Theme III: Memory, “Chakra”

By Lynchel Brumaire

A major part of yoga is the acceptance and understanding of the body’s ability to retain

emotional memories and tension. What makes yoga so beneficial is its holistic manner of

healing; not only does it invigorate the whole body, it also releases hidden thoughts and feelings

to bring people a better understanding of their essence. Viewing physical discomfort as

emotional blockage, Yoga instructors often refers to the hips as the site where we store emotions

that we do not wish to confront.

The muscles of the hips are some of the strongest in the body. In the case of an attack or

danger, they are a part of the body’s instinctual fight or flight response. However, mundane daily

stressors can cause the muscle of the hips to remain strained and tense. This prolonged state of

stress can manifest as anxiety or insomnia, which can further inhibit relaxation and constrict

breathing by tightening the deep abdominal muscles.

Many doctors and physical therapists also subscribe to the belief that the body itself has a

consciousness that stores memories and emotions—an idea that coincides with the principles of

the chakra system. Chakra is a sanskrit word meaning “Wheel of Light”. Traditionally there are

seven of them located along the spinal column.

The Root Chakra, located at the base of our spine, serves as our source of strength. When

in balance, this chakra grounds and secures people, granting them support and safety. However,

feelings and of insecurities and anger can block this chakra causing prolonged irritation and

annoyance.

The Sacral Chakra is located in the hips where pure emotional balance and vulnerability

gives rise to confidence and passion. Yet, betrayal, guilt and anxiety can cause this chakra to

become out of balance.

Solar Plexus or Navel Chakra is based on our ability to be confident and take control of

our lives. When it is opened feelings of self-esteem and assertion flow through easily, when the

chakra is under-active, feelings of indecisiveness and passivity take charge.

The Heart Chakra is the center of all neutralizing feelings and emotions. A balanced

chakra proves senses of joy, gratitude, and fulfillment. When blocked, the chakra may cause

feelings of fear, jealousy, and bitterness to arise.

There is also a chakra located in the throat that relates to truth and fruitfully

communicating with others. When out of balance, feelings of powerlessness, rejection, and

judgement are often expressed.

The Third Eye Chakra, located in the forehead area in between the eyes, is believed to

provide wisdom and clarity. When out of balance, it may cause distortions of spiritual life or

rejections of spirituality altogether.

Finally, the Crown Chakra connects us to an awareness of oneness. Essentially, it is the

energy that can cause humans to transcend themselves and feel a sense of devotion and trust in

all humanity and a higher universal purpose. A blocked chakra can cause feelings of alienation,

selfishness, and fear.

Memories of emotional trauma or loss can block chakras for an indefinite amount of

time. Difficulties occur in life; however, it is important to cope with stressors effectively and

honestly. Bottling up emotions and blocking memories will keep energy from freely flowing

through the body. It is important to recognize the source of the pain and blocks that we carry

with us and develop tools to help them.

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