I Am Balanced

I have always had a thirst for knowledge, a hunger to know more that is never quite fulfilled. Reading about love & life, exploring rituals, and learning about new cultures were a constant in the back of my mind. I was always the girl who got yelled at for hiding in the corner, reading books underneath the coats in the cubby at school. It likely then comes as no surprise that when my {first} yoga teacher training arrived, I showed up with extra highlighters and a mind that was ready and eager to learn. I surprised myself by not only falling in love with postures, but also philosophy, anatomy and energy. I’ll never forget the day we received our rainbow colored sheets of paper, peppered with intricate designs and manytiny-devotions-balance-yoga Sanskrit words. I couldn’t wait to learn about chakras and whatever lay behind their beautiful colors. I couldn’t WAIT to decode the exquisite Sanskrit words and make the letters roll of my tongue to create meaning and structure within these foreign letters. Chakras are our energy centers within the bodies. Even before modern medicine and machines, the ancient Rishis in India knew that within each center we actually have a cluster of nerves. They could feel these channels when they sat completely still and listened to their bodies in meditation. As with any energy, when they flow, these energy channels are open and working properly. However when they stop flowing, they create a block of energy within that particular chakra or area of the body. We need all our chakras to flow with our natural rhythm to have a balanced body and a balanced life. Today begins the first post in a series of seven (one for each chakra). My goal is to break these down into simple chunks. By the seventh week I hope you feel moved by the subtle energy within you and walk away with more than just the pretty rainbow colors and flowery Sanskrit. Muladhara is the root chakra and as with any proper rainbow this is where we begin: the color red, the roots, the deep seated meaning of who we truly are. The first chakra develops within us when we are 0-7 years old and therefore controls our first thoughts around life, our values and moral compass as well as safety. Safety can be so deep: your home, your security within your family, money values and survival. When this chakra is open: You should feel free and happy. Abundance is flowing and you’re able to accept money, love, happiness and security into your life. You’re happy or content with your family, you feel balanced and loved. You have no worries about where your next meal will come from or where you’re going to lay your head tonight. Your lower back has no pain and you feel full of energy and light! When this chakra is blocked: You may feel tightness in your lower back or have feet/knee problems. You’re constantly worried about money or family issues. You don’t trust easily and you’re not sure about allowing God or the universe into your life. You may have some digestive issues (weight gain) and you don’t feel quite settled. You may have a lack of energy. tiny-devotions-red-yoga-oceanHow to open: This chakra opens in many ways, as with all. You can use a combination of crystals, color therapy (as simple as wearing a red sweatshirt or a delicious new root chakra mala), sound healing or meditation. Crystals: Bloodstone, black onyx, ruby, pyrite, hematite and garnet. Color: Red….try lighting a red candle, keeping your gemstones in your purse, or wearing your favorite red sweater (alongside your new muladhara mala). Sounds: Any music that has a deep bass. The sound LAM repeated during your sound meditation. Poses: Bridge pose (it allows your feet to make firm contact with the ground, while also making contact with the spine). Janu Sirasana or head to knee pose (a deep forward fold allows you to connect to your legs and your spine). Warrior 2, mountain pose as well as lunar or restorative flows. These poses are fierce and yet down to earth and loving to your physical body. Element: Earth Location: Perineum, base of the spine. A really great exercise to get into the root chakra is to do jumping jacks or dance. Ground your feet into the earth and allow yourself to feel the rhythm and the bass within the music (your choice, Pitbull or Krishna Das). Really feel your feet when you stamp into the ground. When you’re done stand in tadasana or mountain pose for a few breaths as the energy begins to return to your body. Feel the tingles, allow breath to deepen as your belly expands and contracts. Then drink lots of water and have a hearty meal with proteins: your roots will thank you later. tiny-devotions-yogaJenny Ravikumar is a yoga teacher, blogger and studio owner of Barefoot Yoga Shala. As a teacher and self-proclaimed boho mermaid, Jenny has been bringing her yoga lifestyle knowledge to the online world for years through her blog, jennyravikumar.com. She specializes in helping women dig deeply into self-love & care, while also explaining yoga philosophy and love on her blog and through her courses/private online groups. You can catch her teaching 6 days a week in Massachusetts or pouring love all over the internet 24 hours a day.

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