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Chakras {for Beginners}

If you have ever wondered what the heck chakras are all about, why you might want to balance them or if there is any legitimacy to them, this blog is for YOU.

Likewise, if you want to cultivate trusting your intuition OR if you have felt a level of shame for being curious, because a part of you is worried that is a dangerous road to go down, this blog is also for YOU.


Way Back When...

Growing up in the 80's, in a tradition that did not (at the time) celebrate or promote Eastern practices, I internalized a ginormous fear that if I meditated or "emptied my mind," that it would be filled with evil thoughts.


When I started feeling curious about things like yoga and chakras, I felt like I was really riding a fine line.

In the 2000s, I became certified in a DoxaSoma, which looks quite similar to yoga, but is based in Christianity. Even that raised some eyebrows, as I taught in churches and at retreats. Other eyes grew soft with gratitude, because they could finally engage in a powerfully integrative practice without feeling shame!

One day, I picked up a book on Chakras from Barnes & Noble. With no Christian coating to hide the Eastern origins, I felt like I had purchased something illegal. Paranoia sat on my should as I walked out of the store. Had anyone from church witnessed my purchase? Even in the safety of my own home, I felt devious and like a rebel.

I played it S A F E and tended to have a "good girl" persona when it came to matters of faith, religion and spirituality. All that to say, I could not bare to open the book and actually read about chakras. I ended up donating the book to Goodwill a year later, without ever cracking the cover.

Over a decade later, I was re-introduced to the concept of Chakras. It was at a point in time where I felt safe to be curious and to explore, even if it meant exploring something I had previously interpreted as off-limits.

What I found was resonance, as I learned that "chakra" is a Sanskrit word for spinning wheel or disk representing a spiritual energy center in the body. When these energy centers are open, aligned and balanced, we experience the ease of life flowing through us. When they are blocked, out of alignment or out of balance, we experience dis-ease of life flowing through us.


The BASICS of Chakras

Although there are many chakras, there are 7 main chakras that are usually talked about. Each chakra has a general location in the body, color, an earth element, crystals, yoga positions and even a sound associated with it. There are emotional, physical, and spiritual attributes and ways the balanced or un-balanced chakra may show up in our lives. There are affirmations and practices one can do to balance, align, open and un-block any of the chakras.

VERY BASICALLY, these 7 Chakras move from the base of the spine, up through the top of the head. They follow the colors of the rainbow (which makes chakra stuff really pretty), beginning with red and ending with violet. The lower chakras are more physically oriented and the upper chakras are more spiritually oriented. The chakra in the middle (the heart chakra) is where physicality and spirituality really come together. But really, body, emotions and spiritual connection is represented through out the entirety of these energy centers.

As one increases awareness of, movement in and openness to a chakra, there is an opportunity to deepen in personal healing, self-understanding and empowerment to show up fully in the world.

Do you need to "get" chakras?


Might understanding and accessing chakras to your capacity be another tool in your personal growth and transformation tool belt?


What do you notice coming up for you, right now, about chakras? What are you curious about?

My next blog will go into each of the 7 Chakras in a very gentle and basic way, so that you can begin to understand a little more about what each one represents and is associated with. I'll share affirmations with you, as well as the human need that a balanced, opened and aligned chakra meets. (If you don't already receive new blogs in your in box, be sure to subscribe on the right side of this page!)


Putting It Into Practice

A number of years ago, I was invited to do a particular Chakra practice, called Chakra

Breathing Meditation. This practice is a way to awaken these energetic centers and cultivate embodied awareness of the knowing held in each center.

I did it one time. I felt weird and edgy and VERY skeptical. My mind was ping-ponging for the entire meditation. I struggled to bring consistent awareness to any part of my body, let alone fully hear what that part of my body might know.

I did it a second time. I felt less weird, still edgy, but I also felt curious. My mind ping-ponged, but when I noticed, I drew my awareness to the part of my body where the given chakra is represented. I tried to visualize the chakra colors, the affirmation and knowing of that part of my body, but it felt wispy and concocted.

I know it takes us humans a few tries before we get the hang of something, so with curiosity continuing to press me forward, I had no problem diving in again and again.

I did it a third time. I went for it: I really tuned in to the identified physical location, I visualized the associated color and I held the affirmations in my mind as I moved through the meditation.

All of a sudden, something shifted, internally. I don't know how to describe it, other than there was a softening and an opening on a cellular level. It was in the first chakra - the root chakra, right at the base of the spine - the one associated with red. I felt a warmth radiating through my body and it wasn't because I had accidentally peed myself (we think things like this when we are doing something new, right?).

From that point on, I have continued to lean in, to be curious and to see what might be available to me (and my journey) as I expand my understanding about ALL of who I am, including these invisible, energetic centers. Experiences like these, are our own personal Doorways to Healing!


Three Lessons

Be sure to read the next Blog to hear my take on each of the 7 chakras.

For now, here are three lessons I want to leave you with:

1. Find a place and people where you are safe to explore your curiosity - whether it is about Chakras, Marijuana or some other topic that may feel taboo.

2. Lean in when your exploration and inquiry expands authentic freedom to your heart, body, soul and mind.

3. Follow the thread of curiosity, whether you try something 3 times or 300 times. It takes time to learn new things, create new neural pathways and to develop muscle memory. If you are curious, keep going!


Rachel Sartori is an Embodiment and Wholeness Coach. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.

Read: Exercise Your Soul: Ignite Healing and Wholeness in your Life and Live from the Inside Out

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