Please enjoy this entry from our guest blogger, Derrick. He is currently taking yoga teacher training with the Maritime Yoga College.
Week 10 - March 28th & 29th:
You might wonder what we yoga-teachers-in-training do during our education when we are not directly deepening our practice in an asana or discussing yogic philosophy and classroom dynamics. Thus far on our journey we have also learned about holistic nutrition, the many branches of yoga practiced around the world, and the ethical codes that underly many traditions. During our training over this past weekend we had the unique opportunity to learn about our energy system and participate in chakra-healing workshops!
The chakras describe energy centres that can be located (energetically) throughout the body. There are seven major chakras that are found along the length of the spine, the root chakra being at the base of our spinal column and the crown chakra being at the crown of our head and the other 5 in between. These chakras can be activated through many different modalities, sound being one of them. The chakras govern our energy bodies and influence our more physical layers through the glandular systems of the body. When we are stressed our energy is compromised and thus our health. However, when we are restful and calm, or in a state of play, our energy is restored and our overall health is improved.
The asanas, and the physical practice of yoga, are an effective means of activating and balancing the chakras. The food we eat also effects our energy system. So too, does sound. The first workshop was dedicated to the lower three chakras; starting at the base of the spine is the root chakra, second is the sacral chakra, and third is the solar plexus. These chakras are more aligned with our physical bodies and our individual existence, such as our sense of security and of being grounded, our feelings and moods, and our passions and inner-fire. We used the sound of drums, and the experience of drumming, to connect to these chakras. The vibrations were intended to stimulate the chakras and to allow for the balancing of the energy system. The second workshop introduced the vibrations produced by flutes, chimes, and quartz crystal singing bowls to stimulate the higher 4 chakras; the heart chakra, throat chakra, third-eye chakra, and crown chakra. These chakras are more associated with our relations to the world around us and our connection to the web-of-life and higher dimensions. After completing both these workshops the overwhelming sense of being grounded and connected was undeniable. The impact of these experiences are multilayered and often difficult to describe. The effects are not always tangible and yet there is an unmistakable shift in your overall wellbeing after such an experience.
Although the chakra system is a well established component of Eastern medicine the West has been slow to adopt this time-tested wisdom, but today the two are becoming increasingly blended. Western science has come to understand that all things are composed of vibrations, thus ‘vibrational therapy’ is becoming more mainstream. This is how sound stimulates, activates, and balances the chakras - through vibrations. As we come to understand our energy bodies we are better equipped to take direction over our health and well-being as we address the underlying causes of our physical bodies on the dynamic dimensions of our existence. Knowledge is power and experiences produce tools and skills that can be utilized when needed.
Director of Teacher Training for the Maritime Yoga College and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.