Seventeen years ago, I started studying the human energy field, under the tutelage of two amazing teachers – Ann Boyle and the late Phil Maloney at As Solas Healing Centre in Tipperary. I planned to just do a one-year course in Energetic Massage Therapy, as I had a successful career in marketing and I thought it would be nice to do something different in my spare time.
That one year in Tipperary turned into three more studying Polarity Therapy – a holistic treatment designed to balance the flow of energy through the human body. These four years were a real turning point in my life as I also started my yoga teacher training during this time. It was clear to me from the start of my training that I needed to completely change my life, and I knew in my heart that yoga teaching would become a huge part of my future, and from my own personal experience, I knew if I could facilitate people in going beyond the physical aspects of yoga, it could really help them gain clarity to make the changes that would allow them to embrace living happy, healthy lives.
From the outset, I was really fascinated to discover the link between stored emotions and physical symptoms of illness or “dis-ease”. I witnessed many cases where clients presented with symptoms, such as pain in certain parts of the body, and through various balancing techniques and protocols, the source of the pain was traced back to an emotion that had been held in the system, and had created a block in the energy network, thereby resulting in physical manifestation of pain. In so many of these cases, once the emotion was acknowledged and let go, the physical symptoms also disappeared. It was during this time that I began to understand the power of balancing the Chakra or Energetic system.
What is a Chakra? The word means “wheel” in Sanskrit. The Chakras are found at seven main points, each one corresponding to a set of organs and systems, closely related to the endocrine and nervous systems. The Chakras have been referenced in many ancient sacred yogic and ayurvedic texts.
Everyone’s life experience is different, and so it follows that we each have our own unique issues that we have not fully processed. Life can be very stressful at times, and we often cope by repressing specific emotions, or avoiding difficult situations – putting them on the back burner until some imaginary point in the future, when we will feel stronger, or less stressed, or have more time to deal with them…the problem is that unresolved issues don’t just disappear by themselves – the very fact that they are unresolved means they tend to keep surfacing, and the more we suppress them, the more powerful they become… and the greater the hold they have over us. It takes courage to face our issues but the freedom that comes when we fully let go is so amazing – we no longer feel trapped, bound, suffocated, angry, frustrated, afraid, anxious, sad, depressed or lonely.
We all have a finite time on this earth. This alone should be a big enough wake-up call for all of us. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in old mental or emotional patterns that prevent you from being the best version of yourself that you can be. Make your time on this earth count! The world is a very busy place these days. We are always drawn outwards – our senses are overloaded – we have far more choice in everything than our ancestors ever had. We are always contactable, and we are surrounded by devices. There is little time for introspection. Even if and when we practise yoga, it can be tough to stay present and not get lost in our thoughts. If we are in a class, our attention can be drawn out to check out what the person in front of us is doing.
To really get to know yourself, you must make time to go inside. When we direct our attention inwards, our own innate wisdom begins to surface and clearly shows us the areas in our lives that are working and those that are out of balance. When this is done regularly, we can maintain clarity and equanimity regardless of the external circumstances we are living through. We remain centred, present – not clinging to the past or escaping into the future. It sounds good, doesn’t it. The bad news is that it doesn’t happen overnight – there are no quick fixes – we have to do the work! The longer we put it off though, the harder it is. So, jump in – make a decision to live your best life!
The first step is to find a practice that works for you – find a teacher that you like, someone that you connect with and someone that inspires you. Find a teacher who is doing the work themselves, a teacher that has a well-established practice and can guide you on your journey. If you have a yoga practice, even if it is not so regular, try to build on that. Make a decision to prioritise your well-being. You have the power to establish a regular practice if that’s what you want – just make that choice and act on it.
I hold an annual Chakra Balancing workshop at this time of year to hold a space for yoga students to direct attention inwards – to facilitate going inside to become aware of any blocks that have accumulated over the course of the year, and to use a range of techniques to help clear these blocks. We can then enter a new year revitalised with enthusiasm for all that life has to offer. The clearer we become and the more compassionate and loving we are towards ourselves, the clearer our interactions with others become. If you have participated in the workshop in the past, you might go a little deeper this time – the process is like peeling away the layers of an onion. Some issues are easy to release – old buried issues can take a number of iterations. This year we will have one session focussing specifically on the opening the Heart Chakra. As the heart is the central Chakra, a clear open heart is a key requirement for both good physical and emotional health. When our Heart Centre is in balance, our relationships flourish – we demonstrate compassion and kindness in all of our interactions. I really believe that if we combine this type of energetic work with a regular yoga practice, the results are magnified greatly.
If you are interested in attending this one-day Chakra Workshop on Saturday Dec 9th, you can book on-line here – Book Chakra Workshop