Why this exercise?
Many “New Age” teachers talk about, and teach from the perspective of, opening the chakras. For highly sensitive people, and particularly empaths this opening up is not necessary. If anything we are already far too open. Empaths tend to live life with their metaphorical hands outstretched saying “gimme, gimme” to all the stray emotions that are flying by them. The challenge is to be able to pull back and not take on so much.
This exercise is about contracting the chakras so as to be more discerning about boundaries and take on less of other people’s energies. Although this exercise talks about “closing” the chakras, STAYING closed is not the purpose of the exercise. A door is not a door if it is open all the time (it’s a hole in the wall), nor is it a door if it is closed all the time (it is part of the wall). A door is meant to be opened and closed. Similarly, it is not appropriate to walk around with our physical hands open all the time nor closed in a fist all the time. We want to be able to open and close our hands at will, at appropriate times.
We go into a gym to exercise our muscles by flexing them against weights. This exercise is about learning to flex our chakras so that we can better expand and contract them as appropriate to our surroundings. We will go through the exercise contracting each chakra and then, at the end, allow them to expand out again to an appropriate level.
Introduction to the Chakras
The chakras are energy centers that have been part of the Indian mystical tradition for thousands of years. They are spinning wheels located at seven centers in the body as shown in the table below:
|# Color||location||Attributes of the chakra|
|1. Red||Base of the spine||Grounding, security, survival|
|2. Orange||Pelvis below the navel||Creativity, pleasure, money|
|3. Yellow||Belly just below the solar plexus||Personal power, willpower, confidence.|
|4. Green||Heart||Bonding with others, caring , compassion, love of self and others|
|5. Blue||Throat||Communication, self-expression.|
|3rd eye (between the eyebrows)||Seeing, both inner and out worlds. Intuition. Wisdom. Consciousness|
|7. Violet / Gold / White||Crown of head||Connection to the universe, The Divine, Being|
When the first chakra is too open, we get caught up in the material world and forget that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
When the second chakra is too open, we focus too much on base pleasures; sex, money and having a good time.
When the third chakra is too open, we are too open to other people’s power and will to the detriment of who we are ourselves.
When the fourth chakra is too open, we may be overly caring of others, again to our own detriment.
When the fifth chakra is too open, we may be over communicating and sharing too much of ourselves.
When the sixth chakra is too open, we may become spaced out with the knowledge of higher worlds while losing our grounding in the physical world in which we live.
When the seventh chakra is too open, we may drift off into the ether and forget that we are supposed to be having a human experience in a physical body.
Most top athletes in every sport use visualization techniques. They’re an important part of sports training. Mental coaches would say they’re the key to peak performance in almost every discipline in life. If these techniques works for top performers, it only makes sense to apply them to ourselves in our everyday lives.
With all mental exercises, it’s not about HOLDING a thought, it’s about FOCUSING a thought. One analogy is to treat the mind like an active child when you want them to sit still. You are going to tell them to stay where they are, but sooner or later they will get distracted and start wandering off. You bring them back, they sit still for a while, and then the process starts all over again. When your mental attention wanders off from the subject of focus, gently bring it back. Keep repeating the process. Just bring your attention back to your subject. Do not worry about having thoughts; they are natural. Do not try. Let it be . . . easy!
The most important part about any mental exercise is that it be done with intent.
Variations of this exercise
With each chakra we are going to “tighten up” the chakra and concentrate its energies. There are (at least) three styles of visualization that you can use for this:
- Visualize a shutting door and locking it with a golden key.
- Visualize a lotus flower contracting from full bloom back into a tight bud.
- Visualize a ball, or a doughnut, contracting into a small tight sphere
Decide which form feels best for you and work with that one form through the full exercise.
Now listen to the 10 minute exercise itself in the second video, above