Read an Excerpt
Exercises to Energize your Chakras for Relaxation, Vitality, and Health
By Larkin Barnett
Theosophical Publishing House Copyright © 2012 Larkin Barnett
All rights reserved.
Visual Imagery, Consciously-controlled Breathing, and the Mind/Body Connection
The use of visual imagery and consciously-controlled breathing is the most direct pathway to your mind/body connection. When we use visual imagery, we construct a mental picture to accomplish a physical task. Visualize what you see in your mind's eye to create an image to send to your body. "Feel" it with one or all of your senses. Breathing is the only involuntary system of the body that we can consciously control. For most of us, this system is relatively dormant, yet learning to utilize it is the key to radiant health.
Healthy people understand that our minds play a critical role in our physical well-being. You will discover that the power of the mind is the key to your most healthy body.
Olympic athletes use visualization to imagine the "perfect execution" of their event. While visualizing, athletes simultaneously "feel" their bodies performing. If you can see it and can feel it, you can transform your body.
Use this book to become a champion in your own life. A champion's inner voice is positive, encouraging, and instructive. Visualization is a powerful way to become absorbed in the movement experience and to suppress negative emotion. When performing the exercises in this book, avoid distractions. Think about visual imagery and breathing. Paint a picture in your mind that you can see, and then feel it with your body. Don't let negative thoughts creep into your consciousness. The reward will be deep relaxation and a heightened sense of being alive.
Three-Dimensional Balloon Breathing and the core abdominal Foundation Formula, as outlined in chapters six and ten, provide completely portable and instant stress management. You learn techniques you can do anytime, anywhere—in a traffic jam, at your desk, at a doctor's office, in your hotel room, during errands and chores, or on an airplane.
Imagine the possibilities! You're three hours into a long flight from Los Angeles to New York. Your back is sore, and your legs begin to cramp. You can practice Three-Dimensional Balloon Breathing and the Foundation Formula in combination with your chakra color imagery, and in only a few seconds, you begin to feel the tension melt away. Later, performing the Chakra Rocking Massage Exercises when you reach your destination is like taking a mini-vacation.
We seldom allow ourselves to pause our busy lives long enough to turn our attention inward. Disconnecting from our physical body allows stress to erode our health. To correct this problem, you can easily use the core abdominal Foundation Formula when you get in and out of a car, chair, or bed, while you are climbing stairs, and while you are walking. You will cause less wear and tear to your body, and in many cases, find you are moving in a more youthful manner.
You can reprogram your mind/body connection and make many positive changes. The Foundation Formula utilizes the mind/body connection to improve your body's ability to move with ease and efficiency and significantly improve your posture. You will experience fewer aches and pains and have an increased ability to cope with stress.
The ABC—Action, Belief, Consequence Exercise
Many people believe that the mind and body are at odds. Changing the "inner messages" you give yourself by consciously choosing how you respond to stress is the first step in bringing the mind and body together as a team.
Action: Begin by picturing a stressful action that happened recently. What was your emotional response to that action? Were you anxious, frustrated, or angry?
Belief: What were your beliefs about that event?
Consequence: What were the consequences or the physiological response of your beliefs? Did you feel your heart rate elevate or your shoulders tense, or did you develop a headache?
We can't always control the stress going on around us. You can learn to modify your internal reaction to stress by interrupting your response between step one, the action, and step two, the belief. More importantly, that choice changes your habitual physiological response or consequence that breaks down your body.
You will find yourself less reactive to stressful circumstances, needing to count to ten less often. For immediate physiological and mood changes, reprogram your stress response using the affirmations, breathing, and core exercises in the book. We take our cars in for routine service. Your own "vehicle," your body, requires body maintenance, too. These body-care routines cultivate awareness by guiding you to habitually choose to focus on what's going on within you even while on the run.
Breathing and contracting your deep abdominals are your daily "road map" to feeling fit. Make moving from your core abdominals a constant priority while lifting heavy objects, climbing stairs, or anytime you move. Adding the core abdominal Foundation Formula is a lifestyle choice as important as getting plenty of water and rest. It provides stability for the spine and takes the pressure off the joints.
You learn how to implement mastery over your energy levels instead of depletion. This comes from discovering the body's breathing spaces, working your diaphragm, and contracting your abdominal muscles. These tools are for real life and change your inner stress-response messages. Consistent practice builds a "breath savings account" that accrues health dividends for all systems of the body.
Close your eyes and disentangle yourself from outside concerns—and even from the chatter of the mind—to calm down your nervous system. Turn your focus inward and recharge your batteries with a quick breathing break. You can do it behind a closed door at your office, during airplane travel, or just while walking. You will notice more energy and better concentration through conscious breathing. Anxiety and worry cause our bodies to go on alert. These breathing techniques provide relaxation for mind and body.
The Chakra Rocking Massage improves tissue health, suppleness, and posture. The gentle body maintenance massage helps to resolve muscle soreness, aches, and discomfort we think we must live with. The tools in this book reinforce a healthy relationship to your nervous system for a life with more vitality and peace.
Anchor Your Exercises with Color Imagery
\You will increase body awareness through visualizing vibrant colors in conjunction with visual images. Color imagery, with its profound impact on the nervous system, helps you to reach your goals. Color imagery allows more intake of air during Three-Dimensional Balloon Breathing, deeper abdominal contractions during the Foundation Formula, and more supple muscles in the Chakra Rocking Massage. You will also release habitually tight muscles during Progressive Relaxation.
Allow color to permeate the body maintenance exercises. The goal of the Foundation Formula is to contract the deep abdominals. Color helps identify the elusive stomach muscles and intensify your physical ability to contract them. Color helps you to let go, unwind, and enjoy the physical sensation of loose, supple, and toned muscles. Your reward is a calm mind and a joyful spirit.CHAPTER 2
What Are Chakras?
Chakras are spinning vortices of energy located along the spine. Positioned from the tailbone to the crown of the head, they are part of your energetic anatomy. The vertical alignment of the chakras symbolizes the journey from the material world upward to the divine.
There are references to the chakras in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts of knowledge, which date from 2,000 to 600 B.C. The chakras came to be one of the integral parts of yoga philosophy and are bridges to higher consciousness; meditation can awaken these energy centers.
Wherever dynamic energies come together in nature, they form spinning circular patterns, or vortices. On a small scale, this becomes apparent as tiny spirals on the surface of streams; on a large scale, in the cloud systems that create cyclones. The seers of ancient India perceived similar vortices within the energy of the human body. The human body has seven of these energy or power centers. Derived from the Sanskrit word for "wheel," chakras spin like wheels of colored light.
In the journey to achieve personal power, each chakra defines and adds a dimension to the purpose of life and helps achieve insight and balance. This sacred ancient imagery is accurate in its symbolic depiction of an individual's maturation.
Chakras—Colors, Centers, and Energy
Although not visible to the naked eye, the seven chakras are associated with seven colors. They are red (survival), orange (pleasure), yellow (power), green (love), blue (self-expression), indigo (intuition), and violet (spirituality). Visualize the chakras as you would a rainbow or sunlight that streams through stained glass, bright but transparent. The human body at its most basic level is pure energy. Imagine your spectrum of chakra colors and feel what it is like to touch your energy system. Through the chakras, you can discover a part of your anatomy that you didn't know existed and use it to enhance your well-being and health.
In this book, you will learn to maximize chakras and use their associations to chart your progress. As you experience each chakra exercise, you will heighten your senses and connect to a calm state that resides within you. Life lessons, or energetic associations, have representation in the seven chakra centers. The first three chakras embody specific spiritual life lessons in the material world. The next four higher chakras suggest the spiritual ascension.
First Chakra: Material and physical world
Second Chakra: Creation, work, relationships, and emotions
Third Chakra: Self-empowerment, mind, and personality
Fourth Chakra: Love, compassion, and forgiveness
Fifth Chakra: Will and self-expression
Sixth Chakra: Intuition, insight, and wisdom
Seventh Chakra: Spirituality
Chakra Ingredients for Your Mind/Body Experience
While you learn to enhance your mind/body experience practicing the Chakra Rocking Massage Exercises, you will focus on the unique elements of the chakras (chapter five). This is like stirring in the correct ingredients to make your favorite recipe complete. As you practice, you will remember each important ingredient and your "recipe" will become second nature. The ingredients for your experience include color, location, life lesson, keywords, elements, senses, glands, emotions, and affirmations. Glands are like chemical messengers, and each gland relates to a particular chakra.
RECIPE CARD 1
The Root/Base (First) Chakra
Color: Red. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around your tailbone.
Location: Base of your tailbone
Life Lessons: Survival/physical, basic body needs
Gland: Adrenals. The adrenal glands secrete hormones essential for our primitive "fight or flight" response.
Feelings/Emotions: Feeling safe and secure
Affirmations: "I am grounded and supported in all areas of my life. I feel worthy of abundance."
RECIPE CARD 2
The Sacral (Second) Chakra
Color: Orange. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around your hips.
Location: Pelvic area /lower abdomen
Life Lessons: Emotion, pleasure, sensuality
RECIPE CARD 3
The Solar Plexus (Third) Chakra
Color: Yellow. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around your navel.
Location: Solar plexus, between navel and base of sternum
Life Lesson: Mental/true inner personal power
Keywords: Self-respect, confidence, discipline
Element: Fire Sense: Sight
Glands: Pancreas, adrenals. Listen to your inner guidance and honor your "gut feelings."
Affirmations: "I am powerful and I am cultivating more courage. I enlist cooperation and support when needed."
RECIPE CARD 4
The Heart (Fourth) Chakra
Color: Green. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around the heart.
Location: Heart, center of chest
Life Lesson: Growth through love
Keywords: Body, spirit, harmony, trust
Feelings/Emotions: Forgiveness, compassion, nurturing
Affirmations: "I am unconditional love. Love is the strongest force in the universe."
RECIPE CARD 5
The Throat (Fifth) Chakra
Color: Blue. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around your throat.
Location: Throat, neck
Life Lessons: Communication, self-expression, listening to the wisdom from within, the stillness that lies between your thoughts
Keywords: Listening, speaking
Glands: Thyroid, parathyroid
Feelings/Emotions: Kindness, thoughtfulness
Affirmations "I am the inspired wisdom within you. I have the gift of a childlike curiosity for life."
RECIPE CARD 6
The Third-Eye (Sixth) Chakra
Color: Indigo. Breathe in the color and visualize it moving around your forehead.
Location: Forehead, above and between the eyebrows
Life Lesson: Blossoming of intuition
Keywords: Inner vision
Senses: Sixth sense, intuition
Glands: Pituitary, hypothalamus
Feelings/Emotions: Tranquility, generosity
Affirmations: "I use my imagery and visualization. I renew my energy in nature. I am grateful for easy and effortless action. I am observing the magic of life."
RECIPE CARD 7
The Crown (Seventh) Chakra
Color: Violet. Breathe in the color violet and visualize it moving around the crown of your head.
Location: Crown/top of head
Life Lessons: Acceptance of a higher guidance, spirituality
Keywords: Co-creation, transcendence, infinite possibilities, gratitude
Element: Cosmic energy
Sense: Faith beyond the senses
Feelings/Emotions: Selflessness, joy, happiness
Affirmations: "I am at peace. I am compassionate and enjoy helping others."CHAPTER 3
Introduction to the Chakra Rocking Massage—The Body/Chakra Connection
The Chakra Rocking Massage Exercises are helpful re-alignment/release techniques that offer a practical, user-friendly way to physically relax and soothe you mentally and emotionally. Adding breath and chakra color imagery deepens muscle relaxation while calming the mind. When the seven chakras are in balance, particular parts of the body achieve perfect functioning. Meditation awakens the chakra energy centers. The Chakra Rocking Massage is a movement meditation that shifts your focus from outside concerns while improving your body awareness.
The Chakra Rocking Massage keeps energy flowing freely throughout the body and provides an improved state of health. Energy blockages within the body lead to dis-ease that is reflected in the chakra energetic system. The self-massage helps avoid manifesting physical ailments that begin at an energetic level. Self-massage improves blood and lymphatic circulation and flushes waste products. The Chakra Rocking Massage realigns your body so you experience fewer aches and less discomfort. The gentle rocking sensation coordinates the mind/body to cultivate a sense of peace.
Supporting the belief that the chakras spin at seven distinct locations along the spine, the massage-like motion rocks the body as a unit from the tailbone to the crown of the head. The exercises provide a physical outlet to reflect upon each chakra. Refer to the chakra recipe cards in chapter two to enrich your experience.
The mind, rather than the sense organs, was the traditional tool for accessing, exploring, and balancing the energy of each chakra. The Chakra Rocking Massage movement patterns allow you to use the mind and body connection. The seven distinct body positions require different muscle memory and coordination patterns. Your goal is to visualize your interconnecting chakra wheels spinning in harmony while rocking. Focus also on the colors, affirmations, and life lessons.
Benefits of the Chakra Rocking Massage
The massage provides deeply relaxing realignment movements that improve your posture. They decompress the spine by elongating the trunk muscles. The subtle movements activate the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. They relax the neck, the shoulders, and the back muscles, which helps to minimize headaches and back discomfort. They alleviate digestive and sleep problems.
Excerpted from Practical Centering by Larkin Barnett. Copyright © 2012 Larkin Barnett. Excerpted by permission of Theosophical Publishing House.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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