The word “chakra” comes from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, it literally translates to “spinning wheel.” Chakras describe the different energy centers throughout our bodies that are connected to life energy. Each energy center has its own associations, strengths, ways of presenting itself, and life themes. The main seven chakras of the human body are the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra, and the crown chakra. They are positioned traveling upwards of the spine, starting at the tailbone, all the way up to the top of the skull.
Let’s begin with the color and energetic associations that go with each chakra. The root chakra is associated with the color red. It has to do with your primal connection to the earth and being a human being. The root chakra is the lowest positioned chakra in the body. It has to do with feelings of security and safety regarding resources and the meeting of your emotional needs. The root chakra governs the “fight or flight” response. The sacral chakra is associated with the color orange. It has to do with your sensuality, passion, intimacy, creativity, and joy being positioned just above the pubic bone. It is how you express yourself in the world. Great ways to balance the sacral chakra is to do things that showcase your creativity, such as painting or drawing, writing, and DANCING. Moving your hips is a great way to stimulate the sacral energy center. The solar plexus chakra is associated with the color yellow. It relates to your personal power and self-esteem. It is situated just above the belly button. Good ways to keep the solar plexus center healthy are doing exercises that strengthen your core and diaphragm, practicing positive self talk and affirmations, and trying to maintain a sense of humor, spontaneity, and playfulness in your daily life. The heart chakra is associated with the color green. It relates to love, forgiveness, your attitude towards giving and receiving, empathy and compassion for self and others, and the way you connect emotionally with the world around you. If the heart chakra is blocked you may feel depression, shyness, loneliness, difficulty to forgive, or struggle with giving or receiving love. Ways to stimulate the heart chakra are to practice gentleness with yourself, to ask yourself what is stopping you from forgiving yourself or someone else, to practice heart opening yoga positions, and to recognize that true strength comes from being soft. The throat chakra is associated with the color light blue. It is associated with communication, the expression of thoughts, feelings, and ideas, a healthy internal dialogue, and striking a balance between speaking and listening, as well as the seeking and sharing of truth, social skills, and personal integrity and honor. Some ways to strengthen your throat chakra are practicing mindfulness meditation, tapping into what you truly want as opposed to relying on others to determine that, using essential oils such as frankincense, geranium, sage, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, tree tea, and lavender, and practicing affirmations such as the following:
“I communicate confidently and with ease.”
“I feel comfortable speaking my mind.”
“I am balanced in speaking and listening.”
“I am an active listener.”
“I speak my true thoughts with ease.”
“I set clear boundaries.”
The third eye chakra is represented by the color indigo. The third eye chakra is associated with higher knowledge, intuition, and what you might think of as your sixth sense. Great ways to activate your third eye chakra are to pay attention to your dreams and little synchronicities or insights that you experience throughout your day. You can also focus your meditation practice on your third eye area of your forehead and envision it opening up. Working with particular crystals that are dark blue in color such as lapis lazuli, sodalite, purple sapphire, or indigo tourmaline help to stimulate the third eye as well. The crown chakra is represented by the color purple. The crown chakra is the meeting point between the physical body and the universe and soul. This chakra helps you to embrace gratitude for your life. It is the center of enlightenment and awareness. When the crown chakra is balanced, it brings feelings of serenity, joy, and deep peace in your life. Ways to activate your crown chakra are to create a gratitude practice for yourself - whether that is a gratitude journal, a yoga practice, or simply thanking the earth for your food each time before you eat, you will find what works for you. Getting quiet and observing yourself is also a great way to connect with your crown chakra.
Each chakra is either in balance, blocked, or “blown open,” so to speak. These terms refer to the health and vitality of each energy center in your body. When a chakra is in balance it is functioning properly, and your health, mood, actions, and abilities all reflect this balance. For example, when the root chakra is in balance, you feel grounded and stable. A balanced root chakra comes with confidence and not worrying about money or resources. A balanced root chakra manifests in the knowing that you are taken care of and your basic survival needs will always be met. A blocked chakra refers to a chakra energy center that is shut off from the rest of the chakras surrounding it. This occurs when emotional pain builds up within the body. It can also be caused by ancestral or familial traumas that have not been worked through or released. There are varying degrees to which chakras can be blocked, therefore, the way blockages manifest varies widely. A “blown open” chakra refers to a chakra that was once in balance and healthy, but was then leaned on too heavily due to its health. For example, if someone has a strong and healthy solar plexus chakra, but their crown chakra becomes blocked, they begin to lose their connection to the
divine and the idea that there is a power higher than themselves. This can lead to the solar plexus chakra becoming overly active and blown open. This often manifests as an unhealthy ego, needing to be right, or a superiority complex.
The words “divine feminine” and “divine masculine” have gained a lot of buzz in the last couple years, but they are not widely understood. Many people come up with imagery in their minds about what the divine feminine or masculine looks like, but we are not all able to put that into words. What is even more difficult is putting that imagery into actionable ways of living.
Let’s begin on an energetic level...we all have the potential to have equal parts masculine and feminine energy within us, regardless of the gender we were assigned at birth. We embody the masculine and feminine energies in many different ways - women are capable of deeply embodying masculine energy, and men are just as capable of embodying deeply feminine energy. We’ve all heard of and seen the yin yang symbol. The yin refers to female energy and the yang refers to male energy. In an article written by the Goop Lab, they sum up the main four yin/ yang modalities quite well. They list the modalities as greater yin, lesser yin, lesser yang and greater yang. They say greater yin “is about as feminine as it can get. This energy is associated with stillness, nighttime, intuition, creativity, feelings, and senses.” They describe the lesser yin as “slightly more fluid: Composition ranges from 60 percent to 80 percent yin and 20 percent to 40 percent yang energy.” For the lesser yang they say “now we’re moving into dominant Yang/masculine energy (60 to 80 percent). This type is a little more extroverted, active, and dominant, with a tendency to move through life at a faster pace.” For the greater yang they say “this is as masculine an energy as it gets. Greater yang energy is assertive, goal-oriented, accomplished, and dominant. This energy is associated with daytime, activity, vision, and power.”
All of this talk on chakras leads perfectly into discussing the divine feminine and masculine energies, because each chakra carries either masculine or feminine energy. This means their energies either project outward into the world or receive energetically from the world. Masculine chakras project outward, while feminine chakras receive inwards. The root chakra is masculine, and then the chakras alternate between masculine and feminine energy as you travel upwards, so the sacral chakra is feminine, the solar plexus is masculine, the heart is unique in the way that it embodies both masculine and feminine energy. As we discussed earlier, the color associated with the heart chakra is green, but pink is also associated with the heart, and this is our self-love and our forgiveness of ourselves and others. This is the feminine aspect of the heart. The masculine aspect of the heart is when we project love outwards and give love and compassion to others. The throat is masculine, and this makes sense, because if you think about it, the throat is projecting outward. The third eye is feminine, because you are receiving intuition and guidance from the universe. The crown is masculine because you are projecting your connection outwards toward the source that connects us all.
Now, let’s talk about ways we can embody and balance both of these great energies within ourselves. I’d like to start by giving a little disclaimer that my personal belief is that we cannot ever really truly balance these energies in a 50/50 way, because there is an ever fluctuating need for us to show up as both masculine and feminine within our lives. When I say “balancing” I am more referring to ensuring that you are not living too much within your masculine for too long or too much within your feminine for too long. If we remain too attached to masculine or feminine it can lead us to becoming blind to compassion, reason, generosity, love, and giving/ receiving equally. So please just keep that in mind as I share.
Ways to activate the divine masculine within yourself are to practice less internalization and more action. If you are frequently dreaming about or desiring to change an aspect of your life, but failing to follow through with the actions to bring that change to fruition, practice simple taking action. Even if that action is minute, as long as it is moving you in the direction you want to be headed, take it. Allow those small actions to snowball into larger more profound movement towards your goals. Standing up for yourself is a great way to activate the divine masculine. Being confident in your beliefs and choices and channeling your internal source of validation rather than seeking it out from others helps to strengthen your masculine energy. Working with/ learning from masculine archetypes, teachers, or deities can help you to envision what a healthy diving masculine energy looks like.
Ways to activate the divine feminine within yourself are to allow yourself to be soft. Try to develop the deep understanding that the truth beneath all of our masks, societal standards and pressures, and fears of vulnerability, that the gentler you are with yourself and others, the stronger you are as well. Allow yourself to express your emotions - in real time. Practice patience and nurturing. Observe where you may be taking more than you are giving and make a conscious effort to balance that equation. Become a teacher. Not literally, or do if that’s what you want! Become a teacher in the sense that you give the gift of knowledge and a skill to someone else. Take the time to listen and hold space for the ones you love.
Both of these beautiful energies are necessary for each of us to function and collectively come together. In a day where people shutter at the idea that something can be inherently masculine or feminine, maybe we can try to reframe that into the realization that being masculine or feminine has nothing to do with anatomy, but with the fluid dance that we call life. There is a time and a place for both energies to be embodied by those who identify as male or female and everything in between.
Thank you all for taking the time to join me and also for showing up for yourselves throughout these six weeks of Weekly Zen sessions. It has been such an honor for me to hold this space for you all. I hope to continue this in one way or another. I am planning on doing yoga classes virtually on zoom three to four times per week. My first online yoga class will be on Monday July 19th! I will post my full schedule below. Each yoga class is one hour long and $10 per student. Reserve your spot and pay ahead of time by contacting me!
With The Fullest Heart,