By Nick Polizzi
Okay, I have to admit—it took me a while to get on board with my chakras. First of all, they don’t teach us about our energy systems in science class. Second, we can’t see them, so they’re not obvious parts of our bodies like, say, our hands.
But the more I learned about chakras, and the more I got in tune with my body, the more I realized you can feel them.
Sometimes it can feel like a cool breeze, a subtle vibration or a warm tingling sensation somewhere along your spine. You can sense it, but it’s not necessarily triggered by something in your physical reality.
One must be clear-of-thought and fully present in order to notice these built in connectors to your cosmic self.
This elevated state of awareness is a key part of the practice I am about to share with you.
First off, what is a chakra?
“The chakra is a doorway. These are doorways that lead you into other dimensions. But you have to focus on them to the exclusion of everything else.”
The ancient mystics of India often illustrated the chakra system as seven brightly colored circles along the spine arranged in spectrum order with Sanskrit symbols in their centers. Chakra literally means “wheel” or “disk”, and these power centers in the body are believed to receive and radiate energy.
It is said that there lies, at the base of the spine, an abundance of dormant energy that is just waiting to be tapped into – this is often represented in the Kundalini tradition as a sleeping snake. By activating each chakra, we allow this life-force to travel up our body, awakening new abilities and transforming us as it goes.
All too often, however, energy can become sort of stuck—usually in one of the major chakras. This can be caused by stress, tension, lack of exercise, toxins in our diet, poor sleep and air pollution – to name a few.
Thankfully, our ancestors left us powerful tools and techniques to clear out these blockages. Today, we’re going to delve into one of them!
I was recently introduced to the concept of “giving my chakras a bath,” to help cleanse any stagnant energies and keep them open. Your chakras don’t literally get dirty, but much like our minds and bodily systems, stuff can accumulate in these invisible centers, and every so often we need to give them attention so they can shine brightly.
I want to invite you to take the next seven days to give something back to yourself with the following ritual. If you don’t have access to a bath, you could also use these elements and practices in a shower, or even during your meditation while seated.
The point of this ritual is to explore these energy centers within you and strengthen your mind-body-spirit connection.
Here are some simple steps and suggestions to create your chakra-cleansing rituals.
1. Choose your chakra. Have a chakra in mind as you set your intentions and prepare your space. Either follow along and each day choose one beginning from root to crown, or if you are in tune enough to know where you need to focus, select that chakra for the day.
2. Create a sacred space. Run a warm bath (or shower), preferably in a freshly clean tub. Clear away any extraneous products and clutter. Make it simple yet beautiful. Dim the lights, and light a candle.
3. Add Epsom salts to your bath. (Recommended: 1-2 cups). The salts are full of nurturing, cleansing minerals, and help the body to relax.
4. Add healing elements. These can include essential oils, herbs, crystals, or items of the same color associated with the chakra.
5. Relax. Settle into your sacred space, take some easy breaths and continue with the following steps of the ritual.
6. Activate your chakra. Locate the sound that is associated with the particular chakra you are working on and begin saying it, softly or loudly, to yourself. The ancients believed that these one-syllable sounds, also known as “bija mantras,” could be used to purify and balance the body and mind. Bija means “seed,” and you are literally planting a seed of thought in your body-mind to wake up that particular energy center of your body.
7. Meditate. Focus on the chakra. Visualize where it’s located within your own body. See if you can sense it. Bathe it, not only in water and sound, but also your own loving, nurturing energy. Using the affirmations we’ve included in the guide below, feel the vibrations of these “thought energies”—how the idea of it makes you feel—and repeat until you feel it deeply resonating in each center.
8. Finish. Don’t hurry through this ritual. Take as much time as you need. But when you are finished, try to take your time while drying off and resuming your day or evening. Be gentle with yourself.
In conclusion, I hope you receive exactly what you need from this time-honored practice.