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  • Balance your Root Chakra

    Balance your Root Chakra
    Are you feeling stressed, worried and disconnected? It might be your root chakra that is out of balance.
    Chakras are centers of energy, located on the mid-line of the body and outside the body (over the head and down into the earth). The Chakras are like disc shaped “energetic motors” within the mental, emotional and physical energy fields in and around your body. The chakras houses our mental and emotional strengths, but if we have physical issues it will create a weakness in our emotional behavior. And vice versa. There are many techniques to keep your chakras opened and balanced. Read more about all the chakras in my Chakra Healing Guide.
    The Root Chakra (Mooladhara Chakra in sanskrit) is located at the base of the spine and the color of this chakra is red. The word connected to this chakra is "I am" and the balancing mantra is "Lam". The Root Chakra stands for connection to the earth, survival instincts, basic needs, inherited believes and self-preservation.
    If the Root Chakra is closed you might feel very worried about your basic needs, you don’t feel safe and you feel disconnected. If it is over-active you may show signs of being materialistic and greedy, obsessed with being secure and resist change.
    Physical signs of an imbalanced Root Chakra can be pain in lower back, legs and feet. So what can you do to balance your Root Chakra. Number one is to go outside! Walk around barefoot and feel the grass, sand, gravel or forest floor under your feet. Try to reconnect with the earth. 
    Balancing gemstones: Lava, Smokey Quartz, Jasper, Black Onyx, Garnet, Hematite and Bloodstone.
    Balancing scents: Sandalwood, Orange, Jasmin and Peppermint.
    Balancing yoga poses: Tadasana, Easy Seat, Child’s Pose and Malasana.
    Balancing mantra: Lam.
    Balancing mudra: Thumb and index finger to touch.
  • Chakra Healing Guide

    Chakra Healing Guide
    You probably heard about chakras, but maybe not really understood what they are. Here is a guide that helps you understand the chakras and how to keep them in balance.
    Chakras are centers of energy, located on the mid-line of the body and outside the body (over the head and down into the earth). The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC. The word chakra translated to wheel and is also a metaphor for the sun. They are like disc shaped “energetic motors” within the mental, emotional and physical energy fields in and around your body. One could say that the chakras are like “receivers and transformers” and through the chakras we can take prana (life force) and vital energy and transform them into the frequencies we need in different parts of the physical, emotional and spiritual body. And yes, there is science behind this. You can see the actual energy centers measured in brainwaves and electromagnetic activity. The chakras houses our mental and emotional strengths, but if we have physical issues it created a weakness in our emotional behavior. And vice versa. So you want your chakras to be opened and balanced and there are many techniques to do that.
    Meditation, yoga, mantras, mudras, aromatherapy and crystal healing are a few things that can help you. And there are ways to figure out which of your chakra that is closed and imbalanced. In the traditional scriptures it is said there are 88,000 chakras in the human body. We have 7 chakras that are primary (located inside the body), a 12 chakra system (located outside our bodies) and 40 secondary chakras, located in our inner organs, back of the neck, in the palms of your hands and under the soles of your feet.
     
    root-chakra1st CHAKRA – THE ROOT CHAKRA
    Located: Base of the spine.
    Color: Red.
    In sanskrit: Mooladhara Chakra
    The word: I am.
    Sense: Smell.
    Stands for
    : Connection to earth, survival instincts, basic needs, inherited believes and self-preservation.
    If closed: You worry about your basic needs, you don’t feel safe, you feel disconnected.
    If over-active: You may be materialistic and greedy, obsessed with being secure and resist change.
    Physical signs: Pain in lower back, legs and feet.
    How to balance it
    : Go outside, walk around barefoot, reconnect with the earth.
    Balancing gemstones: Lava, Smokey Quartz, Jasper, Onyx, Garnet, Hematite & Bloodstone.
    Balancing scents: Sandalwood, Orange, Jasmin & Peppermint.
    Balancing yoga poses: Tadasana, Easy Seat, Child’s Pose & Malasana.
    Balancing mantra: Lam.
    Balancing mudra: Thumb and index finger to touch.
     
    sacral-chakra2nd CHAKRA – THE SACRAL CHAKRA
    Located: Below navel.
    Color: Orange.
    In sanskrit: Swadhisthana Chakra.
    The word: I feel
    Sense: Taste.
    Stands for
    : Sexuality, reproductive functions, relationships, desire and creativity.
    If closed: Lack of creativity, anger or jealousy or trouble enjoying yourself.
    If over-active: You are probably over emotional and over sexual.
    Physical signs: Kidney or bladder issues, fertility or sexual problems.
    How to balance it: Do something where you feel creative. Paint, sing, dance, knit, cook.
    Balancing gemstones: Carnelian, Red or Orange Aventurine, Red Jasper, Garnet & Ruby.
    Balancing scents: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lemon & Bergamot.
    Balancing yoga poses: Goddess, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, Low Lunge, Pigeon & Bound Angle Pose.
    Balancing mantra: Vam.
    Balancing mudra: Hands in lap, palms up and thumbs touching.
     
    solar-plexus-chakra3rd CHAKRA – THE SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
    Located: Upper abdomen.
    Color: Yellow.
    In sanskrit: Manipura Chakra.
    The word: I do.
    Sense: Sight
    Stands for
    : Personal power, confidence, respect for self and others.
    If closed: Lack of confidence, can’t make a decision, no sense of purpose or depression.
    If over-active: You could be domineering and probably even aggressive.
    Physical signs
    : Slow metabolism, weight problems, poor digestion.
    How to balance it: Have fun, do things that makes you laugh out load. Try laughing yoga.
    Balancing gemstones: Citrine, Pyrite, Rhononite, Amber, Quartz, Topaz, Golden Calcite & Aragonite.
    Balancing scents: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lemon & Bergamot.
    Balancing yoga poses: Boat, Knee to Nose, Twisted Crescent Lunge, Revolved Triangle, Seated Twist & Child’s Pose.
    Balancing mantra: Ram.
    Balancing mudra: Hands on your stomach, pointing forward, fingertips to touch and thumbs crossed.
     
    heart chakra4th CHAKRA – THE HEART CHAKRA
    Located: Chest center.
    Color: Green.
    In sanskrit: Anahata Chakra.
    The word: I love.
    Sense: Touch.
    Stands for: Love, self-love, acceptance, forgiveness, relationships and following your heart.
    If closed: Lack of compassion for self and others, selfishness or feeling of no love in your life.
    If over-active: Suffocating people with your love and your love probably has quite selfish reasons.
    Physical signs: Heart problems, skin problems, bad blood circulation.
    How to balance it: Love and take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, sleep.
    Balancing gemstones: Aventurine, Fluorite, Jade, Kyanite, Magnetite, Moonstone, Rose Quartz, Serpentine, Tourmaline & Green Calcite.
    Balancing scents: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine & Rose.
    Balancing yoga poses: Camel, Low Lunge, High Lunge with Back Bend, Wild Thing, Upward Facing Dog, Bridge, Wheel & Reclined Bound Angle.
    Balancing mantra: Yam.
    Balancing mudra: Index finger and thumb on both hands to touch, put your left hand on your left knee and your right hand in front of the lower part of your breast bone.
     
    throat-chakra5th CHAKRA – THE THROAT CHAKRA
    Located: Throat.
    Color: Blue.
    In sanskrit: Vishuddhi Chakra.
    The word: I speak.
    Sense: Hearing.
    Stands for: Communication, truth, be heard, choice and willpower.
    If closed: Trouble expressing yourself, weak voice, talking to much or lying (even white ones).
    If over-active: You tend to speak too much, and you’re a probably a bad listener.
    Physical signs: Sore throat, pain in neck and shoulders, thyroid imbalance.
    How to balance it: Speak your truth, speak with integrity.
    Balancing gemstones: Blue Aventurine, Amazonite, Angelite, Aquamarine, Sodalite, Blue Lace Agate, Blue Topaz & Turquoise.
    Balancing scents: Tea Tree, Chamomile, Peppermint & Eucalyptus.
    Balancing yoga poses: Knees-Chest-Chin, Neck Rolls, Fish Pose, Plow, Shoulder Stand & Legs up the Wall.
    Balancing mantra: Ham.
    Balancing mudra: Create a circle with your hands, cross your fingers on the inside of your hands, let the thumbs touch at the tops.
     
    third-eye-chakra6th CHAKRA – THE THIRD EYE CHAKRA
    Located: Between eyebrows.
    Color: Indigo.
    In sanskrit: Ajna Chakra.
    The word: I see.
    Sense: Thought.
    Stands for: Intuition, knowledge and divine wisdom.
    If closed: Not trusting your intuition, fear of success or feeling that imagination is unimportant.
    If over-active: You tend to live in a fantasy world. Worst case you may suffer from hallucinations.
    Physical signs
    : Headaches, sinus trouble, hearing problems, sleep disorders.
    How to balance it: Trust your intuition without feeling the need to justify it. It’s ok to say “no, I don’t feel like it”.
    Balancing gemstones: Amethyst, Lilac, Amazonite, Marble, Moonstone, Quartz, Turquoise, Azurite, Lapis Lazuli & Sodalite.
    Balancing scent: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper & Rosemary.
    Balancing yoga poses: Dolphin Dog, Eagle Pose, Warrior III, Forearm Balance & Child’s Pose.
    Balancing mantra: Sham
    Balancing mudra: Hands in front of chest, the middle fingers are straight and touch at the tops, pointing forward. The other fingers are bent and touch at the knuckles. The thumbs point towards you and touch at the tops.
     
    crown-chakra7th CHAKRA – THE CROWN CHAKRA
    Located: Top of head.
    Color: Violet.
    In sanskrit: Sahasrara Chakra.
    The word: I understand.
    Sense: Unity.
    Stands for: Connection, higher power, life force and inspiration.
    If closed: Feeling of separation and loneliness, feeling lost or lack of joy in life.
    If over-active: You may be intellectualizing things too much. You may be addicted to spirituality and are probably ignoring your bodily needs.
    Physical signs
    : Headaches, migraines, high blood pressure.
    How to balance it: Find a way to connect. Meditation, yoga, spiritual group or finding a spiritual mentor.
    Balancing gemstones: Amethyst, Labradorite, Lilac, Moonstone, Quartz, Clear Calcite & Sapphire.
    Balancing scent: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Lotus & Palo Santo.
    Balancing yoga poses: Standing Back bend, Warrior I with Eagle Arms, Bound Half Moon, Saddle Pose & Meditation.
    Balancing mantra: Aum
    Balancing mudra: Ring fingers point up, touching at their tops, cross the rest of your fingers, with the left thumb underneath the right.
    THE 12-CHAKRA SYSTEM
    Besides the seven chakras located inside the body there are five more chakras located outside the human body (there are actually as many as 22 chakras, but I am not getting into all of them here). You might have heard of one of them, the 8th Chakra or The Soul Star Chakra. But the rest might be news to you. Simply put, the 12-chakra system is all about our connection to the entire universe. The outer body chakras is like a cord that connects you with the earth and the universe. This cord stretches from approximately three feet below your feet to miles and miles up into outer space. The idea of a 12 chakra system is considered as relatively new, and there is no unified understanding of this chakra system today.  The knowledge about them comes from healers and energy workers. So even thought I don’t have as much information about them, I will add them here just for you to read. And maybe see if any of them resonates with you or if you feel particular connected to one or more of them.
    8th CHAKRA – THE SOUL STAR CHAKRA
    Located: One inche above your head.
    Color: Silver or ultraviolet.
    In sanskrit: Padaka Pancaka Chakra.
    The Word: I am one with the Universal.
    Sense: Insight.
    Stands for: Truth, spiritual compassion and spiritual selflessness, your karmic residue, peace and calm. With the 8th chakra, we can transcend in time and space. This energy center is said to open access to parallel universes and lives. It is a useful center for shamanic healing and communication with spirit guides. Also known as the Lunar Chakra.
    If closed: Feeling of disassociation, numbness and doubt.
    Balancing gemstones: Amethyst & Clear Quartz
     
    9th CHAKRA – SEAT OF THE SOUL
    Color: Gold.
    Located: Further above the 8th chakra.
    Stands for:  It allows access to your soul’s code or higher purpose. It can be seen as the door to archetypal energies or patterns that play an important role in shaping our destiny. The ninth chakra links you to the energies of the moon. It stands for karmic understanding, intelligence and communication with spirit guides. The 9th Chakra holds the key to the soul’s destiny. Also known as the Solar Chakra.
    Balancing mantra: El-ee-tee (hold one hand over the Heart Chakra and one hand over the Third Eye Chakra while reciting the mantra).
     
    10th CHAKRA – THE EARTH STAR CHAKRA
    Color: Earthy brown or cleansing black.
    Located: Below the root chakra, under the surface of the Earth (12-24″ below your feet).
    Stands for: Our connection with the earth and your link to Mother Earth. It works with the energies of the earth so it becomes activated when you go outside in nature. When open it helps us with physical well-being and helps you connect to the grounding energies of the earth and our environment. No matter where you are, the earth chakra keeps you grounded. While your Root Chakra helps ground your energies, the grounding offered by the Earth Star Chakra is to help ground your entire extended chakra system with the Earth, the universe and the cosmos. When you have an open Earth Star Chakra you will feel connected with yourself and your body. You are in line with the Divine Plan and you will stand in your own personal power and experience life fully, regardless of the lessons or challenges you face.
    If closed: Feeling of being stuck, cut off, disassociated, stressed and unable to cope with life’s experiences.
    How to balance it: Go outside in nature, preferably barefoot.
    Balancing gemstones: Black Onyx, Black or Green Tourmaline, Moss Agate, Snowflake Obsidian, Smokey Quartz.
     
    11th CHAKRA – MIND OVER MATTER
    Color: Mix of pink, orange, gold and silver.
    Located: A couple of feet above your head.
    Stands for: Supernatural powers, magic, energy fields. It emphasizes that the mind as a powerful tool to shape matter. Also referred to as the Universe’s cosmic “Book of Life.”  The energy from this chakra activates a lot of higher spiritual powers and is critically important. Also known as the Galactic Chakra.
     
    12th CHAKRA – UNIVERSAL UNITY
    Color: Multi-colored orbs of light
    Located: In the outskirts of the 12-chakra system.
    Stands for: It allows you to stretch beyond your common sphere of understanding and become united with all that is. Known as the chakra of Universal Consciousness, the 12th chakra allows you to reach Enlightenment and commune with the Divine. Also known as the Universal Chakra.
  • What is a Mala?

    What is a Mala?
    You’ve probably seen them worn by yogis. You know that necklace with gemstones or sandalwood beads, with a tassel or a big stone dangling at the end. But what is a mala? Is it just a pretty necklace or some sort of spiritual tool for hippie dippies?
    So what is a mala? Let start with the actual word "mala". It is a Sanskrit word and it simply means "garland" or "necklace". And the answer to the question what it is, is simply that it can be whatever you want it to be. An earthy BoHo accessory to wear with jeans and t-shirt, a flowly long dress or yoga tights. Or it can be a tool in your meditation practice to give you healing energy and help you to quit your spinning monkey mind (hey, don't we all need help with that). It can also just be something you wear as a constant reminder to yourself to stay present and be mindful in your daily life. It becomes whatever you intend it to be. Just choose a mala that speaks to you and that reflects your personal energy.
    Meaning of the number 108
    A mala has 108 beads and the number is a sacred number in Hinduism and Buddhism. 108 is a number of the wholeness of existence. It also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth. And it is said there is 108 energy lines connected to the heart. The Sanskrit alphabet has 54, each has masculine and feminine (Shiva and Shakti) and 54 times 2 is 108. And if you are so calm in meditation that you only have 108 breaths in a day you will become enlightened. So the number has many meanings, but this is what speaks to me personally:
    1 – stands for Higher Power, Truth & The Universe
    0 – stands for Completeness & Spiritual Practice
    8 – stands for Infinity, Eternity & Timelessness
    Meditate with a Mala
    If you want to meditate with your mala, place it in your right hand and hold it over your middle and ring finger. You do not use your index finger. Start at the guru bead (the big bead, stone or symbol hanging at the end) and use your thumb to count each bead by pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra, prayer or intention. I usually make malas with marker beads at number 7 and 21 (also secret numbers). This is so you know where you are in your meditation. When you reach the guru bead you can either stop or just turn your mala around to reverse direction and begin anew. You never cross over the Guru Bead. The Guru Bead is very important because it will hold all your prayers, and when you wear the mala you’ll have your prayers, intentions, hopes and dreams close to your heart.
    Take care of your Mala
    When you’re not using or wearing your mala you should keep it in a safe place and treat it with respect. Don’t sleep with it and never try to force your mala over your wrist. I use a strong nylon cord, but if you pull hard or don’t treat it with care it can break. Eventually all malas will need to be re-strung. And just know that if and when your mala breaks it just symbolizes a broken karmic cycle. It’s a sign to bring new intentions into your life as your current ones no longer serve you.
    The Guru Bead is the big stone or bead at the end of the mala, bead number 109, is known as the Guru Bead. The Guru Bead is very important because it will hold all your prayers. When you use the mala in your meditation you repeat your mantra or your intention every time you hold a new bead in your hand and when you reach the end they are all held in the Guru Bead.  And when you wear the mala you’ll have your prayers, intentions, hopes and dreams close you your heart.
    The Tassel represents enlightenment and the energy created from your meditation. It is a symbol of the thousand petals of Sahasrara (The Crown Chakra) and signifies spiritual illumination. As the strands combine together in to one, it represents our connection to the Divine and to each other. It also symbolizes our prana and consciousness.
    The Knots between each bead represents the Universal Force that sustains and supports us. The knot represents the Divine link between all beings.
  • How to create an Altar

    How to create an Altar
    I believe it is so important to create a place for your meditation practice! A physical place that is your meditation place.
    I firmly believe that if you want to have a meditation practice you have to create space for it. Both mentally - but also physically. It can be a meditation room, but it can also be a corner in your bedroom or inside your walk-in-closet. Anywhere in your home that you can sit by yourself and get a little peace and quit. Walk around in your home, from room to room, and you'll find a place that will work and that feels energetically right.
    I also believe it is important that you create some sort of an altar. This is just a way for you to make space for your meditation, and create a place of gratitude, contemplation, mindfulness and inspiration. You can choose whatever you want to put on your altar. For me personally, I choose statues from the Indian tradition, like Buddha, Ganesha and Shiva and Tibetan prayer flags, bells, singing bowls, incense, crystals, mala beads, a dream catcher, a Himalayan salt lamp, photos of my teachers, a large stack of oracle- and affirmation cards and inspirational books.
    Hanging over my altar I also have the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series poster, two quotes/words of wisdom from His Holiness Dalai Lama and my Shakti Nail Mat. But you can put whatever your love and whatever is important to you on your altar. Framed photos of your family, plants or flowers, rocks you picked on the beach, beautiful items that your love and that sparks joy … it is your altar so you are the Boss! I found a perfect low altar table at Ikea (it's meant for a TV), it takes up little space, it's the right height and it's also great to store yoga blocks and books.
    This is where I do my daily morning pranayama practice, my meditation, my home yoga practice and journaling every day. I turn on the salt lamp and twinkle light lantern on, I burn an incense, I put on some music, play my singing bowl and *BOOM* I am in my Zen place. This is for sure my happy place, where I feel calm and centered and happy – and it is a place I want to return to every day.