An Introduction to the Chakras
Many of us approach yoga from the pure physical opening. I know that I did. When I first started yoga, 13 years ago, I had a specific aim – to stretch my body and decrease the pain in my body. I am happy to say that it worked. The journey to the release was a lovely, bumpy and interesting one! I realized that the physical pain was connected to my emotions, my thoughts, my worries and all of the layers of pain that I had shoved down into my body. It was a foreign concept to me.
As a physician, 10 years of medical school did not give me this awareness. I had no idea that the pain someone is experiencing in their life was actually connected to their emotions. Yoga was truly life transforming. I had no idea that this information was even available.
When we look at the chakra system – the energy centers – we can see that this knowledge is actually documented and well studied. It is only in our Western Medical domain that we do not give credence to this beautiful, awe-inspiring study.
The chakra system or energy centers in our body often become blocked by long held tension and low self-esteem. Physical postures have been well studied that correspond to each chakra and when done regularly can release the block from the body. As a result, we are able to live free of these old fears that are often stagnating our life.
The 7 chakras are believed to be arranged in a vertical line from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means wheel and these wheels are believed to spin. Each chakra is actually associated with biological functions in our body.
Through understanding the chakra system, we can se that our external life and internal habits, life limiting concepts, self-esteem and chronic mental tension can produce imbalances in our chakras. When left over a period of time, these chakras do not spin as they should. As a result, if the imbalance is left it can result in an actual physical disease and dysfunction.
Chakras can be rebalanced through regular practice of yoga postures and meditation. This allows the energy to balance and allows any energy to clear.
Personally, I have seen the amazing affects of yoga and meditation on clearing many diseases, including thyroid disease, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, chronic physical pain and more.
The practice of yoga is truly amazing and mind-boggling. Such an ancient art of healing has been well studied and documented in ancient texts. Western Medicine has its role, especially with the acute ailments.
If, however, you suffer from a chronic disease, it is more than likely related to an imbalance in your chakras that started many years ago. Regular practice can actually release and allow your body to step into its natural way of being.
Bottom line: role out your yoga mat, rain or shine, and practice. You will be glad you did!
Crystal Healing and the Root Chakra
There are seven chakra points on the body where the energy flows and intersects, bringing peace, harmony, and balance to our lives. Yet, like everything else chakras tend to become blocked over time, and we can feel the physical effect of this blockage within our bodies. Removing these blockages is simple and may require some practice, but in the long run it’s worth it. While crystals are a popular method of clearings, this article includes items you may wish to use along with crystals. All work well together and will enhance your connection to this energy point.
You cannot balance the other chakras without first tending to the root chakra.
What the Root Chakra Does
The root or base chakra keeps us grounded and is our connection point to the earth. When this chakra is balanced, we are confident, trusting, and independent. We learn to grow in all aspects of our lives ‒ spiritually, physically, and mentally. When it is blocked, we become anxious and stressed and can lose interest in our most basic of needs.
Crystals Are Connected to the Chakras
Many crystals emanate vibrations that parallel the chakras, and each chakra has a corresponding crystal companion. While all work to balance them out, I have found some crystals work better than others. I suggest you work with a few to see which one is a good fit for you. The root chakra has two color associations, so stones of both colors will do, but not all stones of these particular colors are adequate, or may be more suited for something else. There is also the price. Some crystals are rare to come by and expensive. I suggest doing some research to make sure the stone you use – or wish to use – is both accommodating in price and healing. It doesn’t have to be expensive to help.
Crystals for the Root Chakra
The colors associated with the root chakra are red and black ‒ fire and earth elements. Some, like hematite and onyx, have more than one use. Most black or brown stones have an affinity with the earth and are already widely used as grounding stones. For added measure, you can wear a clear quartz stone to amplify the vibration.
- Tiger’s Eye
- Black Tourmaline
- Red Jasper
- Red Calcite
Note – garnet comes in green as well. If you wish to use a garnet, make sure it is the proper stone.
Meditating with Crystal Energy
After purchasing and cleansing your desired crystal (crystal cleansing is very important), lay on your stomach. Pick a place to lay where you will be comfortable and there are no worries about someone disturbing you. Place the stone on your tailbone, making sure it won’t fall off. Alternately, if you can’t lie on your stomach it’s fine to lay on your back. You can either hold the stone in your hand near the chakra point, or place it on your body so that it won’t fall off. If sitting, hold the crystal in your cupped palm near your root chakra as you meditate. Take some deep breaths. Feel the vibration of the stone.
Play meditative music designed to stimulate the root chakra. I feel strongly that sound waves increase the vibration of the crystal. There are many wonderful videos on Gaiam TV about sound waves, such as Cymatics: Bringing Matter to Life with Sound and Fractal Meditation, and [Astral Traveler](/video/astral-traveler}. Like crystals, you need to choose a video that works for you.
The root chakra is connected to the sense of smell. Burning incense or essential oils is a great way to enhance your balancing and cleansing. I burn patchouli and use it solely for this purpose. Other scents you can use are nutmeg, cedar, ginger, vetiver, myrrh, and cinnamon; or, try a combination of your choice or another associated with the root chakra.
Eating root chakra foods and exercise are good tools as well. Go for a walk or sit cross-legged on the ground. If you practice yoga, you can incorporate standing forward bend into your routine.