“You need Jesus!”
A woman screamed angrily out a car window driving past our outdoor yoga class. The scene of us posing gracefully, silently at sunset amid wildflowers in warrior one apparently threatened her. Before the intrusion, I actually was feeling the presence of Jesus! And Buddha, Ramakrisha, Gurudev, Muhamad, etc.
Deep peace filled my heart. I was drinking in the moment, mind and body completely present absorbing the landscape in every cell. The lake in the distance shimmered brilliantly as if God herself had dumped a truckload of diamonds onto the water. I almost couldn’t believe the sense of serenity, the love. I felt yoked…in union with the Divine.
Chakra Seven: Sahasrara
This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
I knew the time would come when I’d have to get over my fears of using the word God in my work. Funny how I won’t hesitate to say, “God damn it!” but when it comes to naming him when teaching yoga, it’s a whole different ball game. As you can tell from the story here, and perhaps what your feeling as you read this, the whole God and yoga thing is a bit of a hot button.
The heck with it, there’s no time like the present to be with the sensation and give it light. It was clear I was to use this experience to get over yet another layer of ego-based fears (what will people think, you’ll lose list members, don’t be too spiritual, your not BIG enough to talk about GOD!) and speak my truth. Go BIG or go home, right!?
The truth is, yoga IS spiritual. Despite many attempts to water it down to glean only the physical, mental and perhaps emotional and energetic benefits, anyone I’ve met practicing for almost any period of time simply can’t deny it changes things on a deeper level.
Our last main energy center is what yoga is really all about. We ground down into the body, work with the flow of emotions, explore who we really are, love and heal, express and create, acknowledge the wisdom within so we may experience union with the Divine.
“The kingdom of God is within.”
My jaw dropped open when Yogi Amrit Desai quoted the Bible the first time I met him. I didn’t think yoga and Christianity had anything to do with each other! I’ve come to learn all major spiritual traditions have this same core message. Sadly, it seems this gets wrapped up in ego. At least that’s how I see it. How else does one explain the fear, guilt, shame and judgement present in so many religions? What the heck drove that woman to lash out at us enjoying God on the most elemental levels by being exquisitely present in our bodies surrounded by the magnificence of the natural world? Yoga has helped me come full circle back to an appreciation of Catholicism even though my early exposure to it was quite negative and emotionally damaging.
The bare bones goal of yoga is simply this. To know, to reconnect with the Divine however you define that. Call him/her/it, Brahman, God, Jesus, Yahweh, it doesn’t matter, the essence does, the peace does. The path of yoga simply helps remove what clouds our seeing and connecting with the Divine within and without. It dissolves the separation, the illusions that we are anything but awesome.
The eight limbs of yoga help us remove the distractions, distortions and energetic blocks from our consciousness so we may experience this bliss often. This can happen even in the presence of pain. Listed below are some of the best yogic tools for healing the 7th chakra.
Oh, what does all this have to do with your body image, food and exercise? Knowing our Selves in our wholeness, getting out of our heads helps us remember who we are…ATMAN: Spark of the Divine. Healing “The FAT Experience” (aka-Forgetting Atman Temporarily) brings you home to your body which will always guide you the best in conscious eating and movement. It’s called practice for a reason though! It’s never automatic, we just get faster and more effective at coming back into alignment with our light when out of whack. The BKH Sadhana Starter Kit can help support you on the path.
Chakra 7 PEACE Practices
Honoring the Divine:
What is your concept of God, Goddess, Supreme Being? How much time do you set aside each day for spiritual practice? Explore ways you can make more room for sacred interactions in your daily life. Write poems, pray, immerse in nature noticing creation, create yourself through art and movement. Talk to God! Speak your gratitude, ask your questions and be open to receive feedback.
View the Night Sky:
Gazing at the starry heavens reconnects us with our universal identity. It awakens us to our place in the cosmos. Seeing the billions of stars and galaxies is a reminder that we are, indeed, specks in a vast divine creation. This is a sure way of putting the ego in it’s place.
At least once a day, in the middle of activity, stop and look around. Still yourself and see how far your awareness can reach. Notice your thoughts, sensations, emotions. Immerse your senses in the most mundane aspects of your life and see how it feels. Breathe into the moment fully savoring the deliciousness of simply being alive.
There is no greater practice for developing the 7th chakra than this. It is in this state that consciousness realizes itself. Meditation is as essential to the spirit as eating and rest are to the body. It nourishes the soul, massages the subtle body and trains the mind into the moment. The simple practice of doing nothing is fundamentally regenerative and increases intelligence, clarity, peace, overall well-being and health.
I hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from the Wellness Wheels Chakra Series. Keep the comments coming and feel free to connect anytime.
PS-Here’s a fun song I wish I could share with my passionate pal from the park: