How Yoga Helps Me Unite The Chakras (and How it Can Help You Too)

At Yoga Art Space, we have a book club and we are finishing up an extremely educational book called Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith. This book teaches about the 7 major chakras in the body, one by one. Each chakra represents certain life lessons and depending on your life experiences, a given chakra may become excessive or deficient (or even a combination of both since the chakras represent many aspects of who we are).

In the conclusion of this book, Judith summerized how readers can work to open the chakras without overwhelming themselves. I learned that there are several different directions we can take to work through the chakras. When in doubt, we can always work from the root chakra (at the base of the spine) up to the crown chakra (at the top of the head). This is the direction I've always taken the chakras from all of the workshops and trainings I've attended. The benefit of this direction is that its purpose is to lead you to the path of liberation, which is one of the great goals of yoga! However, this book taught me that you can work in 3 other directions. You can also work:

1) From the top down -- This direction leads to the path of manifestation. In other words, it is about bringing the energy, intelligence, and wisdom we gain back down to the earth where we can successfully make great changes in our lives.

2) From the heart outward to the upper and lower chakras-- In this path, the heart chakra is strong in that you love others and have a great deal of compassion for others and for yourself, however, you are not well grounded and you have trouble having a vision for what you'd like to do with your life (as an example).

3) From the outer chakras back to the heart-- This is the opposite of above. You are grounded, passionate, and have a vision. However, you may have difficulty communicating with others, when relationships go bad, you may begin to lose personal power and courage to carry on, and your heart area may be energetically collapsed.

Learning that I don't just have to work on the chakras in a linear manner was life changing for me. Specifically, the 3rd option above is the journey which may prove to be most helpful to me as I continue to work. Let me explain a little bit about my story and the bifurcation that has developed in my head and root.