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The Chakras—7 Major Energy Centers

The Chakras—7 Major Energy Centers

Featured image on this post is Artwork by Endre Ballough

Our Energy Body and the Chakras

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel”. In our energy body we have seven “wheels of energy” and 72,000 nadis, or channels of energy (also known as meridians), and 108 marma points, or junctures where energy points meet nerve endings, also explained as points where consciousness meets matter.

We have 7 main Chakras in our physical body and many other smaller ones. Often they are visualized as a ball—it is more accurate to vizualize them as a vortex. The root chakra is like a vortex that spinds downward through our legs. The crown chakra spirals upward, and the five chakras between spin out the front and back of our body.

Each of our chakras is very near one of our major endocrine glands. They are a part of our energy body but the do align with our more dense physical body.

Regarding the nadis, or channels of energy is beautifully illustrated by the beautiful artwork by Alex Gray in his famous Sacred Mirrors.

The First Chakra: The Root Chakra, the Muladahara Chakra, is located at the base of the spine just above the anal opening. This energy center is associated with our basic survival needs.

Its color is deep red; the seed sound (Bija) that resonates with this chakra is “LAM”.

Corresponds with the Element:  EARTH

Aligned with the Lymph Glands (neck, under the arms, in the groin, inside the chest & inside the abdomen & pelvis)

The Law of Karma governs this chakra: Try these activating intentions: Witness your choices; Consider the consequences of each of your choices & listen to your heart for messages of comfort & discomfort.

“Om Kriyam Namah” –  My actions are aligned with karmic law.

The Second Chakra, the Swadhisthana Chakra, is located just a few inches below the navel in the area of the sex organs, or in the hip area of the body. This is where our creative and sexual energy reside. This energy center is associated with our basic biological needs and we can use this force to intentionally create happiness and success in our lives.

Its color is orange, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “VAM”.

Corresponds with the Element: WATER.

Aligned with the Gonad, Overies & Testes (male/female reproduction)

The Law of Least Effort is lively in this chakra. Try these intentions: Practice acceptance, Accept responsibility; Establish your awareness in defenslessness (no need to be right or wrong).

“Om Daksham Namah” – My Actions achieve maximum benefit with minimal Effort.

The Third Chakra, the Manipura Chakra, is our power center, and it is located in the area of the solar plexus, just below the sternum.  It is where we manifest our intentions and desires. 

Its color is yellow, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “RAM”.

Element: FIRE

Aligned with the Adrenal Glands (top of kidney) & Pancreas (behind stomach, in front of spine)

The Law of Intention & Desire governs this chakra. Try these activating intentions: Be clear of what your intentions are; Trust & surrender the outcome to Nature; Practice present moment awareness.

“Om Ritam Namah” –  My intentions & desire are supported by cosmic intelligence.

The Fourth Chakra, the Anahata Chakra, is our heart chakra.  It is located in the center of our chest at about the level of our armpits, our center of love and compassion. This center is associated with our compassion and love for those in our life. When energy is freely flowing in this area, our relationships express our open-hearted connectedness with the whole of creation.

It’s color is a brilliant green, described by some as turquoise, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “YAM”.

Element: AIR

Thymus Gland (center of chest, behind the sternum)

The Law of Giving & Receiving governs the heart chakra. Try activating this law with the following intentions: Practice breath awareness; Cultivate an attitude of gratitude; Acknowledge your needs & the needs of your body and surrender to those needs.

“Om Vardhanam Namah”: I am the nourisher of the Universe and the Universe nourishes me.

The Fifth Chakra, the Vishudda Chakra, is where our expression resides and is located in the center of our throat. When we enliven this center, we are able to express unique communicate and express our talents and desires.

Its color is light blue, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “HUM”.

Element: AKASHA or ether

Aligned with the Thyroid Gland in the neck.

The Law of Detachment governs the throat chakra. To activate, try this: Practice detatchment & go with flexibility; Embrace uncertainty; Surrender to the field of pur potentiality.

“Om Anandham Namah”: My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome.

The Sixth Chakra, the Ajna Chakra, also known as “the third eye” chakra, is where our insight & intuition reside. It is located between and just slightly above our eyes. This is the center of our insight and intuition. 

Its color is a deep indigo blue, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “SHAM”.

MANIFEST/UNMANIFEST.

Element:  Super ether

Aligned with the Pituitary Gland in the brain.

The Law of Dharma (or Purpose in Life) governs this chakra. Try these activating intentions: Attend to your Silent Witness within & nurture yourself; Acknowledge your talents to become aware of your unique purpose in life; Serve others; Ask, “How can I help.”

“Om Varunam Namah” – My life is in harmony with cosmic law.

The Seventh Chakra, the Sahasrara Chakra, or thousand-petaled lotus, is our crown chakra.  It is located at the top of our head in the area of the fontanel. Known also as the, consciousness chakra, the Sahaswara chakra is visualized as a lotus flower at the crown of the head. When the lotus unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored. This center represents the connection between our individual and universal aspects. When energy is moving through this chakra without restriction, we never lose awareness of our spiritual nature even as we move through our physical experiences in this time bound world. 

Its color is violet, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “OM”; others tell us that the sound of this chakra is pure silence.

Element: super ether

Pineal Gland in the center of the brain.

The Law of Pure Potentiality governs the seventh chakra. Try these activating intentions: Cultivate stillness in your body-mind; Commune with nature; Shift into witnessing mode; Practice non-judgement.

“Om Bavahm Namah” – I am absolute existence.

The Doshas—Mind-Body Typing

The Doshas—Mind-Body Typing

Ayurveda has a unique way of typing our mind-body constitution or Dosha types. The doshas are made up of THE FIVE GREAT ELEMENTS. The five great elements organize themselves into the three principles, or doshas, of movement, metabolism and protection. In sanskrit these principles, or doshas, are called Vata, Pitta & Kapha.

Vata, the principal of movement, is comprised of the elements of space and air. You can think of it as Wind. Pitta, the principle of transformation, is comprised of fire and a little bit of water. You can think of it as Fire. Kapha, the principle of protection, is made of earth and water. Think of it as Earth.

These principles are responsible for every function in our mind and body. We all have all thre dosha principles, but since we are each a unique expression of nature, we have our own unique psycho-phsiological type, or dosha type. This explains why we each respond differently to the same situation or stimulus. Some of us respond with more fire, while others may be more airy or earthy.

We all come into the world with our own unique combination of the doshas, which is determined at conception, and is referred to as our Prakruti. Most people have either one or two of the doshas more predominant. In addition to our basic dosha type, or prakruti, our experiences and choices also influence our doshas, as do the seasononal and daily cycles.

Everyone is one of the followng seven mind-body types: Vata, Pitta, Kapha (mono-doshic); Vata-Pitta (or Pitta-Vata), Vata-Kahpa (or Kapha-Vata), Pitta-Kapha (or Kapha-Pitta) having 2 predominant doshas (bi-doshic). The last type, tri-doshic (which is the most rare) has more-or-less equal expressions of all three dosha types in the constitution.

The three doshas regulate every function in our human body.

 

Vata

Vata is the principle of movement and is comprised of the elements of space and air. When you think of Vata, think about the qualities of wind: Dry, cold, light, irregular, mobile, quick and rough. Vata activity is quick, daily routines tend to be variable, under stress Vata becomes anxious.  Vata learns information quickly  to learn and is easy to forget. Physically, the Vata constitution tends to have a light, thin frame, and active, restless and creative mind, variable diet and sleep patterns, digestive irregularity, dry skin and hair. In the body the Vata Dosha is responsible for mental activity, neuromuscular activity, respiration, digestive movement and cardiovascular circulation. A person with a strong Vata Constitution may have inconsistent appetite and moods. They generally welcome new experiences, embrace change and can be lively and talkative. Their habits, interests and daily routines are likely to change from week to week.  Mentally, when in balance, Vata is energetic, adaptable, has strong initiative and is a good communicator. When vata is under stress or out of balance they become restless, inconsistent, undependable and overly talkative. To balance Vata think “rhythm”.  When you meet someone with a predominance of the Vata constitution, you may think this person is unpredictable.

Vata Imbalances often lead to dryness of skin, hair, fingernails and large intestine. Irregular appetite, delicate digestion, constipation, gas or bloating are all indications of Vata imbalance. Since this dosha governs movement in the body, a vata imbalance may cause restlessness or insomnia. Emotionally, those with a Vata imbalance may feel anxious, isolated, fearful or overly sensitive. Symptoms may come and go, a reflection of the irregularity of the wind principle, and may be brought on by times of change or instability. 

To balance Vata, think rhythm and grounding.

Pitta

Pitta is the principle of transformation and is comprised of the elements of fire with a little water. When you think of Pitta, think about the qualities of the element FIRE: hot, light intense, penetrating, sharp and acidic. People with a lot of pitta in their constitution will display these attributes both mentally and physically. They tend to have a medium frame, a discriminating mind and are intellectually sharp. They have a strong appetite and digestion, tend to perspire easily and have warm hands and feet.  Under stress they will become irritable and angry.  Pitta is responsible for all forms of digestion. In our body, the fire principle metabolizes our experiences so we can absorb what is nourishing and eliminate what is not. Pitta is responsible for the digestion of food, detoxification, intellectual discernment, vision and pigmentation of the skin and hair. Emotionally, when those with a predominance of Pitta are intelligent, warm, friendly, courageous and good leaders. Out of balance or under stress they become critical, irritable, headstrong and controlling.

An imbalance of Pitta in the body can create an excess of heat and acidity. Symptoms may emerge as skin rashes or inflammation, indigestion and heartburn. Emotions may become inflamed when pitta is out of balance, causing one to easily become angry, intolerant and hyper-critical. Pitta imbalances are likely to develop when one feels pressured or has “too much on his plate.” 

To balance Pitta, think decompression and cooling.

 

Kapha

Kapha is the principle of protection and structure, and is comprised of the elements earth and water.  People with a predomenence of the Kapha principle are generally sturdy and consistent. The qualities of earth are heavy, cold, solid, stable, wet, smooth and slow. These attributes are typical of thise with a lot of the earth element.  In the body, Kapha is responsible for protecting the digestive tract, protecting the heart and lungs, and for the sense of taste, protecting the brain and lubricating the joints. Those with a predominance of the Kapha dosha tend to be heavy set and stocky with great strength and endurance. Their skin is smooth, soft and lustrous, and they often have large eyes. They sleep long and deep. Emotionally, when in balance, Kapha is calm, steady, slow to anger, devoted and content. Under stress Kapha tends to depression or withdrawal.   Out of balance Kapha can become boring, inert, needy and complacent.

When Kapha becomes imbalanced, one will feel sluggish, lazy and may become congested. Weight gain, retention of fluids, allergies and sinus congestion all reflect an excess or imbalance of Kapha. Emotionally, Kapha imbalance may present itself as depression, or an inability to let go of things or relationships even if they are no longer needed or nurturing. A person with a Kapha imbalance may be slow to react and resistant to change. 

 

To balance Kapha think Action & Movement

 

When the doshas are imbalanced

Unhealthy lifestyle choices and stress can cause the doshas to become out of balance. Each of the doshas have a balanced and imbalanced expression. When in balance the principles are circulating in the mind body physiology in appropriate proportains and we feel healthy and happy. All our bodily functions work in harmony with on another. Due to improper diet and lifestyle choices and stress these principles may become disturbed and cause distress or disease in the body or mind.

When the a dosha is imbalanced it means we have too much of that dosha active.

In ayurveda, the doshas are brought back into balance using all five of our senses. We are not just what we eat, we are what we metabolize through every sensory experience: What we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and the emotions we feel. We nourish ourselves with self-care through the experiences of taste, smell, touch and sounds.

There are six tastes in Ayurveda: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent.  

Daily Cycles and the Doshas

Seasonal Cycles and the Doshas

The Six Tastes

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Dosha Quiz

Dosha Quiz

To Learn More about Ayurveda and the Doshas

Click on any of the following Articles:

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about The Layers of Life

Learn More about the Doshas, “What’s Your Dosha, Baby?”

Then click below to take the Dosha Test from Chopra.com!

Share your results, and any comments & questions below.

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

My Story

My Story


Just yesterday I was asked to share my story around weight loss & fitness. Clarification: If weight loss is your goal, you actually want to lose FAT – not just WEIGHT … many “chronic dieters” lose both fat & muscle, which in the long term undermines their results by slowing metabolism – the mechanics of which I will explain in another post.

Okay … here’s my story. The “Before & After” photos attached here were me “before” a couple of years before 50 and then me “after” at 51. The featured photo for this post was also taken around the time of my “After Shot”.

“Before” … late 40’s – “After … at 51

I struggled with being a little over-weight in high school and college. I was always working out and trying to lose weight, and at that time generally just a little too hard on myself and I began to believe I had a weight problem … actually I was pretty fit and lean most of the time. There were times that I tended to be too heavy though … and not knowing any better I tried starving myself and working out hard to lose weight (a recipe for failure and not the way to achieve long term results & success). Still, I’ve always had to be careful about what and how I eat because I gain weight easily and find it difficult to lose it.

I had three children in my 30’s … first one at 33 then 35 and I squeezed the last one in at 39.5. I gained a LOT of weight with my first pregnancy … and never lost it all … and finally after my 3rd child was born I gained so much that I topped out at 175# … THAT was my top pregnancy weight. I was miserable, unhappy, felt a prisoner in my own body and hardly recognized the matronly woman who stared back at me when I looked in the mirror by my mid 40’s. I tried various weight loss programs with moderate success … I was under a lot of pressure at home and had little time for myself. Meanwhile I was mentally ‘beating myself up” because I told myself “you have a degree in exercise physiology … you should be able to do this.”I was eating pretty healthy food choices but not correctly. And again, I’d try to starve myself all day … had no time for exercise …

It was Yoga that got me back in touch with myself … I reconnected with my creativity & spirituality. As my Yoga practice became more and more important to my well-being I was more inclined to continue to make other healthier choices. In the book, Yoga & the Quest for the True Self, the author Stephen Cope says, “No matter why you come to the (Yoga) mat, if you continue your practice, eventually your mat will become an altar.” Yoga has many unexpected gifts … if you are open to them.

I joined a gym … one where former professional athletes, trainers and members were very fit and getting great results (I became a Yoga Instructor & I TAUGHT Yoga in other facilities, but I avoided working out with people who had been “trying” to get results for years … and were the same or even a few pounds heavier). I hired a Nutrition Coach (best investment of my LIFE), then I worked out with a trainer … a really great trainer. I got my body fat down below 20% and was in the best shape of my life at 51!

During that time I became a certified/Licensed Corporate Wellness Coach & did quite a lot of coaching at Corporate Events. I taught Yoga regularly, and I also was asked to coach Nutrition using the same program that I had used to successfully lose weight and become strong and lean. (Yes, we want to lose BODY FAT … not just weight).

Then life circumstances changed again. Little by little my workouts became less intense until finally when I went to South America in 2012, I no longer had a gym membership and stopped teaching Yoga regularly … Still I remained in good shape, but my weight gradually began creeping up. Especially when I came to take care of my mother, for a year in 2014 and then returned in 2016 (where I live now … and she passed away in 2017) … while she became bed-bound, I became house-bound with her. The end result of all of this is that I am (and have been) carrying around 25 extra pounds and am at a weight that, frankly, I NEVER expected I would see again. I had a foot surgery last year (which was a good thing) and during my recovery it kept me from exercising and the orthopedic boot really fired up a hip issue I have … With all of that, I KNOW I can heal my hip and lose this weight. I want to be a role model for others AND I still have lots of hiking I want to do, travel, and I want to be a healthy mother (of my now adult children) and grandmother. I will do this!

My Current “Before” Photo … before my 90 Day Turn-Around

I am 63 years old now … I’ve learned that you can be healthy and fit at any age, and that if you don’t USE it you will lose it. I am so grateful that my healthy choices carried me through several rough years where I wasn’t taking the best care of myself. I am actually SHOCKED that I gained this weight as I thought I had achieved mastery over my health & fitness. However, as for many, circumstances change and life challenges can throw us off-track. I have a choice now, to reconcile myself to the excess pounds and the hip inflammation as a “natural part of the aging process” (which would be a story and self-fulfilling prophecy if I choose to believe it) OR I can create an action plan, focus on some serious self-care and make my HEALTH a priority as I work my way back to Optimal Health & Wellness through optimal lifestyle choices. I choose the second option.

It took a while after my mother’s passing for me to regroup and heal … and rest. Now it is time to turn my attention BACK to coaching and teaching, and as part of that, to make myself and MY health a priority. I plan on being a good example, so in creating my new program, the 90-Day Turn-Around, What if in 90 Days Your Whole Life Can be Different? I am my first client & the example for this program … in a few short weeks I’ll be putting together a small “Case-Study” Group and looking for 5-7 participants for that. I’m incorporating self-care practices, such as mindset, meditation, journaling, nutrition and exercise … If you are interested, please message me, or just follow me along in my journey.

GMO’s Revealed

GMO’s Revealed

I knew GMO’s were Bad—”Real food is always better than Fake Food”

GMO crops and food products are anything BUT Natural or Safe!

From the site GMO’s Revealed:

I’m Watching the 9 Part Documentary! Sign up at GMOsRevealed.com Each part is only available for 24 hours. I missed day one, but day two has 12 more hours.

FACT: The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy estimates that 85% of U.S. corn is genetically modified. Other widely modified crops include canola oil, alfalfa and sugar beets.

FACT: GMOs are banned in 27 countries. Also, in 61 countries foods must be labeled as being genetically modified – but not in the U.S.

FACT: Glyphosate, the chemical originally developed to de-scale pipes, boilers and metals, is now used to KILL plants. What’s more, it is found in 75% of processed foods.

Global Leaders in the fields of medicine, law, agriculture and politics share their unique expertise as they explain the complex relationship between bacteria, soil, and your body.

Discover how Big Agriculture and companies like Monsanto have drastically influenced agriculture in America, leading to corrupt, inhumane and toxic farming practices.

My Take on Things:

Thrive Marketplace has made the filming of this documentary possible. They provide non-GMO, organic and food & products. I checked them out, and they do a lot of other good things, too. Their goal is to make healthy, safe food available to all consumers. They have special programs for students, teachers, low income families & more.  If we, as consumers, stop purchasing GMO foods and food products, the makers of these products will listen and stop producing these crops. Already, the damage done will take decades to revers itself. Think about it—every time you make a purchase you are “voting”. I want to support companies like this & help them create awareness about our food and food sources.

I just placed my first order on THRIVE; Click here if you want to check them out: Thrive Marketplace

 

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