The Chakras

a YoGo MEGA Post!

Please enjoy this offering; I hope it helps you continue your soul journey.  If you enjoy it and would like to contribute to more mega posts, I would be very grateful!

chakras
Welcome! I am so glad you are joining me on this journey into your chakras. By exploring your chakras, you will experience yourself as your timeless, energetic being. You’ll learn to cultivate and balance your energetic flow, benefiting your physical and soulful selves. You’ll move forward in your soul journey, finding new balance and insights.
 
Your chakra system ties to your nervous and endocrine systems. Each chakra, or energy center, is associated with the physical well-being of its associated neural plexus, glands, and surrounding organs and with particular mental, emotional and spiritual characteristics.
 
There are seven chakras considered the body’s primary energy centers:
Muladhara/root,
Svadhisthana/sacral,
Manipura/solar plexus,
Anahata/heart,
Vishuddha/throat,
Ajna/third eye, and
Sahasrara/crown.
 
Other energy centers, or minor chakras, exist in the body, and we will explore Basmati/upper heart and Alta Major/mouth of God.
 
We will explore each chakra’s physical location, associated glands, and mental and spiritual properties. We’ll use asana, energy practices, meditation, sound, and other tools to tap into and balance them.
 
Let’s GO!
You now have access to content you can explore a little at a time – like one tab a day – or in bigger chunks. You’ll find:
• Posts that explore the entire chakra system, the nuances of each energy center, and ways to explore and balance them.
Meditation and yoga practices to help you dive into and balance each energy center.
Energy practices to help you direct and discard electromagnetic energy.
Quote cards that sum up profound knowledge in a few well-chosen words.

Muladhara

Muladhara Chakra
While you travel in your body, staying connected to the earth is vital. This connection grounds you, helping you feel connected and safe. It sustains your body and helps you feel comfortable. You feel in unison with the earth, able to move within it, explore it, and cultivate it. The earthy feeling of being a physical being promotes your sexuality.
All of these elements tie to your root, or Muladhara, chakra. This chakra resides at your pelvic floor and down into your roots – your legs. It is associated with an earthy red color and apanic, or downward flowing energy. When this chakra is unbalanced or blocked, as with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we feel unsafe, insecure, or in survival mode. We may feel unable to navigate the world easily or move forward in life. We may be overly tamasic or sedentary.
 
Attributes associated with this chakra include security, survival, comfort, movement, grounding, travel, physicality, and sexuality. Unsurprisingly, it is associated with your adrenal glands, which engage in your flight or fight response.
 
Let’s Ground! 👣
Over the next several days, we will explore the Muladhara chakra and how to ensure it is happy and healthy. I have a favorite in-the-moment technique to help you ground and connect with the earth:
Heavy Feet: Have you noticed when you are anxious that your center of gravity rises, sometimes to your chest? Take your center of gravity down into the soles of your feet and, like tree roots, into the floor/earth. As you walk, let your feet be heavy, like stones. Keep pushing your weight downward with each step. Just as your emotions can affect your body, taking charge of your body can positively affect your emotions.
There are many ways to work with and channel your body’s energy: tapping, Qigong, yoga, and mudras are just a few. Try some of the energy practices below to balance your root chakra.
 
Wake up your energy: Tapping the bone beneath your eyes will help ground you. Do this each day in the morning. Donna Eden’s daily energy routine is excellent for a holistic energy tune-up (link below)
 
👣 Give your feet some LOVE: Place a tennis ball under one of your feet. Taking your time, press your foot into the ball as deeply as you can, moving around to each area of the foot and pausing to put pressure on the tender spots. After you have completed one foot, feel the difference between your feet. Then do the same practice on the second foot. Notice how spacious and more connected to the earth you feel! This practice benefits you both physically and energetically. Increase the grounding benefit by walking barefoot on the earth – studies show this improves foot strength and posture, boosts energy, balances blood pressure, increases antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and improves sleep. Wow!
 
🙏 Explore a Mudra: Interlace your fingers. Pull out the middle fingers so they are straight and touching. Loosen the interlace of your thumbs and index fingers until you create a small opening. Hold this mudra at your pelvis level while meditating or humming LAM.
 
 
 
 
Answers Lie in the Center of Your Being
 
 
 
At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
– Lau Tzu
Your mind has only the data it has amassed. Your soul has access to the library of the universe. Avail yourself of it. Go outside and feel your bare feet on the earth, drawing in safety and support. Remember you are one with nature, your physical being part of this beautiful, earthly masterpiece. Feel that ineffable energy animating this body, your eternal soul. Bask in the wonder of it!
Enjoy a grounding practice, perfect before meditating or anytime you need to draw inward and slow your thoughts. This practice is from the YoGo Nidra Club “Creating a Personal Practice” theme page. There is a link below if you want to explore it further.
 
The first pose in this sequence is a full-body grounding mudra. It can be used on its own to ground and balance your Muladhara chakra. Remember: all cues are an invitation. Only do what makes sense for YOUR body.
 
🔴 One of the meanings attributed to “Bindhu,” meaning point, is the place in the body or in a yoga pose where, energetically, grounding meets extension.
 
⚖️ There must be a balance between connecting downward to the earth and reaching upwards towards the sky in the physical and soulful selves. Where you feel this energetic shift is the Bindu point, and exploring it can reveal your current physical, mental and spiritual state.
 
Let’s Try it!
Cultivate the feeling and sensation of anxiety. Feel where the center of gravity lies in your body. When stressed, our center of gravity typically rises into our chest or throat. We may find it difficult to breathe deeply and feel a loss of connection to the earth.
 
Cultivate the feeling and sensation of depression or inertia. Feel where the center of gravity lies in your body. When depressed, our center of gravity typically falls into the lower half of our body. We may feel heavy, sluggish, and unable to move forward.
 
Cultivate the feeling and sensation of joy. Feel where the center of gravity lies within your body. Our center of gravity typically lies in the heart when joyful and balanced. The heart is the middle chakra and is the connecting point between our physical and soulful selves.
 
If your center of gravity is below the heart, cultivate peace or joy and lift your bindhu. Use Muladhara balancing practices to restore your center of gravity if your bindhu is higher than the heart and you need to ground and reconnect with your physical surroundings.

This Amrit-style meditation helps you find a safe place within, re-grounding in times of stress and upheaval. It introduces the intention “I can experience feeling safe and secure.” Relax and connect.

🎥 Meditation

You’ve likely heard the expression that someone was” uprooted.” It means someone is going through a time of significant change, possibly due to an actual physical move or a loss. When this happens, you feel adrift, like a kite loose in the wind. It is essential to take time to ground yourself in these moments, connecting back with your roots. Using the energy tools below can help.
 
 
Restorative or Yin styles of yoga are very grounding. Warm, protein-rich foods like root vegetables can be beneficial. Just being in nature connects you back to the earth. While our society often leans towards the need to be doing something and ‘man up,’ true strength comes from knowing when it’s time to root down and be. Become the large, wise tree in the forest, so deeply rooted that no storm can sway you, so tall that you can see beyond the edges of the forest. With a strong foundation in our root chakra, we can reach out to experience the beauty the universe has in store for us.
 

 
Let’s Balance Our Root Chakra!
Activating and/or balancing your Muladhara chakra helps you ground and connect, feel safe, connect to your sexuality, and feel comfortable to move forward in life and the world. Here are a few ways to balance this chakra:
 
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 This chakra is associated with an earthy red, so many of the crystals used to cleanse this area are red or earthy in color. Try carrying or wearing Hematite, Red Jasper, Obsidian, Ruby, Onyx, and Garnet. Essential oils for his chakra include earthy scents like Vetiver, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Frankincense, and Sandalwood.
 
Food. 🍠 Think red and earthy! This chakra likes root vegetables, like beets, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and radishes. Eggs, red meat, tofu, pomegranate, and paprika are examples of other root chakra foods.
 
 
Movement. 🏃 Explore asanas that enable you to connect with the earth, like Malasana (squat), Balasana (child pose), Utkatasana (chair pose), or Uttanasana (forward fold).
 
A Mantra. 🎶 Each chakra has a sound or mantra. For the root chakra, it is LAM. Chanting, or even making this sound mentally, helps clear your Muladhara chakra.
 
Sound. 🎵 Muladhara is activated by the note C. Try a singing bowl or listen to a YouTube recording (below).

Svadhisthana

Svadhisthana
Wouldn’t it be nice to greet each moment, unconcerned with what it might bring? For most of us, while the idea sounds idyllic and incredibly freeing, it also sounds terrifying. To accomplish it would mean letting go. Completely. We would have to let go of the fear of losing people and possessions. We would have to give up our investment in how situations play out. We would have to let go of defining our happiness by having money, physical and emotional gratification, and material things. Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?
 
If the world is simply random or, worst case, evil, then it would be scary. But I genuinely believe the elemental make-up of the universe is love and that all things work together for good. And embracing each new moment doesn’t mean we stop setting goals and striving to reach them, loving the people in our lives, caring about the world around us, or driving needed change. It means we love and embrace this life, giving it all we have, but we loosen our grip and allow what the universe brings into our life without preference or aversion. That we, as gracefully as possible, navigate each new situation, learning as we go.
 
 
Your Svadhisthana chakra, right below your navel, is also known as the place of watery things. This chakra encompasses your bladder and uterus, organs/systems that flow. Hip-opening postures that open this area can help the energy in this chakra to move freely. When it is open and clear, you can better ‘go with the flow,’ embracing whatever changes come your way.
 
This chakra is associated with your creativity, feelings and emotions, empathy, and sensuality. It can be one of the first chakras to become imbalanced when emotions are high, or our relationships are off-kilter. It links to your sex organs – testes or ovaries – and ties to your sensuality, or lack thereof. This week, we will explore this energy center and ways to bring it into balance.
Let go of fear by putting one hand over your heart, and with the other hand, tap the back of the heart-hand, in line with your ring finger. Tap for four slow breaths and then switch hands. When you finish, let your hands drop by your side or lap, and feel into your body.
 
Placing a hand over your heart sends healing energy straight to your Anahata chakra. Tapping the triple warmer meridian releases the fight or flight energy in the body.
 
If you want to learn more about energy tapping, try Donna Eden’s energy books and YouTube videos.
 
 
She Freed Herself
 
 
 
She had finally allowed her negative feelings to surface, feelings that had been repressed for years in her soul. She had actually felt them, and they were no longer necessary, they could leave. She sat in silence, enjoying the present moment, letting love fill up the empty space left behind by hatred.
– Paulo Coelho
If we do not process our feelings and emotions, they will stay with us, and the universe will provide opportunities for us to greet them, process them and let them go. Avoidance and resistance will not work – allow yourself to be with them and let them go with love.
Give this 34-minute yin hip-opening practice a try! Props: Mat & two blocks. Have a blanket, bolster, and eye pillow ready if you will be meditating after the practice.
 
While Yin yoga is based on the Daoist meridians, it also opens up energy pathways and activates glands, similarly to chakra-based practices. The holds are longer than in a traditional Hatha practice, as they work the interconnective tissues within the body, allowing them to release and relax slowly. Remember: all cues are an invitation. Only do what makes sense for YOUR body.

🎥 Asana Practice

     You are Unique
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have, something that is unique to all Time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.
– Mr Rogers
As we explore this chakra of creativity and feelings, remember that your personality, innate abilities, and life experiences are unique and tailored to enable you to bring your gifts/dharma into the world. You are a unique puzzle piece that, if missing, would leave a gap in the world. Celebrate your gifts and live your passions.

Try a Night-Nite meditation, with or without music. This style of meditation is intended to help you go to sleep.

🎥 Meditation Without Music

🎥 Meditation With Music

This meditation goes along with the YoGo Yoga Nidra Club Theme. You can explore the theme Here

Some scientific evidence suggests that we experience an emotion in our brain’s sympathetic, limbic portion even before we experience the associated thought. This is true for new experiences and also memories.
 
As Lisa Wimberger, author and founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute, describes it, When we store a memory, we store it in our library, the hippocampus, and an associated goodie bag of emotions in the limbic portion of our brain. When we take out the memory, the goodie bag comes with it.
 
Our goal is not to suppress memories or thoughts but to defuse their emotions. Memories related to deep trauma require slow, careful processing, sometimes with the help of a professional. For manageable emotion-charged memories, try the following:
 
Re-label it. You are not your emotions. Your Soulful Self is witnessing the mind and body experiencing emotions. So instead of identifying with them, e.g., “I am afraid, ” think of them as the transient feelings that they are – “I feel fear,” or “I am experiencing fear.” Fear is the primary emotion associated with the bladder meridian.
Invite it in for tea. Allow yourself to be with the memory and the emotion. Welcome the feeling in and examine it with curiosity. Notice where it resides in your body. Imagine you are sitting down with it for tea. What does it look like? What does it want to say to you?
Put the emotion in a bubble where it is nurtured, but separate from you. Picture it in its bubble several feet from your body. Imagine a cord between you and the emotion through which it drains your energy. Cut the cord! Feel the feelings released from your body.
Stop resisting the emotion. Accepted emotions will go on their own accord When it has lost its hold on you, bid it farewell and send it on its way.
 
Bring your Svadhisthana back into balance, calming emotions, heightening creativity, soothing relationships, stoking your sensuality, and getting back into your flow. Here are some ideas to balance this chakra:
 
Water. ⛲Place a small fountain in your sacred space or somewhere in your office. Let the sound and sight of running water bring a sense of serenity and fluidity into your life. Let the mental imagery of driftwood remind you that the flow of life softens our edges and brings out the rich hues and textures within us.
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Svadhisthana chakra? Try these orange-colored crystals: orange and coral calcite, citrine, orange carnelian, and/or orange Adventurine. You can carry them in your pocket or incorporate them into a mala or piece of jewelry. Try some orange, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Cardamom, or Sandalwood if you enjoy essential oils.
 
Movement. 🧘 Yoga poses that balance this energy center include Baddha Konasana/ bound angle pose, Anjaneyasana/low lunge, Ananda Balasana/happy baby, and Upavista Konasana/wide leg forward fold. A yin pose I like for this chakra (and generally) is a supported version of bridge pose. Lie on your back with a block/blanket/bolster supporting your sacrum. Let your legs stretch out on the mat and allow your shoulders to rotate externally, hands facing up on the mat. Stay in this pose for a few minutes, and when you bring your feet to the mat and remove the block, allow your feet to spread wide and your knees to fall together (knock-kneed) to release the work.
 
Foods. 🥕 Eating these orange foods is excellent  for this chakra: carrots, mangos, oranges, squash, orange peppers, peaches, apricots, and sweet potatoes. Tumeric and ginger are great for this chakra. Try some ginger or orange in a refreshing glass of water, and/or supplement your water with orange crystals (you can purchase water bottles with a spot at the bottom for crystals).
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Svadhisthana is VAM. Chant it or listen to a VAM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra.
 
Mudras. 🙏 Mudras can direct your energy and balance your chakras. For Svadhisthana, set your right hand, palm up, in your left palm. Touch your thumbs together, lifting the thumbs to create an arch. Place the mudra belly-level and meditate or chant VAM.
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of D is associated with Svadhisthana. Enjoy bathing in this sound.
 

Manipura

Manipura

The Manipura chakra is located about 3 inches above your navel. Its name means city of jewels, which may be due to the ganglion of nerves below the solar plexus resembling a jeweled necklace. Most chakras align with locations in the body where a concentration of nerves exists, and Manipura is no different. This neural plexus can process information separate from the brain, which is why you can say, “trust your gut.” It’s why you may have an upset stomach if you make a decision that goes against your higher self’s wisdom. Your Manipura chakra is communicating with you.

When I picture this jeweled necklace draping underneath your diaphragm, I think of the importance of balance in this chakra. Imagine you are royalty, a privilege that comes with the ability to experience all of life’s pleasures and the expectation of sacrifice and leadership. You can’t be a shy wallflower; you need to be strong and able to lead men in battle if warranted. But you also need to be loving and kind, able to consider the repercussions of your actions and move forward with grace.
Some of us are afraid of power, fearful of stepping on others’ toes or putting ourselves “out there.” Some of us are brash like a bull in a china shop, unable to consider our impact on others. Others see themselves as being driven by people and events around them, simply a victim. Balancing this chakra helps us become strong with grace and compassion. As you work with this chakra, cultivate a willingness to gain insight into your understanding of power, individuality, and identification. Cultivate harmony and move forward with confident grace.
Attributes associated with Manipura include pleasure, willpower, confidence, digestion, structure, vitality, strength, and harmony. The gland associated with this chakra is the pancreas which aids in digestion: Let this remind you to process what you take in, keeping what serves you and letting go of the rest.
Your Manipura chakra connects to your ability to take in things, both energetically and physically. Try this Donna Eden digestion practice: Before you eat, take a stainless steel spoon and run it against the inside of your cheek, stretching it out, first on one side and then the other. This aligns the energy in your stomach, large and small intestine. You can do it again after you eat.
 
 
 
Three Things Matter
 
 
 
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
– often attributed to Buddha
I love this quote. And as we explore Manipura chakra, remember that what we move forward within this world needs to be from our Soulful Selves and in harmony with what is best for the world. It will take strength, not force.
Enjoy breath and asana practices to activate and balance your Manipura chakra. This practice is from the YoGo Yoga Nidra Club Manipura theme.
Note: Switch the cross of your legs when you transition from the breath practice to the side stretches. Remember: all cues are an invitation. Only do what makes sense for YOUR body.
 

🎥 Asana Video

   Be Curious
Traveling through life with curiosity rather than judgment is how one finds the magic in each moment.
– Eric Chatters
When I practice seeing everything through curious eyes, my ego stills, and I move through life more gently. While the fire in this chakra enables you to move forward, remember to listen and move in harmony for the greater good.

Try a 18-min Manipura meditation:

🎥 Meditation

Enjoy this 20-minute Nighty Nite Manipura/Solar Plexus chakra right before bedtime.
 

🎥 Meditation With Music

Have you ever considered what it means to be powerful? Do you feel like you are powerful? Do you even want to be?

 
We often associate power as a masculine trait, strong and forceful. We may also see it as an undesirable trait used to manipulate people for personal gain. But we need to be able to make a difference in the world and bring our gifts and dharma into being. Since you are comprised of energy, you can view power as effectively channeling your energy for the greater good.
 
Consider an athlete focused on hitting a golf ball or baseball. To successfully create the burst of energy that connects with and propels the ball, they must be aligned and focused, body, mind, and soul. They must be fully present. They must move in concert with their surroundings. The ability to align body, mind, and soul and send positive transformative energy into the world is power.
 
 
So for us to be powerful and to affect positive change in the world, we must be aligned in our body, mind, and soul. We are not wishing or hoping; we are confident of what we can accomplish and are taking action. We are making a difference.
 
And if what we bring into the world is in harmony with the greater good, benefitting others even more than ourselves, we’ll have the universe supporting us. We’ll feel full of vitality and aligned with our dharma (the gift or contribution we bring into this world that elevates collective consciousness).
Balancing Manipura helps us move through life from a place of soulful strength, quieting the ego, processing what is coming into our lives, and taking harmonious actions in the world. Here are some ways to balance Manipura:
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Manipura chakra? Try these yellow-colored crystals: citrine, carnelian, topaz, malachite, amber, and prehnite. Essential oils that help balance this chakra include Neroli, Ginger, Peppermint, and Mandarin or blood orange.
 
 
Movement. 🧘 Yoga poses that balance this energy center include Navasana/boat, Apanasana/knees to chest, Bhujangasana/cobra, and virtually any twist, though standing twists are particularly lovely. Kapalabhati breath is excellent and is in this week’s asana practice.
 
Foods. 🍋 Eating these yellow foods is excellent for this chakra: pineapple, mango, yellow squash, yellow bell peppers, banana, and lemons. This chakra is already fiery, so cool, non-spicey foods (like cucumber water) are best when this chakra is overstimulated. Spicer options like may be good if you need to heat things up. Herbs and foods that aid digestion work well for Manipura – think ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, probiotic yogurt, and whole grains.
 
 
Mudras. 🙏Mudras can direct your energy and balance your chakras. For Manipura, bring your hands together in prayer, then cross your left thumb over your right. Place the mudra solar-plexus level and meditate or chant RAM.
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Manipura is RAM. Chant it or listen to a RAM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra. By the way, I find it fitting that this fiery chakra’s mantra is RAM, the forceful animal associated with the Aries sign!
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of E is associated with Manipura. Enjoy bathing in this sound.

Anahata

Anahata

The fundamental element of the universe from which we are all created cannot be found on the periodic table. It can, however, be felt at the very core of our being and is stronger than what our five senses can detect: it is love. Everything else is optional and transient: love is essential and unchanging.

So why don’t we feel and reflect this basic building block of our being all the time, every day? Instead of always being loving and kind, why are we often petty, fearful, angry, and all kinds of other negative behaviors? Because of Avidya: the great forgetting.
 
 
We have at our core our Soulful Self – our time-transcendent essential energy that consists of love and knows that we are so much more than the body in which we reside. I love this way of visualizing it: the universal energy is the ocean, and each of us has a bucket-worth of the ocean at our core. But wrapped around it is our body and mind, a mind equipped with an ego that tries to run the show and easily forgets who we really are. Instead of knowing that we are perfect, hand-crafted by the universe, we think we are the thoughts that pass through our mind, the emotions we experience, and the body we inhabit. This attachment to things of this earth, impermanent things, causes fear, stress, anxiety, and more; it causes forgetting and suffering.
 
 
Did you know that your heart is 100 times stronger electrically and 5000 times stronger magnetically than your brain and that its electromagnetic energy can be measured outside the confines of your body? The energy emitted from your heart affects those around you. It can also affect other living things, like plants, water, etc. You can literally transmit love. You also have more nervous system pathways from your heart to your head than the other way around. Your heart can think – and if you quiet your mind, you can heed its voice.
 
Attributes of the heart chakra include love, relationships, joy, spirit, healing, and breath. It is associated with the thymus gland, which fights disease early in life. It’s believed that as we move through lifetimes, we bring the essence of who we are, our Chit (true Self) and Chitta (impressions), in our hearts. It is the core of our being.
 
 
The human heart is now documented as the strongest generator of both electrical and magnetic fields within the body. We’ve always been taught that the brain is where the action is, but the brain is comparatively weak… The heart is 100 times stronger electrically and up to 5,000 times stronger magnetically than the brain. The reason this is important is because the world as we know it is made of those two fields. If we can change either the magnetic field of an atom or the electrical field of the atom, we literally change that atom- we change the stuff our bodies are made of. And the human heart is designed to do both, to change both the electrical and magnetic field of our bodies and our world, and it does so in response to the emotions we create between our heart and our brain… Every thought in the human mind sends out an electromagnetic wave from the base of the heart that has a measurable effect on the world in which we live.
– Greg Braden
Two lovely heart mudras are fun to do back-to-back so that you can explore the energetic differences.
Anjali mudra is one we often do in classes. Hands together at heart, this mudra is reverent, brings us inward, and quiets the mind. Did you know that pressing the backs of your thumbs against your sternum activates your upper heart chakra, which is associated with gratitude?
 
 
Keeping your thumbs and little fingers together, open your hands and transition to one of the variations of the Anahata mudra. Feel the difference of having your hands open energetically as if opening your heart to accept the universe’s gifts.
 
Though they are both heart mudras, one feels more internal and nurturing while the other feels more external and expansive. See what other secrets these mudras hold for you. If you are working on manifesting something into your life, consider using the Anahata mudra to welcome what the universe brings into your life.
   The Heart
 
“It’s impossible,” said pride.
 
“It’s risky,” said experience.
 
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
 
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
– Unknown
 
Our mind is resistant to change and part of our physical self. Our heart is the voice of our soulful self. If you want to pursue something, feel it in your body. If a feeling of expansion accompanies it, your heart or soulful self is likely saying YES! If a feeling of constriction accompanies it, your heart may be saying no.
Open your heart with this 20-minute asana practice. You can do it before meditation, or anytime in your day. This practice is part of the Voice of the Heart theme on YoGo. Remember: all cues are an invitation. Only do what makes sense for YOUR body.
 
   Learn Their Song
 
Love is learning someone’s heart song and singing it back to them when they need it most.
– Hallmark Movie
Our heart chakra ties to Agape love, the highest form of love. It’s seeing the divine reflected in everyone and appreciating the unique beauty they bring into the world. It’s about looking deep, understanding them, and offering what they need at this moment.
This 27-minute yoga nidra meditation focuses on the heart. You can dive in even more by exploring the theme “Voice of the Heart” on YoGo.
 

🎥 Meditation

 
 
What does it mean to be kind? Some behaviors are clearly unkind, like those seen in the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. But what about everyday behaviors, like providing constructive criticism or bailing someone out numerous times? Is there a litmus test for what is “kind? I have been pondering this topic, and here are my thoughts.
 
In Buddhism, there is loving-kindness meditation. You cultivate loving-kindness throughout your body, mind, and heart. I recommend starting here. Knowing what loving-kindness feels like enables you to use this state of being as your foundation. Anything you do in the name of kindness should align with this felt sense.
 
A second tenet is that you must first be kind to yourself before you can be genuinely kind to others. There is only one you, and you are the one charged with nurturing your body, mind, and soul. When you can truly accept and love yourself, you fill your reservoirs, and your ability to accept and love others increases as you have love to share. You stay grounded, expand to include others, and create healthy boundaries.
 
With this practice of loving-kindness, your perspective changes. You see others not as separate from yourself but crafted from the same underlying fabric of the universe: love. We are all love expressing itself in its vast forms, as unique physical beings, with unique traits and personalities. When we embody this wisdom, we come from a place of strength, loving others, exuding kindness, and celebrating each soul walking the planet.
 
Love and kindness are paired as “loving-kindness” for a reason: kindness is love in action. Kindness without love is disingenuous. Seek first to love, and kindness will naturally follow.
Balancing Anahata refills our reservoir of love, both for ourselves and others, and also increases our feelings of joy and gratitude. It reestablishes an elevated happiness-level with which we greet each moment. A strong heart also resets the relationship between our heart (the master) and our brain (the servant). Here are some ways to balance Anahata:
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Anahata chakra? Try these green and rose-colored crystals: rose quartz, green aventurine, prehnite, or rhodochrosite. Essential oils that help balance this chakra include Rose, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Geranium, Neroli, and Ylang Ylang.
 
 
Movement. 🧘 Yoga poses that activate this energy center include heart openers like Bhujangasana (cobra), Stargazers or Ustrasana (camel). If you are practicing yin, try Melting Heart, or a restorative bridge pose. Breathing in and out through the heart can also activate this chakra. If your heart needs a little nurturing and love, try Balasana (childs pose), allowing your heart to be tucked towards, and nurtured by, mother earth.
 
Foods. 🥑 For this chakra, think leafy green foods. Eating these green foods is excellent for this chakra: cucumbers, kale, avocados, mint or green tea all help balance and support the Anahata chakra.
 
 
Meditation. 🧘 Spend time meditating on loving kindness as you cultivate the associated felt sense in your body.
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Anahata is YAM. Chant it or listen to a YAM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra.
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of A is associated with Anahata. Enjoy bathing in this sound.
 

Vishuddha

vishuddha

Vishuddha means “pure.” Picture your throat as a channel for the energy that you are sharing with the world, the channel being clear, uncluttered and radiant. When you allow unspoken words to become stuck in this channel, it becomes cluttered and murky. When you speak words unnecessarily or unkindly, it loses its radiance, becoming dingy and rough. Each word you share is energy that you send out into the world. Some believe that, like all sound waves, each word you speak continues on for infinity. Its critical that your words matter!

 
Your Vishuddha chakra, also known as your throat chakra, is where you speak your authentic truth. Your communication may lack strength, truth, love, and/or clarity when it is out of balance. You may have difficulty listening and being present for others, and it may become hard to make decisions.
 
Let’s Practice!
When you speak, you should ensure your words fit the following criteria:
 
They are necessary. You are sharing useful and helpful information for the recipient while supporting yourself.
 
They are true and authentic. You are speaking words that are both true and in alignment with your authentic self.
 
They are loving. You are choosing words that convey your authentic meaning in a helpful and kind way for the recipient.
 
 
Sometimes you are venting and seeking feedback from a loved one, perhaps using more words than you would otherwise, but try to ensure that you are clear when this is the case. You muddy the channel if you clutter everyday communications with others seeking validation or working through your issues. Think of your words as small, carefully selected gems, not a bucket of odds and ends from your junk drawer that you are dumping out for the recipient to sort through.
 
Attributes associated with this chakra include clarity, truth, speech, communication, self-expression, responsibility, and personal choice. The Thyroid gland, related to mental and physical development and metabolism, is associated with this chakra.
Try this short visualization and breath practice to heal your Vishuddha chakra: Sit on the floor or your mat with your eyes closed.
 
First, simply notice your breath. Let yourself settle into your breath, becoming absorbed in its sound and movement.
 
Visualize your throat as a clear, blue passageway. Allow your throat to become spacious front to back and side to side.
Explore and consider the energy you are feeling.
 
With each inhale, allow your breath to revitalize and clear your throat. Feel each breath as radiant light.
 
With each exhale, let go of unspoken words and any regret about past words or decisions.
 
 
 
Be Impeccable
 
 
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.
– Don Miguel Ruiz
I find that if I am truly present and engaged with the person I am with, I speak less and listen more. We expend most of our words for our own benefit. Being present enables us to use our words for others’ benefit.
This 20-minute practice will open your heart and throat. Enjoy!
Remember – only do what makes sense for YOUR body! If you want to check out the YoGo theme associated with this practice, Authentically You, click below!
The Power of the Tongue
The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words.
– Author Unknown
Your words are energy whose echo travels through the cosmos. Be thoughtful about what you choose to offer into the timeless realm.
This 33-minute meditation plants the intention “I choose my words wisely. I speak truthfully and lovingly.” You will be cued to hold your breath during this meditation. If, for any reason, you should not hold your breath, breathe normally during these sections. Get comfy and enjoy!!
 

🎥 Meditation

 
The words we speak reflect our soulful selves. Kind and genuine communication isn’t possible when we are in our heads, anxious, stressed, or experiencing strong emotions. The chakras build upon one another – if lower chakras are out-of-balance, higher chakras will likely be out-of-balance, too. Honestly, assess your words and tune any energy imbalances.
 
Too many words – if you find you are monopolizing the conversation, you are likely talking mainly about yourself, not listening or being present. Perhaps you are troubled about something and trying to work it out by verbalizing your thoughts. Consider setting aside time with a friend to discuss your issue and seek advice. Be present for all other conversations and let them be a two-way dialog without your problem pushing through.
 
Too few words – You may be avoiding conversations or not participating in them. Thoughts or emotions may consume your mind, leaving you unable to be present and engage with others. Consider the source of your reticence and seek ways to resolve it. Soul Coaching, meditation, a conversation with a friend – whatever seems right for you.
 
Sharp or unkind words – If you regret what is coming out of your mouth, you are reacting instead of responding. Reconnect with your soulful self, able to respond from this unchanging, peaceful state instead of the thoughts and emotions of the mind. Consider if you are projecting your unhappiness or feelings onto the other person. If so, work to resolve it and see the other person through an unbiased lens of love.
 
Untrue words – if you find yourself exaggerating or lying, stop and correct the cause! Perhaps you don’t feel good enough and must embellish your self-sense of reality. If this is the case, remember that you are unique and perfect, exactly as you were created to be. You are whole and deeply beloved. Resolve the situation if something in your life is causing you to feel small or inadequate.
 
•  Remember that words spoken are out there – forever! When in doubt, stay silent. Words are a gift to be shared, not a weapon to be wielded.
Balancing Vishuddha helps us communicate with truth, clarity and kindness, our words well-chosen and appropriate for the situation. A balanced throat chakra also enables us to be better listeners. Here are some ways to balance Vishuddha:
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Vishuddha chakra? Try these blue-colored crystals: blue lace agate, turquoise, aquamarine, larimar, and blue howlite. Essential oils that help balance this chakra include Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, and Basil.
 
 
Movement. 🧘 Yoga poses that balance this energy center include Matsyasana (fish pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), yin neck stretches, and Pawanmuktasana (wind-relieving pose). *Note – only attempt shoulder stand if you are familiar with it and know how to support your pose safely.
 
Foods. 🫐 Eating these blue foods is excellent for this chakra: blueberries and blackberries. Also, try kelp, wheatgrass, coconut, honey, lemon, and warm, soothing teas.
 
 
Mudras. 🙏 Mudras can direct your energy and balance your chakras. For Vishuddha, Interlace your fingers, palms facing the sky. Touch your thumbs together, forming a circle between your thumbs and index fingers. Meditate or chant HAM.
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Vishuddha is HAM. Chant it or listen to a HAM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra.
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of G is associated with Vishuddha. Enjoy bathing in this sound.
 
 

Ajna

Ajna

We are very involved with our five-plus senses gathering input from the world around us. But those same senses are also available for communicating with our soulful selves. Think of the front of the mind as the sun: yang-like, outwardly focused. The back of the mind is like the moon: yin in nature, inwardly facing. Like the moon, it is more subtle and more introspective.

 
When you can quiet the mind, you have gut feelings, flashes of knowing, images, words, or aha moments. Your Soulful self can communicate with you in its unique voice, just as it does when you are in a deep sleep. Your life begins to flow as you follow your intuition and understand your purpose.
 
The more you communicate with your Soulful self, the more you connect with your spiritual existence, rising above a life solely lived in the physical world. You find a deeper meaning to life and release fears of the unknown, secure in the knowledge that you are unchanging, eternal, and divine, so much more than your transient body and mind. Life becomes richer, with uncaused joy and gratitude becoming your new norm.
 
Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the earthly needs in your life – safety, security, nourishment, love, and esteem – must be satisfied before you venture into this more spiritual realm. But when you do, you remember your true nature, and life becomes infinitely more vibrant and fulfilling.
 
This chakra is associated with intuition, insight, clairvoyance, visions, and spiritual awareness. Its associated gland is the master gland: the pituitary. As you explore this chakra, be present, allow your mind to still, and journal any intuitive offerings. You may receive images, or words, that do not initially makes sense, but over time, they may become meaningful.
 
💡My experiences suggest that when you first learn to connect with your intuition, it provides information that will become verified in the next several days, affirming that you received communication from your higher self, boosting your confidence, and encouraging you on your journey.
Nadi shodhana pranayama, or alternate nostril breathing, is excellent for this chakra as it stimulates its location in the body and stills the mind.nadi shodhana pranayama
 
Start by taking your right hand and folding your index and middle finger against your palm. Place the hand in front of your nose, gently positioning the thumb along the right side of your nose and your ring finger along the left side.
 
Gently press your thumb against the right side of the bose, closing it off as you breathe in through the left nostril. Feel your breath at eyebrow center at the top of the inhale.
 
Next, close off the left nostril with your ring finger as you exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril to eyebrow center, then close off the right side as you exhale through the left nostril.
 
Continue this pattern of exhaling and inhaling on one side, then switching to the other. Do at least eight breaths or as many as you would like. End your practice with an exhale through the left nostril.
   Your Inner Sage Speaks
 
The answers you seek lie within. Your inner sage speaks with quiet knowing in the stillness between thoughts.
– Carin
I love something Gurudev said once – you only need a guru until you realize YOU are your guru. You already have all the knowledge you will ever need. You have the entire universe of wisdom within you!
Enjoy this 23 minute practices designed to help activate your ajna chakra. remember that all cues are invitations, and you should do what makes sense for your body.
 
This practice is part of the YoGo theme ‘It’s all in your Head.’ You can check out the whole theme below. 
   The Soul can Heal
The soul always knows how to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.
– Carlin Myss
We try to ‘think’ it through when we have an issue. If we let go and allow our soulful selves to speak, we will find the answers are always available to us, arising as a sense of deep knowing, an aha moment, a gut feeling, an image, or words.
This 26-minute meditation helps you create a sacred space in your head, reminding you of all that lies within beyond the mind.
 

🎥 Meditation

 
We are all intuitive. The way our intuition communicates with us is different for each person. Usually, our brain gets in the way and tries to analyze or dismiss our intuitive insights. The intuitive information we receive is non-linear and comes from our Soulful self, that eternal part of ourselves beyond the mind. To tap in, we must quiet the mind and only allow it to participate as we discern the information. Here are just some of the ways your intuition may speak to you:
 
Sensation: Your intuition speaks to you through sensations in your body. Maybe it’s a gut feeling, sensations in a related chakra, or empathetic emotions in response to someone else.
 
Sound: Do you ever get a song stuck in your head? Ponder the lyrics or song’s significance in your life to see if it holds a message. Or maybe a word pops in from seemingly nowhere. It, too, may be coming from your Soulful self.
 
Imagery: Do you receive visions or images during dreams or when your mind is quiet? These images are typically symbolic, and you will, in time, understand what specific imagery means in your intuitive language.
 
Knowing: You may have a deep sense of knowing something you couldn’t possibly know. It could be about a situation or the answer to a question you are pondering.
 
You will likely be stronger in one or two of these areas than in others. Journal things that arise as their meaning may become evident as time passes. Looking back on your intuitive journey will fine-tune your ability to speak your Soul’s language, enabling you to see patterns and understand the symbolism.
 
If you are like me and find this topic fascinating, I recommend Kim Chestney’s book ‘Radical Intuition.’ She also offers intuition training and certification through her Intuition Lab. 
 
Balancing Ajna helps us open up intuitive channels, hear our Soulful self’s guidance and live a life from our heads instead of our heads. We become more balanced, remembering the beauty of our divine selves. Here are some ways to balance Ajna:
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Ajna chakra? Try these purple-colored crystals: sodalite, amethyst, and angelite. Howlite is lovely for this chakra, too. Essential oils that help balance this chakra include Mint, Bergamot, Rosemary, and Lavender.
 

 
 
Movement. 🧘 Yoga poses that balance this energy center include Balasana (child pose), Viparita Karani (legs up the wall), and supine pranam (lying on the belly, forehead to the ground, arms in prayer position either extending from the body or between the shoulder blades). Meditation is very apt for Ajna, allowing you to quiet the mind and receive information from your Soulful self. When doing inversions, remember that your heart is over your head, reminding you that your Soul is your gift and the mind is its servant.
 
Foods. 🍆 Eating these purple foods is excellent for this chakra: eggplant and goji berries. Also, try raw cacao, star anise, ginseng, and garlic. Put a bit of lavender in your water or tea.
 
 
Mudras. 🙏Mudras can direct your energy and balance your chakras. For Ajna, form a heart with your index fingers and thumbs, index fingernails against each other., Touch the pads of the other three fingers with their mate on the opposite hand (e.g., left-hand middle finger touching right-hand middle finger), fingers straight. Meditate or chant AUM.
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Vishuddha is AUM. Chant it or listen to an AUM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra.
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of A is associated with Vishuddha. Enjoy bathing in this sound.
 

Sahasrara

Sahasrara
Our bodies are pure energy. Since our energy is moving slowly, we appear as solid objects, but as quantum physics teaches us, mass is simply a manifestation of energy.
 
This is why you hear someone advancing on their soul journey is vibrating at a higher frequency. We generally vibrate at higher frequencies when we are experiencing elevated emotions like love, joy, and gratitude and lower frequencies when we are experiencing sadness, stress, or fear.
 
We think of ourselves as a body housing the energy of our Soul. In reality, we are Souls housing our bodies. The energy of our Soulful Self enlivens our physical body and is unchanging, even as our bodies and minds constantly change. Our Soul is life itself.
 
 
Open yourself up to the energy around you. You are not a separate being, but rather a beautiful soul of light, interwoven into the fabric of the universe, connected to every other soul of light. When you embody the knowledge of your divine, eternal self, learning through the experiences of your physical form, you can live life without fear and with abiding joy!
   Widden Your Circle
 
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein
Live knowing the fullness of who you are, letting the essential element that makes up the universe – love – be present in all you do.
Sometimes, moving your body before lying down for meditation is helpful. Try this 14-minute seated practice. All cues are invitations only – do what makes sense for YOUR body.
 
This practice is part of the YoGo Cultivating Independence theme, which contains two more pre-meditation practices.
 
Explore the Cultivating Independence Theme
 
   The Sewing Stitch
Your breath is the stitch that binds your body with your soul. Lovingly nurture it, and create a beautiful mosaic with all your life experiences. Wrap yourself in its rich colors and patterns, remembering all you are.
– Carin
Let your breath be life’s reminder that you are experiencing the physical world, your body enlivened with each inhale, and that each exhales leads you back to the spiritual realm. Your Soulful self is life, animating this body and mind. Learn to access the universe of knowledge available beyond the mind.

This 28-minute meditation focuses on freeing you from your physical self. It is from the YoGo Cultivating Independence theme.

 
Karma is about lingering attachments to events, actions, and emotions of our past. When we have attachments, the universe presents us with opportunities to learn and to sever these attachments. The belief in reincarnation is that we will continue to learn through many lifetimes until we rid ourselves of all attachments. The key to ridding ourselves of karma is enlightenment.
 
To obtain enlightenment means to remember who you are. To know that you are not your mind or body but an unchanging, divine soul, enlivening this body and learning through your experiences on earth. When we understand our essential nature, we no longer blindly move through life, locked in the mind’s perceptions, but see everything through the awakened eyes of our souls. We can let go of beliefs, emotions, and patterns that no longer serve us and move forward, living a life of gratitude, joy, and love.
 
I find this short meditation profoundly moving, and I hope you will too. It invites you to remember who you truly are, and when you do so, it changes your life.
 
Balancing your crown chakra allows you to tap into the universal energy and connect to your soulful self, guides, and source. For this chakra to open, you first need to balance all the chakras beneath it. Here are some ways to open and balance Sahasrara:
 
Crystals & Oils. 💎 Want to open up your Crown chakra? Try these crystals: clear quartz, Selenite, Amethyst, and Lepidolite. Essential oils that help balance this chakra include Palo Santo, Frankincense, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Basil.
 
 
 
Movement. 🧘 I like meditation for the crown chakra. Other yoga poses that balance this energy center include Padmasana (Lotus), Savasana, Sirsasana (headstand), and Shashankasana (rabbit).
 
Foods. 💧 Drink plenty of water and consider fasting or detoxifying for this chakra. Incense and smudging herbs, like white sage or palo santo, are suitable for this energy center.
 
Mudras. 🙏 Mudras can direct your energy and balance your chakras. For Sarhasrara, interlace your fingers, then straighten your little fingers and press them together. Place your hands in front of your heart, or even over your head, as you Meditate or chant AUM.
 
A Mantra. 🎶 The mantra that resonates with Sahasrara is AUM. Chant it or listen to an AUM meditation to soothe and balance this chakra.
 
Sound. 🎵 The tone of F is associated with Sahasrara. Enjoy bathing in this sound.

Basmati, Alta Major & bringing it all Together

basmati
alta major
When we are energetically balanced and always living with the awareness of our Soulful Self, our meditation practice comes off the mat and permeates our entire life. We live authentically with JOY! Enjoy this 17-minute moving meditation asana practice.

While we usually refer to our heart chakra as a single chakra – Anahata, it’s actually two chakras: the lower heart chakra is Anahata, and the upper heart chakra is Basmati.
 
The upper half, Basmati, is associated with gratitude. You can activate it by placing your hands into a prayer position at your heart and pressing your thumbs into your sternum.
 
Studies show that people who cultivate gratitude have higher self-esteem and are healthier, happier, more optimistic, more resilient, generous, and forgiving.
 
Cultivate gratitude with this easy practice: start and end your day with gratitude. Before you get out of bed in the morning, think of 5 things you are grateful for in the day ahead. Before you sleep at night, remember five things you are grateful for from your day. You can journal them – keep a journal on your bedside table.
Relax and enjoy your weekly ‘Embodying Gratitude’ yoga nidra recording. Infuse your being with gratitude!
You will be prompted to hold your breath during this meditation. If you, for any medical reason, should not hold your breath or create undue pressure within your head, breathe normally during these sections.
 
This chakra is your letter slot for information from the universe: it is thought to be where your soulful self connects to your physical self. Your intuition, the conversations between your Soul and mind, arise here. It’s your connection to knowing the cosmos, seeing into past lives, and receiving divine guidance about this life.
 
It, like other chakras, is situated where there are a lot of nervous system pathways. For Alta Major, it is the reticular formation, a core center for the sympathetic nervous system that regulates, among other things, autonomic functions and behavioral arousal. It is situated at the skull’s base (the first vertebrae, named Atlas) and is associated with the pineal gland. It weights down this chakra when we feel like we are carrying the world’s weight on our shoulders.
 
 
It’s said that when this chakra is balanced, the energy of the goddess Shakti enters through the pineal gland and, like a tuning rod, vibrates down the spine, integrating your Soul, mind, and body. This chakra marries masculine energy via the Atlas with feminine energy via the pineal gland and is known as both the “Breath of God” and “The Mouth of the Goddess.”
 
Oils. 🪔 Try some Star Anise, Cardamom, Frankincense and/or Elemi. Experiment with a mix!
 
The inner tree is the Alta major, whose roots burrow deep into the root chakra, with branches reaching up to the crown.
This quote, from Niamh Clune, creates the image of a tree that, at the top, has the connection of the Alta Major, Ajna (tried eye), and Sahasrara (crown) chakras, with energy extending down through our roots. This essential chakra combines divine and earth, feminine and masculine.
 
 
   Our Breath is our Reminder
Our breath is a reminder that we need balance in our life.
Sometimes we’re meant to take things in, sometimes to let them go,
Sometimes we’re meant to say yes, and sometimes the answer is no.
in and out, in and out, our whole life we breathe,
A reminder that sometimes we need to do and sometimes we need to be.
– Carin Lockhart
Each inhale connects us to our physical selves; each exhale to our SoulfulSelves. Each breath is an opportunity to bring your mind, body, and Soul into harmony, to balance your chakras.
Try Donna Eden’s version of Ujjayi breathing to clear your chakras.
 
 

chakras

✨ This 24-minute meditation tops off all our chakra work. I hope you have enjoyed your journey and use your newfound knowledge to keep your chakras aligned and balanced!

🎥 Chakra Meditation

book recommendationIf you enjoy learning about the chakras, there are many more directions you can go! The chakras are elemental in many ways, so like any truth, they surface in many teachings and disciplines. Here are just a couple, from quantum physics to energy healing modalities. You might try the two below, which are some of my favs:

My favorite books on the chakras is by Tias Little: 

📖 Yoga of the Subtle Body

A video about the biofield and sound healing by Eileen McKusick:

🎥 YouTube Video

 

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