Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means a point of energy or power. You have many energy points or centers in your body but there are seven primary chakras that are referred to most often. These are referred to by both their location and by the order of ascent in your body. The higher upwards you travel, the higher the number of the chakra. They are generally described as spinning wheels or vortices of light.
If your chakras are spinning well, they are considered “open” and you’re healthy. When the energy in your chakra slows down or stops, it is considered “closed” or “blocked” and you may show signs of illness in that area. Eventually the whole system suffers as all of the energy in our bodies is connected.
Here’s a quick overview of the 7 chakras:
1st: Root Chakra- This is at the base of your spine, deep within your pelvic area. Many times in yoga this chakra is referred to when discussing “grounding” as it regulates your ability to collect energy from the earth. The colors associated with this chakra are red, black and brown (earthy tones).
2nd: Sacral Chakra- This is in your lower abdomen and sacral area. Many people hold onto pain in this area resulting in lower back pain. Second chakra issues tend to pertain to your community and your perceived place within it, as well as issues of security and safety. It is associated with the color orange.
3rd: Solar Chakra- In your solar plexus, your third chakra carries fireenergy, and is the center of your will and direction. It is associated with the color yellow or light green.
4th: Heart Chakra- In the middle of your chest at heart level, this chakra houses your intent to love and acces unconditional love. It is associated with both pink and green (pink for love and green for healing).
5th: Throat Chakra- This chakra is centered above your clavicle bone in your throat, and houses your intent to create and manifest your dreams as well as to speak your truth. It is associated with a clear bright blue color.
6th: Third-Eye Chakra- This is located about an inch above the bridge of your nose between the eyebrows. It is your highest creative energy center, where your spirit meets creativity. It is associated with the color violet or indigo.
7th: Crown Chakra- This chakra is on the top of your head near where your soft spot was as an infant. It is where you have the intent to receive wisdom and receive your Qi from the universe. It is linked with the color white.
There are many, many essential oils that can help with chakra health. I will be posting some over the next few days on my Instagram feed (follow me @thealohalounge) but you can always GTS (Google That Shit) and find a TON of ideas! Haha
Recently I’ve been introduced to the concept of radical self care. In a nutshell, radical self care (let’s just call it RSC) is about putting your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs first. We’ve been programmed in our culture to believe that this is selfish; that we should be putting others, our jobs, our relationships, etc. first. But, let’s face it, if we don’t take care of our own needs, we aren’t going to be much good to anyone else. People are stressed and disconnected; depression and anxiety have reached epidemic proportions. I seriously know more people who are anxious, stressed out, depressed or all three than I know people who are balanced and happy. This is not how we are meant to live our lives. And we don’t need to.
I’ve been going to a yoga class here in Honolulu and we have been discussing the idea of self love and how that includes forgiveness. The instructor, Jonathan Nery is Native Hawaiian and knowledgable in the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono (reconciliation and forgiveness). He’s been taking some aspects of Ho’oponopono and infusing them into our yoga practice. I’ve been bringing some essential oils to help with releasing and forgiving toxic emotions. The combination of the two has been very healing! I feel like a new person when I leave that class! Forgiving yourself and others is definitely radical self care. It is freedom.
Take some time right now just for yourself. Think about activities that make your heart soar. Here are some ideas of activities that can be nurturing to your soul: yoga, walking or just spending time in nature, coloring, crafting, exercise (that you actually enjoy), cooking for pleasure, sports, getting a massage, meditating, sleeping in, enjoying the company of friends, unplugging (turning off all electronic devices), creating, living in the moment (mindfulness), reading, diffusing essential oils and just being… There are so many ways that we can honor ourselves. My challenge to you is to spend some time each day caring for the most important person in your life… yourself.
One of the most difficult things about moving to a new place is finding friends. When you’ve spent your entire life living within a 30 mile radius, you have a lot of people around you that you’ve built relationships with. Sometimes we forget how much energy it takes to build and maintain relationships. We take our friends for granted.
I’ve only been living in Hawaii for a few months now. And I’ve found two friends. Well really one friend because the other is really my husband’s friend (they did their PhD program together). But I’m working on it. I’ve been pushing myself to do things that I would normally never do; go to random classes in the park, sign up to learn hula, ask a random person who I met at a charity event if she would like to hang out sometime (that’s how I got my one friend)… And it’s working. Slowly my friend stash is increasing. We’re starting to build relationships with some of the people we’ve met through yoga. We see them and they know our names, know that Mike’s mom has been in the hospital. They ask how she’s doing. The beginning stages of friendship.
Someone who I know will continue to become a friend is our yoga instructor Jonathon. He’s just beginning his yoga business but is already an amazing teacher. He’s Native Hawaiian and is embracing his culture along with yoga. The Hawaiian people are very spiritual. They believe in the interconnectedness of people, the Āina (earth) and ke Akua (God). This flows perfectly with yoga. He calls his business “Yoga Love Mana.”
Jonathan holds his class at 10:30 Wednesday mornings in Kapiolani Park near the bandstand, right between the duck ponds. He begins by encouraging his students to pay attention to the sounds around us: the birds chirping and splashing, the waves of Waikiki crashing, the wind blowing… and even the sounds of technology which infiltrate the sounds of nature on a regular basis. He then does a chant in the Hawaiian language. Even though I don’t understand all the words I know that they speak of aloha and the spiritual energy (mana) that all things have within them. It is very grounding.
The Young Living Sacred Frankincence oil that I’ve dropped into the palms of everyone there helps to center us and to focus our mind on growing; stretching our bodies and our minds to become stronger and more in tune with ourselves and with the universe. Jonathan leads us in our practice for about 90 minutes. He challenges us to try new things. To keep trying. To try again. He reminds us to reconnect with the intention that we set at the beginning of the class. My intention is always that myself and my business will be used to serve the people here. Somehow I know that this will be. It gives me peace.
We finish the physical work in shavasana. Jonathan puts a dab of Young Living Lavender oil on our foreheads as we pay attention to rest. The smell begins to awaken our senses. To bring us back to the present. To bring us outside of ourselves and back into the world around us. The class ends as all yoga classes end with Namaste; “The light in me acknowledges the light in you.” If only each person lived their life with this greeting in the forefront of their mind; recognizing that we are all connected: āina, people, animals, God… how different would our world be?
Jonathan is coming to our home for dinner this evening. We will share food and talk story. And we all will have found another friend.