Anja Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anja
Meaning: To perceive, to command
Element: Light
Function: Intuition
Color: Indigo
Sense: Sight
Seed Sound: Om
Demon: Illusion
Foods: Entheogens
Gland: Pineal
Metal: Silver
Animal: Owl

-Not only do we construct our perceptions of the world, but we also go out and construct those perceptions IN the world. We make tables and bicycles and musical instruments because we can think of them- pg 296 Wheels of Life

-In order to see, you have to stop being in the middle of the picture. Sri Aurobindo – pg 298 Wheels of Life

Anahata Chakra

So this one was hard for me and I am not sure I communicated as clearly as I wished, but as I allowed myself to be vulnerable in the space and showed it, I’m going with this as is.

Sanskrit name: Anahata
Meaning: Unstruck
Element: Air
Function: Love
Color: Green
Sense: Touch
Seed Sound: Lam
Chief Operating Force: Equilibrium
Demon: Grief
Foods: Vegetables
Inner state: Compassion
Animal: Dove

Manipura Chakra

Chakra two is coming, as I mention in the video, for now we move on to chakra three.

Sanskrit name: Manipura
Meaning: Lustrous Gem
Element: Fire
Function: Will, power and assertiveness
Color: Yellow
Sense: Sight
Seed Sound: Ram
Chief Operating Force: Combustion
Demon: Shame
Foods: Starch
Inner state: Laughter, joy, anger
Animal: Ram

Muladhara Chakra

So now we get into the individual chakras. The first being Muladhara Chakra or Root Chakra.

Sanskrit name: Muladhara
Meaning: Root Support
Element: Earth
Function: Survival
Color: Red
Sense: Smell
Seed Sound: Lam
Chief Operating Force: Gravity
Demon: Fear
Foods: Protein, meats
Inner state: stillness, security
Animal: Elephant

Please let me know if you have any questions, if I covered information that you find helpful and what information you might find more helpful that I could include in the next one.

The Chakra System

The Chakra video is up, today has been a day and the first video included a dog puking in the hallway and a dog barking (FOR NO REASON) until I threatened her with death so this final version has a janky ass edit and the second part is super quiet for some reason, turn it up after it goes dark for a second.

Hopefully it makes some sense. The next video will be chakra specific.

Let me know if you have questions after watching, I can answer them in the next video.

A little Mala chat

I did a little video, I think it’s a bit all over the place and this was like the 7th one so I left out things and said things wrong with each new re-record. Let me know what questions you’d like me to answer and I’ll do another.

Also, the forward facing does pretty well with photos but with video it’s not so hot. Switching back to iPad or the real camera for the next.

Questions To Consider When Choosing

Instead of emailing these questions, I thought it might be best to post them here in case other folks might need some assistance in their thought process when choosing their Mala. Hopefully these general questions will help narrow your focus (and mine for those that have asked me to create a custom piece for them) and get you started on the right path. Once these are answered we can direct focus to specific needs.

1. Are you going to be wearing this piece or is it solely for meditation?

2. If yes, do you prefer a necklace or a bracelet?

3. If no, would you like a long traditional Mala or something shorter?

4. Do you have texture issues, meaning when touching things are you queeged out by rough things?

5. Would you prefer a tassel or just a simple bead to end it?

6. Is this piece something that needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear or will it be stationary when not being used during practice?

7. Are you more drawn to dark or light colors?

8. Are you more drawn to earth tones, warm tones, cool tones, brights or metallics?

9. Would you prefer to have your energy focused on one specific issue per piece, a small set of issues per piece or as many as you can throw at it?

10. Would you say your energy is chaotic during meditation or does it seem to trail off?

11. Do lots of different colors and textures tend to distract you?

12. Does a singular color palette calm you?

13. Do you find holding heavy things in your hands soothing or annoying?

14. Does the faint click of beads knocking together annoy you in any way?

15. Would you prefer the string be a contrasting or complimentary color?

I’m going to put together some more direct questions too but I think those are likely more individual and won’t work in a broad audience. I’ll try and see how it goes for now, I’m putting this up here. Hopefully it helps to get you started, please let me know if you have any questions!

Mala bead meanings

So now that I’ve given a general overview on Malas and meditation using them, I thought I would give a little greater detail on the beads I used in my current pieces.

The first one
Lava is tied to the Root Chakra which is grounding and signifies strength and clarity (by rooting scattered energy).

Amethyst is tied to the Crown Chakra and is a master healing stone. It works to dispel nightmares, strengthens psychic energies, relieves stress and promotes clarity.

Howlite is tied to the Heart Chakra and is for spiritual attunement. It’s also soothing and helps calm an overactive mind. Works to build character.

Hematite is tied to the Root Chakra and is for balance and stability. It restores equilibrium and a sense of self. Deflects negativity and increases will.

Turquoise is tied to the Throat Chakra and is for protection. It encourages communication between the heart and mind, cleansing the aura and balance between Yin and Yang. Capricorn stone.

So if you look at what I put together there you can see I feel scattered, stressed, out of balance and am seeking healing, protection and calm. I need grounding and stability. I need protection and to feel safe in communicating what is in my heart and in my mind.

The second one

Cowrie Shell is tied to the Goddess Lakshmi and is for prosperity.

Zebra Jade is tied to the Root Chakra and is for adjusting to new situations or changes. A good stone for matters of the home.

Green Adventurine is tied to the Heart Chakra and is for releasing old habits, balancing emotional harmony and finding inner peace.

Rose Quartz is tied to the Heart Chakra and is for compassion and tenderness. It’s also responsible for diffusing negative stimuli and uncomfortable memories.

Howlite is tied to the Heart Chakra and is for spiritual attunement. It’s also soothing and helps calm an overactive mind.

Jasper is tied to the Root Chakra and is for grounding. It’s also about methodical, practical, down to earth solutions to problems and known as the supreme nurturer.

Soapstone is tied to the Sacral Chakra and is for use when undergoing great changes. It’s for cultivating a new loving environment and being prepared with a new calm energy

And if you look at what I put together there it’s all about being prosperous in matters of the heart, diffusing uncomfortable memories, being open to new experiences/relationships and approaching it with compassion and tenderness. It’s also about not losing myself in the midst of all of it and being grounded and nurtured.

Both of these encompass what has been going on in my life. Between the reconnection with my brother and his present situation, my health issues, the dog’s health issues and Sprog’s school/work stuff. I have all aspects of my life covered in two lengths of beads. Pretty interesting, no?

Getting into a Mala

If you are into yoga at all, you may have heard of or seen an item used in meditation called a Mala. I am no expert but here is what I have learned. It’s a collection of beads (either 21, 27 or 108 and a Guru bead) used to help keep focus during meditation by keeping count during the recitation of mantras. In addition, depending on the type of beads used, Malas have the added benefit of energy work (semi precious/gemstones/shells/rocks) or color therapy (glass). Typically, you skip the guru bead when beginning your meditations, say a final prayer on the guru when make it all the way round and go the opposite direction when you resume your work. If you need to pause or know you aren’t going to do the full round, stopping at 27 or 54 is a good way to do it, then you’d just pick up at the next bead and continue forward when next you practice.

So how does one choose a Mala? Well there are really three ways you can go about doing this 1) look at a bunch of them and select one that calls out to you 2) identify specific issues you are having and wish to address and choose one that meets those or 3) create your own (either actually homemade or custom made by someone else). The basic premise is that if you truly give yourself over to the process of selecting one premade, the right one will call out to you. But how does one really give themselves over? And how do you know that you didn’t just pick something because it’s pretty? Well, in answer to the second, you don’t, not really. There isn’t anything wrong with that IMO because you might find that something you picked because you just thought it was pretty actually turned out to have deeper qualities in the stones. To give yourself over, I recommend ignoring the name and just looking at the picture. Scan them quickly and notice any that grab your attention, any that you may want to go back to more than once. THEN look at the name and the description of the stones to weed it down further.

I use this same basic premise when making my own. I went through my own stash of beads at home and selected the two guru beads that called out to me: a lava bead and a cowrie shell. Then I went to a hobby store and looked through their beads to see what I might want to use for the rest of it. I stood in front of the beads for A LONG TIME and touched any that called out to me. I pulled several varieties and held them in my hands lined up next to one another like this


and then I would research each bead on the internet to see why it called out to me. If you do a simple google search on the type of bead + meaning or mala meaning you’ll get many links directing you to what that specific stone is used for in meditation or crystal work. Some of the results will even boil a specific stone down based on your Astrological sign, like Turquoise being the stone for Capricorn (which I am).

Putting the Mala together is a combination of aesthetics and stone properties. I try to make sure that the piece feels balanced to me. I also find that I like using all stones versus the traditional seed + stone or wood + stone varieties. It makes them less wearable (they are much longer due to the larger stone size) but I prefer the heavier weight for focusing and the cool sensation in my hands.

Sprog helped me design this grid layout when I made my first one

and I found it so helpful I used it for the second one

Now, some people may have only one, but I like having specific needs addressed and knowing that I can reach for the energy I need to match what I have going on in my life.

When I use my beads

I pull from meditations I have done in my Chakra class, one of the easiest to get into the practice is So Hum which translates to “I Am That” or “I Am All That Is”. On your inhale you think the word So. On your exhale you think the word Hum. Or you can think the translations: inhale-I Am, exhale-That or All That Is. Doing this meditation while counting means that each bead would be an inhale or an exhale. Take your time and go slowly. You don’t want to rush your breath so you end up hyperventilating. Nice slow measured breathing and thoughts.

Your meditation could be simpler still, one word, the word of the Chakra you need to work like saying Om. Or your meditation could involve a personal mantra/affirmation. What mantra/affirmation gives you peace or applies to your life right now? Do you need to heal? “I am healing everyday” Do you need strength? “I am stronger everyday” Do you need calm? “I breathe calm into myself” Do you need clarity? “I see things more clearly every day” Do you need comfort? “I unburden my soul everyday” Do you need balance? “I am supported by the ground underneath me” Do you need compassion? “I accept the things I cannot change with grace”. Each bead would be the entire saying.

The point of meditation is to give your mind and body a connection point, a break from the craziness of schedules, menus, bills, arguments, tantrums and a focus. It doesn’t have to be any one thing. There is no right or wrong, really, only what is right or wrong for you. And if you find your mind wandering, the beads between your fingers are a grounding point that pulls you back.

There are different connections for specific fingers but again, I say do whatever feels most comfortable to you, unless you are on the path for becoming a practicing monk, then of course you would want to do your meditation correctly using only blessed beads.

Oh and before I forget, if you ever get a funky feeling from your stones, like handling them makes you feel off or bad in anyway? There is likely some residual bad energy there, you can clear your stones by soaking them in salt. You want to try to only handle your stones when you aren’t filled with rage or sorrow, so if you are feeling like that (and really that’s when a lot of us need time on the mat the most) try taking a few deep cleansing breaths before you even take them in your hands.

I hope this helped, if you have questions, please ask, I’ll do my best to get you answers. I’m going to be attending a full 7 week Chakra workshop complete with book work and I’m sure that will add a lot to my knowledge.

My yoga journey continues

I still love my yoga studio. I still love going to restorative yoga. I enjoyed my beginner workshop and I’m sad it’s over. What I REALLY LOVE however? Chakra Yoga + meditation. I look forward to this class EVERY WEEK. It honestly gets me through every single week and it sounds completely twee but I feel different, better inside, since taking this class.

If you had asked me after the first class if I loved it, my answer would’ve not been so glowing. That first class was so hard. SO HARD. Holding a forward bend in yin was impossible for me. I was overcome with the feeling of falling and my muscles just essentially couldn’t let go enough to allow the posture to settle into my bones. My previous injuries and misalignments have lead to weak muscles and overcompensating muscles just to keep me going. My instructor and I had a long talk after class where I explained what was going on and she really listened and understood. She also added brought up what trauma does to our bodies and how that sort of thing plays out in the future with a deep yin practice. I asked if she felt I could do this and she seemed shocked I would think I couldn’t, even with what I felt was a dismal showing in the very first posture of class.

So I went the next week and the week after and so on. We’ve moved from Root Chakra to Sacral Chakra to Solar Plexus Chakra to Heart and here is where I am going to pause a moment. Each Chakra comes with an explanation of the Chakra and how it correlates to what goes on in our bodies and minds. To do the work required to unlock any blockage and get that wheel (they are wheels of energy) flowing, open and in alignment with all the others, you have to understand what you are holding there. So when Heart Chakra happened to fall right after the stuff that is in the protected posts? Well I was crying in class. Specifically when we did this mudra

Courthouse Butte with bonus yoga mudra

The left hand indicates forgiveness and the right dispelling fear and hello waterworks. My instructor was looking straight at me when I started to cry and she had us close our eyes and spoke some very meaningful words about fear and focusing our breath into that hand, holding it strong in spite of the tremble we could surely feel, keeping it pressing open with intention. It was so great, SHE is so great.

Thursday night was Throat Chakra after a missed week (class was cancelled for a week for some reason) and I brought my instructor a rock from Sedona. I worried she might think it was lame but I have a rock from Sedona right on my computer desk here and when we were hiking I was moved to grab one for her. I also brought the photo above with me to show her that I did the mudra in a spiritual place, that it resonated so deeply with me. I wasn’t sure I was going to show her but I had it just in case. When I handed her the rock she was so surprised and touched that I explained I did the mudra and I had my husband take a photo for me and that I brought it too. She then flipped out over the photo so much that I gave it to her and she had me sign the back. My other instructor was there (the one who teaches restorative) and they went on and on about reaching someone and how great that was. It was after that she told me she’s from Arizona. Y’ALL COME ON.

Could it BE any more perfect than that?