If you’re newer to yoga, learning the concept of the different 'bodies' we have along with the different names for them can be a little overwhelming! My hope is to break this part of yoga philosophy down a little bit for you here so you can start thinking about the healing benefits that can take place when these bodies and energy centers are given some love and attention.
I’ll never forget when I was in child’s pose one day at the start of a yoga class and the instructor saying, “You are responsible for the energy you bring into the room.” From that moment, I started to pay a lot more attention to my own energy and being intentional on the energy I wanted to radiate to others.
Ancient yogic scriptures tells us that we have three main bodies- the gross (physical), astral (energetic), and the causal (spiritual) body. Apart from that we have the five koshas or layers of self. Back when I taught yoga to high school students, I would use Shrek’s onion analogy to explain this concept of the koshas. Our most outer layer is our physical layer, second is our energetic body, third, our mental body, fourth our intuitive body, and last our bliss body.
Our chakras are our energy centers in our astral body. We have seven of them, starting from the base of our spine traveling up to the crown of our head. Each chakra is associated with one of the five elements, earth, fire, water, air, and ether. It is also associated with a different color, sound, scent, and different emotions. Each chakra also represents a different aspect of our life. If we feel “stuck” in one area of our life, it can be helpful to look at the chakra system to see which energy center may be out of balance.
For example, the first chakra, located at the base of our spine, is our root chakra, or muladhara in sanskrit. It is associated with the color red and with feelings of safety, security and feeling grounded. Out of balance, we might feel fearful or insecure about finances, stuck, or feel out of place. Balanced, we feel grounded, safe in our bodies, connected with others, and supported.
Another example is if we feel blocked creatively or feel overly emotional, it could be that our second chakra (sacral chakra) needs tending too. If we feel insecure, lack confidence in ourselves and our ideas, then we might want to explore our solar plexus chakra, our seat of power and self-esteem. I’ve personally found it incredibly healing to sit down and study the 7 chakras along with their associations to work on blockages and come back into a feeling of wholeness, empowerment, and alignment.
All that to say, there are many ways to balance out each chakra. We could spend more time with the chakra’s natural element, journal about its associated emotions, choose to wear more of a certain color or essential oil, or chant the sound of that chakra in a meditation. My personal go-to is guided journaling and chanting and so I’m excited to share a chakra balancing meditation along with guided journaling throughout our time together in the Namaste Vacay for ultimate balance, healing, and restoration.
To learn more about the chakras and get deeper into your own practice, check out Cathy's upcoming Namaste Vacay retreat in Mexico, June 9-15, 2020. On this week-long retreat, we will introspectively explore the seven chakras, focusing on one each day. Additionally, we'll balance our practice with adventurous activities and plentiful free time for leisure. Surrounded by breathtaking views and positive energy, you will experience the trip of a lifetime!