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Nicole: What I have used as my North Star at the very beginning of my Kundalini training, and then moving into other yoga teacher trainings, is the system of the chakras.

There’s nothing else that encompasses the physical, the emotional and the energetic as clearly as this system, especially when you apply Carl Jung’s psychology study of the chakras with a more Eastern understanding.

The energies reside in certain areas and they have specific textures, words and essences that go along with them. We’re going to be focusing predominantly and specifically on understanding chakras in and of themselves and then working with just the first chakra. It is good to build a foundation from the ground up while accepting and recognizing that no chakra stands alone. We are a complete being with multiple factors affecting us.

One Kundalini class will not change your life but you might have a big enough shift to keep you wanting to come back for more and more. When it is your Life Path, like it is mine, or even just something you do once a week, over the months and years you start to notice different things that may have bothered and affected you in the past are not gripping you as much anymore.

That being said, we will focus on the first chakra today and hold compassionately that you won’t heal all of your first chakra challenges in one Kriya. If you try the kriya for 40 days in a row, or 90 days, or do it for a whole year that’s a different story. If you do some of the energetic work that we did today daily, for a consistent period of time, that could really heal any challenges you have in these areas that we’re going to talk about today, which is the promise of Kundalini Yoga. We’re trying to bring this to the community as regularly and and as much as we can. My hope for this course is that as people who help others and obviously are taking care of yourself in the process, that you find some things that you can click into and utilize.

What is a chakra? How is this relevant to being people in the world, in bodies who live day-to-day lives and not a yogi who is isolated in a cave or someone who’s just philosophizing about this. How is this work actually applicable to our life?

The Chakras have an intimate connection with our nerve plexus or plexuses. We have different highways of nerves that run in through the spine and emanate out in two different organ systems. In something like the Bodies Exhibit, if you look at those tangle of nerves or how the fascia lines up, you’ll see that these seven points are just a few of the areas in our body where we have a supercharged highway of energy, which lead and effect all the other systems of our body. Why these 7 get focused on the most in Indian tradition and even Chinese tradition is, I feel, because they have the most power and energy going to various parts of the body. There are other chakras, like little micro chakras, around the major chakras. There are ones in our hands and on our joints.

However, if you think about the center of your being, the center of your spine, these have the most charge and power to them, which then leads to not only being able to access and feel them more but also being able to notice change over a period of time. You might not notice change of a micro chakra, like your shoulder, as much as you do in your chest and stomach. Think about how you can sense into yourself. Now imagine and sense into the center of your body. What do you notice? What do you notice at a deep visceral level? What do you notice just on the surface?

We can bleed this into a mindfulness practice. If you have something in your hands put it down now. A very simple “chakra clearing” exercise is to just recognize that we have these vortices, these vortexes, of energy. You don’t have to do anything with them, just imagine them.

As you breath notice your breath. Sense the chakra at the base of the spine, the coccyx area or sits bones underneath your pelvis, as red light. The first chakra. As you move upward towards the organs of reproduction imagine an orange light and let that permeate all the way back through the sacrum (the top of your low back). Then moving up to the naval center or belly button area, see this as a yellow glowing light. Moving up to the chest, visualizing in your mind’s eye, the front of the heart and the back of the heart (the middle spine), a green light. Moving up to the back of the neck and the throat, see a royal blue light permeating. Moving up to the front of the forehead and letting that satiate the entire front brain, even moving deep into the center of the brain, see an indigo violet light. Now rise up to the crown chakra, the last that will be covering, at the tip top of the head (imagine the soft spot of a baby’s skull called the fontanel). Here you have a white almost ultraviolet bright light. Then you can envision the rainbow from the bottom up; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, ultraviolet. Imagine all those beautiful colors, like a rainbow, spiraling upward and downward coursing through you. It is you. You can also imagine it spreading out a few feet in front of you, this rainbow light, and a few feet behind you. Maybe even a little bit higher above you and a little bit lower below you. Let the rainbow become a big sphere of life. Swimming in this Aura of color, take a deep breath in consciously sending your energy downward. Two more breaths in, hold and exhale. Last one. Now let it all go.

What are these vortices of energy, or vortexes of energy? Besides that they’re connected with the science and anatomy of our body, they are basically little portals. That is what vortex means, a center of transformation. They are little portals all along the body and they have three jobs. They receive information, they assimilate, and they emit or release.

So how does that work? We are always receiving information all the time. As sensitive sentient beings we have different ways we know our body reacts to things, our emotions react to things, and we receive. Assimilate meaning it is tumbled around, it’s processed. Meaning may or may not be made from it but ideally, in an ideal world, if the chakras are feeling open and balanced there’s energy running through all of them in a very sustainable way for you. This means your breath and your spirit (your breath is your spirit; to inspire, to inspirate is your breath) through the whole body, through all of those areas that we just touched upon with color, that the charge just kind of ebbs and flows just like a wave, just like that feeling you had in your hands. It simulates and emits a frequency.

Each of my chakras are communicating with all of your chakras right now. So maybe when I first started talking I was a little bit more confused, not sure of what we’re doing. I didn’t t know what this class was until I was with you all, and I was thinking we will just see how it evolves naturally. I might have been emitting a bit more confusion from my third eye, which then your third eye would receive (all your chakras would receive). If that was my strongest charge it would be received and it would be processed. Something would happen to it from your life experiences the way that your chakra is tuned and then you would admit a different reaction from your chakras (from that place).

Often times my teachers would say each of us has a predominant chakra that we are speaking from all the time. We have one that we sub-consciously and unconsciously emet. You can think for yourself right now, when you’re speaking do you notice or sense that a certain area of your body has more energy or that your voice feels like it moves from that place? Obviously the throat is a place where we’re communicating from, it is the center of communication but also there’s other areas of our body. Think about if you have ever been in the presence of a car salesman or someone who’s trying to sell you something that you really don’t want or need. You might feel this energy coming from them that feels very driven from the gaze. It’s almost like a little manipulative energy in that third eye center. Or, think about if you’ve ever heard Mother Teresa speak (or if there’s any other sort of spiritual and inspirational leader) you might notice that your heart softens and your back body softens. You can also listen to different music and feel where it is. Where does this music resonate and where do you receive this vibration, this frequency the most? For instance Prince is a really good example of someone who emanates from the second chakra. He is very sultry, very tuned into his emotions and so the sound (even though he is singing from the throat) he’s using his whole body. It has a strong power and essence from the second chakra.

So why is all this important? To quote: “The chakras are energy centers and they are central to the regulation of how tightly are veils of understanding are drawn.” As much as we can have these intellectual conversations about something that is quite transcendental and spiritual, ultimately it is up to experience and experiment. It’s up to your own sort of experience of this. “It changes our range of perception, feeling and choice, which affects the flow and types of thought we have as well as the energies we can gather to act and manifest. This all affects the relationship between the conscious and subconscious. Opening and balancing the chakras opens the senses. It integrates them into a responsive network that can relate to a larger source of field energy” (more than what we can consciously perceive). “What is Kundalini? It’s the thread of the infinite pushed through the small eye of the finite needle of creation.” Our body and our life is finite (hate to break it to you).

Kundalini experience and energy is what Kundalini Yoga is based on. You can have kundalini experiences and understanding of kundalini and the Kundal. Kundal means the coil of the snake and the awakening and becoming of your soul. These experiences can happen overtime very gradually or they can happen very suddenly to people. They can go to Burning man in California out in the desert and take some sort of hallucinogenic. They may have a higher experience of their soul than they have ever had before. They have some sort of Kundalini Awakening experience. Some people have trouble integrating that afterwards.

What Kundalini Yoga does is it gives us a very titrated and gradual experience of that connection with our soul. You may have had moments in your life where that realization of the source energy flowing through you or this realization of your spiritual self has come in and out. You’ve had glimpses of it, you’ve been standing on top of a mountain, you’ve had a beautiful interaction with another soul, you’re doing your work, you feel in flow. Then you have other moments in the day where you feel like you’re being driven more by your mind or by external circumstances. In those moments I feel like the chakras are really saying, or as it says in this book here using Yogi Bhajan’s words, to feel how tightly the veil is drawn especially over each of the chakras. What story is going on there? What kind of cycle of sensation and perception is going on there?

How to work with that is what I will show you in this course. We will go through different energy modalities and different awarenesses that we can bring our energy to. So the awarenesses themselves can really make a shift. “The infinite field that we are ultimately apart of is so creative, original and complex that no individual is ever repeated. None of us are simple cogs from a cosmic cookie cutter. We are each made with more love, uniqueness and potential than that.”

Do we now have an understanding of what these wheels or these vertices of energy are? Think of them like little antennas because we really are just a bundle of nerves. People say that when they’re anxious about something but literally, if you go to that Bodies exhibit, we are a bundle of nerves. Our nerves have frequency, they receive frequency, they assimilate it and they emit a frequency. In these frequencies they are just pure potential, pure force, and pure light.

Through our life experiences, and generations before us (intergenerational patterning), we have certain frequencies that are going on unconscious to us. We bring in the consciousness piece of understanding; what those frequencies could potentially mean, how we could work with and alter them and then we have a bit more of an opening or an awakening on our own terms. When folks have had an awakening experience that felt out of their control that must feel really difficult. The body we have in this life, the spiritual understanding that we’ve had growing up and then to be on one’s path and have something that was an awakening that was out of their control. That must be really hard to integrate and I think that’s why a lot of people come to things like yoga and mindfulness and etc. They want to have a more gentle and gradual understanding of their own spiritual journey. That’s just my perception of it, or my experience of it. What Kundalini Yoga has offered me and so many folks that I know (and even just understanding the chakras in general) is how to work with this individually and in a way that feels titrated and progressive in your time and in your understanding if it.