The daily grind of modern life can leave you feeling tired, achy, disconnected. It can also lead to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, low immunity, fatigue, back pain.
Prenatal yoga helps to open up the body, readying you for an easier delivery, and a more rapid recovery. And once you are ready yoga can help you to regain your pre pregnancy. A prenatal massage will give you the same benefits as a traditional massage but it's also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies.
Located in the solar plexus it's color is yellow, and its sound is ram.
Next month we will discuss the anahata chakra, our center for love.
The heart chakra...our center for love, universal love, giving and receiving love. As our devotional practice of yoga develops our hearts open and we are more aware of the love in our lives. This chakra involves love and also balance as it is the mid way between the lower three chakra (which we discussed in previous newsletters) and the upper three which will be discussed in upcoming months. This chakra also deals with our devotions, reaching out and taking in and our relationships and self love (again often a balance).
This chakra is located in our throat and has to do with communication, self expression and creativity. It is developing in our grammar school years, from about 7 to 12 years of age.
It's color is bright blue and it's demon is lies. This chakra has to do with our truths, speaking them and being able to differentiate the truth around us. If we were dealing with lies, mixed message,verbal abuse and criticism growing up we may have an imbalance in this chakra.
When this chakra is balanced we are good listeners, have a resonant voice, and communicate clearly. When this chakra is balanced we are in touch with our creativity and live our lives creatively.
When we are off kilter in this chakra we may have a small weak voice, difficulty putting our feelings into words, a fear of speaking...on the other side of a fifth chakra inbalance we may find that we are excessive talkers, we have trouble listening and hearing what others say, we may gossip or we may have disorders of the throat, ears, neck and jaw.
Some things to help bring balance to this chakra are:
asanasa such as:
some affirmations for this area are:
I hear and I speak the truth.
I express myself with clear intent.
Creativity flows in and through me.
My voice is necessary.
Next month we will look at the Ajna chakra our chakra that helps with our perception, wisdom and intuition
"To fully live our truth as individuated beings is to live life as a creative act." Anodea Judith
This is our chakra for perception and intuition
Located at the third eye this chakra is interseted in pattern recognition, imagination, visualization, dreams and insights.
The color associated with it is Indigo-the color of a deep blue pair of blue jeans.
This chakra develops during adolescence and helps to establish our personal identity.
When we have a balanced ajna chakra we are in touch with our intuition, our perception and imagination. We have a good memory, good dream recall and are able to visualize things.
When we are inbalanced here we may have hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, nightmares and difficulty concentrating or we may have poor vision, see things in a monopolarized way or poor memory.
Since this chakra is located between the third eye physically, we may experience headaches, and problems with our senses when it is out of balance, or when we fail to see the truth and patterns around us/not being open to the messages that we are receiving
To bring balance to this area we can engage in meditation, dreamwork, guided visualizations, and art therapy.
Some affirmations for this chakra are:
*I see all things clearly*
*I am open to the wisdom within*
*I can manifest my vision*
Some yoga poses to help balance and bring energy to this chakra are:
Virabhadrasana 3-warrior 3
These balancing poses help with our concentration and to focus our awareness.
sahasrara Chakra (written for the march blue moon yoga newsletter)
Our final installment of the chakra series
Our Crown Chakra
This chakra is located at the crown of our head, or just above it. It's element is thought, it is our connection to the divine, it's purpose is understanding.
The color associated with this chakra is violet, and it is developing when we are young adults and into our adulthood.
When we are balanced in this area, we are able to perceive, analyze and assimilate information. We are intelligent, thoughtful, and aware, open minded and able to question and are spiritually connected.
Imbalances in this chakra can show up as spiritual cynicism, learning difficulties, rigid beliefs or can go the other way and show us as overintellectualization, spiritual addiction, confusion and dissociation from the body. Due to this chakras location, imbalances will manifest on the physical plane as migraine, amnesia, cognitive delusions to name a few. To help heal this area we can reestablish physical and emotional and spiritual connections, engage in meditation, seek psychotherapy, and study.
Some affirmations for this area are:
*Divinity resides within
*I am open to new ideas
*information I need comes to me
*The world is my teacher
Asanas to nurture this area:
*1/2 Moon/ Ardha Chandrasana
You may have heard yoga teachers discuss your koshas and wondered what these were.
The ancient yogis speak of 5 layers, each progressively more ethereal, subtle and deep. The final destination of this path is the realization that we are our self-the atman-the true self which is not based on or affected by experience. This is the self realization that we are in fact the same life force that is within all things, that we are never changing, we become aware of the unity and the connection.
But we all start where we are, and we start to work through these layers by working with the annamaya kosha. This is our food body, the part of us that is interested in eating, sleeping, mating-survival. And as we discussed with the chakra systems, things get stuck here, things need to move and release and this is part of what we achieve in yoga. We work through this body and into our pranayama body using our breath. When we have worked through these bodies we progress up to the mind, wisdom and bliss bodies.
But for this newsletter I want to discuss the annamaya kosha...the beginning.
In yoga practice, we train this aspect of ourselves, take care of it, nurture it, purify it, so that we can both enjoy our external lives and go inward without it being an obstacle during meditation time. In meditation, we become aware of Annamaya kosha, explore it, and then go inward, to and through the other koshas. We realize at some point that, although we use this body to identify with, to function with, we are not this body, that our self (atman) is the ever present self, that the experiences we have with our annamaya kosha are that, like movies on a screen, the screen always clean and present, just a field for expression and learning.
When we have calmed the body, strengthened it, we move into our energy body, we do this often at the same time with our pranayama work, and being aware of our breathing. Prana is the animator of our physical body, it brings life into our lungs, energy to our circulatory and lymphatic systems, and helps us regulate and engage in our emotions. We all have experienced how our breathing patterns affects our emotions. That calm when you sit and take a few deep orcleansing breaths....that pause.....