Introducing: Chakra Sunday
Last year I discovered one of the most wonderful things I think anyone can do for themselves: yoga. It started with a Groupon (as many new experiences in my life these days). Now, I had “done yoga” in the past through dance and gym memberships, but never had I been to a yoga studio and never had I tried hot yoga. So I went to my first class for which I had prepared by drinking gallons of water throughout the day because everyone I told about my newfound Groupon instantly flooded my thoughts with horror stories of people passing out or getting sick in the yoga studio from the heat. But I loved it. Over the course of the year, yoga became my escape from daily life, my “restart” button, my sanctuary. I developed an appreciation for my body I had never known before. I felt incredible strength each and every time I approached my yoga mat, and through this physical and mental discipline, I felt an inner peace and clarity that washed away even the most stressful of days. Lately, however, I have not had the time to make the commitment to justify the monthly studio expenses (the Groupon has long since run out, and my wallet was hurting). I miss my devoted time to the mat and to my practice, but mostly I feel out of sync without my “restart button.”
I realized it doesn’t have to be that way. There is no reason why I can’t practice yoga on my own or take the lessons I have learned and apply the mindfulness to daily life. So here we go, I’m introducing to you a new series: Chakra Sundays.
As I progressed in my yoga practice, I was introduced to the notion of Chakras which are the seven centers of energy in the body. Each sense, perception, and state of awareness is categorized into one of these seven Chakras, and while my Western-developed brain will never be able to believe that there are literally specific locations of energy in our bodies that influence our moods, mindsets, and energy (there was nothing about that in my Biology 101 textbook), it is a wonderful way to remain mindful and in-tune with my thoughts.
The main idea to take away from the idea of Chakras is that each part of you affects every other part of you and even externally in how you interact with the world. If you’re in a grumpy mood, you’ll notice your head starts to hurt, people don’t want to be around you, and you sort of start to shut down. If you’re worried about something, each little thing can throw you into a panic, and great physical tension in your body. If you’re on top of the world, you feel like you can physically do anything, and your smile becomes contagious to everyone you interact with. Each experience or idea first has to pass through our consciousness. You decide which ideas to accept or reject, and how they will make you think and feel, but most of us don’t realize that we can decide whether or not we want to be in a bad mood. You may attribute many things in life to coincidence, but each event is a conscious decision, an energy or thought that you sent out into the world.
So each Sunday, I would like to take the time to delve further into each Chakra, and together we can create a better understanding of how different mindsets affect our lives in different ways, and ultimately create a better understanding of ourselves.