Getting your heart unstuck

This week we journey into Anahata, the heart chakra.

There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart. Upanishads

The Sanskrit word for the heart chakra is अनाहत, Anāhata, meaning “un-struck.” This name conceptualises the idea that the heart is resonant, an ‘unstruck’ instrument echoing the sounds of the celestial realm, as they manifest in our own unique being.

Anahata also means unhurt and unbeaten. Which is a nice image for those feeling a little weary of heart.

I must have read that word  – unstruck – about a hundred times while I was researching this post. But every time I read it as ‘un-stuck’. So I’m going to go with that. It makes sense to me that I could get ‘unstuck’ through my heart chakra.

So how do I get my heart unstuck? How do I get unstuck from the past and into present moment awareness?

Movement, sound and breath are the keys for me. Moving freely with my arms open, breathing deeply, expanding my chest and lungs, as I dance to harmonious music, always brings me back to my heart centre. 

As Anahata is related to the element air, it is accessible through the breath. Visualising breathing through your heart centre, imagining love-filled light entering your body via your heart is a wonderful heart-opening exercise.

In Chakradance, to dance the heart chakra is to move with lightness, joy and compassion, as reflected in dances from ancient Spain, Egypt and China. Many of these dances used exaggerated arm movements to gently whirl into deep states of joyful harmony.

The dances of China symbolised balance, where mimetic movements expressed the union of heaven and earth.

In Chakradance, we have drawn inspiration from these dances, and move the arms to feel uplifted, light and free. Inspired by the whirling of the ancient ones, we dance a soaring journey of love, compassion and joy.

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

Through your heart chakra, you have the choice to expand your consciousness through the power of love, openness and receptivity, or contract your consciousness through the power of fear. 

The heart is so much more than the source of romantic love, many cultures believe the heart chakra is the seat of your soul in your body.

The heart is the ‘other’ mind of our body, the wisdom centre of the soul, and it is far more responsible for governing our lives and actions than we give it credit for. 

Meditating on the heart chakra helps to shift from ego-based, fearful actions, or karma, to resonating with the energy of our higher self, and what yogis might call dharma or higher purpose. 

Come and dance the Heart Chakradance Journey with us, save your spot here
Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings!

Upcoming events at Raw Mojo Chakradance here

Enjoy a free heart meditation by clicking here

Art by Elena Ray 

The dance of the spiritual warrior


As the days become longer and the sun returns to our skies, what better time to ignite your inner sun.

This week we journey through the solar plexus chakra, our centre of personal power and will. Energetically, it is the fire that fuels our metabolism, and when activated it increases our energy, drive, and sense of purpose.

And really, who couldn’t use some of that?

The solar plexus chakra is where we experience our gut instinct, that inner knowing. Here we tap into the intelligence of the spirit.

From the energy of this chakra emerges the ego, our sense of self-identity. Concerned with assertiveness and personal power, it is easy to see where this chakra can be out of balance. Either in excess feeling a desire for material power and control over people, or deficient in allowing ourselves to be dominated by others.

When the solar plexus chakra is inactive we may feel lethargic, afraid, anxious, or withdrawn. There is a fear of taking risks, confronting people or issues, taking charge, and a lack of energy. An overactive solar plexus may cause us to be overly controlling, domineering, or even a bully.


To dance the solar plexus chakra is to call on the ancient dances of the warrior. In Chakradance, fast, dynamic and vigorous movements of the arms and legs, activate our core and ignite the fire in our belly, fuelling our dance with energy and strength.

Reining all this fiery energy in, movements then become strong, purposeful and clearly defined as our inner warrior emerges triumphant, brave and strong.

The solar plexus Chakradance is an inner journey with the Warrior archetype. What does being a ‘warrior’ mean in our world? Integrity? Standing up for ourselves?

The archetype of the warrior – standing strong in their power – is the vision of the healthy solar plexus chakra. It is not aggressive, but it will not diminish itself either. Pema Chodron talks of the tender-hearted bravery of the spiritual warrior. This warrior has the courage to face themselves in whatever they experience, no matter how afraid or uncomfortable they feel. 

Our fiery natures can get dampened by an excessive need for social conformity and a focus on relating to others. The epidemic of depression and anxiety in modern cultures could reflect a loss of connection to the vital core of spiritual power in the solar plexus chakra.


This chakra is known as Manipura in Sanskrit, which means lustrous gem. Many cultures associate this solar plexus energy with our life force.

Manipura regulates our pranic – or life force – energy throughout our body, controlling our energy balance, vitality and strength. It governs our digestive fires and heat regulation in the body.

Krishnamacharya says that it is the prana that ‘connects everything in and of this universe.’ 

The ‘prana vayus’ are the ‘currents’ or ‘winds’ of the great prana (life force) within us. They are located in different regions of the body according to the direction of flow of that vayu. 

When prana enters the body it is the movement of the vayus that carry it to the different areas of the body so that the energy can be used to maintain the vitality and health of the body.

Prana vayu and apana vayu are like two opposite forces – the in and out breath, respiration and elimination – and it is said that these two forces alone rule the body. 

Samana vayu – is also known as the ‘middle’ breath and balances the energy of prana and apana. Samana governs digestion and the absorption of nutrients, bringing vitality to the pancreas, liver and digestive tract. Samana is the pause between the ‘in’ and ‘out’ breath and resides at the solar plexus.

Samana holds the flame that burns off the toxic residue of bodily functions. Samana has the ability to conjoin prana and apana and push the energy up through sushumna nadi (the central energy channel from which the chakras flow) which increases our pranic capacity and raises our consciousness.

Physically activating the solar plexus chakra promotes these vayus, allowing them to energise and revitalise our bodily systems.


The dance of Manipura begins with a flame, and as the music intensifies, and the fire increased, I found myself dancing like wildfire. I became one with the fire, I was fire, flickering and wild. It felt incredibly liberating and powerful. 

The fire burns away all that is no longer needed, and fuels us energetically to face life with purpose, passion and empowered will.

Dancing the solar plexus chakra was the catalyst for allowing myself to release all the ways I had been disempowered in life. And to step into my authentic power.

Without realising it, we may unconsciously give away our power all the time, in our choice of lifestyle, where we spend our money, the kinds of relationships we are in, what we choose to do with our time.

A balanced solar plexus chakra enables us to move through life with genuine confidence, inner strength and self-esteem.

Our inner warrior emerges when we create space for autonomy, instead of constantly worrying about others, we follow our own inner guidance. In this way, we are more likely to find our true purpose and direction in life and have the courage to pursue our goals.

If we don’t tend to our spirit, and to our life’s passion, if we don’t ignite and tend to our inner fire, part of our self is diminished, we have abandoned ourselves, and the lustrous gem we hold within. 

“Begin by visualising your solar plexus as a beautiful golden jewel, like a yellow diamond shining out.” Natalie Southgate

Join me for the Dance of the Spiritual Warrior – Solar Plexus Chakradance journey this Sunday at Raw Mojo.

Namaste,

Christina at Raw Mojo 


 

 

 Manifesting the divine into our lives through the Crown Chakra

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Alan Wilson Watts

Our Chakradance journey begins at the base chakra where we feel a strong connection to our bodies and relationship to Mother Earth, in the sacral chakra we explore our emotions and feelings, in the solar plexus chakra we encounter our personal power, in the heart chakra we unite our masculine and feminine energies in a sacred union, the throat chakra allows us to find our truthful expression and the third eye opens us up to higher powers of perception. 

In traditional Tantric philosophy the crown chakra is simply depicted as the thousand-petaled lotus. It has no seed sound, no element or other associations. Awakening the crown chakra it is really a consummation of our experience of all the other chakras. 

The beauty of moving up through all the chakras to our crown chakra, balancing and clearing our energy centres along the way, is that we create an open channel for this divine energy to pour in and to nourish us and our lives.

The seven chakras are embedded into our nervous system. When aligned, they form a vertical channel along our core. Within this channel, two major currents of energy move upward and downward: the currents of liberation and manifestation. Anodea Judith

While much chakra work focuses on the ascending energy flow, there is also a descending energy flow where we bring this divine cosmic energy of source down into our chakras and into our lives, this is the energetic flow of manifestation, as divine consciousness becomes denser and eventually manifests into physical form through the actions we create in our lives.

In the process of liberation, we work to clear and open each chakra by letting go of fixed patterns, blocks and imbalances. In the process of manifestation, we bring energy down from the crown, condensing and focusing it into a denser pattern. We do this by expressing ourselves through each chakra, and moving the energy downward step by step toward the earth.

As we do in Chakradance, the upward liberating current should be cleared first, as it opens the pathway that makes manifestation easier.

We are now at the gateway to the spirit whose entrance is at Sahasrara, the crown chakra. The divine spark of inspiration is awakened at the crown chakra. It aligns us to our soul purpose -what we are doing here – who we are meant to truly be. This chakra connects us to the source of all creation. Take a deep breath and surrender yourself to the oneness. Chakradance

This week, we explore the crown chakra, or Sahasrara, which means “thousandfold.” It implies the infinite nature of this chakra, which provides us with our most direct connection with the divine. It is from this connection that we can open to the divine spark of inspiration. 

The dance of sahasrara is an invitation to the soul to enter the body through the crown chakra in the top of the head. 

The crown chakra is the highest of the seven chakras. Visualised at the crown of the head as a thousand-petalled lotus flower, which according to ancient Indian Hindu-tantric tradition, represents enlightenment, wholeness and infinity.

The crown chakra opens upward, like a funnel. This chakra is our avenue to higher states of consciousness. As we develop it, we become increasingly aware of consciousness itself – the eternal part of us that is beyond ego, thought, feeling, and body. 

From a psychological perspective, Carl Jung says that it is at the crown chakra that the ego and the self unite, the self being that inner spark of perennial wisdom whether that is God, Buddha or the white light. Awakening of this chakra is said to be the last step in the evolution of human consciousness.

Developing this chakra unifies us with the Divine Source, as well as everything else in the universe. This is unimaginably blissful.

As we are opening to higher levels of consciousness, we may start to receive spiritual insights or messages. Although these experiences may be subtle, they are deeply powerful.

In our modern culture many of us get caught up in our day-to-day living and often lose contact with the deeper significance of our lives. This can leave us feeling empty and our lives can begin to feel meaningless. This is why finding this spiritual connection is so important. The more connected we are to our spiritual source, the more harmonious our lives can be. Natalie Southgate

The more connected we are to our spiritual source, the more harmonious our life can be. Many chronic issues may just drop away; answers to deep questions and problems intuitively drop in. We come to know our spiritual purpose, our reason for being. We feel a sense unconditional love and oneness with all life. We feel truly liberated, seeing how we can live a life of great clarity, meaning, and value.

This divine spark cannot enter a full mind, so the state that precedes this is emptiness. Like Kevin Costner’s character in Tin Cup, who commands before each pitch of the baseball “clear the mechanism,” it is only when we can let go of our thoughts of what is that we can be filled with inspiration for what could be.

The crown chakra represents the spark of creativity that is transformed into personal consciousness. It governs the process by which we receive inspiration, and then ask ourselves how it relates to our life purpose.

Inspiration has multiple meanings: a divine influence, a moment of creative intelligence, or the drawing in of breath.

The seventh chakra is the gateway to universal or divine consciousness. In this sense, we begin by “downloading the Divine.” Anodea Judith

Anodea Judith describes the chakras as organizational centres for the reception, assimilation, and expression of life force energy. The crown chakra is the entry point of universal spirit into the individual body. 

This chakra represents consciousness itself, in the form of thoughts, intelligence, understanding, ideas, beliefs, thinking, interpretations, and intentions.

Consciousness enters the crown chakra from the divine source, the conscious universe of matter, space, energy, time, and awareness.

We begin the manifestation process when we open to the divine, invoking through prayer, meditation, worship, and devotion. We align with spirit and with our life purpose, ask questions and set our intentions. You may feel the presence of grace, a whisper of guidance, a sudden insight or idea, or receiving information that sparks your intention to create something new. Anodea Judith

This is the wisdom of the crown chakra – focusing within, focusing on our breath, focusing on our creative vision, and setting intentions for each day to bring that vision from thought into being. 

In this way we become a vessel, a unique expression of the divine source energy expressed through our being.

There is a time for action, but first, it is a time for allowing the inspiration to come and trusting it when it does.

Affirming actions to open your crown chakra

Every day I read something insightful and inspiring.
Every flash of inspiration reminds me that my inner resources are all-knowing and all-powerful.
I accept my inner voice with reverence and respect.
I am ready to act on all inspiration that comes to me.
I ask that the work I do provide me with its own inspiration and energy.
I combine inspired thought with intelligent action.
I dare to follow my inner voice.
My inspirational signals are clear and strong.

Chakradance is sound healing, movement and meditation all rolled into one relaxing and enjoyable practice. Why not try it for yourself?

Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.

Christina at Raw Mojo

Try Chakradance – Rhythm for your soul

Join us for the Crown Chakradance Journey on August 6

Balancing stress, sleep and hormones through your Third Eye Chakra 

It is easy to dismiss the third eye chakra as being a bit woo-woo. I mean it’s all about psychic abilities and visions isn’t it?

Well yes, and no.

The third eye chakra is certainly pertinent to our sixth sense or intuition. But that’s only half the story.

This chakra, known as Ajna in Indian Sanskrit, is believed to be the command centre of our energy body, where our main energy channels meet and intersect. But beyond this, the third eye chakra is also associated with the pineal gland which has several key functions which are absolutely vital to our health and wellbeing.

The pineal gland regulates melatonin. While many of us know this as the hormone that regulates sleep, it also regulates our absorption of light and keeps our circadian (biological) rhythm in balance. The circadian rhythm governs our sleep-wake cycle, which in turn triggers a whole host of biological functions that happen according to whether the body is asleep or awake.

There is evidence that this relationship between light and melatonin levels may have a balancing effect on female hormones and the menstrual cycle.

Melatonin has also been found to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and blood pressure. It reduces hypertension, or high blood pressure.

The pineal gland is also linked to mood and mood disorders, with findings that a lower pineal gland volume may contribute to developing schizophrenia and other mood disorders.

In addition, studies are finding links between melatonin levels and some cancers, and a possible beneficial effect of increased melatonin levels in cancer recovery.

While there is much to learn and understand about the pineal gland, it is clear that it performs a balancing function in the human body, through the endocrine or hormonal system.

In the Hindu-tantric tradition, the third eye is the energy centre that unites the major energetic channels as well as balancing the intellect and intuition.

Here at ajna, the three major nadis merge, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, creating the Mukta (meaning freedom or liberation) Triveni. From an energetic perspective, the Hindu-tantric texts which describe the chakras and corresponding nadis, or energy channels, described ajna as the twofold “see” and “command” function of the chakra system. It is understood to be the monitoring centre of the entire energy system, including the mind, as it oversees both intuition and intellect.

So there you have it, aside from being the centre of the sixth sense, the third eye chakra is the command centre of balance in the physical (and energy) body as well. Not so woo-woo after all!

Would you love to awaken your inner vitality and wellbeing? To feel balanced, centred, joyful and free?

Sometimes all you need is a map or a practice to guide you back to your inner sense of authenticity, vibrancy and freedom.

Chakradance is designed to do just that.

Chakradance is a holistic (mind, body, spirit) wellbeing modality – a fusion of ancient wisdoms and modern music. Think of it as a kind of musical sister of yoga, but without the set asanas.

It uses very specific music, created to resonate with each in turn of the 7 major chakras, with free-form movement and mandala art-making at the end of each class, to help integrate whatever has come up for participants in the dance.

Chakradance is sound healing, movement and meditation all rolled into one relaxing and enjoyable practice. Why not try it for yourself?

Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.

Christina at Raw Mojo

Try Chakradance – Rhythm for your soul

Mantra your chakras 7 The Crown Chakra

anneliesolis

I hope you have enjoyed this series of bija chakra meditations. This week brings us to the crown chakra, located at the top of your head. 

According to the yoga tradition, the crown chakra connects your individual awareness with infinite consciousness.

Sahasrara in Sanskrit means “thousandfold,” so Sahasrara chakra literally means a thousand-petalled lotus. The thousand representing a number so big, it is infinite.

Traditionally, this lotus is visualised upside down with the stem and roots rising to the sky and the petals pointing downward. A lotus flower with its roots in heaven bringing down divine grace through the crown of our heads.

Considered to be of the highest vibrational frequency and the pinnacle of the seven major chakras, Sahasrara is regarded as a gateway to the energy of the universe itself. It is an energetic passageway that connects you to the divine.

Play the video – you many want to set a timer for 5-15 minutes as the video goes for an hour.

Divya-jyoti or Divine Light Meditation

1. Sit in a comfortable meditation pose with your legs crossed and your back straight.

2. Rest your hands in your lap, palms upward, with your left hand on top. This is the mudra (hand position) for receiving energy. Close your eyes and let your breathing become slow and even.

3. Visualize a thousand-petalled lotus at the crown of your head. Imagine its petals gently opening to reveal an intense light. Let this divine light flow down into you through your crown chakra.

4. Feel the light spiralling down your body. Enjoy the warm glow as it saturates your entire being. Feel the light slowly moving down and permeating every cell and pore of your body.

5. Focus your senses on the intensity of the light so that you not only see it, but hear, smell, taste, and touch it.

6. Feel like a pure channel for the light: allow yourself to be at one with it. In this state of oneness, intuitive thoughts and inspirations may enter your consciousness. Be thankful for this guidance. Rest in the blissful awareness for as long as you wish.

7. After 5-15 minutes, take a few deep belly breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes to ground your energy, and open your eyes.

Feel yourself connected to the source and yet grounded in this divine energy as you go into your day.

Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.

Try Chakradance – Rhythm for your soul

Art credit: This beautiful feature image is by Annelie Solis

Mantra your chakras 5 The Throat Chakra

As you rise up into the energy of the throat chakra, you will begin to notice a shift in energy. Each of the four lower chakras corresponds energetically to a physical element. By the time you reach the throat, you are moving out of the physical plane and into the non-physical realm of ether.

Vissudhi, the Sanskrit word for the throat chakra, literally means purification. In the throat Chakradance, we chant and sing to cleanse the throat chakra, and enhance our ability for self-expression. 

The non-physical element associated with Vissudhi is ether, the field of subtle vibrations surrounding all things. The throat chakra, more than any other, governs our relationship with vibrations and resonance.

It is from the throat centre that you produce sound through vibration. As such it is incredibly susceptible to vibrational energy, and responsive to resonance of all kinds.

Chanting and humming, listening to vibrational sounds are among the best ways to clear and balance this chakra. 

Physiologically this chakra governs the health of the throat, nose, ears, mouth, neck and vocal cords, as well as the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which are responsible for our metabolism.

The throat chakra carries the energies of truth, integrity, honesty, and communication. It also governs the ability to listen, both to the words of others and your own internal dialogue within your body. 

The throat chakra energy is resonant with authenticity and purification. Paramount to Vissudhi, is the expression of self through speech and creativity. Finding your true voice.

The Humming Breath is a wonderful pranayama or breath practice to stimulate the throat chakra.

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.

Begin by exhaling as much air as possible from your lungs before taking in a deep, slow breath through your nose, refilling your lungs.

On your next exhalation, make a soft humming sound like a bee.

When you run out of breath, take another deep inhalation, continuing the humming sound as you exhale.

Begin with a few minutes practice, working up to 10-15 minutes at a time. 

Now play the video and chant the mantra “ham” pronounced “hum” as you exhale.

When you have finished your humming breath and mantra practice, lie down and relax for a few minutes.
Let your humming throat chakra energy fuel your self-expression in your day.

Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.

Try Chakradance – Rhythm for your soul

The beautiful art work used is Throat Chakra by Qahira Lynn

Mantra your chakras 4 The Heart Chakra

The Sanskrit name for the heart chakra is Anahata or ‘un-struck’ – in the Indian Vedic tradition there are two kinds of sounds, and ‘unstruck’ means an inner resonance or subtle vibration that is perceived through the heart centre.

The heart is the place of the awakened self. Here we move from group consciousness, defined by family, tribe, society into a more individual, self-reflective consciousness. Here we find our own heart truths.

This chakra builds a bridge between the physical and spiritual dimensions of your self. Carl Jung described the heart chakra as the centre of thinking and feeling, the beginning of reflections, values, and ideas.

Bring your hands palm to palm, in prayer position in front of your chest, connect the base of your thumbs to your sternum – this position is called Anjali Mudra.

Breathe into your belly and lightly close your eyes. Turn your focus to your breath.

Next, rub your palms together vigorously. Bring your right palm to the centre of your chest at Anahata and place your left on top of your right.

Feel the warmth and radiance of your heart and chest. Visualize the green, radiant glowing light emanating from your heart, in all directions.

Play the video and begin to sound the mantra “yam” pronounced “yum.” (This is the seed mantra of the element air. The heart centre is associated with the cosmic element of “prana” or “air.”)

(Note: this video goes for about an hour so you may want to set a timer for a shorter period of time, say 5-10 minutes)

Release your palms to face up on your lap. Direct some of your lightness and heart energy to someone in your life in need of compassion or healing. Finally, inhale your arms overhead and exhale your arms down to connect to the Earth before completing your practice.

Carry this open and loving heart energy with you into your day. Yum.

Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.

Try Chakradance – Rhythm for your soul

Art credit: artist unknown