The 7th & 8th Chakras
As I mentioned in the previous columns, when doing any chakra work, it is imperative to keep yourself grounded. While you can use any grounding exercise that you prefer, I have always used this one in my chakra classes:
**Stand up, grip toes to the ground, long deep breathing, visualize your roots going deep into Mother Earth, keeping you grounded and centered. Inhale and bring the earth energy up to the base of your spine; exhale and let the energy return to the Earth. With each inhale, receive healing energy from the Earth; with each exhale, release all negativity. This will not hurt Mother Earth, as long as it is done for healing and revitalization. Activate your feelings of consciousness and open yourself up to the limitless possibilities surrounding you.**
*From my 7-Week Chakra Course*
There are many people who would not include the aura as an 8th chakra, however, within Kundalini Yoga, it is included as such and so I include it here. While they are separate from each other, I find that they go together very nicely and I have always taught them together.
(Photo credit: chakra.anatomy.com)
The Seventh Chakra is the Crown Chakra. It’s name in Sanskrit is Sahasrara, which means Thousand-Fold. Its’ color is violet. It has no specific element as it is everything. If it were to be given an element, it would be “thought”. It is located at the very top of the head.
The function of the Seventh Chakra is knowing and enlightenment; a surrender and connection to a higher consciousness, the infinite.
When this chakra is balanced and functioning properly, you will be blissful and joyful. You will find that there is a balance in your life, as you will be guided by a higher power and feeling the presence of the Divine, as you will be connected to it. You may find that others are drawn to you and you may feel the need to teach what you have learned.
Conversely, if this chakra is unbalanced, you will be filled with doubt and depressed. You will be concerned only with the physical and shun the spiritual. You will be very practical and may have a fear of the unknown. You may find yourself being apathetic about the issues going on around you.
(Photo Credit: pinterest.com)
One of the exercises in Kundalini Yoga to strengthen this chakra is the following:
Sit in easy pose on the floor or, if more comfortable, on a straight-backed chair. Lace your fingers together and bring them behind your neck. Very quickly raise your arms above your head, keeping the hands laced together, and then bring them back to the original position behind the neck. This should be done with a very powerful breath, through the nose. Do this for 3 minutes.
2. Staying in your seated position, bring the arms straight up by your ears,
fingers toward the ceiling. Keep your arms very stiff and begin to move
them back and forth in opposite directions about 6 inches out. Make these
powerful movements. Do this for 4 minutes.
You can also do this beautiful breath exercise. Bring your hands into prayer pose, crossing the thumbs, and holding them over your head. Close your eyes and roll them up to focus on your crown, as if you were looking out the top of your head. Breathe long and deep for at least 3 minutes to a maximum of 7 minutes.
Now sit quietly. Visualize a funnel at the top of your head and a shaft of golden light filled with energy streaming in. Feel this energy penetrate and open the crown of your head, illuminating it and then expanding to fill and free your throat, the back of your neck and shoulders. Bring the warmth to your heart, let it shine in your solar plexus – pump your navel for just a moment and expand your abdomen. Let it spread to your sacral area and connect to the base of your spine, down your legs and reach deep into the center of the earth. This is done with long, deep breathing.
Lie down on the floor and relax for at least five minutes or alternately, sit quietly with a relaxed breath. Stretch your arms up toward to ceiling several times before moving.
(Photo Credit: deidremadsen.com)
As it is the Seventh Chakra that helps us to connect to our higher selves and the Infinite Divine, it is the gateway and guide to the Eighth Chakra.
The aura as the Eighth Chakra has no name in Sanskrit that I am aware of and no element. Its’ color is white. This chakra is the electro-magnetic field that surrounds the entire body. The aura is the energy center of love and spiritual compassion. If we open all of our chakras and strengthen the aura, then we will be radiant, fully aware of our higher power and aspirations, fully connected to the Infinite.
We have moved up from the Root to the Crown, opening and balancing each in its’ turn. The Kundalini energy is moving freely throughout our bodies, and so this energy finds its’ beginning and its’ endings within our aura. It is the totality of who we are.
When trying to determine your aura, think of what you consider to be your personal space, how close others can come to you before you start to feel uncomfortable. This differs from person to person. In this way, you can think of the aura as your personal protection.
As you strengthen the aura, it will become stronger, so that not only is it our protection FROM the world, it also becomes your projection TO the world. When others say we appear strong and confident, this is the projection of a strong aura.
The aura is the Beauty of the Soul.
The aura can be strengthened with any exercise that moves the arms around the upper body, i.e. a jumping jack without the jumping. From a standing position, feet shoulder width apart, close your eyes, inhale and bring your arms sweeping up, allowing the palms to meet briefly. Exhale and bring them back down. You can also swing your arms out to the side, parallel to the floor and twist from the waist.
As you sit quietly, meditate upon the glow around your body. With each inhale, expand the glow further and further from yourself. Use the breath to add energy to it. With each breath, keep expanding to fill the room you are in, and then beyond to the outside world, continuing to the sun, the moon, the stars, the Universe. If you wish, you can add the different chakra colors to it. When you feel you can continue no farther, start to bring it back until it is once again your own personal glow. Remember to lie down and relax completely when you are done with this visualization. Take deep breaths and allow yourself time getting back up.
(Photo credit: theapproximateyogi.com)
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
I wish you peace, joy and a happy, blessed New Year.
Resources for entire Chakra Series:
Shakti Spirit Studios 7 Week Chakra Course
Eight Human Talents by Gurmukh