I Am Grounded and Connected

Over the last few years, intuition is something I have finally placed a word on. For so long, my aunt would get these “funny feelings” and check on everyone in our family. She can feel when the energy is off. I have always had this same affliction, as does one of her daughters. Even as a teenager, I loved the idea of the energy and the funny feelings. I loved being connected in that special way even if I didn’t fully understand or recognize it for what it was: my intuition.

tiny-devotions-vibesMy favorite moment of intuition and energy was when my best friend read my tarot cards one night and told me my first kiss would be later that evening (and it was)! Or the hours I spent pouring over and memorizing my runes. The afternoons spent digging into the love spells I found in the corner hippie store during summer vacations, the ones you find in little leather bound books that call out to love sick teenagers and new age woo-woo soul sisters. I started tapping into this magic of my environment and my mind at a young age without even realizing it.

Once I started to claim “woo-woo” as a piece of who I am, I realized how deeply entrenched I already was in the spirit. For many, tapping into intuition needs to be learned (because our minds and society bury this beautiful part of our subconscious so deeply). But for others, we are already in this practice without realizing it. For those of us that have the “funny feelings” and “listen to our hearts”, we already have the deeper wisdom peeping through the fog. It’s now up to us to clear away those last little bits and begin to tap as deeply into this as we are able.

This energy is the energy of Anja, the third eye or brow chakra. It controls psychic/subtle awareness, visualizing, telepathy, reiki, spiritual body and the deep knowing with us. As we arrive into the higher chakras we continue on the ethereal path and allow ourselves to peel back the layers, one piece at a time, to reveal our highest intentions and deepest desires. This sixth chakra (in the series of seven) is the gateway to your inner goddess, the divinity within you and your highest power. Keeping this chakra open will allow you to invite a higher consciousness into your being

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked you may experience headaches, upsets within the nervous system, trouble with eyesight and a lack of mental peace. There may be a case of the “monkey mind” so many speak of; being unable to meditate due to the intense thoughts continuously running through your mind. You also have difficulty manifesting the things you would like to welcome into your life.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsWhen this chakra is open: You experience a clear mind and make decisions with both your mind and your heart. In yoga there is a term, Hridaya, which means heart consciousness. It is the act of listening to your desires and connecting the space between the mind and the heart. You easily attract and manifest a life you love and desire, as well as open to the idea of higher consciousness.

How to open this chakra: Begin a meditation practice. Many people believe meditation to be impossible or very difficult, when in fact it can be as simple as deep breathing for 5 full breaths. Meditation is the idea of silencing the mind and relaxing into your body, mind & spirit. Start with Gabrielle Bernsteins “May Cause Miracles” which is a 40 day guide to meditating. Pick up your anja chakra mala and hold each bead lightly between your fingertips as you begin to release the ever present monkey mind within you.

Crystals: Amethyst, lapis, purp, fluorite, iolite and clear quartz.

Color: Purple. I LOVE wearing the third eye color as often as I can and recently have been wearing a beautiful amethyst gifted to me by my cousin. It’s the perfect reminder of my higher power. Connect to this color through clothes, mala beads, candles or paintings in your environment.

Sound: OM. The delicious sound at the beginning or end of a yoga flow. The chant that could have been the starting point of the universe. This vibrational sound is said to perhaps be the beginning of the big bang theory and within this vibration began life. OM is a representation of creation and intention. Chanting this while beginning your meditation will keep you centered and begin to open your third eye chakra.

Poses: Meditation

Location: Third eye

Element: Light

As you tap into this sixth chakra, allow yourself to release your judgment and ego. Begin to relax and let go of the “new-age” feel. Just listen to your mind, body, soul connection for a few breaths. Lower the lights, light a candle or some incense and dive into your own subconscious mind for 5 full minutes. Set a timer, or allow time to lapse. Sink into a bubble bath and let your thoughts release. Allow hridaya to take hold (the heart consciousness) and just observe. No judgment, just observation and breath.

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.

Find Your Fire

Have you ever had that moment of intense fear mixed with palpable anticipation and excitement? The moment you hear the CLICK, CLICK, CLICK of the rollercoaster as you literally or figuratively climb up the track?

Perhaps you’re on a real ride, or maybe it’s moments before your performance review (and potential promotion). It could be seconds before you quit your job to pursue a life of your dreams or the day you decide to become a mama bear.

Fear keeps us on our toes, but can always be really healthy. Unless it’s a life or death situation, fear can often be the perfect motivator. It allows you to find the edge and then climb right over it.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads-scarfFear is located in the third chakra, manipura. This marks post three of our chakra series and begins the exploration of fear, courage, will power, resistance and joy. Manipura is located in the solar plexus (that soft space in between the top of our ribs, just below the sternum). I always imagine this space to be bright and full of a deliciously yellow energy that controls our portal for joy and it always brings a huge smile to my face.

This chakra is developed between the ages of 16-23 and is when we find ourselves. It’s the age when a boho babe begins to truly dig deep and discover who she is, it’s how we begin to leave our mark on the world. This is the moment we begin to find our fire, our sparkle and the shine we always need while being fully present in the world.

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked the energy can go in one of two ways: our fire can burn too hot (anger, temper tantrums, destructive words) or our fire can burn out (lack of energy, nothing to add to a conversation or space, feeling lackluster and sadness). As the manipura is the city of jewels and controls passion, we need to find the perfect balance. Often if we are out of balance here we will have serious digestive issues (ulcers, heart burn, hypoglycemia).

When this chakra is open: When we are open in our fire energy, we feel joy and laughter. We have passion for all our favorite activities and are often willing to try new things. We enjoy the anticipation and baby amounts of fear as we conquer our dreams. We indulge in a delicious or healthy treat without over indulging and allowing our fire to dull and we are able to bring our natural spark to the world.

How to open this chakra: Twisty poses, classes that involve fire (power yoga or aerial, maybe even a zumba class). Hot & spicy foods when you feel low on energy, carbs and starches when you feel too fiery. Crystals and sound energy.

Crystals: Amber, citrine, golden topaz, tigers eye

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsColor: Yellow… I feel there is so much joy in this color, you should have it everywhere. Abundance is one of the biggest things that comes to mind around passion and fire. In order to allow true abundance into your passionate being, wear more yellow (a beautiful scarf or a new mala) or have a post card on your desk that embodies the color yellow. Integrate more of this color into your life to allow for more passion, money and energy.

Sounds: Ram, repeated in a mantra. Music with intensity… house, EDM etc.

Poses: Twists, abdominal or core work (yes ABS!!), solar flows, agni namaskra (fire salutations – go ahead, look them up because they are delicious), arm balances, utkatasana and power yoga.

Location: Solar plexus

Element: Fire

In order to tap into this chakra you need to decide where you are right now. If you’re feeling lackluster and as though you need a boost, you need to eat spicy foods or go salsa dancing. Invigorate your body, find movement and enjoy a really sweaty power yoga class. If you’re feeling too hot, drink some water and eat toast with honey butter to calm your insides. Then go enjoy a yin yoga class to bring your energy back to neutral.

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.

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.

I Am Open To Receive

As a writer, blogger and teacher, my gift lies in my ability to communicate. It comes as zero surprise that my fifth chakra (communication) is my most open energy.

As we move into our fifth post on the chakras, we move into the ethereal energy. The first four are located in the roots of our physical body and are easily accessible with asanas (poses). The energy begins to thin and become more open to universal input as we travel along with the Kundalini energy up the spine. In some of the ancient texts, it is actually believed that Kundalini energy (the energy along the spine where the chakras travel), actually starts at the heart and not the spine, allowing for a more ethereal view on the chakras. Wherever the energy begins, Vishuddha or our throat chakra is definitely the beginning of our higher consciousness and our upper chakras.

Communication can be tricky as it has so many meanings. It is the spoken and written word, which now includes text letter-tiny-devotions-writingmessages, social media and email. These new technologies leave much room for misinterpretation and miscommunication. On top of all this, we communicate with loved ones past; we wish, we pray and we manifest to a higher power as well as freezing communications during arguments or when society tells us we are no longer allowed to communicate a particular idea.

This is why for so many boho babes the fifth chakra is the most easily blocked energy. The business owner who holds her tongue in front of a rude customer, the sister who is estranged, or the wife who lost her husband in combat; often times the things we wish we could say are stuck in our throats and our hearts. This is why I love to suggest an opening technique as one of my many suggestions to the women I work with on self-love.

Write a letter. With EVERYTHING you have ever wanted to say on a particular subject. Every single thing you can think of. Anger, joy, sorrow, love, laughter, hate. Whatever emotion begins to arise, continue writing in your stream of consciousness and allow the words to flow.

Once you have entirely purged all you need to say, rid yourself of the letter. Do not send it to the person you’re angry with or yell into the heavens. Allow yourself to burn the letter and then release the ashes into the woods or the sea. Chant these words: OM GUM GANAPATEYI NAMAHA. It is a chant to Ganesha who is the remover of obstacles. He will allow this message to go out into the universe for you and allow these words to be released from your throat chakra energy

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked you may feel tightness in your shoulders, experience neck injuries or even experience problems with your jaw and teeth. You may have a thyroid condition, get frequent colds or sinus pressure. Sometimes our breathing suffers (pneumonia, shortness of breath etc). In public, you are soft spoken about a particular subject, but to yourself or in private you experience a completely different (often heated) emotion.

When this chakra is open: You feel free to speak your mind and are often able to breathe with ease. You neck feels open and fish pose is easily obtainable for you. If this chakra is a bit too open, you may be chastised for speaking your mind too freely or often. People who have open throat chakras are usually in fields that require difficult communication: lawyers, writers, creative artists etc.

How to open: Use the releasing ceremony above by writing your emotions onto a piece of paper and then burning it in order to let go of anything that no longer serves you. Use crystals in your purse or on your desk at work. Surround yourself with the color blue.

Crystals:  Turquoise, aquamarine, sapphire, sodalite.

Color: Blue. Allow yourself to wear blue more often, place clouds in your work or home environment and add in this color to as much of your environment as you can imala-beads-tiny-devotionsf you feel any stuck energy around communication. Wearing your new vishuddha mala with its vibrant colors will also give you a much needed boost.

Sound: Ham (a long A sound). Ethereal, choral or airy music.

Poses: Fish pose, neck rolls, shoulder releases.

Element: Ether

Location: Throat

Vishuddha is one of the most difficult energies to keep open in the line of our chakras and is something we often need to work on continuously. Allow yourself a break and tap into a deep pranayama (breath) practice. Deep breathing can begin to heal, open your heart and open the energy within your throat immediately. Try alternate nostril breathing to balance out your internal energies before you go to sleep or moments before that big meeting in order to give yourself a sense of balance and calm.

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.

I Am Open

The color orange has always captured my heart. There’s something about the warmth and yet the energy is electric. It’s no wonder that orange is the color of the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra (number two in the line-up of seven) is located in the pelvic area and controls our sexuality, holds past and current relationships and aides in creativity and fertility (of life and new ideas).

This post marks our second in our series of the chakras and at the moment svadhisthana is my favorite. I love the energy of creation and as a yoga teacher and a writer I am constantly in the creative mindset. From baking healthy treats for my family to creating the perfect sequence, I am often hanging out in my second chakra. {This may be one of the reasons that hip openers are my favorite}.

mermaid-tiny-devotions-mala-beadsThe second chakra is also very fluid, for creation to flow as well as for a child to be held in the womb there needs to be a lot of water, flow and constant movement. As a self-proclaimed yogi boho mermaid, this is right up my alley. I feel most at home diving in the ocean or swimming in the lake with my best friends (my cousins, pup & husband.)

This chakra is developed from ages 7-16 and as such it is a time of discovery that rules this space. Think back to how your childhood looked and felt as well as all of your emotions. This space governs our past so tapping into it will allow us to release that which no longer serves our current space.

When this chakra is open: When this chakra is open, you are open to new intimate relationships and embrace your own sexuality. You feel fluid, pleasure and love. You have an infinite well spring of creativity running through you and your hips feel light and open. You’re full of passion, imagination and know your true identity.

When this chakra is blocked: You feel frigid in your hips or pelvic area. Writers block and digestive issues are persistent. You have a lack of energy and nothing captures your attention or makes you feel passionate. You may have a kidney infection or a URI and you don’t feel “open.” As I mentioned above, this chakra deals with relationships and change. Especially as women we have a tendency to hold onto things from the past that no longer serve us.

How to open: In Ana Forrest’s book Fierce Medicine she mentions that in order to truly release emotion from the hips, we need to embrace a hip opener for a minimum of 10 minutes. I don’t keep folks there quite that long in my classes, but I do tend to keep them a long time. Your hips are going to be the biggest release and by doing hip openers you should be able to truly let go (or begin to let go) of stuck energy. Alongside doing the physical asanas, you can chant, sing, swim and hold onto gemstones!

tiny-devotions-open-mala-beadsCrystals: Coral, moonstone, carnelian, fire opal

Color: Orange! Wearing orange, using your new svadhisthana mala beads or lighting an orange candle may help. Adding in a simple sunset photograph to your desk or using a new email background that embraces this color will definitely help open this space of energy for you!

Sounds: Vam (repeated over and over in a mantra). Water, waves or nature sounds.

Poses: Any hip openers!! Try frog pose, lizard, half pigeon or whichever you consider to be your favorite. Make sure to hang out for a little longer than you’d wish as that’s when the juicy stuff starts to release and let go. Jala Namaskara (water salutations), dancing warriors and any poses that allow creative or fluid movement.

Element: Water

Location: Lower abdomen, womb, reproductive organs

To really release here you must LET GO! Tune into your inner Elsa and let go of anything that is no longer serving you. Actually, put on Let it Go and sing along with Idinia Menzel as you belt out your worries. Crying, swimming, drinking loads of water, dancing to amazing music or meditating to the sound of ocean waves are all amazing ways to begin to tap into and open your svadhisthana chakra!

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.

Let The Universe Guide You

Silence is one of my biggest fears. Ever since I was a child I could not find the right time to just be quiet, ever.  I specifically remember being in the car with my dad one day as a young teenager and he leaned over to look at me. All he said was, “have you even taken a breath since you got in the car? You have been talking since the second you sat in the front seat.” My husband frequently says the same thing.

My problem is silence. If it’s quiet, I will fill the space with all of my thoughts, observations, to-do lists, wishes and dreams. Silence is never an option, unless I’m in yoga.

Somehow, this clumsy, loud-mouthed chatterbox becomes a yoga goddess who can hold nataragasana without a thought or a sentence to utter. I can lie in savasantiny-devotions-mala-beads-bohemiana for hours as I hear crystal bowls wash their vibrational booms over my physical body. I can put my foot over my head and stare into my drishti as I find the perfect space to concentrate and tap into my higher being.

Yoga is the only thing in the world that will render me speechless.

And I know that’s my crown chakra talking. The moment I begin my practice I can begin to feel all of my chakras align. I feel each of them as they begin to travel up my spine and open all the way from my root to the crown of my head. I feel taller and open, free and yet grounded. I am no longer afraid of silence when I step on my mat.

The seventh chakra, sahasrara, is the crown chakra. It controls the higher consciousness, the connection to your external divine (the universe, God or whomever you connect with). It is the divine source that gives us breath and energy, love and light. It is the last of the seven major chakras within us, the inner knowingness and that which allows us to give in service to ourselves and others.

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked, we feel there is no big picture and have no connection to the divine or our intuition. We lack compassion and peace, often reacting with violence or an unharmonious response. We do not desire community and often the pineal gland or our nervous system is negatively affected.

When this chakra is open: We feel compassion when this chakra is open. We give in service to others, are nonreactive and spread spiritual love. We see big pictures and connect to the divine.

How to open this chakra: Attend yoga classes. Begin to release judgment of yourself and others. Wear your sahasrara mala beads. Meditate. Allow more love into your life. Wear more white. Practice deep breathing.

Crystals: Kunzite, diamond and quartz crystal.mala-beads-green-juice-tiny-devotions

Color: White. Wearing more white or allowing it into your environment will help you feel immediately more connected to the higher consciousness and the divine.

Sound: Silence

Poses: Savasana, or corpse pose

Location: Crown of the head

Element: Thought

As you begin to connect to this seventh and final chakra, you will begin to feel all your chakras aligning. As much as I would love to tell you that it’s easy to stay fully connected to this white light, it’s not. Similar to Samadhi, or enlightenment, this is not an infinite state of being.

When we are fully open within all our chakras, it can feel as though we have entered anandamaya kosha (the bliss body, and the deepest layer within us) and it feels OMazing! Everything is perfect and surreal; life is grand. But it’s a fleeting moment. The moment of ecstasy as you walk down the aisle and say I do, the second you hear your child’s first cry, t
he day of your promotion or your first publication and the laughter of your children on their birthday. Bliss is something that cannot be bottled but rather enjoyed fully in the present moment. As we open to these energies within us, we need to stay fully present and grasp that single giggle or cry or sigh. We need to open our eyes and BE in the here and now.

At certain times in your life, each of your chakras will feel slightly off balance. That is the moment you put your car in reverse and head to yoga, or stop, drop and meditate in your living room. It’s the moment you sit at your computer, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Stop, drop and listen in to your heart, it will lead you to where you need to go next.

tiny-devotions-yoga

Jenny 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.

I Am Love

Anahata is the name of the heart chakra and as with so many Sanskrit words, it has a deeper and more beautiful meaning. Anahata means unstruck which is found in the sound of om. No constants are used in this sound and therefore nothing is struck. But it also means unstuck; the idea that nothing sticks in love and in our thoughts. The idea that love can flow fluidly through us is such an intensely beautiful concept.

Anahata is the fourth chakra, the chakra of our heart and marks the end of our earthly chakras in this series (as we move up, the energy then becomes more ethereal). This beautiful energy is located in our heart and deals with everything you would imagine a heart chakra would: unconditional love, passion, compassion and acceptance.

It came as no surprise when I first started studying and understanding chakras, that when I took the “chakra quiz” this was one of my most open portals of energy. I live, breathe and am love energy every day of my life!

love-is-contagiousWhen this chakra energy is blocked: Unfortunately every boho babe is on her own path and LOVE may not be entirely how you live your life. You may have experienced something over time that broke your heart and wedged a little nonsense into your heart energy. This would be a blocked heart chakra: the inability to cry (or crying too often), chest pain or tight shoulders, feeling blocked from receiving love, always having the “black cloud” above your head when it comes to men, allowing unworthy lovers into your life, taking on too much in a relationship (being the caretaker or the enabler) and poses such as bridge or wheel are impossible or very difficult.

When this chakra energy is open: Love floats everywhere. It may not always be rainbows and unicorns, but you can see the positive and optimistic side of life. You know the universe has got your back and you’re open to receiving any love you need. You put your needs first in order to best serve others. You come from a place of love, always. The water works turn on and off when you need them to (yes, even during that commercial) and your heart opening poses seem to arrive in your body with grace and ease.

How to open this chakra: Poses, energy healings around the heart, carrying crystals in your purse (or even tucked into your bra), lavender oil on your chest daily, reiki treatments, massages, heart opening practices, soulful music, mapping out your core desired feelings and wearing heart centered colors.

Crystals: Emerald, fluorite, jade, chrysocolla, aventurine, rose quartz.

Color: Green or pink. Wearing green or pink allows your heart to be a touch more open. Perhaps adding in soft pink tones into the background of your computer, buying a heart poster or adding in a little more green to your home office (a candle, a n
ew mug or even your pencil holder). Put on your brand new anahata mala and trace each bead with your fingertips as you allow more love to flow towards you. These can all be simple shifts to allowing more heart centered color into your life.

heart-chakra-love-tiny-devotionsSound: Yam (not a yam… a long A sound). Soulful music – musicals, Broadway, ballads.

Poses: Bridge, wheel, locust, cobra, upward dog, bow, camel… any heart opener or back bend!

Element: Air

Location: Heart center

The heart center is one of the easiest to keep open, but once it has been hurt or put down it is always the trickiest to re-open. Energize yourself by allowing more love into your life: starting with YOU. You are the one person who needs your love the most. Make sure you treat yourself: flowers in your home, delicious candles, amazing bubble baths (think Lush, Epsom salt and essential oils), lavender on your heart, slow and mindful yoga practices and more. If you allow yourself to be front and center, you’ll allow love into your life and keep that heart chakra flowing freely for years to come.

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.

#SoulFULLFall Day 3: Chakra What?

soulFULLfall3

Mantra: Ommmmmm

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that literally translates into “spinning wheel.” According to ancient yogic traditions, there are seven major chakras or energy centers in our body. Each of these chakras corresponds to a particular color-coded vibrational frequency in the universe that influences our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

When our chakras are perfectly aligned with the universal flow of energy, every aspect of our life becomes harmonious and joyful. We reclaim perfect health, and our love and passion for life becomes renewed. Tune in and open your chakras with these tips…

1. Participate in a cleanse. Whether it’s a one-day juice cleanse or a seven day detox, cleansing your physical body will help you clear out any physical blocks that exist in your chakra system helping you feel more vibrant.

2. Practice mindfulness. Start to pay really close attention to your thoughts and your feelings. Are you quick to anger? Suddenly shy? Nervous or anxious? These feelings are clues that can help you uncover blockages in your chakra system. Pay attention!

3. Yoga! Asanas like the Essence of Living ‘Back Care’ segment below can help you strengthen your physical body while also sharpening your mental and spiritual bodies. Once you’ve discovered what chakras you might need to open, do some research and you’ll discover a variety of yoga postures designed to help you release the blocks.

Snap a pic of your new #soulFULLfall routine and post it to social media using the #soulFULLfall hashtag for your chance to win an epic Tiny Devotions and Essence of Living prize pack!

Bringing Beauty to the Mat with Yoga Design Lab

sldier-background-draft-1As we unrolled our mats for another day of yoga teacher training in Montanita, Ecuador, the floor became covered in stripes of black, gray, some blues and a hot pink.

As I unrolled my multi-colored chevron mat my teacher took notice and commented on how different and beautiful it was. I told her I’d wanted a mat that was bright and uplifting. Although we were on a beautiful beach, it was rainy season and I needed a lift away from the gray clouds.  She hadn’t given much thought to using our mats as a tool for stabilizing our mood or self-expression and it inspired a conversation about beautifying our space and specifically where we practice – our mat.

We use clothing, like our bright, patterned yoga pants, and accessories, like scarves and mala beads, to represent or to remind ourselves of our intentions, passions, attitudes, and beliefs. Some take it further and get beautiful intricate – and permanent – tattoos of mantras, yogic symbols, and deities. So I ask, why not bring that same expression to the mat?

Thankfully, companies like Yoga Design Lab are pushing the envelope with stunning designer mats and yoga accessories aimed at inspiring that beauty in us.

It’s refreshing to see a company applying the same logic to such an integral part of yoga. Color is at the very core of yoga…just look at our chakra rainbow.  I love practicing color meditation working upwards through all seven or focusing where I feel unbalanced.  Yoga clothing embraced the rainbow a few years back, stepping away from a white linen clad gurus and black yoga pant clad western yogis.

Like all of you, I spend a lot of time in Adho Mukha Svanasana and having something beautiful to set my gaze upon definitely lifts my spirits and tailbone a little higher.

Michelle HurleyMichelle Hurley is yogi and world traveller. She has been traveling South America consulting with emerging companies and non-profits the last two years. She is currently taking a month off to do her yoga teaching training in Ecuador.

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