1. What is a chakra?
Chakras are energy centers within the body. The word chakra means “wheel” or “disk.” Think of the chakras as spinning vortices of energy. Everything is composed of energy and information. Every object emanates from movement and vibration. The seven main chakras align along the spine, starting at the base of the spine and moving up to the crown of the head.
2. When did you first start learning about chakras and why?
When I was 28-years-old, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was curious as to why I got cancer at such a young age and began a quest to discover the root cause. As I sat among a pile of library books on alternative health, I stumbled upon a life-changing page in Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. The page spoke about the chakras and exploring healing through them. I say it was life-changing because as I was modifying all aspects of my life, an examination of my chakras could now be a focal point for my research into why I got sick.
- How do I know if one or more of my chakras are blocked and why does this happen?
The first step to knowing if one of your chakras is blocked is to learn about the anatomical regions of each of the seven main chakras. Then you can learn what typical ailments tend to strike each chakra. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, in a given area of the body, you can sometimes have an overall feeling of discomfort in one of the chakras. For example, if you’re at work and your boss walks into your office and you feel clenching in your stomach each time they’re there, you can deduct that there might be an issue with your feeling of personal power, or an imbalance in the third chakra.
- How do I heal and balance my chakras?
The great news is that you can balance your chakras in any number of ways. Awareness of the unbalanced chakra is the first key toward rebalancing. Then as I outline in the book, you can do yoga breathing techniques and yoga poses, guided meditations, and even dietary changes through an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Furthermore, I also explain how to heal the emotional and spiritual aspects of your life, which help you take a more rounded approach. Finally you can look at healing with crystals, gems, and working with nature and the earth’s elements.
- What is Tantra Yoga and what is its relation to the chakra system?
Many have a misconception of the word tantra, especially when connected to the word yoga and equate it to a type of sexual yoga. Tantra, which means “to weave”, is an ancient philosophy, like yoga, and isn’t connected to sex as an isolated practice. The system of the chakras comes through Tantric philosophy and as the English translation suggests is designed to weave together the physical body, the energy body, and the mind through advanced yoga practices. While sex is mentioned briefly in the Tantric texts, it was meant only for the most advanced yogis.
- Do I have to work on my chakras in a specific order?
While the chakras do have a hierarchy, you’re not required to start at the first chakra and move your way up. Due to genetic predispositions, your Ayurvedic mind body type, your lifestyle, and life experiences, you may be experiencing an imbalance in one of the higher chakras and it might be important to balance those first. But if you’re not coming into this healing practice with any ailment or blockage in particular, try starting at the root chakra and take one chakra per week or per month and see how good you feel when you start to open and align them one at a time.
- In your book, you make a distinction between men and women working the third chakra. Can you say a bit more about how the yang and yin work in the chakra system?
Every thing in life has its opposite. We experience day/night, darkness/light, up/down, or wakefulness/sleep. We live in a world of duality. The chakras, too, are held together by opposing forces that cause them to alternate in a dualistic dance. Starting at the base of the spine with the muladhara chakra, we also begin with masculine or yang energy. The second chakra is then feminine or yin energy. The energies alternate all the way up to the sixth chakra at which time you begin to transcend the confines of duality. Understanding and accepting that we have this dualistic nature and help you heal when you recognize that either of the opposing forces is out of balance.
- You include yoga asanas and pranayama exercises to heal the chakras in your book. Is there somewhere we can watch videos of those movements online?
Yes. I have all the yoga asanas and pranayama breathing exercises on my YouTube channel. Go to www.youtube.com/c/michellefondinauthor and click on the playlists tab and select Chakra Healing Asanas & Pranayamas. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get all the latest videos on the chakra and holistic healing.
- How do I develop a practice to support healthy chakras in my every day life?
You can support your healthy chakras by having a daily practice of body awareness, which is best attained by practicing daily meditation and a form of exercise that enhances that awareness such as yoga, tai chi, or qi gong. Make it a habit to eat fresh organic whole foods that create healthy cells. And abstain from substances such as alcohol or drugs, which can weaken you and leave you susceptible not only to illness but also to a bodily connection.
Michelle S. Fondin, author of Chakra Healing for Vibrant Energy and The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda is owner of the Fondin Wellness Yoga and Wellness Studio, where she practices as an Ayurvedic lifestyle counselor and as a yoga and meditation teacher. She holds a Vedic Master certificate from the Chopra Center and has worked with Dr. Deepak Chopra teaching yoga and meditation. Find out more about her work at www.michellefondinauthor.com.