A forum for all of those open to balancing their Chakras, enhancing their yoga practice and ensuring optimum holistic health

Posts tagged ‘Root Chakra’

Connection of Psoas Muscle to Root and Sacral Chakras


The psoas muscle is connected energetically to the Sacral Chakra, which is associated with our sexuality and moving into relationship (dancing and swimming are two exercises in addition to yoga stretches that are recommended to strengthen this chakra). The psoas muscle also extends down to the Root Chakra which grounds us and makes us feel secure and safe in the world (squatting in the garden to pull weeds is one of my favorite stretches to both ground my Root Chakra and release my psoas muscle). In my morning yoga routine, I do reclined Cobbler’s Pose, gently pressing my thighs away from my hips as my spine extends and psoas tightness is released.

Here is a very detailed description of the psoas muscle which provides detailed information on how your yoga practice may be helping or actually hurting this “muscle of the soul” from BodyDivineYoga.wordpress.com:

The Psoas: Muscle of The Soul

I was delighted when I first came across Liz Koch’s amazing work because it confirmed much of what I’d been intuiting on my own. I had begun to open and close my yoga practise with hip opening poses with the specific intention of releasing tension in my psoas and hip flexors. I’d breathe and imagine tension flowing out of constricted muscles to be released as energy into the torso.

It worked, I’d feel my body soften yet somehow grow stronger.

Reading Liz Koch I instantly realized what I was doing – by learning to relax my psoas I was literally energizing my deepest core by reconnecting with the powerful energy of the earth. According to Koch, the psoas is far more than a core stabilizing muscle; it is an organ of perception composed of bio-intelligent tissue and “literally embodies our deepest urge for survival, and more profoundly, our elemental desire to flourish.”

Well, I just had to learn more. Here is just a sprinkling of the research that Liz Koch and others have uncovered regarding the importance of the psoas to our health, vitality and emotional well-being.

The Psoas muscle (pronounced so-as) is the deepest muscle of the human body affecting our structural balance, muscular integrity, flexibility, strength, range of motion, joint mobility, and organ functioning.

Growing out of both sides of the spine, the psoas spans laterally from the 12th thoracic vertebrae (T12) to each of the 5 lumbar vertebrae. From there it flows down through the abdominal core, the pelvis, to attach to the top of the femur (thigh) bone.

The Psoas is the only ‘muscle’ to connect the spine to the legs.  It is responsible for holding us upright, and allows us to lift our legs in order to walk. A healthily functioning psoas stabilizes the spine and provides support through the trunk, forming a shelf for the vital organs of the abdominal core.

The psoas is connected to the diaphragm through connective tissue or fascia which affects both our breath and fear reflex. This is because the psoas is directly linked to the reptilian brain, the most ancient interior part of the brain stem and spinal cord.  As Koch writes “Long before the spoken word or the organizing capacity of the cortex developed, the reptilian brain, known for its survival instincts, maintained our essential core functioning.”

Koch believes that our fast paced modern lifestyle (which runs on the adrenaline of our sympathetic nervous system) chronically triggers and tightens the psoas – making it literally ready to run or fight. The psoas helps you to spring into action – or curl you up into a protective ball.

If we constantly contract the psoas to due to stress or tension , the muscle eventually begins to shorten leading to a host of painful conditions including low back pain, sacroiliac pain, sciatica, disc problems, spondylolysis, scoliosis, hip degeneration, knee pain, menstruation pain, infertility, and digestive problems.

A tight psoas not only creates structural problems, it constricts the organs, puts pressure on nerves, interferes with the movement of fluids, and impairs diaphragmatic breathing.

In fact, “The psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, that a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.”

And according to Koch, this situation is exacerbated by many things in our modern lifestyle, from car seats to constrictive clothing, from chairs to shoes that distort our posture, curtail our natural movements and further constrict our psoas.

Koch believes the first step in cultivating a healthy psoas is to release unnecessary tension.  But “to work with the psoas is not to try to control the muscle, but to cultivate the awareness necessary for sensing its messages.  This involves making a conscious choice to become somatically aware.”

 A relaxed psoas is the mark of play and creative expression.  Instead of the contracted psoas, ready to run or fight, the relaxed and released psoas is ready instead to lengthen and open, to dance. In many yoga poses (like tree)  the thighs can’t fully rotate outward unless the psoas releases. A released psoas allows the front of the thighs to lengthen and the leg to move independently from the pelvis, enhancing and deepening the lift of the entire torso and heart.

Koch believes that by cultivating a healthy psoas, we can rekindle our body’s vital energies by learning to reconnect with the life force of the universe. Within the Taoist tradition the psoas is spoken of as the seat or muscle of the soul, and surrounds the lower “Dan tien” a major energy center of body.  A flexible and strong psoas grounds us and allows subtle energies to flow through the bones, muscles and joints.

Koch writes “The psoas, by conducting energy, grounds us to the earth, just as a grounding wire prevents shocks and eliminates static on a radio. Freed and grounded, the spine can awaken”…“ As gravitational flows transfer weight through bones, tissue, and muscle, into the earth, the earth rebounds, flowing back up the legs and spine, energizing, coordinating and animating posture, movement and expression. It is an uninterrupted conversation between self, earth, and cosmos.”

So, it might be worth it, next time you practice, to tune in and pay attention to what your bio-intelligent psoas has to say.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, and Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

Crystal Healing for the Root Chakra


HOW DO CRYSTALS ASSIST IN BALANCING THE CHAKRAS?
Crystal healing works because the stones interact with your body’s own natural subtle energies. Each crystal holds a vibration, much like chakras hold a vibration of color and energy. Crystals used to heal each chakra usually vibrate with the same color associated with that chakra. Edgar Cayce recommended illuminating a clear quartz crystal with the color of the chakra you wanted to heal, then to gaze on that crystal as you sang a mantra associated with that chakra (L A M for the Root Chakra) or repeated an appropriate affirmation. Even a photograph of the crystal holds the vibration.

Gaze at the photo here while toning L A M and notice how you feel safer, more grounded and more secure.

For photos, sound mantras and affirmations associated with all seven of the major chakras, see my new Kindle book, BALANCE YOUR CHAKRAS, BALANCE YOUR LIFE.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life, and the Balance & Tone Your Chakras DVD

www.thechakras.org

Feel Safe and Secure – Balance your Root Chakra


“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

All of the characters in The Chakra Diaries need to build a strong Root Chakra foundation before they move on to achieve what they want in life. Estrella especially experiences the feelings of isolation, abandonment and lack of trust associated with an unbalanced root chakra, and needs to find the safe place within herself that was not given to her in her childhood home.

Your first chakra, the root chakra, is the base of security and safety. It is associated with our basic instincts of survival – food, shelter, health and self-preservation. It is the very foundation of our being and our identity. It is located at the base of the spine, its associated color is red.

When unbalanced, you may feel fear, anxiety, insecurity, self-centeredness, low self-esteem, and physical problems such as lower back pain, sciatica, constipation, weight issues, and even addictions to food or alcohol.

When it is balanced, your mind is calm and clear and you feel a sense of profound physical connection to the earth.

YOGA POSES TO BALANCE THE ROOT CHAKRA

Try these yoga poses to help increase circulation and energy in the lower abdomen and energize your root chakra: Pelvic Rotations, Butterfly, and the Squat with Sound Breath.

ROOT CHAKRA MEDITATION

Inhale deeply, hold your breath and then exhale. Bring your attention to the base of your spine. Visualize a red whirling ball of energy there. See the red getting brighter and stronger as it goes down both your legs – filling every cell with invigorating energy. Let it flow out through your feet into the center of the earth. Let the healing red energy form deep roots anchoring you, holding you safe and secure. Know that you belong on this earth. With a deep breath, draw up the healing energy of Mother Earth into your root chakra. Feel the security, strength and comfort of belonging here in your chosen place.

For a complete 7 Chakra Balancing Meditation, go to http://www.TheChakras.org.

Dreams Confused with Reality?


“The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.” ~ James Michener

Dreams bolster and enable our vision, imagination and insight, revealing that which has been hidden, out of focus or not understand. Just as Deborah, a wondrous character in The Chakra Diaries saw herself in a different light when an anonymous admirer wrote of her anointing his dreams and igniting his imagination, dreams can communicate to us from the inside out. Deborah was living almost entirely in the past, isolated from her spouse’s physical affections and questioning her self worth until her new friend’s verbiage and focus enabled her to reopen her heart to love and all of its many splendors.

Will Deborah end up in the arms of love? Will her husband realize his mistake at leaving her and beg for her in forgiveness? Will Deborah’s new friend enrich her life as she had hoped and dreamed?

Read the whole story in The Chakra Diaries to find out more about reigniting the sacral chakra, passion and love. Namaste.

Finding Love at the End of the Rainbow – Step Two – Sacral Chakra


“Sex is emotion in motion,” said Mae West and she was an expert on that subject. If stress causes blockages of energy in the body, your sex and your love life will be out of whack. Accumulated stress in the body, whether emotional or physical, erects barriers to the natural flow of our life energy. So, too much stress may equal no love or even any prospects for it. Love doctors have for centuries recognized that moving in spontaneous and free-form ways not only demands flexibility but also the ability to change focus and let go of memories, trauma and pain.

Philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has been quoted as saying that “Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy in the world.” In opposition to the Base Chakra’s links to fortress-like solidity and stability, the Sacral Chakra focuses on flowing movement and filling your need to sip, bathe, luxuriate or douse in the vivacious, unpredictable and dynamic stream we call love. Practicing the hypnotic hip swivels of oriental (belly) dancing or performing wu chi exercises may help you begin to experience the world of love that seems just beyond your heart’s grasp.

An imbalance of your Sacral Chakra may also manifest as an inappropriate focus on something or somebody that is inappropriate or unrealistic. Perhaps that new guy in the office does have a killer smile, great hair and a body worth giving up chocolate for, but he comes forth anointed with a ring finger wrapped in gold. We might practice the cobbler’s pose to encourage our life energy to flow throughout our sacral chakra or unleash and focus our creative spirits through painting or making music. Our skill level at this art is not an important measure but the fact that we are “doing it” and by doing so are diverting our essence around any barriers nesting in our bodies. As an expression of our joy of living, whatever we create is beautiful, skillful, breathtaking and encouraging. In becoming more sensitive and responsive to what is going on in the world around us, we also further the grounding that we fostered in our root chakra, allowing us to go boldly after what we seek in life, even a relationship that we can grow old with.

In addition to harboring pleasurable sensations, the sacral chakra can vacuum in and hold fast to pain and its attendant stress, damming up the free flow of energy and physically manifesting as infection and illness. We may be “going through the motions” in life, seeing the dust on the table and not the wondrous roses in the crystal vase. Our reactions to the world may vacillate widely from rage and aggression to breaking into tears at the slightest problem.

To aid in stress relief, esteemed authors and teachers Sue and Simon Lilly suggest placing three clear quartz crystals, points facing outward, in a triangle just below your navel. Next, place three rose quartz stones in an arc above your pubic bone and relax for 4-5 minutes. Repeat as often as is needed for optimal energy flow.

Namaste and Keep Focused on Love!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries

Healthy Foods to Balance Your Chakras


Becca says chocolate on Valentine's Day will help open your Third Eye Chakra, for greater intuition and psychic power.

Foods, especially that share colors with the chakras, carry vibrations that can activate or balance your chakras.

Root Chakra Healing Foods: Animal protein, root vegetables, edible and medicinal mushrooms, red-colored foods (apples, pomegranates, etc.)

Sacral Chakra Healing Foods: Fats and oils, fish (especially wild-caught salmon), tropical fruits, seeds, nuts, orange-colored foods (oranges, tangerines, carrots, etc.)

Solar Plexus Chakra Healing Foods: Carbohydrates (complex), whole grains, legumes, yellow-colored foods (yellow sweet peppers, yellow lentils, corn, etc.)

Heart Chakra Healing Foods: Green leafy vegetables, sprouts, raw foods, any green-colored foods or drinks like green tea

Throat Chakra Healing Foods: Seaweed, fruit, and liquids like juices, soups, sauces

Third Eye Chakra Healing Foods: Caffeine, chocolate, spices, wine, purple-red foods (purple potatoes, red onions, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, etc.)

Crown Chakra Healing Foods: Since the crown chakra is more “spirit” than “matter,” it is not nourished with physical foods in the same way that they feed other chakras, but is usually healed by fasting and on the sustenance that comes from sunlight, air, and love.

by Becca Chopra, author of “The Chakra Diaries.” Read a free sample chapter at http://www.TheChakras.org

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