interested in sound healing click on this link and have a listen https://youtu.be/hClxQDAMAtw You can meditate while listening to these or just play them as you fall asleep.
Let's not forget about meditation! The secret weapon for healing everything! I will lead you through a short guided meditation during the end of our Root Chakra Flow. If you want more, do a quick search on youtube and you'll find loads of guided meditations for the root chakra.
Please watch the ALL ABOUT CHAKRAS video linked below before starting this challenge!
ALL ABOUT CHAKRAS
YOGA FOR THE ROOT CHAKRA
Moving right along, our next flow will be focusing on our Sacral Chakra, also called Svadhisthana or the second chakra. It is located in the lower navel, just above the pubic bone. The color is orange and the element is water. The sacral chakra is closely linked to the reproductive and sex organs as well as the bladder and kidneys.
This chakra is often referred to as the seat of the emotions. This is where our creativity, fertility, physical health and fluidity lie. When our second chakra is out of balance it can manifest as emotional instability, guilt, feeling that we don't deserve life's pleasures (attention mom guilt), co dependency or a general outlook of pessimism.
On a physical level a blocked sacral chakra can result in fertility issues, menstrual issues, cramps, problems with the bladder, low libido or sex addiction, any sexual dysfunction or sexual repression. No fun! Let's clear that sacral chakra stat!
When our sacral chakra is functioning properly we are happy, healthy, enjoying life and our creative juices are flowing. So how do we heal the second chakra? Water is a powerful tool! Swim in the ocean, dip your feet in a pool, take a bath or even a shower! Bringing a water element into the home can be useful as well.
Color healing is one easy way to affect your chakras, so wear some orange yoga pants or an orange t shirt! And lets not forget gemstones! Anything orange goes. Citrine, carnelian, orange calcite, etc are all good options.
Tailoring a yoga practice to clear the sacral chakra would involve practicing lots of hip openers and movements that stimulated the lower abdominals. I also, personally find, that a rather flowy flow gets the energy moving through this chakra, if ya know what I mean 😉
And, of course, meditation and sound healing are invaluable tools as well. YAM is the sound associated with this chakra, so chant it, sing it, think it.
Here's a link to a Sacral chakra sound healing! https://youtu.be/ueV0WPUUAj0 I strongly encourage you all to give it a listen or simply play it as you fall asleep.
Here's a guided meditation for the sacral chakra that I enjoyed. I kind of dig this guy's Indian accent :-). https://youtu.be/VRGs0GiR-QY
Now off you go to practice the Sacral Chakra Flow!
SACRAL CHAKRA FLOW
Day 3 of our journey brings us to the third chakra, also referred to as Manipura Chakra or the Solar Plexus. The color is yellow and the element is fire or the sun. It is located in the upper abdomen just below the ribs. The organs associated with the third chakra are the stomach, pancreas, and gallbladder.
This chakra has everything to do with knowing who you are, your confidence and your productivity. When Manipura chakra is functioning well, we are confident, productive and feel that we can take on the world. We know ourselves well, are assertive without being aggressive and have healthy relationships in which we don't dominate the other person and they aren't dominant over us. People with well functioning third chakras make great leaders.
When Manipura is blocked, we are lazy, unmotivated, unable to set boundaries and make excuses as to why we can't get shit done. Those suffering from addiction have a poor functioning solar plexus chakra.
On a physical level, a blocked solar plexus can result in heartburn, nausea and vomiting, ulcers, poor digestion, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, nerve pain and fibromyalgia just to name a few.
I have sequenced this solar plexus flow to build heat in the body and challenge you! So don't be surprised if you find yourself sweating during parts of this practice! Or maybe I was sweating because I was practicing in the sunlight? Haha, whatever the reason, don't throw in the towel! Stay in it and dig deep to find the strength that is within! You are so much stronger than you think. Building heat in the body is one effective way to clear manipura chakra. Warrior poses, sun salutations, twisting and back bending are the ideal asanas to maximize your solar plexus action during a yoga practice. If you're able to practice in the sunshine, go for it!
Healing with color therapy is great too. Wear yellow or wear gold jewelry. Use those gemstones such as citrine, sunstone, yellow jasper, etc to get the energy moving through manipura chakra again.
The sound associated with the solar plexus is RAM, so chant it deep and loud, or even silently to yourself. Here is a sound healing which I have been LOVING https://youtu.be/hlfYoUihIik
Meditate on that glowing yellow sphere that is Manipura chakra and we'll all be confident, self assured productive yogis in no time! Here's a link to a meditation you may find helpful. Don't skip the meditations! https://youtu.be/vCX7y3YQH1Q
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA FLOW
Moving right along here! The fourth day brings us to the fourth chakra, or Anahata (Heart) Chakra. It is located in the upper chest. The color is green and the element is air. The organs associated with the heart chakra are the lungs, the heart, breasts and the lymphatic system.
As you may have guessed, this chakra has to do with love and compassion. When Anahata chakra is open we give and receive love freely, we are quick to forgive, we accept others and ourselves, we live peaceful and harmonious lives.
When Anahata is closed it can manifest in troubled relationships, co-dependency, jealousy, anger, betrayal, hatred. Sometimes those with closed heart chakras pull away from relationships altogether because they're afraid of rejection or abandonment.
Physically, a poor functioning heart chakra can show up as breast cancer, lung cancer, heart problems, etc.
We all experience hurt or pain at the hands of others from time to time. When someone hurts you, it’s likely not about you, but rather them, coming from a place of fear, or a closed heart chakra. When we do get hurt, we have a choice. We can hold on to it and allow our own anahata chakra to become closed or we can fully experience that pain and CHOOSE to let it go. We have a choice. It is up to you!
Back bends are the name of the game when we're looking to open the heart. This flow will be full of them! Fresh air is also key to healing this energy center! Take deep breaths while in heart opening postures and feel more and more space actually being created in the upper chest region.
Chant YAM! Wear green! Have some green gemstones handy such as jade, emerald, malachite. Rose quartz is also considered healing to this chakra.
I'm including a special meditation by yours truly for the heart chakra today. I'll link it down below. And here's a link to some anahata chakra sound healing https://youtu.be/qxLoVPZvtTY
Get to it yogis! As always, modify when you need to! You know your body better than anyone! Be mindful and have fun!
HEART CHAKRA FLOW
HEART CHAKRA MEDITATION
Here, we find ourselves at the 5th Chakra. Vishuddha chakra is located in the throat. The color is sky blue and the element is ether, or sky. Sound is also associated with the throat chakra.
This energy center is all about speaking your truth! So often, it is easier to tell people what they want to hear. Expressing your authentic self does not always come easily. The throat chakra is the first of the spiritual chakras. When the lower chakras, which are more emotional and physical in nature, are functioning well, they prepare the fifth chakra to flow clearly. mind you now, speaking your truth doesn't mean brutal, blunt, hurtful honesty. It means simply that when you are your authentic self, you naturally come from a place of love and are presented to the world with compassion. It is never hurtful. People with a well functioning fifth chakra, not only speak their truth, but are the most wonderful and attentive listeners.
An out of balance throat chakra can result in the inability to speak up or on the opposite end of the spectrum, the inability to shut up! Often those with a poor functioning 5th chakra are over talkative and cannot listen to others.
The areas associated with the throat chakra are the thyroid, jaw, neck, tongue, larynx. When the 5th chakra is blocked, we may have issues in these areas such as sore throat, bronchitis, ear infections, TMJ, stiff necks, etc.
There are so many fun ways to heal this chakra! Because sound is associated with it, listening to music is wonderfully helpful! Chanting, singing, talking, lion's breath, using the healing sound of HAM (no, not the dead pig people eat, but h-aaaaaahhhhhhh-mmmm).
Getting out in nature, hiking to a high mountain top, experiencing the outdoors on a clear blue sky day are all fantastic ways to clear vishuddha chakra. Yoga poses such as shoulderstand are miracle workers as well. And don't forget your color therapy. Wearing sky blue or using blue gemstones such as sapphire, blue topaz, lapis, aquamarine, turquoise will get your 5th chakra moving.
Here is a link to meditation https://youtu.be/QwzSOF9GEHo
Sound healing. https://youtu.be/9rNfKW1hARY
Be mindful during this practice, yogis. Have a few folded towels or blankets handy for a modified shoulder stand practice.
THROAT CHAKRA FLOW
Days 6 brings us to Ajna Chakra, also referred to as the brow chakra or, the third eye.
The color is indigo and it is located right between your brows. The element associated with this chakra is light. It rules the pituitary gland, eyes, head and lower part of the brain.
Ajna is the center of intuition. It connects us to our inner wisdom. If you ask me, opening this chakra is where the magic really starts to happen! We've all heard of the illusive "6th sense"? Well, this is it! We all have it, but have become disconnected from it. I'm not crazy! Haha. Animals are very in tune with this chakra. Does anyone have a dog that has gone a bit berserk right before an earthquake? Birds can certainly sense when a tsunami is about to hit! Have you ever had an uncanny feeling about something, but no solid evidence for the feeling that you could point to? And whatever your intuition was about it, was dead on? This is what I'm talking about! People with an open third eye have intuition that is spot on. They make great life decisions. They are the ones their friends go to for advice.
People with blocked brow chakras are closed minded, cynical, and much too attached to logical reasoning. I'm not putting down logic, but I believe very much that there is value in knowing some truths that can't be seen or measured on a physical level. A blocked third eye can also result in headaches, mood disorders, over intellectualizing, decreased imagination, fatigue, having social events become overstimulating, needing increased isolated time in order to renew.
To open that 6th chakra, MEDITATE. Listen to vibrational sounds geared toward healing ajna chakra (there's loads on youtube). Chant OM! Practice sukasana (easy seated meditation pose), forward folds, child's pose, eagles pose, pinchamayurasana (forearm stand). Spending time outdoors on a clear night, under a starry sky is very healing for your brow chakra as well.
Heal with colors and gemstones like amethyst, lapis, azurite, etc. Let's get those third eyes opened!
Notice how you feel after this practice. Did anything resonate with you during the practice? Was it different in any way from the other chakra flows? We have entered the spiritual realm with this chakra opening. Practice this flow often and don't be surprised if your world begins to transform!
Here's a link to a meditation https://youtu.be/IpbXlN2duKk
And here's a link to some sound healing https://youtu.be/9rNfKW1hARY
BROW CHAKRA FLOW
Day 7 is the Crown Chakra, also known as Sahasrara. The color is violet or white and it is located just above the crown of our heads. The element is cosmic energy. It is associated with the pineal gland, which regulates biological cycles, including sleep.
This Chakra connects us with the spiritual realm. Opening this chakra leads to true enlightenment. When this chakra is open, you transcend the limitations of the physical body, the mind, the ego. We are completely free from desire. Our lives become about service to others. Those with open crown chakras understand who they are as a spiritual person. They know that everything they've ever needed is already within them. This is the ultimate! An open crown chakra means we are completely conscious, in a state of pure joy and bliss!
I know this sounds pretty far out there and it’s pretty darn hard to imagine living in this state 100% of the time, however, I do believe it’s possible to have a glimpse of this state of being! We can experience moments of it. We can invite more and more of this energy into our lives when we actively pursue the opening of Sahasrara.
When this chakra is completely closed, all our happiness comes from external sources, we may be isolated and lonely, we feel generally disconnected. Physically we may have nerve pain, neurological disorders, migraines, insomnia, schizophrenia.
To open this chakra, chant OM, spend time in nature, hike to the highest mountain top! Healing yoga poses include downward facing dog, headstand and fish pose (any pose which the crown of the head touches the earth). The ultimate asana for the crown chakra is to REALLY be able to lie in stillness in savasana.
Healing gemstones include amethyst, selenite, sugilite.
We will be practicing headstand in this flow. Please be mindful. Work at your edge, but don't let your ego push you too far. Stay present in your body during the more challenging asanas. Be honest with yourself and give yourself what you need in each moment. Sometimes we need to push ourselves to work harder in our practice, but other times, we need to nurture ourselves and back off a bit.
Meditation link https://youtu.be/7ZpUUXNQW1E
Sound healing https://youtu.be/WCkbqHrJJz8
CROWN CHAKRA FLOW