Chakra is sanskrit for wheel or circle. It is a spinning energy vortex interacting with various physiological and neurological systems in the body. The entire universe is made of energy, and we are no different. There are seven main chakras, or energy centers which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through the crown of the head. When our energy centers are out of balance, our prana doesn’t flow well. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in any area is important in keeping your energy flowing.
The seven Chakras along the spinal column each hold a specific kind of energy, emotion, color and sound. They are the doorways between our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual bodies. We can use meditation and awareness to promote energy flowing freely throughout these centers, as they can easily become blocked.
If you notice recurring emotional patterns or ailments in the body, learn about which energy center it is associated with. For example, if a common worry for you has to do with basic survival needs being met, you might want to work on your first Chakra.
With practice we can become tuned in to our chakras, but to start, just visualize them using color and sound. Deepak Chopra has a guided meditation series that I love. He goes through each Chakra and helps you visualize the color and mantra associated with it.
In addition to working with our Chakras, it is important to take care of our physical body. The way we treat our physical body will affect our mind and spirit. Take care it by healthy eating, exercising, cutting back on sugar and processed foods, and avoiding drugs, smoking, and alcohol. There is no denying the physical, psychological, and spiritual effect in which all foods have. There is a “heaviness” factor of foods, listed here in order from lightest to heaviness:
1. lettuce and other greens.
2. fruits and most vegetables.
3. wheat, rice, and other grains.
4. nuts, beans, and other legumes.
5. cheese, dairy products, including eggs.
6. fish, seafood.
7. chicken, poultry.
8. beef, pork, other red meats.
Note that meats, especially red meats are the ‘heaviest' foods. Generally, foods which are harder to digest, or which are higher in protein are 'heavier' than those which are not. Animal products are heavier than plants. You may be able to increase your energy level by eating lighter foods.
Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or life force energy. The main purpose of pranayama is to relax the body and mind. There are many kinds of pranayama depending on what chakra you are working with.
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I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.