Coloring the Chakras With Restorative Yoga PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joni Yung   

My daughter was sitting on my bed when I returned home from a Yoga class. “What’s that on your pants?” she asked. I did a quick scan for food stains. I couldn’t find anything. She pointed. “That thingie on the back of your pants...” I looked in the mirror and saw what she was referring to. It was an embroidered design on the back of my purple Be Present pants. “Oh, it’s a symbol that refers to one of the chakras...one of seven energy centers located on the body, from your feet up to the top of your head. There are bodily functions associated with each chakra, and colors, and...” At that point, I could see her eyes glazing over. Yeah, I know, TMI. I’m glad she wasn’t interested in the details because I honestly couldn’t remember which color went with which chakra. Or which chakra controlled which bodily function. I obviously needed a quick refresher course. But where to find one? I then remembered hearing about the monthly chakra restorative class at Liberation Yoga taught by Constance Hart. When I showed up for class, I expected to find myself doing the usual restorative poses: stretches, twists, hip openers, backbends. But when I saw the rather large light box positioned at the front of the class with vividly-colored bottles neatly lined up on its shelves, I knew that this class was going to be different. And different it definitely was.

Constance Hart shared her background with us at the start of the class. She was initially attracted to Ashtanga Yoga twenty years ago; its demanding practice was a perfect match for her high-energy, goal-oriented personality. But when a friend introduced her to restorative Yoga many years later, she found its gentleness very healing and realized that it was the perfect adjunct to the vigorousness of her regular practice. Delving more into the healing properties of Yoga, she started to focus on the energy-balancing role of the chakras. In time, she felt she had to share her knowledge with others. And her restorative class ended up bringing together everything I’d learned about the chakras from all the Yoga classes that I’d ever taken. And much more. In the darkened classroom, we used our senses to re-energize and awaken all seven energy centers as we slowly moved up the body, from the root chakra up to the crown chakra.

Depending on the chakra we were energizing, Constance placed one or more colored bottles on the shelves of the light box. We were then instructed to focus on the color that resonated with us the most, be it the lighter shade, the darker shade or the more intense color, and absorb the energy that the color triggered. At the same time, we performed mudra (hand gestures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) to further enhance the process. Despite being totally mesmerized by the assortment of colors we were presented with, I actually had a hard time looking directly at the bright light for extended periods of time. I would look just long enough to visually remember the color we were focusing on, then close my eyes briefly before opening them up again for another look-see.

Besides color therapy, Constance also used aromatherapy to stimulate each chakra. She walked around the room, placing on our palms drops of blended aromatic oils that she had created. We would then massage the oils onto the appropriate body part – lower back, navel, chest – while quietly inhaling their scent and feeling the sensation produced by the oil on our skin. There were also times when she’d spritz the air around us with aromatic misters while we sat or reclined in supported restorative poses. Even if I found myself preferring some scents over others, I made a concerted effort to inhale each of them equally; heaven forbid that I’d end up with unevenly balanced chakras.

And while my eyes, nose and skin were busy absorbing whatever energy they could, my ears were also doing their fair share of the work. We chanted bija mantras, seed sounds or single-syllable sounds, to awaken all the energy centers. LAM... VAM... RAM... YAM... HAM... SHAM... OM... I swear I could almost feel the corresponding chakra vibrate as I chanted each sound. Constance later played soothing music for us to listen to as we meditated, and in some cases, she used tuning forks to generate the exact frequency needed to stimulate each chakra.

With all that we did that evening, we all felt restored and recharged. And in my case, thankfully reeducated about all seven chakras.

Chakra Restorative Yoga™ is a meditative metaphysical journey into the chakras offered at Yoga Jones (yogajones.com) in Ventura the second Saturday of the month from 12:30 -2:45 P.M. and at Liberation Yoga (liberationyoga.com) in Los Angeles the second Sunday of the month 6:00 - 8:15 P.M. Pre-registration is recommended to reserve a space. Students interested in a beautiful getaway are welcome to enjoy classes at the Conscious Colors Energy Center in San Luis Obispo. Consciouscolors.com

Joni Yung is the accidental yogist. Find her on her active LA blog at: blog.accidentalyogist.com.

 
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