I am so excited to be taking this trip through the chakras with you. It is a healing system that has made such a huge difference for me in understanding the connection between my body, my emotions, and my spirit. It is a system that makes sense to me and is simple, yet powerful.
This week we are talking about the ROOT CHAKRA also known in Sanskrit as MULADHARA CHAKRA. You can find your root chakra at the very base of your spine at the coccyx and perineum area.
The root chakra is about the feeling of belonging, being grounded and safe. It connects you to your tribe, your ancestry, your family and even to the earth itself. It is the starting point and the place from where your personality starts to evolve. It is on this plane that ideas become reality. The root chakra is the first one in the energetic line and it needs to be balanced in order for the other chakras to function properly.
How does it play out in your body and mind?
- When balanced it supports: stability, good health, ability to relax, sense of trust, prosperity and sense of security.
- When deficient or malfunctioning it can manifest as: fear of change, physical issues of the bowel, feet or legs, eating disorders, frequent illness, anxiety and restlessness, overeating, poor focus and feeling sluggish
It can be knocked out of balance from any number of traumas, big or small. Surgery, major illness, physical violence, abandonment, neglect or abuse at any point in your life can affect the energy in your root chakra. I went for a reiki session this week and my therapist sensed that the surgery I had has affected my root chakra and my ability to really get grounded. So I am working on that. I am finding it hard to take deep breaths and that can make it hard to really draw energy all the way down my spine where I need it to go.
So how can we balance the root chakra?
Here are a few healing tips to try:
- Start with this mini breathing meditation:
- Breathe: find a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. With each inhalation allow your breath to travel all the way down your spine to your tailbone. Envision breathing some red energy down the spine to the tailbone filling the area with red healing light. Repeat the spinal breath for 2- 5 minutes.
- Ground yourself to the earth. There are many ways to do this. One simple way is to place your feet firmly on the ground ( outside is best if you can) and feel the connection from your legs and feet to the earth, even jump up and down a few times to direct the prana down to your feet. Go for a walk being aware of every step you take and feel the support of the earth beneath you.
- Do Yoga. Try a hatha class and really focus on breathing down your spine into your tailbone, perineum area. If you don’t have time for a full class just try a few poses at home during your day. Warrior 2 and Bridge pose are two of many poses that help restore energy in your root chakra.
- Play with the colour red. Wear red clothing, meditate on bringing red energy down the spine into your tailbone area, eat red foods. Red energizes the root chakra.
- Try some daily affirmations for grounding: I am here and I am real. I belong. I trust in myself and those around me. The earth supports me. I trust in my own body and it’s ability to heal and support me.
- Essential Oils to help ground your energy: vetiver, patchouli and benzoin are all base note oils that you can inhale to help you feel grounded and centered.
- Find a good reiki or energy healing practitioner who can do an assessment and balancing session with you. This is great way to get a sense of all your chakras and an idea of where you are in or out of balance. They can help get the energy moving for you and then you can continue on your own through yoga, mediation and breath work.
If you are inspired to learn more check out another one of my favourite books about the chakra system – Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self
I have been spending some of my recovery time working on re balancing my heart chakra post surgery. Everything done to my chest and upper back has had both physical and emotional side effects. So it’s time for me to re energize my heart chakra!
Some of you might be very familiar with your chakras and some of you might be wondering what the heck a chakra even is?
The Chakras are energy centres in the body. There are seven major ones that are referenced for healing and balancing the system physically and energetically. The chakras are linked to the practice of yoga and their earliest mention goes back to the Vedas, which are a series of hymns that are traced back to ancient India. CG Jung referred to the Chakras as ‘gateways of consciousness’.
The seven main chakras are located along the spine from the tailbone up to the top and out the crown of your head. They are sometimes referred to as wheels since they tend to spin smoothly and quickly when your energy in that particular area is flowing well. I want to give you a brief overview of what they are and then each week I will focus on one of the seven. Each one has its own purpose and effect on the body and soul. We will look at the issues, health concerns and blockages that can be found there as well as mantras, yoga poses and meditations to try and help clear blocked energy and get things flowing smoothly again.
The seven Chakras from top to bottom:
Crown – Sanskrit word: Sahasrara – Location : top of the head - Relates to: awareness, spirit, higher self, consciousness, enlightenment – this is the place where you connect to your “higher self”
Third Eye – Ajna – centre of the forehead between your eyes – telepathy, inner intelligence,clairvoyance, deeper understanding – your intuition lives here
Throat – Vishuddha – above the pit of the throat - communication, creativity - needing to speak your truth to yourself or others
Heart – Anahata – the centre of your chest – love, healing, affection,sympathy,empathy - all things love related live here
Solar Plexus – Manipura – the navel – will power, sense of self, notion of ” I am “, confidence, control – that feeling in the pit of your stomach
Sacral – Svadisthana – below the navel, above the pubic bone – creation, sexuality, imagination, emotions,instincts – this is were feelings live as well your connection to sexual energy
Root – Muladhara – at the very base of the spine, perineum - tribal connection, family history, security, raw energy, stability - I want to belong and I want to feel safe
Balancing the energy flowing through your chakra system can have positive effects on your body, mind and spirit. We are going to explore one Chakra each week starting from the bottom of the body and working our way up to the top so stay tuned!
In the meantime check out one of my favourite chakra books -Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System
As always please feel free to share insights or ask questions in the comment section below.
- Make sure you have at least 6 extra pillows on hand to help arrange you comfortably in bed the day you get home – failing that sleep in a comfy recliner. If you have extra surgery sites on your tummy or back from the reconstruction you will not have the best sleep for the first week or so. It is important to get rest and you need to be comfortable in order to do that. You will need pillows behind your back, head and under each arm on the side(s) you were operated on.
- Book a Reiki or Therapeutic Touch practitioner to come to your house and give you a treatment. It’s gentle, non invasive and can really help with relieving pain and balancing your system post surgery. If you live in Toronto I know of some wonderful practitioners – message me in the comments and I can give you their info.
- Ask a friend to organize a ‘Supper Club’ for the night you come home and five additional nights. This is an awesome idea as friends are always looking for a way to help. Each friend cooks you a meal and brings it over on a different night so that you don’t have to cook for that first week. My friends organized this for us and it was fantastic.This is a huge help since for the first few days you really won’t be able to use your arms for much more that attempting to get dressed and brushing your teeth. Seriously.
- Take your prescribed painkillers – really – take them and don’t skimp- it’s not worth the pain!
- Get some sweet orange, lemon or bergamot essential oils and keep them on hand for when you are feeling low. Add a few drops to a tissue and inhale for a quick mick me up.
- Rent a bunch of great movies and have friends over to watch them with you – this is a great distraction from the pain and you can stay in your pj’s cause good friends accept you just as you are!
- Buy some loose fitting button up or zippered shirts that you don’t have to pull over your head to get on – cause you won’t be able to. If you don’t want to buy new stuff you can raid your partner or friend’s closet for stuff they don’t wear anymore but think you would look smashing in post surgery when you haven’t showered for 4 days.
- Do all the exercises and breathing techniques the physical therapist prescribes – they hurt at first but they get easier and really help
- Ask for help. Arrange to have someone helping you out as much as possible for the first week, especially if you have children that need to be fed and exercised. Healing is your number one priority and if you need help in order to make that happen do it! If you need help with the kids post surgery check out the Nanny Angel Network.
- Rest – you will heal much quicker and better if you are getting rest and not overdoing it – it’s a simple concept but sometimes hard to do! Let yourself nap and enjoy it.
If you have had breast surgery and have any other tips to add please leave them in the comments below!
And lastly, as my good friend who had reconstruction last year keeps telling me, you will feel a little better everyday. The pain will lessen and soon you’ll be back to your old self – only with new boobs!
Tomorrow I will be going in for my much anticipated breast reconstruction surgery. I already had a mastectomy on the left side in the spring and now it’s time to do the right side and then rebuild them at the same time.
I have been looking forward to this since I was first told that I needed to have a mastectomy. I think to move through the shock of losing a breast I just focused on the fact that they could be rebuilt- and I could even make them BIGGER!! Trust me when you are an A cup that is something to look forward too!
When I first started my research I didn’t realize what an extensive set of surgeries is involved in a reconstruction. Its not just popping in an implant and boom you’re done. I had radiation on the mastectomy site so the skin on my left side is not strong enough or loose enough to support an implant on its own. They will take skin and muscle from my back and pull it around to the front. This helps make a hammock for the pectoral muscles and implant to sit in. The technical term is a latissimus doris flap. After this main surgery there will be a few additional smaller procedures over the year before it is considered complete. If you are considering reconstruction click here for more info on this procedure. It means that I will have scars on both my front and back from the surgery. I have decided to think of them as my battle scars and be proud of them!
I am excited to get this part done but also nervous about the recovery. Having two little ones who love to crawl on you, be picked up and be cuddled makes recovering from surgery a little more, well, interesting. Mommy will be off limits for several weeks. Not sure if that will be harder on me or them ?! The surgery is 4- 5 hours long and the recovery period is about 6 weeks before I can lift anything over 5 pounds. The good news is that means I can’t vacuum, pick up grocery bags or heavy laundry baskets. Oh well!!! The bad news is I can’t pick up our two year old which will be quite interesting.
A good friend of mine sent me the biggest bra I’ve ever seen in a lovely turquoise colour as inspiration to get the biggest boobs possible! In fact many friends have been getting excited about this part of the journey along with me. I’ve received some heartfelt cards, phone calls and emails and each one means so much to me. Thank you!!
I will be away from the blog for a week or two until I have recovered enough to get online and write coherent sentences ( the joys of painkillers!). If any of you reading this post are in a position where you are considering reconstruction and curious about how this type of procedure feels check back here in a few weeks as I will be writing about how surgery went and what recovery is like. You can also check out this post from a few months ago where I listed some good resources for breast recon info. In the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Take care everyone and I’ll be back soon!
I saw the loving side of people come out this year as I went through treatment for breast cancer. This journey is challenging on all levels but one of the positive things I experienced was just how wonderful people can be. I always knew I had the world’s greatest friends and family but this year they really rose the occasion in so many ways. From helping to shave my head and organizing meals, to flowers, to notes of encouragement, sharing tears and hugs, late night phone calls, babysitting the girls, or telling jokes when a laugh was needed , their love and support got me through.
I must say my biggest and best supporter through all this has been my hubby Kelly. He is amazing. We have been through so much together, most stuff you never imagine you’d have to go through before your 35th birthday. Through it all he has kept me laughing and never let me give up. He has backed up my many health related decisions and been my lead medical researcher at every new turn. He has made sacrifices of his own so that I could have extra time to rest and recover or not be alone with the girls when I was too tired to tackle them both at once. He has driven me to dozens of doctor’s appointments and didn’t act at all freaked out after my mastectomy when I came home with one boob. He has participated in many of our morning and evening kitchen dance parties even though it’s not really his thing. I know he must have his own worries and wonderings about what life will be like moving forward after treatment, but he does an incredible job at keeping us all taken care of regardless. His love shines through in all that he does for me and our girls.
We have never been huge subscribers to the hype of Valentine’s Day. I say you can choose to be romantic and thoughtful any day of the year, or heck even everyday of the year. Don’t get me wrong I love chocolates and cookies but there are so many more potent ways to say I love you. This year lets make Valentine’s Day about LOVE by BEING LOVING. I think February 14 is a great day to celebrate everyone who loves you and everyone that you love. No pressure for the right gift or a fancy dinner out, just a genuine open heart and actions directed by love.
Who in your life are you thankful for and how can you act in a more loving way starting today?
The saying goes if you want to attract more love into your life, then give more love out to the world around you.
The Deva Life
I am Jasmin Fiore, a yoga teacher, aromatherapist, reiki master, mother and young breast cancer patient interested in all things that keep us happy and healthy. Please join us for weekly insights and info as we explore ways to create a brilliant,healthy, love filled deva life.
Deva - a sanskrit word for celestial or shining – a powerful connection to nature, the universe, and the ability to connect with the divine.