Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Ajna in Sanskrit, the Brow Chakra is located between our eyebrows on the forehead. It is said that the Brow Chakra resonates at a higher frequency than your other chakras, and can be activated through the key of A. Linked to the pineal gland, our sixth Chakra is particularly light sensitive and helps regulate the production of the melatonin hormone which regulates sleep and wake. It is also linked to the pituitary gland that regulates our endocrine system, including places like major portions of our brain, eyes, and ears.
Because of its focus on visualization, a balanced Brow Chakra enables foresight, intuition, and clairvoyance. A person with a very open Ajna has a greater awareness of auras, chakras, and can connect to spirit guides easier than others. Lucid dreaming, which I've fostered since I was a child, is one of the Brow Chakra's strongest forms of expression.
On the flip side, someone with a closed brow chakra may have problems with visualization or any type of imagination. They are overly rational and gain insight only by obtaining concrete information from the quantifiable rather than the spiritual or emotional. They may be more judgmental and have a narrower viewpoint than others. Physical repercussions of blocked brow chakra are eye infections, migraines and headaches, hearing problems, and neurological disorders.
When out of balance with Ajna, a person may be more forgetful, doubtful, or be an obsessive worrier and afraid of success. An overactive Brow Chakra causes one to be impatient or not at all present (think "spaced out"), overly dogmatic and one-track minded in terms of goals and opinions.
Opening your Brow Chakra allows you to enlighten every aspect of your life by understanding the relationship between the physical, emotional, and intellectual. By knowing the truth of all your processes, your life experiences ring more true. To help you open your brow chakra, meditation (guided or not), Qi Gong, yoga, or any other visual activity including coloring or drawing are good ways to achieve balance.
Associated to the color indigo, I began to open my sixth chakra with a dark berry smoothie. It had blueberries, raspberries, morello cherries, and acai. I also put in my usual mesquite, maca, and spirulina for a nutritional boost. Since it's not exactly easy to find indigo colored foods, lunch was a light and watery as possible. I figured whatever leads to that kind of physical and nutritional lightness might lead to spiritual enlightenment as well. Therefore, I settled for a giant slice of watermelon to activate my third eye. I also paired it with a shot of my kombucha since the flavor I picked was a darkish berry color, I figured it was kind of like indigo... but not really at all, in truth.
Because of the difficulty of finding indigo colored foods, I opted for whatever my body was in the mood for for dinner. I gave this some thought, and things that kept coming up were "white foods". So on the way home from our workout, I stopped by the Whole Foods and picked up a jicama and some other things for later. So dinner was 1/4 of a jicama sprinkled with sea salt, and my marinated white eggplant that I found a few days ago. It was scrumptious!
Day 6 and I'm feeling super! As always, all my herb taking and green tea drinking is in order. I did forget to have a my lemon and water this morning. I already have my new plan for when this is up. I'm still in a mood that's asking for some form a more structure food plan, I actually find it really fun. It's like the joy of someone else cooking for you, but I still get to be in the kitchen!
I am open to my deepest intuition and knowing.
I am open to new ideas, experience, and people to enhance my happiness and knowledge.
I trust that a reason beyond my understanding is always at work.
I am insightful, intuitive, and alert.
I can see and create anything I want.
I release all fears of knowing the past, living the present, and seeing the future.
It is safe for me to see the truth, no matter what it is. My vision is illuminated by gratitude and love.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The heart Chakra (or Anahata in Sanskrit) is, well, associated with the heart but also with the thymus. The thymus keeps your immune system and more specifically your endocrine system functioning. In other words, it helps to fight against disease both physical and emotional. And your heart, well, it's kind of a big deal. The main work people usually do on their heart chakra is to heal from emotional hurt and to foster greater love and compassion from and for others. Today's chakra focus reminded me a lot of how much I love Cafe Gratitude's philosophy. Again, they're all about reinforcing positive energy in ourselves and others. Every statement made in their space is positive, optimistic and generate happiness and healing.
The Heart Chakra is the center of our energy and the focus of our love and capacity to heal from emotional wounds. Whenever emotional hurt is caused and is not dealt with, it resides and festers in the Heart Chakra. I know that I've always had a particularly sensitive one, but have only been able to put it into words more recently. Every since I was little (and a lot of other people do this too), whenever I was hurt or really happy I always felt it right at the center of my chest, where my heart chakra is. I always subconsciously find myself putting my hand there whenever I feel particularly hurt, vulnerable, or upset, as if I'm trying to keep the energy from bleeding away.
I know that I am often guided and ruled by my Heart Chakra in my life choices. So far, it seems to have worked out pretty well! However, it also means that it needs constant maintenance. Emotional wounds translate to physical malaise, I think most women know that if they don't feel good emotionally, they will take it out on themselves physically thinking they aren't attractive enough, fit enough, thin enough, etc. Physical demonstrations of an imbalanced Heart Chakra are heart palpitations, asthma, pneumonia, upper back and shoulder problems. Similar to the solar plexus chakra, self-love is key to maintaining a healthy Heart Chakra. Our wounded self and wounded ego have to heal.
But rather than just focus on emotional wounds, I also mentioned that the heart chakra is from where happiness, honesty, respect, love and compassion emanate. One thing Andrew and I strongly felt from the start of our relationship was the immediate connection between our heart chakras. As he once said, it was like a cord was instantly tied between the two of our heart centers and we were able to sense it right away. Some people argue that that's why break-ups can be so difficult; once such a bond is made, rupturing an energy cord leads to significant damage. Many know that fights, break ups, or any emotional damage in a relationship actually physically hurt. After all, there's a reason why we have a term like "heart strings".
Beyond romantic love, our heart chakra is also the center of our capacity for compassion, which allows us all to live better lives and create a healthier society. Compassion involves unconditional love, an ability to let go, forgive, and trust. Unconditional love, or Metta, implies kindness and living and embodying our desire for it. It begins with loving and respecting ourselves, and through those experiences, reaching out to others. When we channel Metta we encourage it and bring it out in others. Whatever we generate comes back to us and makes us all stronger. Can you imagine a society so open and loving?
Exercises that are good for your Anahata involve anything heart related so once again swimming is a good choice. Another option I have for you is Yoga Download's Power Yoga 4 Practice which is a donation-based class (and can be downloaded from their website). It begins and ends with a meditation to increase Metta.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself to know how your heart chakra is doing are: how many emotional memories do you think you have that need healing? What are they? Are they taking over the way you perceive the world or some of your relationships? How can you forgive yourself, and what else should you forgive? When getting my Reiki sessions from Andrew, I'm often shocked by how many negative or hurtful memories come up when he moves through certain energy fields of mine. My goal to know that I'm a perfectly aligned person is to have every place he works on generate a positive rather than a negative memory. As you can tell, I truly believe in this stuff. Can't wait for another session tonight!
As you can see through the chronological juice pictures throughout this post, my day focused on clean green foods representative of Anahata. It was was very conducive to some serious veggie juicing and blending. I started my day with a glass of Meredith's Green Monster Smoothie (sans banana), which I could drink every day if I remembered to buy spinach more often! I followed up with cucumber-celery-parsley juice with a side shot of kombucha (forgot to take a pic until halfway through). My food day ended with a delicious Spinach Soup I found ages ago on Heather's blog. I also had some bee pollen and superfood mix as post-workout snacks. And because I'm a die hard foodie, I haven't been able to spend time away from the kitchen at all, so I also created what I believe is an amazing raw zucchini-yellow squash lasagna. Though I'll post a recipe soon, the gist of it was layering zucchini and lasagna, marinara sauce, and fermented nut cheese in layers as high as my dehydrator would allow. Andrew said it was delicious and I did snack on some with romaine lettuce. It was amazing, just like the real thing... only better:
As always, some final affirmations:
I am a being of unconditional love and compassion.
My heart is open and flows freely with love for myself and others.
I grow from all of my experiences. They serve to make me a healthier, stronger, and better person.
Only I am responsible for the quality of my life.
I strive to enhance my life and those of others.
I strive to create a healthy foundation upon which I and others can thrive.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
While an aligned Manipura is associated with self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, and a strong will, an imbalance is obvious through a lack of any of the previously mentioned traits, over-competitiveness, or a desire to manipulate others. Other issues may include fear, hate, indifference, and stress. Also residing in the solar plexus chakra are our "gut feelings" and intuition. Self-love and respect allow us to better understand our real and higher self over our ego, so it's particularly important for us to align this chakra to achieve true intuition. In understanding it and ourselves, it better helps us achieve our goals and our true life purpose.
Great exercises for this Chakra involve any meditative breathing exercise. Any form of cardio, for its focus on breath awareness, is also beneficial. I celebrated my manipura by going for a swim with my dad. Specific yoga poses associated with it are anything that opens up your chest, including Cobra, Cat, or the Bow.
With this chakra's color being yellow, I focused my day on foods of that color. I began the day with a cucumber-fennel (its flower are yellow)-golden delicious apple juice (even though it turned out green). It was surprisingly sweet and gave me an amazing boost into my day. I can definitely see why people are so into juicing. There's something about the freshness and pure vitality of a juice that immediately wakes you up. It's almost as if you can feel freshly pressed juice coursing through your veins rather than your GI tract!
I followed up with a (late) post-swim lunch which included one banana, some hummus, and a handful of hunza raisins (all yellow but not a juice, I know... I was at my parents' place and away from my juicer). However, remember the garden Andrew and I started at my parents' place last year? Well it's been doing incredibly well after only one year. The soil went from thick clay to rich dirt (thank you compost!) and the radishes I picked today were about three times the size as those from last year. I was also sent home with a whole bag of lettuce and kale because my parents can't eat enough to keep up with how fast everything is growing! Yay!
Finally, dinner was an amazingly tasty grapefruit (yellow on the outside!) almost the size of my head. As usual, I took all my Gaia Herbs for the day. I think I've gotten used to their taste, and am not sure whether they're doing anything for me or not. Not feeling tired or lethargic at all, so I guess that's good, but I don't know if that's related to the herbs. They're giving me something to do as part of this feast though, and that's entertaining enough!
I'll leave you with some affirmations I found that are particularly useful for today: