What are the Chakras?
Why do we use them?
How do they help in mindfulness?
You may be aware of the mindfulness course Inner Rainbow Mindfulness. The basic structure of the course is based on the 7 colours of the rainbow, connected to 7 themes and runs over 7 weeks. Many have asked us why we do this and many have heard the word ‘chakra’ and felt uncomfortable or intrigued. Here is what this structure looks like, why we have them, and how it helps mindfulness…
The entire universe is made of energy, and your body is no exception.
Have a look at this post on using frequencies to heal our body. Long before modern medicines, technology and science, ancient cultures (from East to West) held their own concept and understanding of mind, spirit or soul as distinct from the physical body. We all know that all living things carry a life force, energy, chi or soul with them. It separates us from alive and dead. Once that energy leaves, we are only a physical body that can no longer function. Our living matrix is a complex network connecting all body systems, organs and cells together.
Always considered ‘woo’ by the modern scientific community, energy medicine has been often looked at as quackery, fraud or witchcraft! However our bodies are electromagnetic in nature, on this we all agree, and science has measured these frequencies with machines, like X-ray, EKG, thermography, PET and MRI for many years. Also the scientific community have been interested in using technological research, ranging from holographic patterning (3D images) to Kirlian photography, to observe the human energy field (HEF) and been even been able to begin to demonstrate it’s existence. They are able to recognise networks of complex energy fields which interact with our physical and cellular systems. They have even noted DNA’s positive and negative response to pulsing magnetic fields (see here, here and here).
All healing, natural and pharmaceutical is rooted in science.
There are vibrations from everything in the universe, physical and emotional. Conditions that influence you, consciously or subconsciously will be reflected in your physical and emotional self. They are intrinsically connected. Your inner energy body as well as your external environment influence these reflections. Your upbringing, culture, and geography, for instance, all affect your perception of health and how you should/could be.
Children are more aware of their energy systems and react to them with less consciousness baggage.
They may lack the intellectual capacity and maturity to use words to describe and explain how their body feels. However they can be very true to themselves and react very well to colour, textures, smells, tastes and gut instinct. They are able to use their senses without too much attachment to other things and this can give an amazing opportunity to help them consciously connect their body and mind to achieve true balance and health.
The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC. The map of the chakras connects with various TCM Meridian points flowing along the spine and even the modern images of the autonomic nervous system. They have have been the main means of accessing non-physical areas of your body before surgery. There are thought to be over 110 chakras in the body, seven are considered major. These seven line up vertically on key points along the middle of the physical body. They each have a corresponding colour from red through to violet.
Within your body you have an Inner Rainbow.
By learning about the 7 chakras, you can become more in tune with the natural energy cycles of your body and mind. By removing the spiritual belief system of the chakras, we can use them energetically to open up themes and areas of the body. Each chakra has a colour and core issues attached to it.
Using the colours and themes we can link the Bach Flower Remedies and affirmations we use each week, the aromatherapy oils used in the room spray, the different Brain Gym exercise goals and areas they support, the acupressure points used to help reduce the intensity of emotions to the potential core issues.
By doing this, those on the course are able to approach each weeks issue and theme through a non-threatening or confusing way. The language can become simpler and more accessible. We can all sit and think about a colour entering and exiting your body, however when asked to confront or release a big emotion can have much conscious trauma attached to it.
Here is an overview of each Chakra or Colour and what we aim to work through in that weeks class:
THEMES: “I Have”
Survival, safety, grounding, connected to the earth, family, right to live, who am I?
CORE ISSUES: Security, trust, identity, family, society/school, health, prosperity.
The first week resonates with grounding and feeling stability and security. Many of us feel consciously safe, however the body may resonate subconsciously as unsafe. You may even feel afraid to change, be unwilling to accept habits, thought patterns or transition is even possible. This can be because of our childhood, c-sections have been seen to possibly re-wire primal instincts and the nervous system response. Relearning new habits and reactions can take time, change can only happen when we feel safe and we trust.
We explore and discuss who we are, our names, feeling safe in the strangeness and perceptions of the course ahead. Introduce the concept of mindfulness as being, “Just noticing”. Feeling safe in the knowledge that there is no wrong or right, only opinion. We discuss the sense of smell and explore what that opens up. We discuss red foods and what a ‘real’food actually is. Explore smells and how smells make us feel. We try a simple meditation and brain gym exercise. We use an Emotion Stress Release point (acupressure points) to release any fear or nerves.
OUTCOMES: Feel comfortable and safe in change and a new routine. Be open to your environment and begin to feel connection to breath and the body through the sense of smell.
THEMES: “I Feel”
Relationships, how we feel, identity, passion
CORE ISSUES: Pleasure, creativity, imagination, what we like, reactions, impulses, movement & connection, emotions
We discuss anger and fear being connected. How we react and why, most importantly strategies to help us to change our reactions. By feeling safe, warm, connected and protected we can come out of fight or flight mode and have more flow in life. We talk about how we can work on being present and aware and mindful in your interactions with others
We discuss identity, what that means, also that we are not our emotions, that we feel them and they can come and go. Every emotion is important and noticing, without judgement, about how we feel is key. When we know how we feel we can begin to make decisions about if we want to continue to feel that way.
We are introduced to more tools and we start to move our body to feel more flow in our surroundings. We discuss the sense of taste and explore what that opens up. We discuss orange foods.
OUTCOMES: Feel more open and relaxed to begin to notice how we feel. We do not need to be perfect, everyone makes mistakes.
THEMES: “I Am Me”
Self-confidence, identity, personal power, respect, ego, concern about outward appearance
CORE ISSUES: Personal power, respect, humility, will, energy
We learn about our personal fire, how it can be too weak and too strong. Life can be hard and we can still be strong for ourselves. We can take responsibility for our decisions and look inside to know the answer for ourselves. Mistakes can be learnt from and there is great strength in humility and compassion.
Our physical energy is linked to how we feel and we explore how we speak and move can change how we feel. Personal power is important and our beliefs and feelings are important. I am responsible for my happiness.
OUTCOMES: Feel confident in different situations. Feel free to make own decisions for your benefit. To release past issues and begin each day new and with confidence and strength.
THEMES: “I Love”
Love, acceptance of self and others, unconditional love, balance, forgiveness and compassion
CORE ISSUES: Respect for self and world around you, intimacy, acceptance, empathy and compassion.
It is really important to feel and give kindness towards yourself and/or others. To create peace and harmony we must first look in the mirror and be kind. We play trust games and communicate to feel safe. We talk about green food and how important food is to nourish and heal.
We explore and discuss love, why we are the most important person to love. We can only feel empathy and compassion when we love ourselves enough to give more love out. We discuss the sense of touch, how that creates trust and when is it ok to touch and when is it ok to have boundaries. To have confidence and love for ourselves to say no to ideas and experiences that do not resonate with our body and mind.
OUTCOMES: Feel comfortable saying “I love me, I am special” in the mirror. Know that love is something to give and to receive.
THEMES: “I Hear”
Personal truth communication, Creative identity, self expression, choice, communication and listening, balance of logic and emotion
CORE ISSUES: Be comfortable with change and making decisions, communicate truth, courage, forgiveness, finding one’s own voice
Communication to yourself and the world around you is so important. Many of us struggle to say what we think through fear of being wrong or upsetting the other person. We learn different ways of communicating our feelings by drawing them and acting them out. We discuss whole body listening and how to deal with distractions. Focus can be really hard, trying to notice something different every day or using a listening meditation to hear all the different sounds can help you maintain focus by keeping interest there.
Practising gratitude can be really simple. Using our journals, we stay in the present moment to list what we are grateful for. It can make a big difference.
OUTCOMES:Be able to communicate effectively through a variety of mediums, write, draw, speak, move and act. Know when to use each one to be an effective communicator. Help others to have space to communicate and be a good listener.
THEMES: “I Perceive”
Intuition, insight, sensory perception, imagination, visualisation
SENSE: Intuition (Sixth sense, gut instinct- connects all the other senses)
CORE ISSUES: Wisdom, experience, intuition, imagination, manifesting abundance, dreams,
The pineal gland in the brain is in the shape of an eye, hence the term Third Eye. The Egyptians and other ancient cultures knew about this and understood that it took in information from the world around them and sometimes believed even information beyond the stars could come through. The pineal gland lets the brain know when it is night and day, it is responsible for melatonin (sleep hormone) and serotonin (happy hormone).
We discuss screens and over stimulation. Also we put together a sleep tool kit in class and make goals to reduce screen time, especially when eating or before bed. We empower with knowledge to set the goals by themselves. To give back responsibility of body and mind to the individual.
The meditation is all about feeling the magic, joy and excitement about life. About being able to manifest what you want from life. This helps to provide energy and motivation in the present to go after their dreams. A valuable feeling to be able to tap into.
OUTCOMES: To feel grater control over their lives, to find something they want and to have the energy and motivation to go after it. To trust their instinct and make choices in the present moment free from fear.
THEMES: “I Know”
the way you express who you are and your connection to the universe, ability to trust life, values, ethics, courage, faith and inspiration
CORE ISSUES: Belief systems, awareness and consciousness.
The Crown chakra is a sum of all the pieces. We review and repeat our favourite games, journal activity or exercise. We goal set for the future based on how we feel at the end. We get ready to come back and go a bit deeper into each colour to find more understanding about ourselves. We learn how we are all connected and how to use our tools in real life.
OUTCOMES: Round up and set goals for the future. Connect all the work we have done and trouble shoot some scenarios to help integrate new tools.