Aligning your Chakras- with meditation and food.

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 Most people have heard of chakras – the energy centers of the body. Although there are actually 114 in the body, many of us know of only seven.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning a “plexus,” “wheel,” or “vortex.”

Along with these energy centers are the ‘nadis’ –or energy channels through which prana or vital life force moves.

When the nadis meet at different points in the body, they form a chakra. Chakras are responsible for of taking in, incorporating and emanating energy to keep us functioning at optimal levels.

When a chakra is out of balance or blocked it starts affecting your health, both physically and emotionally. And on the other hand, if we endeavor to work on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, we can promote the flow of energy through our chakras with ease.

Yoga, reiki and any kind of physical activity greatly influence in strengthening and enhancing the flow of energy to our chakra systems. Clearing out the clutter from our lives, physically and emotionally, also helps to strengthen the flow of our energy. Forgiveness greatly enhances our energetic health, to bring back balance and promoting wellbeing on all levels.

However I find that along with yoga a brief stint with meditation is one of the best ways to balance and harmonise these chakras.

I personally sit cross legged on the floor, my hands on my knees, palms facing upwards, joining the index finger to the thumb, and closing my eyes as I slowly breathe in and out, focusing and visualising the location and colour associated with each chakra, in my mind’s eye.
Starting at the root chakra and moving upward towards the crown chakra, allowing at least a couple of minutes to each chakra. However if you find this a little too overwhelming, you can always use a guided meditation available on You Tube to get you started. Don’t expect results immediately. Like everything else in life this too will take its time, and once you start meditation, it will definitely change your entire outlook on life.

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Below is a list of the major chakras and their basic properties.

Root Chakra – Muladhara.

Muladhara is the root chakra; this root defines our relationship with Mother Earth. It influences our vitality and most importantly, our basic survival instincts and our sense of belonging. The Root Chakra is located at the base of your spine and is represented by the colour red, which is naturally associated with the element earth. To keep this chakra healthy, walking barefoot on the floor or in a garden allows you to connect to earth and keeps you grounded. Add some root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, turnips and food that are red in colour- pomegranates, cherry, watermelon, beetroots in your diet.

Sacral Chakra – Svadhistana.

The Sacral Chakra, or the Swadhisthana Chakra, is symbolic of the water elements present within the human body. It influences our desires, sexuality, creativity and our reproductive functions. Located two inches below the navel it is represented by the colour orange. To keep your chakras in balance include foods such as honey, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, mangoes and papayas.

Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura.

The Solar Plexus Chakra or the Manipura Chakra is regarded as one of the most powerful chakras that have profound influences on our personal power. Representing our personal abilities and powers, it influences both our personal and professional success. Located in the stomach, the colour associated with this chakra is yellow, and its natural element is fire, and this is where the “fire in your belly” term derives from. Include foods of yellow colour such as squash, pineapple, bananas, turmeric, yellow peppers, pumpkin, and lemon.

Heart Chakra – Anahata.

The Heart Chakra, also known as the Anahata Chakra, is associated with the element of air within the body, and it has the most profound influence on our professional and personal relationships. This chakra relates to unconditional love. Located at the center of the heart, green is the colour of this chakra and it relates naturally to love and compassion. Being open to giving and receiving the love that is available to you, enhances the balance of this chakra. Include foods of green colour-leafy vegetables, cucumber, peas, broccoli, green apples, kiwi and avocado.

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha.

The Vishuddha Chakra or Throat Chakra symbolises our true inner voice, and our ability to listen, empathise and communicate with others. It is represented by the colour blue. When this chakra is flowing at optimum levels, you have the ability to ask for what you need. You also reflect your truth in the world through this chakra though your communication.  Include foods such as Jamun, blue berries, black currants, black grapes, mushrooms, herbal teas, coconut water.

Third Eye Chakra – Ajna.

Insight, intuition, awareness and guidance are the properties of this sixth chakra, located between the eyebrows. Located between your eyebrows, the natural colour of this chakra is indigo. Meditation and visualization exercises can assist the healthy flow of this chakra. Be open to your inner guidance and listen to your thoughts. Include foods such as eggplants, purple cabbage and carrots, black beans, olives, prunes, poppy seeds.

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara.

The Crown Chakra, known as the Sahasrara Chakra is connected with the element of light, and is the silence between the spaces and represents spiritual connection. Located at the crown of your head, it represents union, bliss, the knowledge of being at one with all. Cosmic consciousness and peace are the frequency at this chakra. It is the highest form of chakra, which opens up the spiritual communication completely with the universe. It’s often symbolised as a lotus flower blooming open. It is associated with violet or violet-white light. It is not associated with any type of food. In fact, it’s often suggested that fasting can stimulate the flow of the crown chakra. Quieting the body quietens the mind. Drink plenty of water, and practice daily meditation to fully integrate your spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

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Understanding the chakra system and its corresponding colours helps us see why eating a multi-coloured diet of natural foods can improve our emotional and physical health.

It is beneficial to meditate on the chakras for increased health of your energetic system. Some simple pranayam or breathing exercises  and visualizing your beautiful energy centers spinning in a healthy way  and being fully aware of all the seven chakras, will help you notice the improvements you can bring in your body, to stay mentally, emotionally and physically healthy.

 

-Madhavi

Disclaimer

***The views expressed in this article are of the writer***.

***It is not a miracle cure, nor do I propagate the use of these foods and or exercises/meditation ***

***Please consult a doctor if you have any conditions before starting any kind of exercise/meditation regime ***

*** Please use your discretion before starting any practise ***

 

 

OS:TOI;Isha;Hridayyoga
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Spring Equinox -A Time for Renewal

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Even if you don’t consider yourself a deeply spiritual person, the deeper meanings behind the equinox throughout history are still important, not to mention really interesting.

Up until the 18th century, in many parts of Europe, the equinox was once considered the beginning of the new year (it is still considered the astrological New Year, with Aries as the first sign).

In many religions, the spring equinox is an incredibly important time. In Christianity, the spring equinox is the time of the passion, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

In Hinduism it symbolizes as “the beginning of a new age.” As the darkness of winter lifts, communities rejoice. People embrace the rejuvenation of the season.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Mayans celebrated the resurrections of their own gods.

Traditionally, in ancient times, the equinox was celebrated as a time to cleanse out stagnant energy within the self and homes.

The word Equinox is derived from the Latin words aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night.

At each equinox the sun crosses the earth’s equator and is directly overhead at noon, thus there is a short period of time during which night and day are of approximately equal length all over the earth.

Regardless of where you are, both the spring and autumn equinox trigger transformation.

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, we recently welcomed the Vernal or Spring Equinox.

Spring is a season associated with change, cleansing, and new beginnings. It is a time of renewal and growth, ushering in a renewed sense of energy.

Traditionally, the vernal equinox is associated with warmth, light, birth, and rebirth. There is a focus on transition and its effect on nature and us as human beings.

Science has shown us how plants and animals are stimulated by environmental factors such as temperature, duration of sunlight and precipitation.

These predictable changes that consistently occur in nature determine the onset of events such as breeding or blossoming. And just as we see renewal and rebirth in nature during the spring months, the promise of warmth and extended periods of daylight tend to awaken something within all of us as well, and we begin to feel energized and inspired, spirited and jubilant.

Many of us, regardless of our ancestral background, feel compelled to spend the first few days of spring cleaning, organizing and purging the clutter that has accumulated over the last twelve months.

And this is a good thing not just from the standpoint of enjoying your straightened out spic-and-span clean digs, but it also has a positive impact on your health. This is also a great time of year for “spring cleaning” your body and mind!  Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Get outside!Get physical. Take a walk or play in the sunshine and get a natural dose of Vitamin D to eliminate adverse health conditions including depression, anxiety, and pain syndromes.
  • Slow down.Allow yourself a few minutes a day to reflect and/or meditate.  Embrace the positive thoughts and emotions and release the negative ones.
  • Detoxify your body. Flush the toxins from your body by eating more fresh organic fruits and vegetables of varying color, eliminating fast and processed foods and drinking more filtered water.

Thursday’s vernal equinox marked the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere earlier than any other equinox in the last 124 years. As its arc across the sky gets higher, the amount of ultraviolet light from the sun will increase rapidly. Ultraviolet light and warmth have shown to disrupt the transmission of some viruses, however, whether it will work with corona virus is yet unknown. COVID 19 has only existed for three months and the scientific research is still not sufficient to claim that this virus too will mitigate in the warmer months.

Although if you have noticed in the Southern Hemisphere, which just finished summer, corona virus has not spread nearly as rapidly as it has in the northern part of the globe. How much of that is due to weather is not yet known, as we don’t have any solid scientific evidence.

Whatever be said, spring is indeed a time of renewal and letting go of things that don’t serve us anymore. It reminds us of a rebirth or reincarnation. It reinforces the fact that everything in life is fluid and changing and in order to move forward, we need to embrace the change. It shows us to appreciate the little things in life, the singing of birds and the blooming of flowers.

And as you spend more time outside, notice how nature is nourishing new life, and follow her lead – feeding the vitality awakening inside of you.

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Stay Healthy. Stay Positive. Look at the bright side of Life.

Madhavi 

Count your blessings!!

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A simple, yet profound statement. But the question is Do We?

 The Buddhists have known for years that gratitude has been scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system and make you happier and more optimistic.

Human nature is to want what we don’t have and to dwell on the negatives—instead of celebrating what we do have and focusing on what’s going well.

I am guilty too of the same for a while now. Being a naturally free spirited person, I am uncomfortable with any kind of bondage that traps my mind, body and soul. My soul just starts rejecting it. So it is a battle of wits between what I want and what I have.

But sometimes circumstances in your life bring you to a point where despite your best efforts things are not as happening as you would like them to be.

Of late there have been some situations at home which have been draining me completely of all energy and positivity.  It has left me exhausted and completely in a rotten mood. I am blaming not only the circumstances but also the other people in my life to an extent.

And recently all the pent up frustration was lashed out to my son who was on a long distance phone call.

On the other side he was bearing the brunt of my vile vomit of words. Not saying a word, he listened.

I went on and on for about 15 minutes till he found a pause in my words and then he spoke, as gently and calmly, as he naturally is.

His words not honey coated but real. Understanding me and making me understand.

Once the poison left my body I apologized to him, for bearing with an overly emotional mother and for saying things to him which he wasn’t even responsible for.

“I am so so sorry” I texted, again and again.

And he texted back, “its better the poison was thrown towards me, rather than anyone else, I know it wasn’t meant for me so it did not affect me, but I am glad it is out of your system”.

And every day, after that dreadful conversation, looking back, I wonder how your children suddenly become so mature enough that they take on the role of your protector.

And then you have your entire life pass by before your eyes, and all the teachings, and life lessons you taught your kids come back to you in multitude ways.

You are in awe of the universe and grateful to have such blessed souls around you to take care of you and remind you of things which you may have forgotten but they remember.

My point here is this. It can be easy to get swept away in the fast lane and forget to stop and show your appreciation for what you do have.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. Being grateful everyday for waking up healthy, for having food on the table and clean home and clothes on your back is equally important. Gratitude is your partner understanding your moods.

Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. In fact, sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.

Gratitude is being very very thankful for those handful people in your life who find it a blessing to have you in theirs.

Gratitude is to give back to others what they lack. Volunteering for the purpose of helping others increases our own well-being, and thus our ability to have more gratitude.

With so many bad things happening around the world, if you can find just one moment in your life that you are grateful about, then enjoy it and…….

Count your blessings!

 

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Madhavi

 

 

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