Chakra Chat

Anyone who’s heard me talking about “Harnessing the Power Centres”, my new series of Forrest workshops might be wondering what on earth all this chakra chat is on about. And why I’m so fascinated with the chakras that I’ve designed seven entire workshops focusing on them! If you’re interested in reading an answer that will tickle your energy centres from Muladhara  to Sahasrara keep reading… (And if you don’t know what the heck those are, you should probably keep on reading too!)

In a nutshell the chakras are the seven energy centres in our body; and maintaining free-flowing energy through them helps keep us in our power and prevent energy blockages which can often lead to physical or emotional sickness.

I don’t remember exactly when I first became interested in the chakra system; I’ve always been quite fascinated with energetics but kept it to myself for fear that it was ‘a bit weird’ (cue first chakra!) I first had a chakra balancing session whilst I was living in Thailand, studying Thai massage on an island. I’m not sure if I really knew what to expect looking back. I remember having what felt like a pretty chilled out yet simultaneously powerful treatment, one that concluded with me lying on my stomach resting with my head turned to one side gradually realising that my neck was killing me, but all the while resisting moving as I knew I had a crystal balanced precariously on my lower spine (hello second chakra!) which was felt warm and was clearly doing something I shouldn’t disturb. Eventually I succumbed and rolled on to my side, and surprisingly no crystal fell off me. I left the room and went to speak to the lady who had worked on me; she told me she had left the room a good 20 minutes previously, and removed the crystals before she left… There was no doubt in my mind that there was clearly something to this chakra malarkey no matter what other people said.

I think the first and second chakras are my personal nemesis. A few years later, during my first yoga teacher training, we were having a talk on the chakra system. I’d been quite ill – something odd going on with my stomach that I couldn’t quite shift. It wasn’t food poisoning; it definitely wasn’t friends with lying over a roll. The topic came to Svadhisthana- the sacral chakra; and something shifted in me. I literally shrank up into a ball on the floor – my lower abdomen and lower back in agony. It lasted the ten minutes or so we were discussing that chakra – then as the topic moved on, so did the pain. It was the most bizarre experience. We never figured out what was wrong with my stomach on a physical level, but energetically something was definitely shifting. It took a dose of what was nicknamed ‘the Russian Jamu”  – medicine from my Cranio Sacral teacher to do the trick in the end – either that or maybe the shift had simply taken care of itself.

So, for me it goes without saying that the chakra system is powerful stuff, and in my book this makes it worth looking at in more detail, and definitely warrants 20 hours of workshops! And so it was from this that I developed Harnessing the Power Centres: The Chakra Series. This is a series of seven Forrest Yoga workshops, each based upon the physical qualities and emotional issues connected with one of the seven chakras. Each session focuses specifically on one chakra individually; providing an opportunity to explore and heal the physical, mental and emotional issues associated with it in a supportive environment. The session will open with a ceremony, then go on to look at the chakra identity and issues surrounding it both on a physical and emotional level. We’ll do some journalling on this individually – relating it to our own situation in a personal record that can be referred back to later. Then with the context and our own personal intent set, we’ll get down to the asana practice – expect involved, intense, enlightening, and rewarding!

For a sneak preview of the first three sessions take a look below:

1) The Pleasure of Strength : The Root Chakra
This workshop will centre around “Muladhara”, the root chakra located at the base of the spine in the tailbone region and related to our sense of stability and security. This workshop uses a strong standing pose series enabling you to discover and enjoy your own sense of strength on the mat, and provide the tools for you to take this out into the rest of your life.
2) ‘Hips don’t lie’ : The Sacral Chakra
 
Focusing on “Svadhisthana” located in sacrum, this workshop will facilitate you in engaging with your centre of creativity, sensuality, and joy. The modern day lifestyle has left many of us suffering from tight hips and as a result aggravated by lower back pain. This workshop uses a powerful hip opening sequence, to release tension in this area and the power of your creative potential.
 
3.) Manipura Mission : Seeking the solar plexus chakra
 
An opportunity to explore your core through abdominals, twists, breath work and kriyas. Activating the solar plexus chakra in the upper stomach this sequence will not only fire up your digestive power, but also ignite your personal power, giving an opportunity to focus on issues relating to self-esteem and confidence and gain a greater sense of control over your life. Expect the roll to be a star of this session!
The remaining workshops you can look forward to are:
  •  A warrior’s heart – The Heart Chakra
  •  Unravelling the Mysteries of the neck and shoulders – The throat chakra
  • A Sense of Spirit – The third eye chakra
  • Celebrate the gifts of your Practice – The Crown Chakra

It’s funny that the world gives us many teachers, but there really is none other more effective than what we ultimately end up teaching ourselves. With these workshops I hope to provide an opportunity for self-reflection, discovery and celebration of the amazing-ness that is You!

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 This image is of a beautiful painting by an artist who came to speak to us whilst I was staying in the Sivananda Ashram in Neyaar Dam, Kerala. I believe it’s showing the unification of Shakti in muladhara chakra, with Shiva in sahasrara. 

I have many random notes from that lecture, which don’t all make sense. But I’ll leave you with a thought that this artist shared which really does make sense to me:
Life is like a lotus leaf. As the lotus leaf moves on the pond, so in life we are constantly moving, changing and we can’t control this. 
I guess if the lotus leaf can embrace it, then maybe so can we! 🙂
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