A personal story about the Chakras.
"The chakra system is a map for the journey through life. Using this map not only helps you find your way along life's journey, but also makes the journey worthwhile."
Anodea Judith, Chakras Made Easy
Years ago when my boys were little and I was in regular battles over parenting issues with at least one of the three Dad’s (I know, I made my life very complicated!) I had an experience that helped me to understand the Chakra system… how it works, how life events, trauma, illness or emotional baggage can throw one or more of them out of balance.
But before I tell you my story, this is what the Chakra system is all about….
The chakra system as we refer to it in yoga, consists of 7 wheels of energy. Imagine an electrical junction box in your house, wires are coming in, bringing in electricity from outside, and wires are going out, sending that electricity to where it is needed, eg the shower, kettle, lighting.
Now imagine if there is damage to the cable bringing the electricity into the house, it may power surge and blow a fuse, or you may have no power at all. This is similar to how the Chakras harness and then distribute energy around our subtle body.
We are held on the earth by the pull of gravity. So imagine that we are pulling a low vibration of energy into the base of the spine from the earth (which is spinning on it’s axis, with a ball of fire at the centre; it has an energy, a vibration, a form of electricity).
At the base of the spine is a junction box. It receives this energy from the earth and transforms it, affecting the into the area around the base of the body, helping us to feel grounded and safe.
Now, if you are the person receiving this earth energy and you had a great childhood, you now have a warm home, loving family and enough resources to make a comfortable life, then this ‘earth energy’ flows freely and you feel safe to go out into the world, your legs will carry you with the power of this Root Chakra, which is happy and in balance.
However, if you had trauma in your childhood, family problems, not enough to eat, you are living somewhere where you don’t feel safe, then this energy gets blocked here, paralysed. It can’t freely move because of the fear that is blocking it’s pathway. And this leads to problems, like not trusting ourselves or others, not having the tools to be able to hold down a job or keep a relationship…. The block in the Root Chakra, caused by trauma in the area of our life that concerns this chakra (those of basic needs, survival, feeling safe) is disrupting the energy flow here and this makes even the most basic areas of life difficult.
So, everything in life is constantly either helping or hindering the 7 chakras to stay working properly. If all is well, then they are receiving and transmitting electricity around the body and all physical, mental, emotional parts of us are in harmony. But, a sudden trauma... like a death in the family, losing a job, or long-term chronic illness, relationship problems, these can knock our system out of whack – and this can affect one or more of our chakras, which in turn can affect our behaviour and experiences.
So, here’s a personal story to demonstrate a Chakra imbalance.
Many moons ago, I was in a small courtroom with a judge, an ex and two solicitors.
We were there to decide on where my son was to live, we had shared residency at the time and my ex wanted him to live with him full-time. He wrote his statement, stating his reasons and added a few character – assassination style points to try to sway the judge’s decision. These comments were read out by his barrister… to paraphrase... 'the mother uses non-prescription drugs, drinks to excess, is in counselling for psychological problems, there is no furniture in the house' etc etc… I opened my mouth to protest and was immediately silenced by my solicitor. I was not allowed to speak unless the judge invited me to do so. Not allowed to defend these lies and personal attack on my character and my parenting, especially as so much was at stake. The judge hardly looked at me, let alone asked me to defend myself. The judge had probably heard all this before, and there was plenty of other evidence in my favour and we were instructed to carry on with 50/50 contact time. With my heart pounding I left the court room.
The following week I was in my yoga class with my first yoga teacher, Barbara Occleshaw, and she led us through a new meditation. She asked us to breathe in and on the out-breath, say our name. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. As I tried to speak my name, my throat tightened and I felt the shame, the injustice, the trauma of being in that room and not being allowed to speak my truth and defend myself. The tears that I hadn’t dared to cry at the time, flowed and I allowed myself to feel all of the disappointment and frustration of that day.
This was an attack on my THROAT CHAKRA. Not giving someone the permission to defend, express, argue, console, give an opinion or speak their truth blocks this energy centre. It is then said to be DEFICIENT in energy.
The opposite can also happen. Someone who talks too much, too loudly, over others, is overbearing, inappropriate, or doesn’t listen and give any value to another’s opinions is said to have an EXCESSIVE chakra.
So like a pendulum, we are at our most happy, confident, successful version of ourselves when all the chakras are settled in the centre, but if, like a pendulum, they swing too far one way or the other, then they go out of balance and so does our behaviour, health and attitudes.
The good news is we can learn about all of the traits that demonstrate a chakra imbalance and through the tools that we learn in yoga, we can take control and pull the energy back to centre, harmony and balance.
My favourite author and expert on the Chkaras is Anodea Judith. She has written many books on the Chakras. I would recommend all the ones on my bookshelf, but to learn the basics and to get a feel for where your won imbalances are, a quick read is Chakras Made Easy (Seven Keys to Awakening and Healing the Energy Body) published by Hay House. I will be using this as my manual for a workshop on Sunday February 23rd and for a 6 week course on the Chakras from Thursday May 21st.
Please join me for a ride through the Chakras!