Tag Archives: energy

Journey Through the Chakras by Heather Ivany

Discovering the mystical world of the chakras can at first feel like learning a new language or a way of existing that is foreign to our ‘normal’ way of being.  However, there are many ways in which our everyday language speaks on a chakra level.

When we blend the energy world into our everyday physical world we can begin to appreciate that we are adding to our ‘tool bag’ of life, rather than feeling as though we are entering a new scope of being. Here are some examples of how we already relate to the language of the chakras: When we ‘feel grounded’ this is a relationship to our first chakra. Having a ‘gut feeling’ about something relates to our third chakra. Experiencing the heart bursting with love is our fourth chakra. Deja vu is the third eye or sixth chakra. Spiritual awakening is connected to our seventh chakra.  The chakras are already understood on an emotional level, deep within our consciousness.  Now we begin to take that understanding to an intellectual level.

 What are the chakras?

There are seven major chakras within the body and several other smaller chakras scattered throughout.  The chakras exist on the subtle body plane and although they affect the physical body, they are by nature energetic.

The seven chakras follow the length of the spine and are stacked on top of each other. The energy highway that they follow is called the sushumna. It is here that there exist two types of energetic currents: the liberating current and the manifestation current. The liberating current stems from the base of the spine and brings us freedom, excitement, novelty, and energy (Shakti). The manifestation current begins at the crown of the head and brings us grace, peace, and stability (Shiva). Manifestation without liberation leaves us in repetitive patterns, fearing change and clinging to security. Liberation without manifestation leaves us spacey, unorganized, and scattered. It is referred to as a ‘highway’ so that we can see that energy needs to travel in both directions at all times.

The body is composed of masculine and feminine qualities.   The chakras themselves are masculine and feminine.  Chakra one (survival), three (power), and five (voice / noise) are all masculine.  Chakra two (emotion), four (love / compassion), and six (intuition) are all female.  The final chakra seven is neither female nor male because when we combine and unite with the Divine, gender dissolves.

It’s interesting to observe whether the masculine or the feminine is more predominant  within your body. Take a moment and think of your favorite yoga poses. Standing work, inversions, backbends, and balancing are all masculine poses.  Forward folds, lateral extensions, seated work, and meditation are all feminine.  Generally speaking we are attracted to poses that support our dominant masculine or feminine tendencies.  If we are the “go-getter” type we most likely are drawn to Ashtanga styles of practice.  If we are the “sit back and relax” type we may enjoy the soft Hatha styles of yoga. Yoga’s intention is to restore the body, mind and spirit into balance. Therefore we may want to consider a yoga practice that creates greater stability and draws out the traits within us that may be suppressed by either our dominant masculine or feminine tendencies.

We will delve into the chakras individually in the upcoming weeks.  Outlined below is a synopsis of each:

1. Earth (Muladhara):  Feet, legs, base of spine, nerves, and intestines. Ability to feel safe, secure and grounded.

2. Water (Svadhisthana): Sacrum, genitals, hips, knees, low back. Relationship with your self.

3. Fire (Manipura ): Located between the navel and base of the sternum, the solar plexus is related to willpower, self-confidence and power.

4. Heart (Anahata):  Located in the heart, lungs, thymus gland, and behind the sternum. This chakra aids in immune function.  It’s related to how we give and receive love, empathy and compassion.

5. Throat (Visuddha):  Throat, neck and shoulders. This chakra is related to how we speak what we feel and if we speak too much.

6. Third Eye (Ajna):  Located at the forehead between the eyebrows.  Related to intuition and visualization.

7. Crown of the head (Sahasrara): Thousandfold, referring to the infinite unfolding petals of the lotus and related to spiritual relationships.

It is important to note that the division between the chakras only exists on an intellectual level.  We divide the chakras so that we can understand what each means. However we will see that this is where the division ends. Chakras are a concert of constant feedback and release of information. Each is so closely intertwined to the other that the response of one affects all.


what is OM? by Mindy Arbuckle


We’ve all heard about this word called “OM”. But, what is it? What does it mean? (I’ll get there.) Can it be translated into English?  (Not exactly.) If you chant it does it somehow change you or your religion? (Absolutely not.)

Let’s dispel some of the mysteries and misunderstandings about Om.

Om is an ancient Sanskrit “word” that was first felt by rishis as they meditated. It was more about the essence of Om than the chanting of it. Eventually as the experience was shared the word came forth and people started chanting it to get the experience of it. So, you ask, what is the experience of Om?

It is somewhat difficult to describe with words but Om represents everything. It is said to be the seed of all of creation. Just like an acorn seed has the immense power and beauty of a mighty oak tree. This seemingly small word contains all the power of the universe. It is the beginning, middle and the end of it all or the past, present and future. Chanting Om brings into your awareness the physical reality of this world and your body, the subtle impressions of the mind and emotions and the thoughts and beliefs of your life and this world.

As the Mandukya Upanishad tells us the perfect state or super conscious state and all that precedes it are a part of Om. The sound can also be displayed in its more complete form of AUM.  When written this way it appears as if the sound has three parts. In actuality it has four.

The A (aahhh) sound represents the creation aspect of the universe and all of the gross objects within it. Ahh is the beginning of all sounds (this is the most common letter that starts alphabets). It connects us to our sense of self, the ego. With this syllable you experience the existence of the world through the activity of the senses.  When you chant this sound notice that it is produced in the throat and back of the mouth where the tongue is rooted and resonates in the lower abdomen. The first sound embodies “Sat”, the sound that starts to bring you back to unity, to the truth of your existence.

The U (oooh) sound signifies the maintaining energy of the universe and the subtle impressions of the mind. It connects us to an inner sense of something greater than that which we can see and feel with our senses. Oooh lets in lightness, clarity, balance and goodness. When you chant this letter the sound moves forward between the tongue and the palate up to the lips and vibrates in the solar plexus. The sound denotes “Chit”, an illumination of knowing, pure wisdom.

The M (mmmm) sound characterizes the transformative energy of the universe and the thoughts and beliefs of your beingness.  This sound unites you to the awareness of oneness.  It allows you to slow down in order to feel the connectedness of all that is. The sound “mmmm” is produced by closing the lips and it vibrates the crown of the head. The sound symbolizes  “Ananda”, to be at one with bliss everywhere with all things.

The fourth sound is silence or anagata. It is the vibration which is beyond verbal pronunciation.  It is pure consciousness of the Self or the Atman. The unity of Sat Chit Ananda (I exist, I know, I am blissful) is experienced here.

As you can see the experience of Om is multifaceted. It truly is an experience of all in everything. It is said that the sound of AUM includes the entire process of sound and all other sounds are included within it. Therefore, Om is called the seed sound (bija), the original sound from which all other sounds and worlds come from. This is why Om is said to represent God, Bhraman, Source, Universal Consciousness. Because it has the power to create everything.

When chanting Om aloud, the sound will naturally evolve through the tree phases corresponding tot the three letters A-U-M. Like the experience of Om as a sense of completeness and pure consciousness, the three syllables are not distinct or separate phases, but a continuous motion of the body, breath and awareness.

Now, the true power of Om lies in the experience of Om. Reading this can help the mind understand but it cannot give you the experience. Chant this, by yourself, with your friends, in your community. Allow the experience of all the words above to soak into your beingness.  Feel the power each syllable has as the sound vibrations move from the low abdomen, up through the solar plexus and chest all the way to the tip top of the head. Let the vibrations clear and cleanse your energy system and chakras. Find wholeness and healing in this easy to remember mantra.

Many yoga classes begin and end with the chanting of Om three times. This mantra allows the energy of the group to begin the process of harmony by breathing together and sharing in this mantra. It tunes each person into themselves and reminds the body and mind to set aside worldly concerns and to turn your attention inward to the everlasting joy yoga can bring. Repeating Om at the end of a session, together with the traditional “Namaste”, is a declaration of respect for the practice and each other. It also allows you to carry forth the inspiration of yoga to everyone and encourage growth in yourself and others through your presence alone.

Om is an amazing tool that all people of all faiths can utilize to bring focus and awareness to the greater meaning of life.