The Seventh Chakra – Expanded Awareness and Unified Consciousness

Reminder: early-bird pricing for The Potent Path ends tomorrow (Monday 3/2). I’ve got 10 folks signed up already and I’m very excited to see who else will join us. Book your spot, mark your calendar, and grab your journal for some self-respecting self-reflecting!


 

Western civilization is founded on the belief system that spirit and matter are separate and distinct…The separation of spirituality from the rest of life leaves us spiritually homeless.                     -A. Judith

seventh

Consciousness, Expansion and Unity – the Seventh Chakra

Saturday, March 7  and Wednesday, March 11 

>> Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

Sahasrara - Crown Chakra

Our journey along the Rainbow Bridge is now complete – we have taken the final step.  The Rainbow Bridge, like any bridge, is about connection. The two ends of the spectrum connect the individual self, at the root, with universal creation, at the crown.

Here we are invited into a vision so expansive and inclusive as to transcend the individual realm.  The name sahasrara means “thousand-fold”–the crown chakra is depicted as a thousand-fold lotus. The petals of the lotus flower, instead of turning up, actually turn downward, dropping the magnificence of cosmic consciousness into the crown chakra and down through the entirety of the system. The thousand-fold lotus flower at the crown chakra could not flourish without its roots deep in the earth. Our capacity to connect with the transpersonal, the transcendent, the cosmic consciousness requires that we be full grounded in our bodies, our emotions, and our individual power, and connected to our place at the heart center of the universe. In this way the two ends of the spectrum are deeply connected.

As we discover the immensity of the system we are embedded in, we identify with our universal connection. Our information can now encompass knowledge of distant galaxies thousands of light years across, as well as the dance of subatomic particles existing within each cell of our body.

Come dance with the Divine Inside and Out! In our final look of the chakra system, consider wearing violet and come prepared for a calming and grounding practice which will include emphasis on yogic breathing (pranayama) and meditation (pratyahara/dharana/dhyana), along with physical poses (asana).

 

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.

The Sixth Chakra – Shining the Light of Consciousness

The power of our perceptions has the ability to command our reality – thus relating to the two meanings of ajna, “to perceive” and “to command.”  -A. Judith

Where you put your focus is where your energy goes.

third eye

The Seat of Clear-Seeing – the Sixth Chakra

Saturday, February 28  and Wednesday, March 4 

>> Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

AJNA - Third Eye Chakra

Our journey along the Rainbow Bridge is nearly complete. We have transcended beyond the purifying gateway of the fifth chakra, seat of conscious creativity, communication and expression. We are ready to move into the realm of light and the center of perception—visual, intuitive, and psychic perception.

The Sixth Chakra, ajna, is located right between the eyebrows and is considered the seat of inner vision, intuition and clairvoyance – literally “clear-seeing”—and is the ground of wisdom. It relates to image, intuition, imagination, visualization, insight, and dreams; its demon is illusion.

“While our physical eyes are the organs of outer perception, the sixth chakra relates to the mystical third eye—the organ of inner perception. The third eye witnesses the internal screen where memory and fantasy, images and archetypes, intuition and imagination intertwine on endless display.  By watching the contents on this screen, we create meaning and bring it to consciousness. The purpose of the sixth chakra is to see the way, and bring the light of consciousness to all that exists within and around us.” (*Judith)

Further, the work of this chakra is to perceive patterns, from which intuition and insight emerge. It is here that we start to free ourselves from our limited perceptions of ourselves and what is possible, giving ourselves permission to step back and get an eagle-eye view, to see things through the eyes of the Universe.  The 6th and 7th Chakras together are the mental mirrors of the lower 2 and middle 3 chakras; these two upper chakras take us into the realm of the transcendent, transpersonal, cosmic consciousness.

Specifically, here in the Sixth chakra duality and polarity are melted and transformed in preparation for what’s to come. This is especially potent in the realm of dreams, which “unlock the mystery that unites soul and spirit, individual and universal, into a dynamic and synthesized whole. Dreams are a sixth chakra contribution to the goal of realization, which will comprise our final step on the rainbow bridge.” (*Judith)

In our penultimate exploration of the chakra system, consider wearing indigo/deep blue and come prepared for a calming and grounding practice which will include emphasis on yogic breathing (pranayama) and meditation (pratyahara/dharana/dhyana), along with physical poses (asana).

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.


Make sure you check out the Chakra Intensive recap from 1-3:30 on March 15th - I’ll be giving away a copy of Eastern Body, Western Mind so we can geek out about the chakras together. Sign up early to book your spot!

One Yoga for Queers class tonight from 6-7:30

Loves

Due to weather, etc I will hold JUST ONE class tonight, from 6-7:30.
We will do the theme of FIRING IT UP – a heating and firey practice (think Third Chakra).
We will put off FIFTH CHAKRA until next week, so if you can’t come tonight you won’t miss Fifth Chakra with the Queers and Misfits.

Loves y’all!

This Week: The Fifth Chakra – Creation, Expression, and Speaking the Truth

Hi y’all, I know that there is some serious snow coming our way tonight, but from what I can tell it isn’t gonna get too bad until later in the evening – temps will stay above freezing until 10 or later. So I am going to go ahead and have class.
If you’re nervous about the weather, come to the 5:30 class and then be safely on your way.

Since I’ll be there anyway, I’m going to host the 7pm class too and we’ll see what happens…if it’s just me well then I’ll head on home! I hope to see you tonight. Note the two class times – 5:30-6:45 and 7-8:30.

How can we hear our own unique vibration in a world deafened by the roars of civilization? How can we express our truth when it goes against the accepted conforming of polite conversation? In the subtle realm of the fifth chakra, how can we find the quiet necessary to listen to the truth within?

Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith

vissudha

The Seat of Truth – the Fifth Chakra

Saturday, February 21  and Wednesday, February 25

We held a special, snowy class on Wednesday to accommodate the weather. Thus I have pushed my whole Wednesday schedule back: next Wednesday 2/25 we will look at the fifth chakra, sixth chakra on 3/4, and seventh on 3/11.
Saturday’s classes remain unaffected.

>> Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

VISSUDHA - THROAT Chakra

Fifth Chakra – Vissudha – “Purification”

We turn this week to the fifth chakra, Vissudha, whose color is bright blue and whose element is sound and space.

In this chakra we move beyond the heart, the midpoint in the system, and into the realm of the upper chakras. As such we move further away from the earth and gravity and into the realm in which the boundaries and laws of manifestation have less of a hold.  “We are breaking free from gravity, free from the way things have always been and from the structure and restriction of manifested form.” (*Judith) We are moving beyond the tangible, physical world into the subtle world and the etheric body (literally, the body that exists in ether aka space); the laws of physics apply less, the laws of metaphysics and the psyche start to take over.

The realm of the fifth chakra is the realm of symbols and language, of resonance and entrainment, of communication, the voice, truth and lies, and conscious creativity. In the body it is associated with the throat, neck, mouth, and jaw.

The associated element of this chakra is sound. Hindus believe that the whole universe came into being through sound. It is through sound and communication that we continually create and breathe spirit into our world, keeping it alive and vital.  And communication—the voice—is a link, capable of describing both spirit and matter. (Judith, Vega, The Sevenfold Journey)

The fifth chakra is the realm of vibrations and sound: through our voice and other forms of expression we find the gateway that bridges the inner and outer worlds. Here we can let out through the fifth chakra that which we began to take in through the second chakra in the form of sensation.

Sound is a wave that travels through space, vibrating at a certain frequency. Each one of us has our own unique vibration as well, which is expressed through our aura or etheric body.  When we come into contact with others, our vibrations impact one another. This can lead to resonance or dissonance. Resonance is when the vibrations have a complementary impact on one another, when they sort of sync up (known as “constructive interference”) and are made stronger/bigger as a result; dissonance is the opposite experience, in which waves/energies are not complimentary but rather contradictory (this is known as “destructive interference”) and the net impact is a decrease in strength.

As we interact with others, our etheric fields (auras) become engaged. The most rewarding connections occur when there is a resonance between vibrational fields.  Just as a people who speak the same language resonate with spoken symbols, the subtle resonance between our etheric field and those of others deepens our feeling of connection. The greater our internal resonance, the more deeply we can resonate with those around us. (*Judith)

Which is to say, the better and more clearly we have learned to work with form/matter/stability in chakra one, movement in chakra 2, activity/energy/willfulness in chakra 3, and relationship/love/connection in chakra 4, the better positioned we are to find resonance with others and for that experience to be deep, profound, and transformative for everyone involved. This applies interpersonally and socially as well.

Further, resonant frequencies tend to bond together. This is known as rhythmic entrainment or sympathetic vibration. This fact is behind one of the most profound teachings I’ve received on this path: You are the company you keep. So keep good company. The underlying idea being that you are susceptible to the energies of those you surround yourself with – you are deeply impacted by the explicit and implicit (spoken and unspoken, stated and implied) messaging you are receiving all the time.

Over time, this energy/information/inspiration (or lack thereof!) that is fueling your system has a profound impact on your sense of who you are and what you are capable of. Just as you are what you eat, you are the energy you absorb. The invitation here is to be mindful of what you are consuming in the form of energy, and see if that energy is serving you and your higher purpose.

Further, here in the realm of the fifth chakra you are invited to examine the impact of sound and silence, especially the extent to which you are subjected daily to a cacophony of sound and stimulus that you are hard-pressed to block out.  This stimulus overload has an impact on the ability of your own internal systems to be synced up or find resonance—the extent to which you can truly rest and reset.

Over time, this diminished capacity to rest and renew has profound impacts on every aspect of your health, and especially on your ability to hear the song of your heart and act on it. “When we live in our truth, there is a resonant continuity between ourselves and others. When this resonance is interrupted, we experience discontinuity. Perpetual discontinuity breaks down our health.” (*Judith)

Finally, visshudha means “purification,” and this refers especially to the knowing and telling of our own unique truths. Purification, cleansing, and detoxifying is the work of the fifth chakra. It is a “vibrational refinement that takes place as we rid the body of toxins, speak truthfully and authentically, and as we work through the issues of the lower chakras. Purification prepares us to enter the even more refined energies of the chakras above.” (*Judith)

Given all this, it is my hope to introduce the practice of chanting om during this week’s classes. I usually do not do this in my regular weekly classes, because I prefer that folks have more context for the practice of chanting om than our weekly sessions allow.  This week, I will take a bit of time to relate my understanding of om and why it is utilized in the practice, and will offer you an opportunity to join in or simply allow yourself to be surrounded and immersed in it.  It is a powerful practice to unite our voices together in singing om. We’ll talk a bit more about why this is in the context of preparing to chant.
Note: You do not have to participate in the chant, and it will constitute only a small part of the weekly class.

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.


Make sure you check out the Chakra Intensive recap on March 15th - I’ll be giving away a copy of Eastern Body, Western Mind so we can geek out about the chakras together. Sign up early to book your spot!

This Week: The Fourth Chakra – Love, Compassion and Finding the Balance

“One of the tasks of the heart chakra is to move into a state of balance with all around us, letting our own heart beat in unison with the heartbeat of the web of life, through which we are intricately connected. We then have the balance of the Universe to assist and guide us in all we do.” The Sevenfold Journey, Anodea Judith and Selene Vega

fourth chakra

The Seat of Love – the Fourth Chakra

Wednesday, February 11  + Saturday, February 14

>> Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

Anahata- Heart Chakra

Fouth Chakra – Anahata – “Unstruck”

Our journey along the Rainbow Bridge is progressing so quickly – already we are at the Fourth Chakra. Bridging the three lower chakras of Manifestation and the three upper chakras of Liberation, this is the Gateway, the Threshold, the Place in the Middle. Here the Manifesting current descending from above and the Liberating current arising from below combine in perfect equilibrium, bringing forth a profound presence and deep love for ourselves and all beings.

“When in balance, we enter a state of grace.” ~Judith, Vega

The color of the fourth chakra is vibrant green. “Like the green, glowing plants, which push toward the heavens from their roots in the earth, we, too, reach outward in two directions – anchoring the manifesting current deep in our bodies and expanding the liberating current as we reach beyond ourselves.” (Judith)

Here is the home of love, compassion, and devotion, where we find balance in the giving and receiving, in reaching out and taking in. Additionally, the fourth chakra is the domain of self-love, intimacy, and relationship, and the seat of grief.  It relates in the body to our heart and lungs, upper chest and upper back. The related element is air, which expands, caresses and energizes. Like water, air fills the space that is available to it – but is lighter and gentler. Similarly, the principle emotion of the fourth chakra – love – also expands and energizes us.

“Love is the expansive state of spirit, the transcendence of boundaries and limitations, the interconnectedness and meeting point. Fueled by the fires of passion and will below [second and third chakras], it is an uplifting energy, opening us to the expansion of spirit characteristic of the chakras that dwell above.” (Judith)

To reclaim our fourth chakra is to reclaim our right to love and be loved. It is to locate ourselves within the cosmic swirl of life, finding the balance between contrary compliments and polar energies. It is embracing the cosmic dance of never giving up and always letting go. Recognizing our nature is both strong and soft, powerful and peaceful, energetic and equanimous, dynamic and disciplined.

 “The most common block in the heart chakra is the absence of self-love.” (Judith)

All this week we’ll work through poses that continue to draw on the stability, flexibility, and courage we’ve cultivated in our journey thus-far, while moving into the compassionate space of the heart. We’ll work to open the shoulders and upper back, especially through heart-opening and expansive back-bends. We’ll see how continuing to connect with our own inner strength and power leads seamlessly into a sense of expansion and connection with each other, all beings, and indeed the whole of the Cosmos.

 

Activities to Cultivate a Focus on Air

As air is the element of the fourth chakra, to help cultivate your awareness of this chakra consider incorporating activities or practices which focus on the air element. Here are some suggestions, drawn from The Sevenfold Journey by Judith and Vega:

  • Use incense, aromatherapy oils, or a scented candle
  • Apply perfume or essential oils/blends
  • Monitor air quality in your environment using online resources
  • Walk in the woods or climb a mountain, noticing the air, your lungs, your breath
  • Learn/practice pranayama – the yoga of breath work
  • Do something to advocate for better air quality on the local level or beyond
  • Consider not driving for a day or more (thereby reducing your carbon emissions) and instead walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation.

Air relates also to space and expansion, so consider preferencing the following:

  • Space to yourself
  • Space for feelings
  • Space to be quiet
  • Space to receive

 

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.
Anodea Judity and Selene Vega, The Sevenfold Journey

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey.
Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.