yin she comes, yin she goes – balancing our feminine energy

Take a deep breath in … and a long, slow breath out. In all parts of life we find duality; inhale and exhale, day and night, light and dark, right and left, hot and cold, summer and winter, white and black, air and water. Line up all of these elements into two columns and you’ll find that they come under YANG and YIN. Just about any naturally occurring element can be attributed to either of these energies.

Yang is the active, changing and masculine energy. Yin is the passive, accepting and feminine energy. In yoga we experience Yang in Vinyasa through movement and heat, where as Yin is experienced through grounding and cooling poses or in the Yin practice. We are all made up of these two energies just as we have a right (Yang) and left (Yin) side. Sometimes one is more prominent, but essentially they are both always there.

Whether you are male or female, finding the balance of these two energies can be challenging.

In the Western World, our culture is Yang in its nature. It so ingrained in us to succeed and we strive to be the best through demonstrating ambition in a conventional way. We even breathe in a more Yang way by inhaling more than we exhale. When we neglect to exhale fully, it’s harder to relax, it’s harder for the body to function efficiently and we linger in a state of stress or the fight or flight mode.

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In yoga we focus on the breath as a means to enter meditation, commence the practice with a centred mind and soul, and to also observe ourself as we enter and exist a pose. The breath remains the anchor for our practice. When I guide or ask my students to use a count (like 4, 5 or 6) to even their breath, it’s amazing what a difference it makes to the length of the practice, but also to how present and relaxed students are.

What about Yin Yoga? A Yin class can definitely help to invite the feminine energy to your life. The poses are mainly conducted on the floor as a way to ground, they are also done with a cool body allowing the stretches to work with the connective tissues, not just the muscles. This kind of practice can evoke emotional release and gives the student the space to be with themselves in meditation and reflection.

The essence of the Yin practice teaches us to accept and surrender.

If you prefer a more dynamic practice, work with the Yin chakras – Sacral, Heart and Third Eye. In recent Vinyasa classes we have included Parivrtta Trikonasana (Reverse Triangle), Parivrtta Utkatasana (Chair pose with a twist) and Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold with Twist).

Here are some other holistic ways to invite in the Yin: IMG_4684

  • Get creative. Creativity is part of our Yin energy. This could include drawing, singing, writing music or anything that creatively resonates with you.
  • Be close to water. We know that water is incredibly grounding, but do you know how healing water can be? Water is yin in energy. It can teach us to go with the flow, to trust in the direction that we are heading. Around the time of the new moon water can be even more important as we shift into the darkness of this Yin event. Visit the sea side, swim, bathe or place salted water by your bedside.
  • Nurture. Be the nurturer or be nurtured. Allow the maternal side to come through as you spend time with your pet, children or partner. Or schedule some time with those who you know will look after you or book in for a massage or healing session.

The more connected we are to this energy the more opportunities we find for balancing our Yin and Yang. Find out more about Holistic Wellness and Yoga.

yoga insights – gentle, sacred, divine

IMG_5928Riding the rhythms of this month’s energy have delivered a week of gentle flow, graceful release and sacred silence. All in all, it has been divine. The energy has been remarkably gentle following what we experienced last week.

The yin energy or the feminine energy has been strong in its presence. It has manifested itself into gentle practices incorporating flowing peaceful sequences, nurturing floor work and centred minds. Since the beginning of the week, I’ve observed the following:

1. The introduction of the venus lock. By interlocking the fingers, this Mudra channels the sexual and sensual energy. I was drawn to bring the hands to the Sacral Chakra and this chakra became a theme within itself.

2. Following the release from last week’s full moon – the energy of each practice felt relatively clear. I keep coming back to the word FLOW because it just flowed so well without resistance.

3. There was presence of ego and that was addressed in quite a few sessions. It was present in a way that was sabotaging the mind from remaining at peace. This required some deep breath work and coordination of the body and breath throughout the practice.

4. And finally, there was a calling to connect with the Spirit Self – to meet oneself in the Heart Chakra (Anahata) where the spiritual and physical worlds meet.

Much of what was felt this week was a celebration of all the efforts we’ve made since the start of the year. So much has been thrown our way and the dust is finally starting to settle to reveal a clear path.

It’s been so humbling to sit in this blissful silence with so many of you diligent workers this week. Thanks for contributing your amazing energy to our community. Hope to see you at yoga soon. Your in light, Namaste x

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yoga insights – full vision

It’s been a full moon week. Have you felt it? Well a lot of people have! There have been heightened emotions, sensitivity, release, frustration and sadness. It’s not all bad stuff though – we need to go through the spectrum of our emotions and embrace these things when they are presented in order to let them go. And what does the full moon do? Well it brings everything to LIGHT.

The feeling that I connect with when I think about the energy during the middle of week was HEAVY. It was almost like moving through mud. There was a density to whatever was coming to the surface – this was really dominant around Wednesday evening and Thursday during the day. If you live in South East Queensland this feeling could also be linked to the humidity and heat we’ve just experienced.

And as the heat backed off last night so did the intensity of this energy. We had howling winds through the night and this morning it feels lighter, fresher. It feels easier to breathe again.

Although there’s been a lot of discomfort and confrontation, I’m so grateful to be a yoga teacher to see what has taken place this week.

Sunday’s practice was incredibly strong, dynamic and very focussed. The focus that dominated the room was inspiring. It felt as thought the yang energy of the waxing moon was ready to take off! We worked through Virabhadrasana I, II and III (Warrior pose), Parsvakonasana (side angle pose) and Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose). Each pose harnessed that fiercely determined yang energy and it felt as though the class could go on and on for hours.

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In the Yin practices, a lot of hip work became this focus – we held Square, Dragon and Swan as we released through the hips. And there were quite a few emotional releases this week.

Wednesday night felt like the summit of the emotional mountain. I don’t think I’ve ever sensed such intense energy from a room of yogis. As I always say, yoga can be very confronting especially if you aren’t very self-aware.

The emotional response from a pose can really take you by surprise and leave you feeling raw, vulnerable, judgemental and just plain uncomfortable. It can make you want to break down, leave the room and never return.

This was so much the case that when it came to the Yin side of the practice, there was so much energetic resistance from those present that we could only stay in each pose for 3 minutes at the most.

And then the illumination of the moon at its fullest on Thursday night brought the release and relief. And this leads me to what has been the true insight for the week – CLEAR VISION. Once our stuff had mostly cleared, it was Ajna Chakra (Third Eye) that was undoubtedly the star of the night sky. The Third Eye Chakra holds the energy of intuition, vision, perspective and our psychic ability. We began in meditation by activating the Third Eye using tapping or circular motions with the fingertips. Then breathing in and out of this space while using this inner vision to set our intention for the practice.

Throughout the practices we kept being drawn to come back to Ajna with the eyes closed to bring the focus in – to see ourselves clearly for who we are, for what we are. To see what has been brought to light over the last few days and to use these final moments to release what no longer serves us.

We can take the full illumination of the moon to vision the life that we want – to be the person that we want to be. The time is now to be ourselves, proud to stand in this light and express who we are.

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Last night’s Vin Yin practice felt perfectly balanced between the energies – so different from the night before. The same strong yang poses came through from Sunday and the yin brought us into the lower back and hips. The Yin class following was beautifully deep and 60 minutes felt like 5. So nourishing.

I can say it now with retrospect and perspective, but I have loved this week! On the other side it feels good to stand in our own light with a clearer vision of ourselves and of our environment. I hope you’re all feeling better today and can join me soon for yoga. Yours in light, Namaste x

yoga insights – mmmeditation, muladhara & manipura

The letter M certainly made it’s presence felt this week as there’s definitely been a pull towards inner work through meditation, muladhara and manipura. Whatever we’ve been trying to manifest has possibly slowed down and challenged our intentions by forcing this inner focus.

IMG_4514With all the heavy rain we had here last weekend, it was a good time to reflect, as well as to clear and shift energy. All my classes on Saturday were incredibly grounding, nurturing and mirrored this energy. On Sunday I was drawn to use Oracle Cards as a way of intention setting for the practice. I use the cards from time to time and can be a great way to bring focus to my practice like a mantra or to be open to communicating with my guides and receiving messages. This was another sign of this inner work and the cards leant themselves towards a more gentle practice – using a bit of flow and some deep holds.

As the week progressed, the need for meditation definitely lingered as did the awareness of emotions. There was a sense that everyone has been very head-focused.

By the time Thursday rolled around there was a clearer sense of what was going on. A lot of deep hip and lower back (Muladhara), coupled with twists and reclining poses (Manipura). The need to connect down to the earth, to ground ourselves in order to bring ourselves out of the head. Here is where we feel safe – in the primal energy. If security and safety has been compromised because we are too worried because we are too much in our head – it is in the Base Chakra (Muladhara) where we are going to feel it. The lower back and hips felt it!

IMG_4520Connected with this worry or fear is the EGO and it is here where we begin to explore Manipura or the Solar Plexus Chakra. Located between the navel and the sternum, we worked with deep twists and sound release using the chant, RAM. Long holds in Trikonasana (triangle) and Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (reverse side angle pose). And then the feature pose of the week to work and release into both of these chakras was Virasana (hero).

And as emotions went haywire, I was drawn to share the citrine crystal was with students throughout the week.

I was quite surprised and humbled to see what came through this week and I can observe my own energy reflected within the bigger picture – hence the delay in writing this post. It wasn’t until this afternoon that the fog felt as though it had lifted.

IMG_4539And on a personal note, the last M featured the Holy Mary. Sitting down to meditate this morning the Divine Mother became my muse. She shared her grace, compassion and love and reminded me that it’s all going to be ok – to focus on the journey, not the outcome.

Thanks to all those who came to sit in the discomfort of what was a challenging week. This is why I do yoga and believe in its philosophy. I hope you can join me for a class, please see my timetable for the full listing. Yours in light, Namaste.

yoga insights – balance & trust

There’s been a swell of energy moving through the studios this week. I’ve felt great emotion, busyness and almost a sense of desperation to keep up or we’ll be left behind. The mind has been present as a powerful player and certainly has the ability to distract us from honouring ourselves in our practice.

While I felt a strong pull towards grounding once again – especially through the base, sacral and solar plexus chakras, there was also a natural balance engaging the upper chakras (heart to crown) at different points in these classes. On reflection this created an overall balancing and alignment of the chakras for students.

On Sunday we took this balancing another step further and worked with sound release at different points throughout the practice. We used the voice to chant the sounds of every second chakra:

Base – LAM
Solar Plexus – RAM
Throat – HUM
Crown – OM

Engaging sound and directing awareness into these energy centres encourages them to open and balance. The vibration of the sound can be felt strongly in the energetic and physical body – and can also have a direct response on the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies.

The theme of the week has been balance and trust.

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The studio walls can offer sanctuary from the hectic life surrounding us, and our practice has the power to give us what we need most at this time. This may be to find balance in your inner space or to rest or gain insight – whatever it may be, trust in your decision to practice today. Trust in your journey.

As a teacher it’s humbling to know that the universe brings you the students who need you, and whom you also need. It’s important to move past the ego and forgo the worry around class numbers and attendees and focus on what’s more important – to trust that whoever turns up is there for a reason. And they are usually all there for a similar reason.

One of the most interesting aspects of my classes over the last few days has reflected the shift in the lunar pattern as we move towards the new moon and there has been an obvious change between Sunday and Tuesday.

That pull towards grounding energy of the new moon showed itself clearly as we began a vinyasa sequence yesterday. As a teacher I am yet to prepare for a class in terms of a class plan. I prepare with meditation and or chanting. And when it comes to teach, I allow myself to be guided to reflect where the energy is at that moment in time. But sometimes I can also be too much in my head, or lead with my head – as in this example.

After beginning with meditation and some gentle flows to promote this grounding of energy (seated Sun Salutations and Moon Salutations), I hastily moved us into standing Sun Salutations with variations. I could feel the energy rising and it was getting way too ahead of everyone. Throw in Natarajasana (Dancers Pose) and we have a room full of yogis falling from one side to the other. We take a few deep breaths in, rolling the shoulders and then hunching and releasing them with a sigh and exhale. We move to regroup and REGROUND in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). And the collective energy of the room has calibrated. From that point in, we move slowly and begin to balance out the chakras as mentioned above. There was lots of love in Balasana, reflection in Rajakapotasana and heart opening in Ustrasana and Virasana.

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One final note, another strong message of the week has been to take a moment to pause – to slow down – and to acknowledge where you are in your journey and give thanks. Where ever you are, whatever you’re doing – take a moment to reflect, to be mindful of yourself and know that you are exactly where you need to be right now.

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yoga insights – community & the base chakra

Each week I notice certain themes emerging in my classes. These themes are not premeditated, but simply arise based on the energy of the moment to which class participants are aligned. I don’t question what I say or how I guide the class, I just trust that what comes through me is for the higher purpose of all those who are present – and of course, for myself.

So each Wednesday I will endeavour to share these insights and the poses that we are working with in class that assist us to work through this energy.

This brings me to the theme of the last week – COMMUNITY.

With this particular theme, I have seen the importance of community evolve within my life over the past 3 to 4 weeks and it has come to a head over the last few days. I believe this is in line with the pattern of Mercury being Retrograde (it changes to become Direct today) at this time and its lessons have certainly featured heavily for me in many aspects of my life. To read more about Mercury Retrograde, please see here.

The questions that have arisen feature around how we understand our place in our family or our tribe, and also how we relate to our community, i.e. how we want to be a part of it. One example of this energy in my community is the election that was held on January 31. I don’t think anyone likes election time and it forces us to make judgements and evaluate who has our community’s best interests at heart. It’s a time where we may “band together” for the greater good.

On a more personal scale, this time has prompted us to review our intentions for purchasing a house – which is both grounding and committing to the community – not to mention scary for a couple of air signs! And the boundaries of our tribe have been tested and questioned upon a family member becoming very ill.

Having coped it from all angles, I could deeply sympathise with the others in my class.

As I began last night, I felt a warming sense of my community – the yoga community. Although we come as individuals to practice, it is the gathering of these divine souls who collectively raise the vibration and consciousness of our inner and greater community.

This was reinforced for me over the weekend when I met with the beautiful yogis from Soul Space Brisbane and My Health Yoga in separate locations and occasions.

I left both events feeling connected, light and detached from the burden of all my other community stuff.

All of this relates directly to the base chakra, Muladhara. This is where we explore our primal needs such survival and to belong. At some point in our life we will all be challenged by our family and question our need to belong to a group that are so radically different from who we are. And that’s okay. We chose our family when we came into this world and it is through them that we learn our soul’s lessons of this lifetime. But satisfying the needs of the base chakra doesn’t mean that we need to force ourselves to get along with our family. Yes, they will always be part of our life in some capacity, but we are free to explore our place within any community or tribe and be confident to find where we belong.

So coming back to GROUND ourselves has featured within the yoga studio over the past week. Why do we need to ground? To be present and connected with ourselves. We connect back to Mother Earth and trust in our place and purpose in the physical world.

MEDITATION
Lying down in Savasana, the Corpse Pose, we bring awareness to every part of the body – from the feet to the head. Then becoming aware of our connection to the floor, sense the heaviness of the body and support beneath. The palms are turned down to help promote the grounding of energy.

 

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These are poses that work with base chakra by bringing extra attention to either the feet, hips, sitting bones or lower back.

Baddha konasana – butterfly pose
Virabadrasana II – warrior 2
Trikonasana – triangle pose
Garudasana – eagle pose
Malasana – squat pose
Dandasana – staff pose
Balasana – childs pose

VISUALISATIONS
Walking into a natural landscape and sensing the environment – the warmth of the sun, the rhythm of the land (breeze, sounds), surface under the feet.

Check in with yourself metaphysically – have you noticed any discomfort in the feet, lower back or right side of the body? Most of my students this week complained of lower back pain. For me, I have been experiencing sore feet – unable to ground / disconnected – and trouble through the right side of my body. The right side is connected to family, ambition and our masculine energy.

To understand more about you, you can work with me one-on-one or join one of my yoga classes. Look forward to seeing you soon.

 

joy – a gift from the soul

The concept or experience of Joy has been a recurring theme for me over the past months. It has prompted exploration into; what is joy? What does it feel like? Am I already experiencing it? If not, why not?

At first, it feels inaccessible – like something only reserved for children or child-like behaviour. I observed that the word makes me feel slightly uncomfortable because on some level I feel that I don’t deserve or am worthy of it.

With the arrival of the festive season Joy is making an appearance everywhere – to the extent that it feels like a command. Is everyone in on this Joy? Or am I the only one pondering its significance?

After some reflection and observation, I realised how divine the timing and delivery the gift of Joy really is. It’s a sacred gift, and although it is not reserved just for Christmas – its timing and packaging resonates with me at this time in a way that rewards and acknowledges the personal work I have done over the past 12 months.

The experience of Joy is connected with the second (sacral) chakra, and is able to flourish when the chakra is open and balanced. Working through the emotional, mental, spiritual and physicals aspects of this chakra in recent times, the arrival of true and pure Joy feels like the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, how do we know when the Sacral Chakra is open and balanced?

  • We are fluid – like the element water that is connected with this chakra.
  • We surrender to and accept the flow of life.
    • We “go with the flow”
  • We embrace change and acknowledge that change is the only constant.
  • We understand our place in the world; in terms of the relationships we have with those closest to us, but also on a universal scale
    • We accept that WE ARE ONE. We are connected to all beings and the entire universe.
  • We meet our fears head on.
  • We acknowledge that we are deserving of pleasure and desire.
  • We are honest about our sexuality, but also embrace our sensuality.

When the sacral chakra is open and balanced, joy can be received.

Think about the joy of Christmas as a child. Is it easy to recognise the feeling? Can you remember what you were doing, who was there, where you were, what games were played, what presents were unwrapped, or the food on the table? Relive this moment in time and you realise how as a child, you were so connected to the world around you. You realise how fluid, accepting, compassionate and joyful you once were.

Our challenge as adults is to return to this state of childhood joy. In this place we are free from barriers, armour and all the things we create to protect ourselves. Return to a state of vulnerability and find life’s most precious gifts – love and joy.

Of late I have allowed myself to stop, be present, abandon of my adult conditioning and let joy into my life. When I look at my daughter I am reminded of the presence of this joy and know that it is not exclusive to relationships, places or times in life – it is available always because it is the soul’s gift to us and is present with us always throughout life.

Joy is the soul’s gift.

The soul wants us to experience joy here on earth as we live through the human experience. This doesn’t mean we will be free of bad times or suffering, but it’s a reminder that we have the choice to be present, to be vulnerable, to respond, to be grateful and to let love in.

We are always changing and there are always lessons to learn. Thank you to my followers for being part of my journey and allowing me to share my voice. I wish you all a JOYFUL Christmas in whatever way that means for you and many blessings for a new year.

Much love, compassion & joy
Vanessa xx

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towards a higher purpose. a holistic approach to balancing the crown chakra

Each of us has an internal oracle and a compass for the direction of our life. I suppose you could say we each have an inner knowing or wisdom about life, consciousness, our purpose and the interconnectedness of it all.

This wisdom energetically resides at the top of our head, in our Crown Chakra. The Crown Chakra represents our ability to trust, to live in the present, and to know our direction in life; it is our connection to God and the pathway to enlightenment.

When the Crown Chakra is balanced we feel at peace with the world, acknowledging our purpose in it and our relationship to living beings. We are able to live moment to moment in absolute faith and trust, fulfilling our higher potential. When the Crown Chakra is imbalanced, our direction or vision for our life is hazy; we may feel lost, confused and alone.

We will all have times in our lives when we struggle to keep the balance – this is necessary for us to learn and grow. For me, this chakra plays an integral part in my life lessons and themes as I explore and learn to trust my spiritual path.

As with my journey into the Sacral Chakra, I call upon self-enquiry, observation and a holistic approach to bring this chakra back into balance.

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How do I know if my chakras are out of balance? One approach I take is that I begin to notice certain signs, for example, colours. Colours that I am attracted to or attracting – in nature, in the home, art, food or clothes. When there is a repetition of these signs EXTERNALLY then I begin to explore INTERNALLY for areas that require attention. Once this happens, it usually ends up being something obvious that my intuition had been pointing to the whole time!

With a heightened creative awareness, I often find myself drawn to colours and reading into the signs, meanings and frequency of them. Holistically, wearing certain colours can not only help you lift your mood, but will probably relate to a chakra that is currently theming for you. Start observing what colours catch your eye – maybe that colour relates to an area requiring your focus.

Another approach, is to take stock of what’s happening INTERNALLY. As per my post on balancing and healing the Sacral Chakra – a Holistic Approach, I explore the idea of acknowledging pain or discomfort in the body. Then ask the question, what does that pain attribute to metaphysically? Or, how are my moods? Then ask, what are these moods a reflection of? Refer to Chakra diagram for more information.

Here are some signs that prompt me to focus on rebalancing and healing my Crown Chakra.

COLOURS FOR SAHASRARA

The Crown Chakra is represented by the colour Violet (or Purple) or White. This time of the year I find myself strongly drawn to this energy centre as the landscape is peppered with bursts of vibrant purple flowers from Jacaranda trees. Lavender and Jasmine are also linked to the Crown Chakra, not only for their colour but also for their scent and using them as essential oils can help balance and lift the vibration of this chakra.

As well as flowers, food, clothes, home wears and oils, you may find that stones and jewellery also resonate with you. I recently purchased a Crown Chakra necklace for my daughter by Violet Gray Design, and similarly with stones such as amethyst and clear quartz, these elements can also be used to heighten the vibration, protect or assist with healing and balancing this chakra.

MEDITATION

Sitting in meditation is one of the best ways I find to bring balance and centring into my life. This can be performed sitting still, walking, cooking, in yoga or writing. Because of the nature of this chakra, Sahasrara, connecting with God and one’s higher purpose can become the intention for your meditation. Start by allowing yourself just a few minutes each day to concentrate on your breath, this is known as Dharana. Once this is practiced regularly, it’s possible to move on from this state of concentration to a state of meditation known as Dhyana. This is the sensation where the mind expands and you sense vastness and space within. You connect on a conscious level, present without needing to control your state of being. And from Dhyana it is sometimes possible to access Samadhi, the blissful state of complete non-attachment, free from ego and this earthly plane.

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Poses that bring the crown of the head downward activate the Crown Chakra. For me, I am intuitively drawn to take Balasana (Child’s Pose) when I need to come into a place of trusting. I interpret the pose to embody the following:

  • We move ourselves into a position of surrender – accepting our purpose and trusting in what will be
  • By turning the palms up, we offer up ourselves to the universe and in turn we allow ourselves to receive what is meant for us (Karma – this is not negative)
  • Take Anjali mudra above the head – the cosmic seal symbolising balance, but also devotion
  • We activate the Third Eye Chakra and move inwards into a place of deep reflection (Meditation) and search for our inner wisdom, intuition and knowing
  • We are a child of the universe.
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Inversions such as Sirhasana (Headstand) use the crown of the head and in turn stimulate the Crown Chakra. I particularly enjoy Sirhasana II (Tripod Headstand) – when this chakra is balanced and happy, so am I balanced and happy in this pose. If inversions aren’t your thing all the time, then any forward fold can activate the upper chakras, for example, Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog).

MANTRAS AND MUDRAS

lowres_prenatal yoga_045You can also incorporate mantras and mudras as part of your yoga and meditation practice. Jnana mudra is used to unite oneself with the Divine. The index finger represents You, the thumb represents God. The three fingers pointing away are symbolic of the separation of ego, ignorance and attachments. 

While silence is an important aspect of this chakra, sound can also be a way to open it. There are many mantras to strengthen our relationship with God – just singing alone is a form of devotion. Music with mantras can be a lovely way to incorporate singing into your practice. Or choose a mantra for the chakras – OM or AH is the chant for the Crown Chakra.

Finding balance is a constant task. When we choose to look at things holistically it can be a lot easier to manage and allows us to feel like that balance is integrated into each and every aspect of our lives. If you’re interested in working with me in Holistic Wellness, please visit the page or contact page on this website. Namaste

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balancing & healing the sacral chakra – a holistic approach

The Sacral Chakra is our centre of self-expression and joy. It governs our sexual energy, our creativity, the way we feel and how we allow ourselves to experience pleasure. It is represented by the colour orange and corresponds to the element of water.

Following on from Monday’s post, I shared some insights into my experience into becoming a mother and my daughter’s birth story. The energies attached to these experiences (for anyone) are certainly complex and require acknowledgement, releasing and healing.

By observing myself, I can recognise that; physically, the body is still repairing itself from the pregnancy and birth, and metaphysically, shock, stress, trauma and the emotions associated with this are very much present and can be attributed to the disharmony that exists within my Sacral Chakra.

In addition to the energetic dynamic that plays out between my baby and I, I am aware of what is not optimal in relation to my health and wellbeing. Up until this point in time, I had not been ready to address the energetic blockages attached to the birth, my sense of self and my chakra. Not even through yoga, reiki or meditation could I consciously focus on it. But now I’m ready to begin exploring this energy more closely – one baby step at a time.

How am I doing this? By applying a holistic approach to my health and wellness.

What does this mean? It means taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.

If something doesn’t feel right, rather than taking a pill to fix it, I would rather explore what could be causing the discomfort or condition from an energetic and metaphysical perspective. Lifestyle, environment and relationships all come into play as well.

Through my own self-enquiry and observation, I am focussing primarily to the energies associated with my Sacral Chakra. Here are some things that I am doing or can do to start moving through this energy to rebalance and heal this chakra.

YOGA
Vin-Yin Yoga. This style of yoga embodies some of the personalities associated with the Sacral Chakra – Change and Acceptance. Vinyasa represents the YANG energy (CHANGE) and Yin represents the YIN energy (ACCEPTANCE). This practice allows me to explore my body and begin to move energy. Movement is important as it allows us to shift energy and to change, while holding the poses for longer amounts of time allows us to accept, to observe and to release from deep within.

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Poses that activate the Sacral Chakra move the hips and lower abdomen. I have naturally been drawn to:
Dancer’s Pose, Natarajasana
Triangle and Reverse Triangle, Utthita Trikonasana and Parivrtta Trikonasana
Salute to the Moon, Chandra Namaskara
Half Moon Pose, Ardha Chandrasana
Child’s Pose, Balasana

Other poses include:
Happy Baby Pose, Ananada Balasana
Cat / Cow, Marjaryasana to Bitilasana
Butterfly and Reclining Butterfly, Buddha Konasana and Supta Baddha Konasana.

Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga is also known as the Yoga of Awareness. It focuses on the chakras through pranayama (energy breath) and rhythmic movements to promotes the awakening of the Kundalini energy.

Kundalini is the creative potential that all of us have. Kundalini energy is considered the energy of the soul and lays dormant at the base of our spine. With the practice of Kundalini Yoga this energy is awakened and rised safely. When you experience this energy your feel awakened, sensitive, and aware of your potential, while feeling grounded and relaxed. – kundalini yoga brisbane.

I’ve enrolled in workshops, the Wellbeing Sessions, with Kundalini Yoga Brisbane. In July, I attended the first workshop focussing on the Base Chakra (Muladara). Next week, we explore the Sacral Chakra. The timing of this workshop reinforces the readiness to begin releasing.

OTHER HOLISTIC APPROACHES

COLOUR
Wear orange and eat orange foods – use the colour of the chakra to help open and balance it. Observe when you are drawn to certain colours – perhaps that colour represents one of the chakras that wants your attention.

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MEDITATION AND PRANAYAMA
Pranayama, the observation of our breath and the energy created from that breath, is an important part of our health and wellbeing. Having a slow and steady breath can not only energise us, but can also reduce anxiety, stress and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Similarly meditation – the calming of the mind – can have the same effect. In relation to opening and balancing our chakras, we can employ pranayama during a visual meditation. For example, bring your awareness to the region of the body that you want to work with. Then bring your intention to that region using the breath to open and clear. Try including a colour, in this case orange, and imagine the colour becoming more vibrant and bright as you continue to breathe. 

NATURE
Be near water. The Sacral Chakra is linked to the element of water, which also represents movement and flow. Walk by the river, visit the sea side, take a bath and drink lots of water. Being in nature is also very good for grounding.

ENJOYMENT AND PLEASURE
The Sacral Chakra is about joy, self-expression and pleasure. When we let go, we are able to open ourselves up to experience these – when we are controlled we hold back and are not able to truly be ourselves. When we are not ourselves, we are denying ourselves of true happiness and life’s experiences.

Ways of experiencing joy and pleasure for the Sacral Chakra:

  • Creative exploration (song, music, dance, vision boarding, writing, cooking and baking)
  • Spend time with friends – enjoy relationships
  • Indulge in a massage – Musculoskeletal, Ayuvedic or Mayan Abdominal Massage

RELATIONSHIPS
Pleasure can be explored within our intimate relationships, but also with our friends. This doesn’t need to be sexual. Spending time with friends is one of life’s most joyful experiences – especially if they are the kinds of friends who are positive and promote you to be yourself. Combining a creative outlet with friends is even better.

LIVING CONSCIOUSLY THROUGH HOLISTIC WELLNESS
If you’re interested in working holistically with me, please visit my Holistic Wellness page. I am starting one-on-one session in October at Soul Space Brisbane. Skype consultations are also possible.

Sacral Chakra

journey into the sacral chakra. next stop, motherhood.

In the months following the birth of your child, the newborn fog begins to clear and you can take stock of what has happened to the life you once knew. Once, seemingly the masters of our own lives, trying to control each and every aspect, along comes a child to challenge our intention, our patience, our purpose and our agenda. Resist? Or accept?

getsmartLetting go of control rears its challenging head very early on in this journey. So many of us know only too well the feeling of disappointment, surprise and grief in the game of chance known as falling pregnant. Even with the most conscious of intentions, this is a definite time in our lives when we have no control. Unplanned, miscarriage, infertility – the gift of a child can be given or taken away at any time. Up until this point in our life we may have felt in control of all of our decisions – what do study, which job to take, where to live, who to marry – but, when to fall pregnant?

During my own pregnancy I shared with you the impact of this evolving energy on the Sacral Chakra. In Sanskrit, Sacral Chakra or Swadhisthana means dwelling place of the self. This chakra governs how we personally experience the joyful flow of life, such as our desires, pleasure, our feelings, our creativity and our relationships, which is possible when the chakra is open and balanced. When the chakra is open and balanced we have surrendered control to enjoy a passion for life, and we are accepting of true desires, life’s experiences, our relationships and ourselves – in particular our contentment with and acceptance of our place in the world.

Located below the navel, the Sacral Chakra encases the muscles, tissues and organs relating to reproduction and any dysfunctions or conditions relating to this region. Though we are always called to pay attention to our chakras at any time throughout our life, I personally recognise pregnancy, giving birth and motherhood to be a very thorough lesson and exploration of the Sacral Chakra. From early in this journey we are called to accept – whatever the outcome may be. Resistance will only affect the balance of the chakra and emotions related to it. If the pregnancy is sustained, a relationship is born between the mother and baby. Change is a natural part of the process too – not just physical, but also mental, emotional and spiritual. Your role and priorities in life will shift. Your relationship with your partner, parents and friends will evolve. Your other chakras will be challenged as they are called to attention – especially the heart and throat. The way your see yourself will certainly transform.

The ability to accept will allow for peaceful change. The ability to welcome change will result in a balanced Sacral Chakra and calm mother.

In my own experience, the practice of acceptance in the preliminary stages prepared me for what lay ahead. Maintaining a regular meditation and yoga practice allowed me to have a calm and centred mind throughout my pregnancy and approaching the birth of our daughter. As a result, I was fortunate to have a very enjoyable pregnancy. And although I was blessed to experience a calm, spiritual and natural labour, I still endured the mental battle to let go and allow my body to do what was necessary. I was prepared for any outcome relating to my labour, and accepted that my child would also have its own journey in entering the world.

Despite receiving intuitive guidance that there may be a problem when our baby was born, I refused to consider anything but the vision of me holding our baby in my arms.

I hadn’t quite learned my lesson. My expectations had gotten the better of me and I only gave myself permission to accept up until a certain point. A sobering reminder that this work is never done – we are constantly being called to observe ourselves and to keep learning.

Thankfully, with faith, trust, a centred mind and a wonderful team of professionals, our daughter would be just fine. In the drama of the situation, all sense of control disappeared, whether I wanted it to or not. All I could do was accept the circumstances and I quickly found myself flowing with this experience of life once again. In those moments, I felt so present and I was aware of what all this preparation had been for.

IMG_3168Now with a very healthy and happy 5-month-old girl, I feel my Sacral Chakra crying out for balance as I swing between acting on the advice of others (CONTROL) and listening to my intuition (ACCEPTANCE), reconnecting with my own sense of SELF and understanding my new role in life (CHANGE). Above all else, I believe that she is here to teach me and she’s doing a very fine job at that. She reminds me that we must ACCEPT one another. The more I try and CONTROL, the more she will RESIST. This is part of the balance of our relationship and the truth of the Sacral Chakra.

If you’re interested in doing prenatal yoga with me, I am starting a Saturday morning class at Soul Space Brisbane from Saturday 25 October. See therecliningbutterfly.com for more details.

Image Credit.