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Podcast Ep 59: Your Mind is the Big Sky

Meditating on your mind as the sky opens your awareness to your crown chakra and the expansiveness of your consciousness. Inspired by the Cosmic Egg card in The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans, let this episode’s guided meditation bring you into that awareness. You’ll only need a comfortable and supported place to sit to be the big sky.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter. Become a Patreon sponsor and contribute needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Animal Spirits – totems for heart chakra work

The heart chakra, Anahata, spins with the energy of love, joy, and harmony. If your heart chakra is feeling out of balance, by journeying to one of these animal spirits you can gain insight and guidance to make your heart happy.

hummingbird in flight

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The joyful nature of Hummingbird invites you to find your own inner happiness. In Hummingbird’s quest for the sweetest of experiences, he playfully spreads joy and love. Hummingbird is linked to the healing power of plants, and reminds you there is powerful beauty everywhere.

 

Deer in tall grass

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Gentle, peaceful Deer epitomizes the energy of the heart chakra. Anahata, which means “unstruck,” is pure love, untarnished and untraumatized by any worldly goings on. Like an innocent child, Deer is offers only unconditional love, without judgement or condemnation. Call on Deer to learn to be sensitive, compassionate, and, at times, courageous. (“Courage,” after all, comes from the Latin word for “heart.”)

 

Dove on a cherry tree


Image by Susann Mielke from Pixabay

Long a symbol of peace and love, Dove flies in when your heart needs healing. Dove’s qualities are diplomacy and gentleness. Dove soothes grief, the wound of this chakra. Dove also symbolizes faith, and her energy can be accessed through Bhakti Yoga, the practice of joyful devotion.

 

Antelope in the wild

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Antelope is associated with Anahata in yoga philosophical symbology. While the horns suggest the rising of spiritual consciousness, the soft eyes remind you to be guided by compassion. Antelope brings empathy, grace, and atonement to your heart chakra work. He invites you to free yourself from your emotional blocks, and comes with the message that you are loved.

Podcast Ep. 53: Energize Your Throat Chakra

It seems that, lately, every time I pull a card from Kim Kran’s The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck for episode inspiration, I get a Throat Chakra card. This week’s is Black Egg, the actual Throat Chakra card in the “spirit” group of animal spirits in the deck. I’ve been doing lots of work in that energy center – getting ready to premier a new webinar on January 27th. Whether I’m writing a talk, guiding a yoga class, or practicing my public speaking, my throat tends to act up, so I’m sharing a short yoga “warm-up” for the Fifth Chakra on both the physical and energetic levels. Open up and speak your truth!

Ready to share with your authentic voice as a healer, teacher, or activist? I have one mentorship open now for a healing arts professional and emerging inspirational leader. Explore what is possible. Click here to book a complementary Break Open call.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook and sign up for the newsletter. Please consider becoming a Patreon sponsor and help me purchase needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, my wild turtle rehabilitation clinic.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

 

Podcast Ep 43: Chakra Awareness Meditation

I’m drawing on my experience teaching the Chakra system and facilitating self-discovery through the Chakras to put together an online Chakra course. Since it was on my mind (and my desk), in this episode I’m sharing a meditation to bring awareness and balance to each of the seven major Chakra energy centers. You will feel the perfection of your being-ness.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about Yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or comment here. Please consider becoming a Patreon sponsor and help me purchase needed equipment and supplies for my wild turtle rehabilitation clinic.

Much gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

 

Animal spirits: totems for sacral chakra work

A couple of months ago I started a new exploration of the Chakra system by linking chakra energy into the interconnected web of life through the spirits of animals who embody that energy. Now that I am pretty grounded in Muladhara’s energy, I’ve begun to look at the second chakra.

Svadhishthana is the center of watery, flowing movement and creation. The animals that share the energy of the sacral chakra have a relationship with water and the creative process.

nile-crocodile_643_600x450The crocodile governs the second chakra. He easily transitions from water to land and back again, but it is in the water that this chakra’s work happens. Crocodile goes deep into the emotional world, then resurfaces with new creativity.

 

dolphin-kristian-sekulic-ispWith playful grace, the dolphin embodies freedom. Although living fully in the water, dolphins must surface to breathe air like a land mammal, representative of the duality of nature. It time they surface is a renewal of sorts. Dolphins seem to have an intuitive understanding of and a feminine friendliness towards us humans.

green_frogThe life-cycle of a frog has made it a symbol of transformation across many cultures. In Native American traditions, frog medicine is cleansing and healing, and associated with life-bringing rain. Frog’s cleansing takes place on the emotional level, where true healing begins.

 

beaverThe busy beaver is the builder of dreams. Ever creative, the beaver works hard to manifest all it desires. Yet there is a sense of balance with beavers. They work when it is time to work, eat when it is time to eat, and play when it is time to play. Beavers have strong family relationships and often work as a team. In the group, each is honored for its contribution to the whole, bringing beaver close to the source of oneness – the original creative energy of existence. Beavers’ work transforms their environment in a harmonious way, so each place they leave behind is reborn in their wake.

Animal spirits: totems for root chakra work

I am a Chakra junkie. I love exploring the energy of the Chakra system, and I am always looking for new ways to connect with and experience that energy. Lately I have been seeking to link chakra energy into the interconnected web of life by invoking the spirits of animals who embody that energy into my chakra work.

The first, or root, chakra – Muladhara – is the center of earthy, stable energy. The animals that bring that energy are solid and heavy, with one exception.

african_bush_elephant_big_animalDespite weighing 10,000 pounds, elephants walk softly on the earth. Nurturing elephants fare well in their often harsh natural environments, and demonstrate a strong commitment to their group’s protection and survival. As a symbol of safety and strength, elephants can be called on to support first chakra explorations. In addition, the gentle eyes of the huge elephant are full of ancient wisdom. The elephant is a worthwhile companion for your grounding practice.

highlandbOx represents strength, endurance, stamina, prosperity and productivity. These characteristics reflect the energy of the first chakra. Consider a pair of oxen as your guardians while you settle into a deep, rooting meditation.

 

bullThe bull is the Earth Lord, embodying abundance and contentment when calm. When running, the bull’s thundering hooves make the earth quake. Call on bull to bring power to a deficient first chakra.

 

shutterstock_mole.jpg.CROP.original-originalMole is neither heavy nor strong, yet offers a strong connection to the earth. Moles represent the ultimate in groundedness. Ask mole to teach you about eating right, an important first chakra lesson, by sharing her knowledge of herbs and roots.

To connect to the spirit of these first chakra animals, you can simply meditate on them or their qualities. You might also try imagining yourself in the body of the animal. What would it feel like to move like an elephant, an ox, a bull or a mole? You can also call on them as guardians during any root chakra work.

Can you think of any other animals with first chakra spirit?

 

7 stones to heal and balance the Chakras

Stones and crystals have a long tradition of being used for healing. Each variety of stone has its own resonance which creates its healing abilities. Working with appropriate stones can help to restore stability and balance to the Chakra energy system, stimulating the physical body’s natural healing mechanisms. (For more on how healing crystals work, see this article by Benjamin Dean.)

My own interest in stones began when I was a child. I collected rocks everywhere, and was overjoyed when I found quartz or the beautiful red garnet which has been mined in the Adirondacks since the late 1800s. I’ve continued to learn about and work with crystals whenever there was an opportunity. Nowadays I carry a medicine bag with a variety of crystals, including one for each Chakra.

There are a number of stones that work well with each Chakra, and some are used for one Chakra by some folks and for a different Chakra by others. I chose the crystals which would best enhance the qualities of each Chakra that I most needed to heal, balance or support. Perhaps you will find others work better for you. I choose a stone by holding it in my hand and seeing how it makes me feel. You’ll know when you’ve got the right one.

Hematite

Hematite

1st Chakra: Roots

Hematite, or blood ore, powerfully roots you to the earth. It is used for grounding and for protection from negative forces. I work with hematite when I feel insecure or mentally scattered, to reconnect with the first Chakra’s stabilizing energy.

 

Citrine

Citrine

2nd Chakra: Emotions
A powerful stone for all the lower Chakras, citrine dissipates negative energy and invokes feelings of warmth, joy and hopefulness. It aids in physical and emotional healing and attracts abundance to your life. I chose citrine for the second Chakra because of its positive effects on the emotions.

 

Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye

3rd Chakra: Power
Tiger eye fires up vitality and personal power. This stone, which represents the sun, promotes optimism and aids with manifestation and the expression of will. I work with tiger eye when I’m ready to take action on an idea or to stand up for my beliefs.

 

Green Aventurine

Green Aventurine

4th Chakra: Balance
Like the 4th Chakra, green aventurine creates balance by evening out your masculine and feminine sides and the give and take of relationships. I use aventurine for work with love relationships, to get me through life changes (and there have been many), and to release anxiety.

 

Turquoise

Turquoise

5th Chakra: Truth
I have held a piece of turquoise to keep me calm and relaxed while speaking in public. Turquoise helps you communicate your truth and to empathize with others without loosing sight of your own values. It can help with any form of self-expression, as long as you are being honest with yourself and others.

 

Sodalite

Sodalite

6th Chakra: Intuition
Sodalite increases physic abilities and intuition, making it ideal for Third Eye work. It helps you recognize patterns in systems like astrology and the tarot, and can bring latent creative abilities to the surface. I bring out my sodalite whenever I’m stuck for a new idea or solution.

 

Amethyst

Amethyst

7th Chakra: Spirit
The perfect stone to accompany meditation, amethyst helps you quiet your mind and amplifies spiritual energy. Amethyst beads make wonderful malas. I use the uplifting energy of amethyst when life starts to feel heavy.

 

For a simple Chakra balancing practice, hold each stone, one at a time, in your hand and meditate on the look and feel of the stone, and how it makes you feel to hold it. Allow the energy of each stone to connect with yours and to enhance the energy of your Chakras.

* * *

I have put together sets of the crystals I use for my Chakra work, which are available in the True North Yoga studio and will soon be in our Etsy shop. If you would like to purchase one before they go on Etsy, contact me and I’ll happily send one your way.

 

Beam me up, Brahman

Seventh Chakra, the final frontier…

We’ve reached the end of our Chakra-as-pop-culture journey. We’ve climbed the spine  to the crown of the head and beyond, ready to boldly go where everyone has gone before, even if they don’t know it.

The Sanskrit name for the seventh Chakra is Sahasrara, which means thousand-fold. Sahasrara unfolds like the thousand petals of the lotus flower. Located in the cerebral cortex, of course the seventh Chakra governs the energy of knowing and learning. While book learning fits in there, the real knowing of Sahasrara is that of our true spiritual nature.

The ancient texts called the Upanishads teach that Brahman is the ultimate essence of everything, including the human self. Brahman cannot seen or heard. Brahman’s nature can be known only through self-knowledge. When Sahasrara blooms, everything material drops away and we know our true selves. We know that we are Brahman and, therefore, everything.

Try and wrap your cerebral cortex around that one.

When the Chakras are in balance, when we live with passion and heart, when we speak our truths and trust our insight, the energy has no place to go but up. Everything we’ve practiced to open previous six Chakras has prepared us to dive into the very depths of our beings where we may, for what may be the briefest of moments, discover our connection to the divine source of all existence. When the connection is made, we see all that is physical as an illusion which has been masking our true nature.

So we did all that work to exist on the physical plane, only to discover that we don’t really exist on the physical plane? It is, to quote Mr. Spock, “illogical.” But there is more to wisdom than logic, and those whose seventh Chakras are shining a bright white light toward heaven are the wisest of us.

Sahasrara’s wise energy gives us the ability to take all the information that comes at us every day, process it, and assimilate the knowledge we gain. Those with healthy seventh Chakras are intelligent, thoughtful, questioning and open-minded, while at the same time having an innate sense of connection to something greater. These are the gurus, the masters in any field of study. These are the people whose guidance we seek.

The energy doesn’t always balance out, though. When the energy gets stuck in a lower Chakra or comes up against a closed mind, we find those whose beliefs come not from knowing but from simply accepting what they’ve been told. No matter what additional information they are given, these people won’t change their minds. Then there are the cynics, who refuse to even acknowledge any motivation except the self-interest of the bottom Chakras.

Sometimes the scales tip the other way and the energy hangs out in the head rather than flowing through the lower Chakras as well. We see this in the overly intellectual types, analyzing everything to extremes and never really internalizing anything. These are the people we call “book smart;” they can recite the dictionary but never explain a thing in their own words.

Excess energy in Sahasrara can also lead to spiritual addition. Caught up in the search for their spiritual nature, these folks forget that our physical existence has requirements, like dinner. Perhaps they will find a good caretaker to remind them to eat, but these people sometimes fall victim to the those who would happily strip them of whatever physical stuff they managed to amass before they got lost in their heads.

To nurture your divine spirit without losing touch with your physical existence, spend some time learning something new. Explore different religions and metaphysical systems with a questioning, but open, mind. And sit for a few minutes each day to meditate, looking for your true self.

Developing your seventh Chakra is a bit like asking someone on Star Trek’s Enterprise to beam you up. When the transporter activates, the physical body fades into particles of light and then nothingness, and you are absorbed into the cosmic stew, part of everything that is. Just make sure you have someone in a red shirt (or a strong red energy center) to bring you home.

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That Feeling Inside

Shakira’s got a sixth Chakra feeling inside…

In the series of posts about the Chakra system, we were last in the throat checking out the energy of communication. Now we find ourselves higher, in the carotid plexis, the area also known as the third eye. Here, between the eyebrows, Ajna, the sixth Chakra, shines it’s deep indigo light of wisdom, intuition and imagination. It is the birthplace of ideas and the window to the spiritual realms.

Ajna is represented by the element of light and the color of the night sky. It gives us the right to see, with our physical eyes and the mind’s eye. It is the sixth Chakra’s energy that allows us to “know” something is happening when we are not physically present or gives us that “feeling” that we were meant to meet someone.

When you know who’s calling before you look at the caller ID, that’s Ajna at work.

Your local psychic is probably a bit overloaded with sixth Chakra energy, but too little leaves us without any insight, forced to analyze every last detail of our lives and to panic in the face of uncertainty. Headaches and vision problems signal a sixth Chakra imbalance. When Ajna is balanced our imaginations inspire us, we are intuitive and artistic and we have vivid dreams. We trust our own wisdom and are confident that our lives are unfolding as they should.

To keep the sixth Chakra light shining, get on your yoga mat and find a focal point. Let your gaze rest on your drishti and balance on one leg in Vrksasana (tree), Natarajasana (dancer) or Garudasana (eagle). Then roll your eyes just like a teenager. Those eye rolls are called Tratak and the muscles around the eyes need regular exercise to keep your vision clear.

Off our mats, we can create visual art, enjoy the visual stimulation of brightly colored holiday lights or fireworks, practice guided visualizations or try past life regression. Play with tarot cards or runes to exercise your insight. Color mandalas. Meditate.

And, like Shakira, look for those feelings inside, because your intuition might be telling you that your soul mate is across the room.

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I am Yogini, Hear Me Roar!

Helen Reddy was finding her fifth Chakra in the 70s…

I have been enjoying some heart-chakra-opening pursuits of late, recharging my creative side and engaging in extreme self-love. Now I’m ready to climb the next rung of the Chakra ladder to tell you all about the fifth Chakra.

Vissudha, the fifth Chakra, glows bright blue in the throat and is all about – say it with me – communication. From Vissudha comes the desire, and the right, to speak and be heard. We’re not just babbling on here, though. This is where we speak our truth, find our own voices and, also, listen as others speak their truths.

A healthy throat Chakra inspires honest, clear and positive expression of thoughts and feelings, through spoken or written words or through the arts. When what we say resonates with others, Vissudha is spinning freely.

Vissudha provides an way to express and release all the feelings and emotions that build up in the lower Chakras. When it’s blocked, we find the quiet types who silently hold onto feelings of hurt, pain or anger. The shy ones, afraid of speaking out, clench their jaws and build tension and toxicity in their necks and shoulders as they swallow their words.

As in all the Chakras, we can have too much of a good thing. When Vissudha’s volume is cranked up, we find the gossipers, loud folks we can hear over everyone else at a party, and people who never let you finish a sentence without interrupting. Listening is as important to communication as speaking, and an over-active fifth Chakra makes a poor listener.

When Helen Reddy started telling us to hear her roar, she was sparking a bright blue flame for women who, at the time, were just starting to add their voices to the previously all-male chorus of American society. We could all use a good roar every now and then to keep Vissudha balanced. Next time you’re on your yoga mat, enjoy a “raaarrrrr” in Simhasana (lion’s pose).

Stay on your mat a bit longer and try throat-stimulating Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and Halasana (plow). A good neck roll to loosen up tension can open up the fifth Chakra as well.

Off the mat, we can chant, sing, scream or shout, tell jokes or stories – anything that gets sounds coming out of your mouth. We can also express buried emotions by drumming, dancing, or painting, or sitting quietly and letting them all pour into your journal. Keep listening skills working by listening to songs, stories or the sounds of nature.

Need inspiration? Sing along with Helen. Let’s hear you roar!

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