Balancing the Chakras : A Simple Guide

Meditations, Mantras and Movement to Keep Your Chakras In Balance

What sets Yoga apart from other calisthenic routines?

The ancient yogis knew of something beyond the outer shell of movement- something deeper than muscles and bones- yet something just as important to shaping our physical health.

What they looked at and sought to keep healthy through their physical routine was the Chakra System.

So, what’s a… Chakra??

A Chakra (literally Wheel in Sanskrit) is an energy center or wheel of energetic movement in the body. It is part of the body’s subtle anatomy; and though subtle, has major effects on the gross, physical body and mind.

There are 7 major Chakras, which run along and align the spinal column, ranging from the base of the pelvic floor to the crown of the head.

Each of these 7 Chakras has a specific energetic and emotional quality, associated color, sound, and deeper meaning.

Often when we feel out of balance- angry, saddened, over-whelmed, exhausted- it is a sign that our deeper, more subtle self is in need of some serious restoration. Therefore, a great way to target the root of our imbalances is to look at the Chakras, and bring them back into balance first.

Below, you’ll find a simple guide to the Chakras, and how to bring them back into balance:

MULADHARA (ROOT CHAKRA):

Location: At the base of the spinal column, centered in the Pelvic Floor / Energetic Qualities: Stability, Security, Safety, Fear & Fearlessness / When you’re out of balance: You may feel unsafe and fear-laden

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Lying on your back, with your hands on your low belly, imagine red light charging through your spine down to the base, igniting new life and energy with each breath.

Mantra: “I fearlessly take on the challenges of life. Trusting my inner-guide, I face the unknown with love.”

Movement: Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose). This posture requires strength, poise, and confidence. Open your heart wide and feel the power of your lower body. Breathe deeply all the way into the Pelvic Floor.

 

SVADISTHANA (SACRAL CHAKRA):

Location: Just above the pubic bone, below the naval / Energetic Qualities: Creativity, Sexual Energy, Personal Expression / When you’re out of balance: You may feel “stuck” or uninspired

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Practice simple seated meditation, follow your breath and soothe your mind into stillness. Creativity is the product of a clear mind. Sometimes just finding some peace and quiet is all you need.

Mantra: “I am available for creativity to flow through me with abundance and ease. I reflect the creation of all life, and recognize the gift of creation within me.”

Movement: Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose). This posture requires strength and ease, and challenges the muscles of the pelvic floor and abdomen to maintain a long, supple spine. It sparks awareness and stillness. Root firmly, and maintain a soft gaze.

 

MANIPURA (SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA):

Location: At the Solar Plexus, between the naval and the breast bone / Energetic Qualities: Personal Power, Will, Decision Making / When you’re out of balance: You may feel uncertain, weary, uneasy about a decision

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Practice Kapalabhati Breath (Skull Shining Breath). Breathe in deeply through the nose into the belly, let out quick exhalations through the nose, as the navel “snaps” back toward the spine. Before trying this on your own, ask a teacher for proper instruction and safety guides!

Mantra: Simply state, “I am” with each inhalation. With each exhalation, bring your awareness to your physical presence, stating “here”.

Movement: Plank Pose. Yes, a simple posture to refine your core muscles and define the strength of your abdomen. Gently draw your navel toward the spine, reaching through your crown, broadening across your chest, and pressing out through your heels.

 

ANAHATA (HEART CHAKRA):

Location: At the heart center / Energetic Qualities: Loving-Kindess, Acceptance of Self and Others, Compassion / When you’re out of balance: You may feel unloved or unloving, disconnected, impatient

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Simple sitting, with hands on your heart. Breathe into your heart space, filling it up with air and letting it flow out. Practice until you feel your chest and shoulders softened and available to move freely.

Mantra: Loving-Kindness “May my heart be filled with loving kindness, may I be well, may I be peaceful and at ease, may I be happy”

Movement: Ustrasana (Camel Pose). This backbend opens the heart, strengthens the back muscles and invites you to breathe into the chest and ribs. Keep the neck and throat soft, and use the stability and strength of your legs to ground.

 

VISHUDDHA (THROAT CHAKRA):

Location: In the throat / Energetic Qualities: Verbal Expression, Speaking our Highest Truth, Communication / When you’re out of balance: You may feel unable to say what you need to, afraid to share your truth

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Recite “AUM” with clarity, taking equal time to pronounce each sound “A-U-M”. Don’t be afraid to make noise! The point is to hear yourself, and to get past the discomfort of opening up.

Mantra: “I speak my truth with confidence and clarity. I listen deeply to myself and to others, and communicate with ease.”

Movement: Matsyasana (Fish Pose). Try this assisted with two blocks, one underneath the scapula, and one supporting the head. Lengthen through your toes, and allow your throat space to open as you relax the face and breathe.

 

AJNA (THIRD EYE CHAKRA): 

Location: Just at the Pineal Gland (Third Eye), set between the brow bones / Energetic Qualities: Insight and Intuition / When you’re out of balance: You may feel lost or untrusting of yourself

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: With eyes closed, bring your inner awareness to the place between your brow. Keep your inner gaze alive and bright, as practice maintaining focus on this area.

Mantra: “I am connected, at peace, and present.”

Movement: Balasana (Child’s Pose). Allow your head to rest fully, either on the floor, or on a bolster or block. Soften the muscles of the face, and allow the gently pressure of the position bring your awareness to your third eye.

 

SAHASWARA (CROWN CHAKRA):

Location: At the crown of the head, rising up like a “Thousand Petal Lotus Flower” / Energetic Qualities: Trust in your Highest Self, Connection to Self, to all things, and ultimately to the Essence of your True Nature / When you’re out of balance: You may feel lonely, unsupported or irrelevant

Bring back into balance with:

Meditation: Practice inhaling and exhaling bright white light in through your crown. Inhale, white light filters in the body all the way down the spine. Exhale, white light leaves through the crown, shooting back out and creating a field around you.

Mantra: “AUM. I am one with all that is.”

Movement: Sirsasana (Headstand). Please consult a yoga instructor before attempting this posture. Grow through the spine, reach the tail and the toes upward. Use your foundation wisely, planting the forearms/hands firmly into the earth. Breathe deeply into the body, and keep a soft gaze.

 

 

Happy Balancing, Yogis!

With Love + Namaste,

Stacy

 

 

If You See Someone Without A Smile…Give Them One Of Yours

What’s the most important part of a yoga pose? Your smile 🙂

SMILE

Even when you are breathing through a difficult posture, maintain an inner smile. What you feel and practice on the inside will come shining through on the outside. Smiling changes our mood. Next time you’re feeling down, start with an inner smile and then spread it to your outer lips. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood. When my kids we’re young and would start complaining or crying, I would have them place a pencil in their mouth to form a big, wide grin and then have them look up. They would instantly go from unhappy to laughing and smiling.

The mere act of smiling is contagious and makes us more attractive. Frowns and grimaces push people away, but a smile draws them in. We are drawn to people who smile and want to figure out what is so good. The same muscles we use to smile are the same ones we use to lift our face and make us look younger. Save your money on a face lift, and just try smiling through the day. If you start to feel stressed, it can show up on your face making you look tired and worn down. Go back to your smile to help reduce your stress and prepare you to take more effective action on your concerns.

There’s a reason it’s recommended to watch a funny show when you are sick. The act of smiling is a natural pain killer releasing endorphins and serotonin. Your immune function improves helping to prevent flu and colds. If you have high blood pressure, smiling while monitoring it has been shown to reduce your reading. Try it if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Take your reading frowning first, then take it smiling. Do you notice a difference? Smiling as a natural drug combines these body chemicals to make us feel good.

So next time, you find yourself scowling through your least favorite yoga pose, take a deep breath and smile. Let me know how it feels.   🙂

From Yoga To Harvard

When my children were young, I use to go on and on about the benefits of yoga and how it would help them. Funny thing, whenever I proselytized about yoga they hated it, but when I was being yogic, they loved it. Beyond the physical practice of yoga, I shared the deeper teachings that would help them throughout their life. There’s a very yogic poem by Max Erhmann who studied law and philosophy at Harvard University that encapsulates words to live by during the good times, challenging times and everything in between.  As my son who will be attending Harvard in the Fall of 2015 and my daughter who graduates from UCLA the same year embark on the next chapter of their lives, I hope that practicing yoga off the mat as well as on will serve them on their journey as well as it has served me.

 

Words To Live By

 

From Yoga

From Yoga

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;

To Harvard

To Harvard

for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

 

Failing is a Good Thing

Failing is a Good Thing…..Deep Practice

In his fascinating book, The Talent Code Daniel Coyle describes how the brain reacts when a person develops a new skill. Performing an action involves firing an electrical signal through a neural pathway; each time this happens, it thickens the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers like the rubber coating on electrical wires. The thicker the myelin sheath around a neural pathway, the more easily & effectively we use it. Heavily myelinated pathways equal mad skills.

So how do you build up myelin sheaths around new skill circuits? According to Coyle, you need deep practice.

Deep practice is the same no matter what the skill. Read more

The Power of a Creed!

Just as it’s important to have a vision and mission for your business and life, having one for your family can make a huge impact. I’d like to share two special strategies we use in our family to stay happy and healthy.

Using the KISS (Keep It Simple Stacy) method, the first strategy is our Family Creed (creed is derived from the latin word “credo” which means “I believe”) and the second is a short meditation video.
To write your own Family Creed, begin with the vision or purpose of your family.

The McCarthy Family Vision

The purpose of our family is to love and support each family member in achieving the fulfillment that comes from doing their best to fulfill their life purpose, maintaining high levels of integrity, and working to improve themselves each day.

The McCarthy Family Creed
Today, I give thanks for all that I am and all that I have.
Today, I treat everyone I see with kindness, love and respect.
Today, I do my very best in everything I do.
Today, I do my very best to increase my knowledge, skills, health and attitude.
Today, I create wealth and abundance for myself and all those around me.

Every day as I drove my kids to school, we would recite our creed. It was awkward at first, but it became a habit. My kids are 21 and 18 now and they have recited the creed thousands of times over the years. While I can’t point to any specific miracles that are a result of our creed, I can tell you I have two fantastic kids. Even as teenagers, we enjoy spending time together. They are loving and respectful, they excel in academics and athletics, and they are leaders. Every day we have a choice of where we want to set our intention and our family creed helped nudge the kids in setting the right intention.

Loving Kindness Video

20 Years of Yoga with my daughter Kylie

Mother daughter namaste

 

A Yogi’s Super Rich Path

Russell Simmon’s, Music, Fashion & Film Mogul just released his new book, Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All Below is an excerpt from Yahoo Finance today about how Russell Simmons gained his millions through the inner peace he found after 15 years of yoga and meditation.

Russell Simmons’ Top Principles to Super Richness

#1 Give Your Talents Until They Can’t Live Without It

“Wake up in the morning and find out what you want to give as opposed to what you want to get,” he says. “Through this practice of becoming a good giver you become a good getter.”

Simmons gives examples of many of his former selfless, tireless and upaid interns that went on to greatness, including Sean Combs, Kevin Liles, and Julie Greenwald, recently named COO of Atlantic Records Group.

“Those who focus on being good servants usually attract the most in the end,” he says.

Basically, offer your talents and skills for free and the rewards will find you.

#2 Relentlessly Pursue Your Goals Without Appearing Needy

Simmons’ law of attraction says: “when you chase things, they will always run from you.”

This principle goes hand-in-hand with principle number one by virtue of the more you give, the more good that will just find you.

#3 If You Don’t Love it, Leave it Alone

This is not only the idea that you should do what you love and a wealth of richness will follow, but the idea that you should only do things you are “karmically” comfortable doing.

“People can sell anything,” from bombs to drugs, he says, even though there are very serious ramifications to those actions. “I want to stress that making money just for the sake of getting paid is a pedestrian activity that you can rise above.”

If you don’t love it, don’t do it.

#4 Let Go of the Results

“You really have no control over the results, you have control over the action,” he says. “So make sure you perform your action and your duty well.”

In the accompanying clip, he explains that he has no recollection of his very first paycheck, but says he certainly does remember making his first good record.

“All I could think is ‘when my friends hear this record’ it will make them so happy,” he reminisces. “Do things you love. Do things that you have faith will make other people happy and that will give back what you give them.”

#5 Get Open

“You want to always be open, creative and fluid as possible, and never become rigid, old or tight,” he writes, encouraging readers to let loose and lower your defenses.

The Joy of Giving

Simmons’ list of his successes are deep but the endeavors most important to him may be those that go along with his first principle listed above. The idea of being a “good giver.”

He is known globally for not only his business acumen, but also his commitment to philanthropy. Simmons has devoted an entire division of empire to charity and non-profit work.

A yogis guide to Super Rich

Core Essentials in Yoga & Life

Feel like you need a breakthrough in moving your yoga practice or life to the next level?
Awakening your core is the key to untapped strength, unlocking your hips & inversions.
We can so easily be knocked off balance by reaching outside ourselves to fulfill the needs of others. In our yoga practice, strengthening our core connects us with balance, stamina, strength, energy & power within – yet we get off our mat and begin grasping for balance by managing our time or juggling priorities. Reconnect with your core & flourish in your yoga practice & in life.
The Core Essentials Workshop is designed to:
* Ignite the Power in Your Core
* Move Beyond Limitations
* Find True Balance from within
* Align with what works for you
* Command Your Energy & presence
* Cultivate the benefits of Yoga with Core Life Practices
This workshop is lead by myself & Cindy Silbert, Author & Transformational Guide.
Date: Saturday, November 21st
Time: 2:30 -4:30pm
Cost: $39 Sign up before November 16th
$49 After November 16th
Email us at Stacy@yoganamastacy.com or Cindy@BringUtoLife.com for more information.