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5 Common Myths about Yoga

This is a guest post written by Emily Lopes (find out more). Thanks for this great article and for collaborating to Abundy Holistic Studio’s purpose!

 

Yoga has been making its way to the mainstream. According to a survey from the Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, the yoga industry is booming in America. It grew from an approximate of 20.4 million in 2012 to 36.7 million yoga practitioners last 2016 in America alone. This 2019, the yoga industry is transitioning to be at the top of the fitness trends. The yoga revolution will continue to take place from 2019 to 2020, making the revenue projection to an approximate $11.6 billion in 2020.

But despite the rapid growth yoga shown within the years, there are still a lot of people who have a tweaked view about this practice. Here are the most common myths about yoga:

  1. If you’re not flexible, you can’t do yoga 

You have to do some stretching in yoga. That’s a fact. Practicing yoga regularly can improve your flexibility. But flexibility is not a prerequisite. With patience and dedication, you will become more flexible. No matter what your skill level is, you are always welcome to do yoga. Besides, nobody said that you have to be ripped or fit already before going to the gym. 

  1. Yoga is for the young

There is a stereotype that yoga is for the young, the slim, the active, or the beautiful. Since people think that yoga is for flexible people, there is a weight, body physique, or age requirement – which is generally incorrect. Just because we usually see people deemed to be perfect in figure or young and active individuals posting on social media, doesn’t always mean you have to be like that. While it is attractive and inspiring, it can be misleading. Yoga is for everybody. No matter what size, shape, color, or race, you are welcome to enter the world of yoga. 

  1. Yoga is not for men

In connection with the myth above, yoga has been associated with women. There are instances that when you visit a yoga studio, it is flocking with women. But to tell you the truth, yoga was pioneered by men. According to history, most of the best yoga teachers are men. In today’s time, more and more men are finally engaging and participating in yoga classes. The list includes Tom Brady, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. So if people say that yoga isn’t ‘manly’ enough, prove them wrong by joining a class or two. 

  1. Yoga is expensive 

If you’re worrying that you do not have the ‘right look’ for yoga, throw it away. You do not need a collection of branded outfits just to practice yoga. Yoga doesn’t care about who you wear. It cares about how you perform your salutations, how you keep up with the pace, and how great it is that you’re going to experience the amazing benefits of yoga. Though having such pieces of clothing can make you look good and feel good, yoga is not about the looks. As long as you are in your comfortable self in comfortable and yoga-appropriate clothing, you look good already.

In terms of yoga classes, there are a lot of studios from all over the world that provide free to less costly trial classes. Most of the yoga studios offer packages that help you save more than purchasing a single class from time to time. You can also attend yoga classes offered by different retreat venues for hire. The most important thing that yoga practitioners wanted you to know is that yoga is not an expensive practice. 

  1. Yoga is boring because it’s too slow and takes too much time

There are various formal yoga classes that run from 30 – 90 minutes. There are also lots of online yoga classes that you can try for 5 minutes or so. A class in a few minutes is not enough to unlock the whole package of benefits yoga has to offer. All good things take time. If you also worry that pace is too slow for you, you can find different yoga types that are more rigorous and that have more challenging styles and poses. 

Here are other misconceptions about yoga. Yoga is neither magic nor a religion. It is not just for the ‘hippies’ or the ‘cool ones’ but for everyone. Yoga is more than just an exercise or a body of work but a combination of it with psychology and spirituality. Yoga has a lot to offer and is best to experience for yourself. May we have the courage to debunk these beliefs if we hear them from someone somewhere.

Focus on: The Crown Chakra

Sanskrit name: Sahasrara – thousand petal
Element: No element, or thought
Color: Violet or white
Shape: Round scullcap
Petals of the lotus: One thousand
Rights: To know and to learn
Endocrine gland: Pineal gland
Physical association: Central nervous system, cerebral cortex
Psychological function: Awareness, understanding
Challenge: Attachment
Plane: Truth, reality
Planets: Uramis
Incense: Myrrh
Herb: Gotu Kola


The Crown chakra, known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit, is the seventh chakra. It sits like a crown, at the top of the head or slightly above the head, radiating upwards, hence its name.

The meaning of its Sanskrit name is “thousand petals”, as its symbol is composed of a circle and a thousand petals of a lotus flower. This chakra is most commonly represented with the color white, although it can also be pictured as deep purple. The auric color of crown chakra energy can also be seen as gold, white, or clear light.

It is primarily associated to the pineal gland, and to the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, which work in pair to regulate the endocrine system. Because of its location, the crown chakra is closely associated with the brain and the whole nervous system. Also, because it is located centrally at the top of the head, Sahasrara gives us access to higher states of consciousness as we open to what is beyond our personal preoccupations and visions.

Infact, the function of the Crown chakra is driven by consciousness and gets us in touch with the universal. Its energy allows us to experience mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature. The “way of the Crown chakra” is the way of going beyond the limits of your own ego, knowing that all of creation is interconnected at a fundamental level. The challenge of this chakra is to liberate the spirit, open to the divine, and at the same time stay firmly rooted deep in the ground, as energetically, it has a connection with the first chakra, as they both are at the extremities of the chakra system.

As we are immersed in the energy of Sahasrara, we feel a state of blissful union with all that is, of spiritual ecstasy, allowing us to access to the upmost clarity and enlightened wisdom. The quality of awareness that comes with it is universal, transcendent, and it makes us feel present, conscious, aware ofthe main connection and free from our limiting patterns.

A deficiency in the Crown chakra tends to cause subtle, systemic problems. These include: depression and mental fog, chronic fatigue, migraines and other chronic headaches, greed and materialism. On the other hand, an excess of energy in the seventh chakra can also cause problems including: sensitivity to light and sound, neurological or endocrine disorders, boredom and frustration, a sense of unearned accomplishment.

An unbalanced Crown chakra can also play a role in dementia, learning disabilities, comas, sleep disorders and mental illness.

But how can you open and rebalance Sahasrara again?

  • Meditate. Focus your attention on the top of the head and clearly set your intention of balancing the Chakra. Visualize the violet color when doing this. Thank the Universe and feel the connection to the Higher Being, since Gratitude and contentment are the simplest ways of strengthening this Chakra.
  • Aromatherapy. Floral essences such as Lotus, Angelica and white tulip when applied to the pulse points can aid the meditation process.
  • Yoga. Postures like Shavasana (corpse position) or Lotus position (Padmasana) are recommended for aiding the Crown Chakra. An advanced pose, the headstand or Shirshasan, also helps balance the Crown Chakra by increasing blood flow to the top of the head.
  • Practice silence. It is best for Crown chakra activation, because it does not distract from spiritual practice. The sound of Om and deep, tonal sounds can also be healing music for Sahasrara because of their universal nature.
  • Sunlight. The Crown chakra’s elements are thought and light, so spending time in the sunlight is good for opening it.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Crown Chakra Affirmations

I am part of the Divine.
I honor the Divine within me.
I seek to understand and to learn from my life experiences.
I cherish my spirit.
I seek experiences that nurture my spirit.
I listen to the wisdom of universe.
I trust my intuition.
I am open to letting go of my attachments.
I live in the present moment.
I am grateful for all the goodness in my life.
I love and accept myself.
I know that all is well in my world.
I am connected with the wisdom of the universe.
I am open to Divine wisdom.
My life moves with grace.
I am at peace.

Focus on: The Third Eye Chakra

Sanskrit name: Ajna – To perceive, to command
Element: All elements combined, light
Color: Indigo
Shape: Five pointed star
Petals of the lotus: Two
Rights: To see
Physical association: Eyes, base of skull, brow
Psychological function: Intuition, imagination
Challenge: Illusion
Plane: Plane of austerity, home of the blessed
Planets: Saturn, moon
Sense organ: Mind
Incense: Mugwort
Herb: Almond blossom


 

There are many ways to call it, but the most common Sanskrit name for the Third Eye chakra is “Ajna”, which means “command” and “perceiving”. This chakra infact is related to the “supreme element”, which is the combination of all the elements we know in their pure form.

Ajna is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition. It is most commonly represented with the color purple or bluish purple/indigo but its auric color energy can also be seen as translucent purple or bluish white. The image of the Third Eye chakra symbol contains two elements frequently associated with wisdom: the upside down triangle and the lotus flower.

Located on the forehead, between the eyebrows just above the nose’s bridge, it is the center of intuition and foresight. It can also be described as being located behind the eyes in the middle of the head, where the pineal gland can anatomically be found. That is why Ajna is associated to the pineal gland, in charge of regulating biorhythms including sleep and wake time, center of attention because of its relationship with the perception and effect of light and altered or “mystical” states of consciousness. It is positioned close to the optical nerves, and as such, sensitive to visual stimulations and changes in lighting.

The energy of this chakra lets us experience clear thoughts as well as gifts of spiritual contemplation and self reflection, allowing us to access our inner guidance that comes from the depths of our being. It help us cut through illusion and to access deeper truths – to see beyond the mind, beyond the words. The “way of the Third Eye” is seeing everything as it is from a point of “witness” or “observer”, or from simply being mindful – moment by moment. It means examining self-limiting ideas and developing wisdom that comes from a perspective that transcends the duality of good or bad, black or white. It means seeing and helping others to see the deeper meanings of the situations in their lives.

Ajna is an instrument to perceive the more subtle qualities of reality. It goes beyond the more physical senses into the realm of subtle energies. Awakening your Third Eye allows you to open up to an intuitive sensibility and inner perception. When this chakra is fully activated, both hemispheres of the brain function in synchrony: the right hemisphere’s creativity and synthetic thinking is integrated and balanced with left hemisphere’s logical and analytical thinking. When your Third Eye is open, you not only see but you also understand.

On the other hand when it is closed or has an imbalance, it can manifest as: feeling stuck in the daily grind without being able to look beyond your problems, fantasies that appear more real than reality, indulgence in psychic fantasies and illusions, rejection of everything spiritual or beyond the usual, not being able to see the greater picture, lack of clarity. Instead physical manifestations of an overactive third eye chakra include headaches, vision problems, seizures, insomnia, nausea, sinus issues.

But how can you open and rebalance Ajna again?

  • Cultivate silence. Foster the silence of the mind, whether it’s through meditation, just sitting calmly in nature, or being absorbed in your favorite art or sport practice. Why? To be able to listen to the messages and information that comes through your Third Eye, you should be ready to perceive the whisper of its wisdom. If your mind is busy or noisy, you might miss its main message.
  • Hone your intuition. There are many ways to cultivate your intuition. So what about getting acquainted with your dreams and their meanings, perhaps giving a try at lucid dreaming, getting to know how to read a horoscope or tarot cards? Find new ways to intuit into your daily life activities.
  • Feed your creativity. Let your creativity flow freely by focusing on specific activities or letting your imagination loose. For instance, start learning a new art or craft; don’t try to be perfect, just let your inspiration run through your hands and be ready to be surprised by the results.
  • Yoga. Third Eye yoga poses include the child pose and the eagle pose.
  • Stones and jewerly. The key color is purple, like amethyst, black obsidian or purple fluorite. You can also purchase larger third eye crystals that will sit in your pocket or in the palm of your hand, allowing you to squeeze them and focus on them when you need to keep your third eye chakra open.
  • Meditation. Ajna meditation is just one of many ways to work on opening this chakra. And there are plenty of techniques for beginners, so don’t worry if you’ve never tried mindfulness or meditation. Here’s one to start with:
    1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Inhale and exhale ten times, slowly and deeply.
    2. Focus your attention on the location of the third eye chakra, imagine a violet sphere of energy in the middle of your forehead. Remember, purple is the third eye chakra’s color.
    3. As you continue to breathe slowly and deeply, picture the purple ball of energy getting bigger and warmer. As it does, imagine it purging negativity from your body.
    4. Think of yourself of absorbing the third eye chakra’s energy—allow yourself to feel it all over.
    5. Open your eyes when you feel ready.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Third Eye Chakra Affirmations

I am in touch with my inner guidance.
I listen to my deepest wisdom.
I seek to understand and to learn from my life experiences.
I am wise, intuitive, and connected with my inner guide.
I nurture my spirit.
I listen to the wisdom of elders.
I trust my intuition.
I forgive the past and learn what was there for me to learn.
I forgive myself.
I love and accept myself.
I know that all is well in my world.
I am connected with the wisdom of the universe.
I am open to inspiration and bliss.
My life moves effortlessly.
I am at peace.
I am the source of my truth and my love.

Comprehend Ouserlves through our Aura – Part 1

The aura given out by a person is as much a part of them as their flesh – Lucien Freud

Someone once wrote that “we are spirits having a human experience” and it is actually this spirit’s frequency which vibrates creating the energetic field around us. This field around our physical body is known nowadays as the “aura“. Such a belief comes back to Egyptian and Hindu times, when it was thought that we have 10 colorful auric bodies which can generally be seen radiating from 6-18 inches outside of the physical system. Later in our holistic and energy-life path as human being, by the time we were also developing more our scientific knowledge and point of view of the world, we assigned to this belief the name of “subtle anatomy”.

As I was writing above, the subtle anatomy surrounding a person refers to the aura, or our electromagnetic field. It is ovoid in shape, with the widest part around the head and the narrowest under the feet. The aura is made up of seven layers or bodies, each of them interpenetrating and working with others.

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The layers consist of the etheric, emotional, mental, astral, etheric template, celestial and casual bodies.

Closest to the physical body lies the etheric body. This layer is the blue print of the physical body, and disintegrates with it at death. It is here that can be seen or felt as an accumulation of energy in the wrong place, which if it is not eradicated it will progress into a disorder or proper disease in the physical body. The etheric body contains the Chakras, our central wheels of rotating energy, and Nadis, the energy channels connected with the nervous system.

The second aura layer is called the emotional layer and extends two to four inches away from the physical body. This layer is primarily connected to the second chakra, feelings, emotions and experience. It is constantly in a state of change, reflective of our current mood. This layer also stores unsettled emotions such as fear, resentment, and loneliness. The energies present in the second aura layer will communicate with the first layer, and then process this information into the physical body. That’s the reason why usually physical tension, muscle cramps and upset stomach could be a result of the first layer being bombarded by emotional pain.

The third aura layer is the mental body, extending itself four to eight inches from the physical body. This layer is connected to the third chakra, our consciousness, ideas, logical processes, belief systems and intellect. Here stay our mental health and/or mental issues, thoughts and ideas are rationalized and validated. Every thought that we have creates a form or shape: if we think negative thoughts, they will attract other negative thought forms, and thereby amplify the original thought. Same for positive thoughts.

The astral layer is also called “bridge layer”, as it is a window to our spiritual nature, separating the first three layers from the outer three aura layers. It is eight to twelve inches away from the physical body and connects to the fourth chakra, our sense of love, well-being, expansion and life-balance.

We named the fifth aura layer the etheric template one. It is one to two feet away from the physical body. It connects with the fifth chakra, sound, vibration, communication and creativity. Primarily this layer of the aura serves as a carbon copy of the physical body on the spiritual plane.

The sixth aura layer is called the celestial body. It extends two to three feet away from the body and reflects our subconscious mind, memories, dreams, spiritual awareness, intuitive knowledge, trust, honesty, and unconditional love. It is where the physical mind comes to connection with the spiritual mind through meditation and devotional practices. The celestial layer holds our experiences of having a connection to something greater than ourselves, untangible.

The causal layer is the link to one may call “God”, “Creator”, “Source”, or “All That Is” within each individual, and extends three to five feet away from the physical body, depending on our spiritual state. The seventh aura layer, or causal layer, is connected to the seventh chakra, all knowledge and all possibilities. This layer protects and holds all other aura layers together, and contains the blueprint of our spiritual path, reflecting all of the soul’s experiences and events through time. So basically, it is the record of all our previous lives, plus the reason for our present incarnation. When we reincarnate, we bring with us the knowledge of the path that we have chosen to walk and the challenges we have selected to meet. But from the moment of birth we are subjected to conditioning which makes us forget our life plan.


I know there is a lot to take in…

So I will let you “digest” all these information first, and I will be back next time focusing on the colors and their meaning of the aura and then on how to start seeing the layers, with some useful tips and suggestions for beginners with the will to learn!

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

 

 

Picture taken from: https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/consciousness/how-aura-energy-healing-works-1/

 

Focus on: The Throat Chakra

Sanskrit name: Visuddha
Element: Akasha
Color: Blue
Shape: Crescent
Petals of the lotus: Sixteen
Rights: To speak
Physical association: Throat, ears, mouth, shoulders, and neck
Psychological function: Communication
Identity: Creative identity
Challenge: Lies
Plane: Human plane
Planets: Mercury
Incense: Frankincense
Herb: Chamomile


 

The Throat Chakra is the fifth chakra and it is the first of the higher or spiritual chakras on the “chakra ladder”. Located at the center of the neck at the level of the throat, it is the passage of the energy between the lower parts of the body and the head. “Visuddha”, which means “pure” or “purification”, is related to the element of sound. Through the throat, sound is propagated into the air and its vibration can be felt not just in our ears, but also in our whole body. That’s why the function of the Throat Chakra is driven by the principle of expression and communication.

The Throat chakra is most commonly represented with the color blue turquoise or aquamarine blue. And its symbol is composed of a circle with sixteen petals, a crescent with a circle inside of it and, sometimes, it is symbolized by a circle containing a downward-pointing triangle in which is inscribed another circle. The most commonly accepted location for the fifth chakra is at the level of the throat. It’s important to remember that this chakra is multidimensional and is often represented as going out of the front of the throat, and going in the back at a slight upward angle.

As a communication center, it not only allows you to express who you are and what you stand for, but also allows you to listen deeply to another. Infact, the gift of this chakra is accepting your originality, expressing your authentic voice and speaking your truth. The energy of this chakra allows you to seek knowledge that is true, beyond limitations of time and space, beyond cultural and family conditioning. A person with an open Visuddha Chakra is a good listener, enables another person to have the experience of being heard, one of the most profound human needs. He/she has also good sense of timing and the propensity to create and projecting ideas, realizing his/her vocation and purpose in life.

The main challenge for the fifth chakra is doubt and negative thinking. A Throat Chakra blockage can also manifest as the inability to express and realize your truth in the world, which can significantly impact your ability to achieve your goals and being able to communicate effectively with others for fear of ridicule and judgement. Lack of control over one’s speech, speaking too much or inappropriately, not being able to listen to others, imperceptible voice, not being able to keep secrets and telling lies are just some of the manifestation of problems related to Visuddha.

But how can you open and rebalance it again?

  • Be blue. Using chakra colors to support or stimulate the fifth chakra opens up a whole array of possibilities. For example, incorporating the color blue into your decor at home and work is a nice, subtle way to bring focus to the throat chakra. The calming effect of this color of wisdom and honesty can help open up and heal a blocked fifth chakra. Wearing precious or semi-precious blue stones is a great boost for chakra healing and balance. Meditating on the color blue also helps alleviate throat chakra imbalance.
  • Yoga for the Throat Chakra primarily focuses on simple neck movements, such as moving you head from side to side, can help ease tension that can block it.
  • Sing and drink water. These are great Throat Chakra cleanser.
  • Clear the air. At-home aromatherapy can help dispel negativity and restore balance to the chakras. Consider introducing one or a combination of these scents to heal and activate your fifth energy center: jasmine, rosemary, sandalwood, calendula.
  • Write it down. Learning how to express yourself without censoring or editing can be valuable. Practice mindful self-expression by journaling. Get it all out on paper and let it sit, then revisit what you have written at a later time.
  • Talk it out. Talk openly with close friends and family. Make it a point to be open and honest with all you say. Simply speaking in a heartfelt way can work wonders to strengthen and balance the throat chakra. Speak the truth with love.
  • Let it be. Letting go is difficult. Holding on to things over which you have no control can lead to resentment, guilt, and anger — all of which contribute to an imbalance of the throat chakra.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Throat Chakra Affirmations

I am open, clear and honest in my communication.
I have a right to speak my truth.
I communicate my feelings with ease.
I express myself creatively through speech, writing or art.
I have a strong will that lets me resolve my challenges.
I nourish my spirit through creativity.
I live an authentic life. I have integrity.
I love to share my experience and wisdom. I know when it is time to listen.
I express my gratitude towards life.
I listen to my body and my feelings to know what my truth is.
I take good care of my physical body.
I am at peace.

Focus on: The Heart Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anahata (unstruck)
Element: Air
Color: Green
Shape: Crescent moon
Petals of the lotus: Twelve
Rights: To love
Physical association: Heart, lungs, circulatory system, arms, hands
Psychological function: Love
Challenge: Grief
Plane: The plane of balance
Planets: Venus (lunar, feminine), Sun
Sense organ: Skin
Predominant sense: Touch
Incense: Jasmin, lavender, rose
Herb: Yarrow, meadowsweet, oris root


In Sanskrit Anahata means “sound produced without touching two parts” and at the same time “pure, clean” or “unstruck”. The name of this chakra signifies the state of freshness that appears when we are able to become detached and to look at the different and apparently contradictory experiences of life with a state of openness and expansion. Normally we are used that an effect is produced by the confrontation of the two opposite forces. At the level of Anahata chakra appears the possibility to integrate the two opposite forces and create an energy of cooperation and integration, which brings peace and a new perspective in the world.

The symbol for the Heart chakra is traditionally composed of a circle with twelve petals and a downward-pointing triangle interlaced with an upward-pointing triangle, forming a six-pointed star or hexagram. The twelve petals, often colored in red, match the disturbances of lust, fraud, indecision, repentance, hope, anxiety, longing, impartiality, arrogance, competence, discrimination and defiance, that can easily sneak in our heart and upset it. The intersecting triangles represent the air element and its all-encompassing quality. They also symbolize the union of seemingly opposite principles or types of energies, such as male and female, spirit and matter. The star that they form evokes the harmonious joining of forces and highlights the function of the heart chakra as a center of integration and connection.

The most commonly accepted location for the fourth chakra is at the center of the chest, between the breasts. It’s slightly to the left of the actual organ of the heart, from whom it takes its name. Because of its location, the heart chakra is associated to the cardiac system and the lungs, organs that are interdependent and rely on air and the “breathing of life” to function properly.

Anahata moves love through our life. It is the center of our deep bonds with other beings, our sense of caring and compassion, our feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect. The energy of Anahata allows us to recognize that we are part of something larger, that we are interconnected within an intricate web of relationships extending through life and the universe. This chakra allows us to recognize and get in touch with the sacred and fundamental truth that runs through all of life and connects everything together. It suggests us to live our life with loving kindness and compassion towards others, to keep our heart open and inspire kindness, to create a safe and supportive environment.

When Anahata is open and energy is flowing freely, you are not only loving to others, you are also loving to your self. You know when you need to say no and when you need care and self-nurturing. But when this chakra becomes imbalanced as a result of life experiences that have a strong emotional charge or significant changes in your environment, it may manifests as a blockage in the energy flow or, on the contrary, as a tendency to become overactive or have an excess of energy. You might feel overly defensive, closed down, jealous, relying on other’s approval and attention, trying to please at all cost, falling into victimization, antisocial and at the physical level, it can show up as respiratory ailments, such as lung infection, bronchitis or circulatory and heart-related issues.

But how can you open and rebalance your Anahata?

  • The best way to receive love is to give it! So give hugs and kisses, smile at everyone you see daily, try to forgive and move on (life is too short to hold grudges), give friends, family and co-workers positive affirmations and feedback. Do not criticize anyone or anything, including yourself. Focus on receiving if you are naturally inclined to be a giver, and on giving if you’re more inclined to receive all the time.
  • Express your gratitude, even if it’s in silence. You can be grateful for the presence of other people in your life or simply for good things that make your life happier. If you find easier, make a written or mental list in your mind before going to sleep.
  • Learn “empathy”. It will open your mind and implement your kindness and compassion towards others. Walking in another person’s shoes is not easy to do, but can be helpful in growing a sense of empathy and compassion. Try to play a game called, “the what if scenarios.” When encountering a person who is being unpleasant or who has treated me poorly in the past, ask yourself “What if that person is just having a bad day?” etc. And as you create these stories, of which the possibilities are endless, you begin to empathize with the other person and his or her situation. This method also takes you away from yourself and self-pity.
  • Cultivate your appreciation for beauty, whether it’s in nature, people or in the arts. Engage in activities that feed your heart.
  • Any yoga pose that opens the area of the chest will help to balance the heart chakra. Some poses include camel, standing bow pose, and cow face pose.
  • Work with the breath to balance your energy. Observe it, play with it with breathing exercises.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Heart Chakra Affirmations

I am open to love.
All love resides within my heart.
I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
I nurture my inner child. I am wanted and loved.
I live in balance, in a state of gracefulness and gratitude.
I love the beauty of nature and the animal world. I forgive myself.
I am open to love and kindness.
I am grateful for all the challenges that helped me to transform and open up to love.
I am connected with other human beings.
I feel a sense of unity with nature and animals.
I accept things as they are.
I am peaceful.

Focus on: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Sanskrit name: Manipura (jeweled city)
Element: Fire
Color: Yellow
Shape: Triangle (downward-pointing)
Petals of the lotus: Ten
Rights: To act
Physical association: Digestive system, liver, gall bladder
Psychological function: Will
Challenge: Shame
Plane: Celestial plane
Planets: Sun and Mars
Incense: Saffron, musk, sandalwood
Herb: Cinnamon, ginger


Located between the navel and the solar plexus, this chakra is also called “Manipura“, which translates from Sanskrit as the “City of Jewels” (Mani – gem, Pura or Puri – city).

The main elements of the Solar Plexus chakra symbol are a circle with ten petals and an downward-pointing triangle. This last one in particular represents the fire element and the transformative power of this energy center. Infact, fire turns matter into energy that can be used to propel, move forward. The ten petals are often represented with the color blue, like the blue color of the flame.

That is the rason why it is said that Manipura governs digestion and metabolism, as it is connected with the fire energy and it is the home of the coeliac plexus, which innervates most of the digestive system. Other than that, the Solar Plexus is the core of our personality, our identity, of our ego, our willpower. While the Sacral chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment, the third chakra is all about the perception of who you are.

The gift of this chakra is sensing your personal power, being confident, responsible, and reliable. The energy of this chakra allows you to transform inertia into action and movement. It allows you to face challenges and move forward in your life. Manipura reminds you that you can choose, you have the power to choose and create your life, making your own decisons. And here comes the hard work, as the main challenge for the third chakra is to use your personal power in a balanced manner, which means being proactive rather then reactive or inactive.

So what happens when you have a Solar Plexus unbalanced? Other than having digestive problems, people with excessive Manipura energy react to much to life circumstances, they have emotional outbursts and are often stressed out. If they have a blocked or deficient third chakra, they are passive and inactive , allowing life to pass by while they do nothing. On the other hand, when the Solar Plexus chakra is balanced, you may find yourself being assertive, showing your will in a way that leads to the expected results (usually effortlessly) and having harmonious relationships with your surroundings.

But how can you open and rebalance your Manipura?

  • Essential oils (lemon, ginger, clove, cinnamon and black pepper) are an easy, subtle way to open your solar plexus chakra. They can be worn as perfume if diluted properly, or used in oil diffusers. A few drops in a hot bath can provide a relaxing location for meditation.
  • Since the goal is to have an opened and activated solar plexus chakra, try imagining a bright yellow flower opening over your navel. A glowing golden ball of light or a burning flame are also good meditations for opening Manipura. Imagine those for a few minutes at a time throughout the day while taking deep, calming breaths.
  • The best Solar Plexus chakra yoga poses are those that strengthen your core and help you to feel more powerful and confident. Step into the Warrior I pose to access your inner spiritual warrior.
  • Certain foods (sweet potatoes, pumpkins, corn, lemon, lentils and brown rice) can be used to heal the Solar Plexus chakra. Adding these to your diet or increasing the amount you eat can help activate your chakra.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Solar Plexus Chakra Affirmations

I love and accept myself.
I stand up for myself.
I am strong and courageous.
I am worthy of love, kindness, and respect.
I choose the best for myself.
I express myself in a powerful way.
I am proud of my achievements.
I honor my self.
I choose healthy relationships.
I am authentic.
I direct my own life.
I appreciate my strengths.
I feel my own power.
I am free to choose in any situation.
I seek opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
I am at peace with myself.

Focus on: The Sacral Chakra

Sanskrit name: Svadhisthana (sweetness)
Element: Water
Color: Orange
Shape: Circle with crescent
Petals of the lotus: Six
Rights: To feel, to want
Physical association: Womb, genitals, kidney, bladder
Psychological function: Movement and connection
Challenge: Guilt
Plane: Astral plane
Planets: Mercury, Jupiter, Moon
Incense: Gardenia, damiana
Herb: Fennel, corriander


The most common Sanskrit name for the sacral chakra is “Svadhisthana”, which means “your own place”. This chakra is your passion and pleasure centre and it is located in the pelvic area. While the Root Chakra is satisfied with survival, the 2nd chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment. The gift of this chakra is experiencing our lives through feelings and sensations.

The symbol of the Sacral Chakra is composed of a circle with six petals and a moon crescent. The circle represents the elements of water. Typically, the moon crescent is colored in silver and represents the connection of the energy of the moon with water. These symbols point to the close relationship between the phases of the moon and the fluctuations in the water and the emotions.

The energy of this chakra allows you to let go, to move, and to feel change and transformation occurring within your body. It allows you to experience this moment as it is, in its own fullness and it is also the centre of creativity. Motivated by pleasure, it’s the driving force for the enjoyment of life through the senses, through taste, touch, or sight. Opening your sacral chakra allows you to “feel” the world around and in us. For this reason, it’s an important chakra at the foundation of our feeling of well-being.

The main challenge for the second chakra is the conditioning of our society. We live in a society where feelings are not valued, where passion, and emotional reactions are being frowned upon. We are being taught not to “loose control”. And we get disconnected from our bodies, our feelings. That’s why we have so many issues with our passion centre, the wellspring of feelings, enjoyment, and sensuality.

But how can you open and rebalance your Svadhisthana?

  • Hip-opening yoga postures (as for example, “the cow”). This may directly connects you with your Sacral Chakra. While it’s ideal to do a few postures that stretch your hips through their full range of motion, holding one pose and focusing on completely letting go is a great place to start.
  • Dance like no one’s watching. One of the best and easiest way.
  • Tone up. While learning to let go of unnecessary muscular gripping and tension is ideal for chakra health throughout your body, it’s also important to take care of your body and keep your muscles strong and healthy. By the way, one of the main reasons to have a physical yoga practice is to create a fit body.
  • “Visualize orange”. Orange is the sacral chakra’s color. Imagine a bright, healing orange glow filling up your entire lower abdomen, keeping in mind that we’re three dimensional.
  • Learn how to “let go”of unhealthy emotions, people, and memories. This is so important. When we learn to let go of the baggage that we don’t need to carry, we create space and energy for new and better opportunities.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Sacral Chakra Affirmations

I love and enjoy my body.
I have healthy boundaries.
I am open to experiencing the present moment through my senses.
I am passionate.
I feel pleasure and abundance with every breath I take.
I nourish my body with healthy food and clean water.
I know how to take care of my needs.
I value and respect my body.
I am open to touch and closeness.
I allow myself to experience pleasure.
My sexuality is sacred.
Emotions are the language of my soul.
I take good care of my physical body.
I am in peace.