How to Open and Clear the Chakras

Body Work, Chakra Centers, EmBody Bliss, Empaths, Features, Spirituality, The Crown Chakra, The Heart Chakra, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra, The Throat Chakra, Websites

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As many of my blog followers know, I also write content for the amazingly brilliant, conscious fashion company, Lotus Effect.

Today’s article is all about understanding, opening, and clearing the chakras, and since this is Chakra Center after all, I felt it would be an appropriate blog share for today!

Enjoy!

Believed to be the centers for spiritual energy, the 7 Chakras are a chakras3.jpgcrucial system for understanding the flow of personal life force. Not only do these center points hold specific energy in the body, they also flow back and forth between each other and represent a vital aspect of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Each individual chakra has a specific purpose in the body, and can be blocked by unhealed emotions and trauma. When one of these energy centers is blocked, it messes with the balance of our entire system. Blocked chakras can lead to illness, as well as spiritual and emotional unrest. Understanding how to clear and balance the chakras is crucial for our overall health.

Knowing where these energy center points are located in the body, as well as their emotional components, is an important step in learning how to be in-tune with the body’s life force.

Here is a basic overview:

Root Chakra – Located at the base of the spine, the root chakra is rootchakra2where the body carries its survival energy. Issues of money, food, and stability are associated with this chakra. When opened and clear one feels grounded and at peace. The emotion that blocks this chakra is fear.

If you carry fear for your basic survival (this can include financial stress or eating disorders), it is important to work on healing your root chakra. The key to healing this chakra is surrendering to your fears and allowing them to flow through you (rather than resisting and suppressing them).

Color associated with the root chakra: Red

Sacral Chakra – Located about 2 inches below the navel and 2 sacral chakra2inches in, is the sacral chakra. Related to the ability to give and receive, as well as sexual and creative energy, this chakra deals with pleasure, and is blocked by guilt. Because of social and religious programming, most people have blocks in their sacral chakra.

Feeling guilt related to receiving pleasure (of any form), creativity, or sexuality – or carrying emotional trauma related to sexuality,  is an indication the sacral chakra needs to be healed and cleared.

Look at the things you feel guilty about in your life. Accept the reality of the events, and learn to forgive yourself. It is impossible for this chakra to be opened and balanced without self-forgiveness and acceptance.

Color associated with the sacral chakra: Orange

Solar Plexus Chakra – Located in the abdomen/stomach area, solar plexusthe solar plexus chakra deals with one’s sense of personal power and self-control, and is blocked by shame. Feelings of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem are tied to this chakra.

In order to open and clear the solar plexus, it is essential to love and accept all aspects of yourself, including your mistakes.

Color associated with the solar plexus chakra: Yellow

Heart Chakra – Located in the center of the chest, just above the heart chakraheart, the heart chakra deals with our joy, inner peace, and ability to love. This chakra is blocked by grief.

To clear and release the heart chakra, it is important to acknowledge, validate, and release all loss. Allow yourself to feel the pain of grief. Do not hold and suppress the sadness — let your emotions flow.

Color associated with the heart chakra: Green

Throat Chakra – Located in the throat, the throat chakra deals throat chakrawith the ability to communicate truth, and is blocked by lies – especially the lies we tell ourselves.

To heal and open the throat chakra, it is important to release all self-denial and lies – even when those lies are functioning as a coping mechanism. We cannot lie about our own nature. It is impossible to be able to communicate in a powerful way when one holds onto self-deluded lies.

Color associated with the throat chakra: Blue

Third Eye Chakra – Located on the forehead between the eyes, cropped-7chakra1.jpgthe third eye deals with the ability to focus on and see the big picture (as well as psychic vision and insight). This chakra is blocked by illusion. The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation.

In order to heal and clear this chakra, it is crucial to release all illusion within ourselves and understand we are connected to all things. There is no separation. Things we think are separate and different, are actually one and the same.

Color associated with the thrid eye chakra: Indigo

Crown Chakra – Located at the very top of the head, this highest Crown-chakrachakra represents the ability to be fully connected spiritually. It deals with pure, cosmic energy, and is blocked by earthly attachment.

Healing and opening the crown chakra requires us to let go of the things we hold on to most desperately, trusting the love and flow of the Universe/Source within us to be our ultimate fulfillment and bliss.

Opening the crown chakra is not about denying our desires or connection to the earth, it is simply about letting go of our grasp and surrendering to Universal cosmic energy (or God).

Color associated with the crown chakra: Violet

Opening and healing the chakras is about walking the spiritual path of self-awareness. It is not something that is done in one mediation, but rather a daily practice on the inward journey. By tuning into our emotional blockages and needs, we allow ourselves to expand, trust, and ultimately be set free.

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What Everyone Needs to Know About Their Chakras

Chakra Centers, Features, Spirituality, The Crown Chakra, The Heart Chakra, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra, The Throat Chakra

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This morning I was browsing through Mindbodygreen and stumbled across this article by Deepak Chopra.  Deepak offers a in-depth and unique perspective on the Chakras I just had to share! Enjoy!

Each of the seven chakras are governed by spiritual laws, principles of consciousness that we can use to cultivate greater harmony, happiness, and wellbeing in our lives and in the world.

The First Center: The Root Chakra

The root chakra, known in Sanskrit as muladhara, is located at the base of the spine. It governs your most basic survival needs. When this chakra is clear and energy flows through it freely, we feel secure and confident that we can easily fulfill our needs. However, blockage in this area can cause us to feel anxious and worried.

The spiritual Law of Karma governs the first energy center. On the physical plane, every action you perform results in a corresponding reaction. To maximize the possibility that your actions generate evolutionary reactions, you can use your body as a choice determining instrument.

Consider the possibilities in front of you and listen to signals from your body. These sensations generating from the root chakra are either comfortable or uncomfortable. Your body evaluates every possible decision in terms of its likelihood to meet your needs for safety or increase the level of threat you experience. The first chakra, which connects you with the earth, provides essential information as to the potential nourishment or toxicity that is available to you as a result of the actions you are taking.

The Second Center: Creativity Chakra

The creativity chakra, called svadhishtana, is associated with creativity in all its expressions. Located in the area of your sexual organs, the energy of this center can be used for biological reproduction. When channeled into higher energy centers, it fuels the creative force that enables you to paint a beautiful picture, build a business, or create a life of love and abundance.

The Law of Least Effort is lively in the second chakra. When your vital energy is flowing through your center of creativity, you co-create your life. The solution to every problem is rarely on the level of the problem. Rather, it comes from a deeper domain of creativity. Creativity is the process of taking the same raw material and creating different contexts and relationships between the components.

For example, when a composer creates a new piece of music, he is using the same notes in a new relationship with one another other, resulting in the emergence of something that did not exist before. The second chakra utilizes the raw material of the root chakra to create the world anew each day.

The Third Center: Energy Chakra

The energy chakra, manipura, is localized in your solar plexus. It’s the seat of your power in the world. When this center is open and flowing, you are capable of translating your intentions and desires into manifestation. When it is blocked, you feel frustrated and ineffectual.

The Law of Intention and Desire governs the third chakra. The seeds of intentions and desires reside in your personal soul. Nourishing the seeds you wish to germinate with your attention will lead to their full expression. It is important to be clear about your intentions so you are not surprised when they bear fruit.

The process of manifesting your desires is to first bring them into consciousness, followed by expanding your awareness through meditation, and finally releasing your intentions and detaching from the outcome. You can control your actions, however you cannot control the fruit of your actions. Keep your life energy flowing freely through your third chakra and the light and heat of your intentions will radiate on the world.

The Fourth Center: Heart Chakra

The heart chakra represents the unifying energy of love and compassion. Known as anahata, it is located at the center of the chest. The heart chakra is dedicated to overcoming separation and division. When the heart center is blocked, there is a sense of alienation from others. When the heart center is open and flowing, you feel connected at a deep level to all beings in your life.

The Law of Giving and Receiving governs the heart chakra. Love can take many different forms at different stages of life. The love of child for her mother is different than a mother’s love for her child. A friend’s love is different than that of a passionate lover or the love of a student for his teacher. However so, the common thread in each of these expressions of love is the impulse to unify—to overcome separation. This is the nature of the heart.

Every act of giving is simultaneously an act of receiving. Each time you welcome a gift into your life, you are providing the opportunity for someone to give. Just as a healthy physical heart receives blood from the periphery which it then oxygenates and pumps back out, your emotional heart stays healthy by receiving and giving love in all its forms.

The Fifth Center: Expression Chakra

The throat chakra, called visshuddha in Sanskrit, is the center of expression. When the fifth chakra is open and flowing, you have the confidence that you are capable of communicating your needs. When the fifth chakra is obstructed, a person will often feel that they are not being heard. In order to feel alive and empowered, it’s important that this energy center is clear. Blockages in this area are often associated with thyroid problems or chronic neck pain.

The Law of Detachment governs the throat chakra. An open fifth chakra enables you to express your truth without concern for censors or critics. This does not mean you say things that are intentionally hurtful or insensitive. On the contrary, people with open centers of communication are skillful in expressing their needs in ways that are life supporting. Anxiety over how people will react to your views does not arise when energy is flowing freely through the chakra of expression.

The Law of Detachment reminds you that you can choose your words and actions, but you cannot control the response to your words and action. When your intentions are clear, and your heart is open, you will spontaneously demonstrate right speech trusting that the universe will handle the details.

The Sixth Center: Intuition Chakra

The intuition chakra, known in Sanskrit as ajna, is located in the forehead. It is the center of insight and intuition. When this center is open, you have a deep sense of connection to your inner voice, and feel guided in your choices. When blocked, there is a sense of self-doubt and distrust. The opening of this chakra is usually associated with a clear sense of connection to ones dharma, or purpose in life.

The Law of Dharma or Cause and Effect governs the sixth chakra. You have within you a wise voice guiding you to express the highest aspects of your nature. Listen to this still inner voice, which is guiding you to manifest your full potential. Quiet the internal turbulence that is filled with the voices of others so you can identify the sound of your own soul. It has only one desire—for you to remember your essential nature as a spark of the divine.

The Seventh Center: Consciousness Chakra

The consciousness chakra, known as dahaswara, is visualized as a lotus flower at the crown of the head. When the lotus unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored. Remember that your essential nature is unbounded, and that you are spirit in disguise as a person. This is the full expression of yoga – the unification of being with action, of universality with individuality.

The Law of Pure Potentiality governs the seventh chakra. When your roots are receiving nourishment from the earth in the first chakra, your creative juices are flowing in the second, your intentions are empowered in the third, your heart is open and exchanging love with those around you in the fourth, you are spontaneously expressing your highest self in the fifth, you are in touch with your inner voice in the sixth, only then, does energy move into the crown chakra and you remember your essential nature as infinite and unbounded. The thousand-petaled lotus flower unfolds and you know yourself as a spiritual being temporarily localized to a body and mind.

The Yoga of Meditation The Upanishads tell us, “As great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart.” From the time of your birth, you have been called to explore the world outside of you. Meditation is the exploration of your inner world. Yoga encourages you to be as familiar with your inner world of thoughts, feelings, memories, desires, and imagination as you are with the outer world. When you can move through both the inner and outer domains of life with freedom and joy, you fulfill the highest purpose of yoga.

Deepak Chopra, M.D. co-founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 with the late Dr. David Simon, who co-wrote this article and the book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. You can learn more by visiting the Chopra Center’s resource page.

Gluten and its Harmful Ways

Food, Health Products, The Root Chakra

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve had quite the battle with my thyroid and food sensitivities. Going 100% raw only seemed to exacerbate my thyroid issues (as many raw foods prevent the utilization of iodine), while even the vegan route — though the most appealing to my conscience — caused weight gain.

In the spiritual community being vegan has become synonymous with  “enlightenment.” And while I understand the importance of lifestyle choices that are best for the environment/planet, I feel that it is almost taboo to talk about health problems faced on the vegan journey and how to overcome them.

While I’m still on my own path of discovering what the best diet is for my body, one thing I have discovered for certain is the many harmful affects of gluten on overall health (and thyroid).

For those of you struggling with thyroid issues who haven’t considered looking into the gluten aspect, I suggest this article from The Natural Thyroid Diet website. I know it’s not the whole piece, but an important one to consider.

What is a gluten free diet?

The hottest diet craze among Hollywood celebrities is a gluten free diet. Is this just a fad or could eliminating gluten help end the bloat, brain fog, nagging indigestion, and even turn your thyroid health around?

Gluten is the main structural protein found naturally in a variety of grains including wheat, rye, spelt, barley, oats and triticale which is a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten is also used as a single ingredient in many processed foods as it makes an ideal binder or thickener. This means you could be consuming additional gluten without knowing it.

A gluten free diet defined

A gluten free diet strictly excludes all grains and packaged foods containing gluten. This means cutting the common gluten containing foods such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, desserts and biscuits from the daily diet. But this may not be as restrictive as it first appears as health food stores and supermarkets offer gluten free alternatives. In addition, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fish and lean organic animal protein are all naturally gluten free.

However for most people changing to a gluten free diet plan is a big step and takes some getting used to. The restrictions can even make you feel downright deprived. But the upside is that excluding these gluten based foods often results in weight loss, especially around the middle.

The modern problem with wheat

These days highly refined wheat is the most common source of gluten as it is used in a wide variety of foods found in supermarkets. To meet ongoing demand wheat is grown on an industrial scale. Along with the development of modern agricultural methods there has also been selective breeding of wheat. Wheat crops now yield a much higher ratio of gluten. This is not good news for those who are gluten sensitive or have diagnosed gluten-related disorders.

And not only that, there is evidence the newer high yield wheat strains are less nutritious and lack important nutrients such as zinc, iron, copper and magnesium.

Gluten sensitivity can result in a broad range of symptoms

Gluten can easily irritate the lining of the digestive system. Once this happen the body launches a swift immune response as it reacts to gluten as something foreign. This creates inflammation that spreads like wildfire throughout the whole body. Gluten sensitivity symptoms can therefore be linked to specific digestive problems as well as broader health issues. There is little doubt emotional stress plays a significant role in intensifying these symptoms.

Could you be gluten intolerant?

Gluten sensitivity can result in a broad range of symptoms. The major symptoms include:

  • Weight loss or weight gain, especially abdominal weight gain
  • Fatigue or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten
  • Digestive problems: bloating, pain, gas + diarrhoea
  • Weak + cracked fingernails
  • Fat in the stools due to poor breakdown of dietary fat
  • Joint + muscle pain
  • Mood swings + depression
  • Poor memory + concentration
  • Skin rashes including dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Osteoporosis due to lowered mineral absorption
  • Migraine headaches

The best way to discover if gluten is a problem and to what degree is by strictly excluding gluten from your diet for at least 4 weeks as it takes this long to clear gluten the negative effects of gluten from your system. If you feel far better when you exclude gluten, or feel worse when you reintroduce gluten then it’s likely a problem for you.

Minor symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, brain fog and indigestion can disappear fairly quickly when gluten is excluded from the diet. Improvements in chronic health problems made worse by gluten sensitivity such as arthritis, eczema and autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may take longer. Many people report their thyroid symptoms improve once they eliminate gluten from their diet.

The gluten-thyroid connection

A gluten intolerance markedly reduces the absorption of a wide range of nutrients. This is not good news for thyroid health as the thyroid is particularly sensitive to a decline in micronutrient intake. For example; iodine, zinc and selenium as three minerals critical to aid ongoing thyroid hormone activity.

Gluten sensitivity contributes to a wide range of autoimmune responses including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Studies have shown individuals with low selenium intake or poor absorption of selenium are also more likely to develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There are two factors:

  • A selenium deficiency results in lower activity of the selenium dependent enzymes vital to assist ongoing activity of the thyroid hormones, including activation of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3). Low T3 is associated with the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • Selenium plays a role in protecting the thyroid gland itself as this mineral boosts glutathione activity. Glutathione is naturally produced by the body using selenium and a combination of three amino acids sourced from dietary protein – cysteine, glycine and glutamine. Glutathione acts as a potent antioxidant and is highly active within the thyroid to help protect this important gland.

Coeliac disease

For people with Coeliac disease avoiding gluten is a very serious issue and a gluten free diet is advocated to treat this chronic digestive problem. Individuals with Coeliac disease are so sensitive to they must avoid all foods containing gluten as even a minute amount will prompt a noticeable immune reaction.

If a person is unaware they have Ceoliac disease and continue to consume gluten the inflammation damages the small bowel. This leads to low intake of essential nutrients. Over time their poor health is linked to malnutrition.

Gluten sensitivity contributes to a wide range of autoimmune responses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are frequently diagnosed along with Coeliac disease and vice versa. Coeliac disease is associated with selenium malabsorption which is considered a key factor linking this digestive problem with thyroid health decline.

Coeliac disease is commonly considered to be a genetic disorder however it can be set off later in life by a stressful event, such as an infection, injury or surgery. A specific diagnostic test is used to confirm Coeliac disease.

Gluten free shopping

A gluten free diet excludes all types of grains that contain gluten. Here are some gluten free alternatives to common grain based products:

  • Breads: rice, buckwheat + ‘wheat free’ varieties.
  • Breakfast cereals: organic corn flakes, rice bubbles, Amaranth, puffed buckwheat + gluten free muesli.
  • Flours: 100% buckwheat, rice, Besan (chickpea), Lupin, coconut.
  • Noodles: rice + 100% buckwheat.
  • Pasta: vegetable + rice varieties.
  • Porridge: Quinoa, rice + Polenta porridge.
  • Rice: brown rice + white rice varieties.

It is important to read food labels carefully as gluten is often a hidden ingredient in packaged foods. Examples include; baking powder, flavourings and hydrolysed vegetable protein. Beer may contain varying amounts of gluten as it is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of germinated cereals, usually barley.

Cross contamination of gluten free foods can occur during the manufacturing process when these foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. For example, if the same equipment is used to make a variety of snack foods some gluten free items may become contaminated. Food labels often include a ‘may contain gluten’ statement if this is the case.

Foods labelled ‘gluten free’ are not always healthy

Just because it is a ‘gluten free’ food product, doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for your thyroid. Food manufacturers regard corn (maize) and soy ingredients as cost effective substitutes for gluten containing grains. Corn and soy are common food allergens and in turn can also initiate symptoms of a food intolerance. These ingredients should be avoided when you have an under active thyroid problem. This includes soy oil which is often labelled as ‘vegetable oil’. If you are not sure check to see if the label states the product contains soy.

Activating your gluten free grains

All grains including gluten free varieties have naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors that make them difficult to digest and also lower absorption of important minerals. Eating large quantities of grains and using flours that have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented can lead to mineral deficiencies and long term bone loss. This means even gluten free flours and whole grains should be activated with these traditional methods to release their full nutritional potential.


 

Strawberry & Lemon Tart

Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

This dessert is perfect for the warmer weather. It’s refreshing, fruity and lighter IMG_3371 than most nut based treats. Plus it’s:

▪    Gluten Free

▪    Dairy Free

▪    Cacao Free

I came up with this recipe whilst trying to create something different to the usual chocolate based healthy dessert for a dinner party.

To be honest anything lemony is good with me!

This recipe makes x 4 tarts.

Ingredients:

Base

▪    1 1/2 cups of macadamia nuts

▪    1/2 cup of medjool dates

▪    pinch of sea salt

Blend ingredients until a dough is formed, press into the coconut oil greased tart tins.

Filling

▪    2 cups of cashews IMG_3353

▪    1/2 cup of lemon juice

▪    1 tbsp of honey

▪    1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

▪    pinch of vanilla

Blend all ingredients together until a smooth cream. Pour into the tart tins on the base. Place in the freezer for 30 mins to firm.

Topping

▪    2 cups of strawberries, chopped

▪    3/4 cup of medjool dates.

Blend into a strawberry jam, pour in the cream filling and place in the freezer to set for about an hour.

These are delicious when totally defrosted or still slightly frozen. I like how when they are frozen you can eat them by hand! They’re like an ice-cream biscuit and oh so yummy!

What are some of your favorite summer vegan treats? Let us know in the comment section below!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most Sarah Hookdelicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Lemon & Avocado Mousse

Recipes, The Root Chakra

Lemon desserts are one of my favorites! I pretty much love all fruit based desserts, like eton mess, apple crumble, apple pie, lemon meringue, and so on! Nowadays I don’t eat sugar laden desserts but have found a way to make my own versions of them with healthy ingredients instead. Guilt free desserts and no groggy feelings the day after are important to me.

The combination of the creaminess of the avocado and the astringent lemon is to die for!

My Lemon & Avocado Mousse is IMG_3397

  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Sugar Free
  • Cacao Free
  • Vegan

This makes mousse for 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 lemon, the flesh, no rind
  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked.
  • 1 dropperful of stevia
  • 1/3rd cup melted coconut oil
  1. Blend the avocado with the lemon,
  2. Add in the cashews and stevia, blend again,
  3. Finally add the coconut oil. You will probably need to stir a few times between blends, once the mixture is smooth and a perfect mousse consistency it’s ready.
  4. Serve straight away, or chill for an hour in the fridge.

You can also freeze this and eat frozen like an ice-cream/sorbet.

Enjoy!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing Sarah Hookyou the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Third Eye Chakra Juice

Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats, Uncategorized

This juice is delicious, refreshing and cleansing. It’s great for boosting immunity and aiding the liver cleanse.

Ingredients:

  • BeetrootIMG_3052
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Coconut water

Juice all of the ingredients and add coconut water to taste.

Enjoy!

Sarah HookTuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Indulge in the Magic and Bliss of Tuscany!

Aromatherapy, Body Work, Chakra Centers, Features, Food, Online Classes/Retreats, Spirituality, The Crown Chakra, The Heart Chakra, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra

Features

Tuscany, Italy — October 4th – 11th 2013:

Get ready to lavish in luxury, learn about wine from the experts, experience traditional Tuscan cuisine prepared by Italians (raw and vegan style), steep in the magic of aromatherapy, healing massage, and energy work, connect with like minds, and experience your internal world  through complete indulgence in your senses. This will be an exclusive,once-in-a-lifetime, full immersion retreat in the heart of Tuscany.

So often in the “spiritual community” we are taught to deny our selves. We make a conscious effort to fully activate and engage our upper chakras through meditation, prayer, out of body experiences, and fasting, but we neglect our lower chakras – we discount the purpose and power of our physical experiences.

We came into life in this physical dimension to experience it, learn from it, and expand. Denying the importance and role of our physical expression cuts off a major aspect of our purpose here, and rather than “setting us free” it often leads to repressed and blocked energy in the body.

It’s all about balance. We don’t want to over-indulge the physical, but often we need to create moments and experiences where we can fully allow our lower chakras a place to take center stage. When we activate and allow our lower chakras to do what they were designed to do, we can create bliss that is unparallel in any other dimension – we experience the merging of the physical and non-physical aspects of ourselves which – when fully charged – can allow the flow of energy through our bodies to cause a kundalini experience throughout our entire energetic and physical fields.

Activating bliss through our five senses is a total allowance of our physical and spiritual selves to come together in complete harmony in this 3rd dimension – to give us permission to create and experience beauty; the bliss of such moments is often called “orgasmic” for a reason. It’s the closest we come to experiencing the fullness of our WHOLE selves in this dimension, and it is through our physical senses that these moments of creative and sensual pleasure are made possible.

Italy is a country where beauty reigns. It’s a place where culturally time is arranged to experience the poetry and magic of “la vita bella.” It’s an experience you don’t just live; you enter directly into the music of life. You allow the beauty of the physical world to seep into every cell of your body. It’s about indulgence. It’s about creation. It’s about experiencing the bounty and harvest of our energetic and spiritual work that has been transmuted into physical attributes: Wine, chocolate, living organic foods, music, aromatherapy, massage, and all things blissful. Italy is truly an immersion in the aesthetics of creation.

This retreat provides an experience, an opportunity to allow yourself to let go and fully surrender to the beauty within and
around you, filling your senses, your body, and your spirit with the majesty and magic of what it means to truly live, love, and luxuriate in bliss of being in a body of flesh and blood. It’s about losing yourself in present moment awareness and fully experiencing the gift of our physical world.

Here’s a lil’ taste of the magic we’re weaving together for you:

  • Five-star service and accommodation at a private Renaissance-style Tuscan Villa where wine can be sipped on the terrace over-looking the rustic vineyard hills of Chianti.
  • Exclusive winemaker’s dinner featuring world-renowned winemaker, Count Sebastiano Capponi of Villa Calcinaia Vineyards.
  • Luxurious intuitive bliss massage and energy healing to ground the magic into your physical body.
  • Hand-crafted, world-class wine from some of the greatest producers in Tuscany.
  • Private wine tour/tasting excursion to one of Tuscany’s most well-respected, bio-diverse organic wineries.
  • Tantalizing cacao ceremonies (Italian style!) to experience the bliss and gentle mind-altering/multi-dimensional affects of this magical and alchemical bean.
  • Traditional Tuscan cuisine prepared raw and vegan style by Italy’s most well-known and respected raw food chef and educator, Vito Cortese.
  • Sensual aromatherapy infused in every room of the Essential Oils3house and custom blended for this exclusive retreat by certified, intuitive aroma therapist, Athena Ziegler.
  • Classes on how aromatherapy can assist you both spiritually and energetically.
  • Two fully serviced four course dinner parties at the Villa with food/wine pairing and live classical guitar (yes, you will have a professional waiter for these dinners!)
  • Wine 101 classes (including wine and food pairing, wine etiquette, and wine basics).
  • Raw food classes on classic Italian dishes taught Vito1by Vito Cortese using the freshest and most local ingredients birthed from the rustic soil of Tuscany.
  • Excursions in the medieval city of Florence.
  • Plenty of time to relax, soak in the magic, drink wine, eat amazing food, and enjoy the beauty of Tuscany.

Join us for an entire week full of world-class wine, living/organic Tuscan foods and luxurious self-pampering woven-in the intricate and alchemical magic of aromatherapy, energy healing, love, and unapologetic bliss. Our intention is to create a five-star experience of magic and pleasure that is deeply grounded in and experienced through your physical senses. It will be an otherworldly creation. Your only job is to show-up and surrender to the beauty. We’ll take care of the rest.

Pricing and registration will open Thursday, Jan. 31st. As this is the only exclusive, alchemical, luxury, five star retreat of its kind, registration is likely to go fast. Space is extremely limited. First come, first serve. If you are planning to come with a partner or spouse, or if you wish to have your own room, there is a limited number suites available with a queen size bed. All other rooms will be shared with single beds, so register soon to receive your preference.

We can’t wait to create magic and sip wine with you under the Tuscan sun!

Ci vediamo!

The Secret Life of Chakras

Features, Spirituality, The Crown Chakra, The Heart Chakra, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra, The Throat Chakra, Websites
Features

Imagine seven ‘wheels’ of energy spinning in your body along its centerline, from the base of your spine to the top of your head. These subtle energy channels each correspond to different areas of the body as well as specific life situations. They channel energy to where it’s needed, for optimal health and wellbeing.

In many ways the chakras are like intersections in a busy city. They channel traffic, and the traffic grid is designed to keep traffic flowing freely. But as we have all experienced, city traffic can easily become snarled. All it takes is one angry or insensitive driver blocking an intersection, and everything comes to a stop. Traffic ‘upstream’ from the blockage becomes an impassable domino effect of cars clogging the streets and blocking other intersections. And ‘downstream’, the streets are empty.

Check out the chakra chart below to understand your chakras better.

click to enlarge the Chakra Chart

Imagine that scenario in your energy flow. If one or more of your chakras are blocked, they cause disturbances and imbalances on both sides of the flow. The result is stagnating energy that causes poor health, undesirable life conditions, unhappiness and a sense that nothing is going right.

You may have blockages or imbalances in several chakras, but it is often due to one major blockage in one chakra that then affects the others. Take a free chakra test to find out which of your chakras are blocked!

Now that you know how important the chakras are to your overall health and wellbeing, let’s look at individual chakras and the ways they affect the system.

root chakra symbolStarting at the bottom of the line of chakras, we find the first chakraor the Root chakra, located at the base of the spine. It corresponds to the physical body and connection to the Earth. Just like a foundation, it is concerned with the basics of survival: food, shelter, safety, comfort and belonging. You can tell if your root chakra is closed if you often feel stuck and sluggish; you experience unrelenting stress because of a belief that you must rely on external circumstances; you may have persistent financial problems and find yourself in a less-than-ideal career.

sacral chakraJust up from the root chakra is the Sacral chakra. This is the seat of kundalini energy, sexuality, pleasure, intimacy, creativity and the joys of life. This chakra is located just below and behind the navel. Looking at the body from head to toe, this is your physical center. If your sacral chakra is weak, you struggle with a healthy self-image; you experience difficulty allowing yourself to become emotionally and sexually intimate; you move from one relationship to another, desperately trying to find “the one” yet lacking the sense that you are worthy of love. Most notably, your libido is very low.

solar plexus chakra symbolMoving up, the Solar plexus chakra is the center of your personal power. Physically, it is located about two inches below the breastbone. It is the seat of your ego, willpower, passions and ambition. If your solar plexus chakra is imbalanced or depleted, you will find it difficult to take action on your dreams due to a sense of powerlessness and low self-esteem; you have very low self-worth, feel like a victim and often suffer from stomach issues and anxiety.

heart chakra symbolThe fourth chakra is the Heart chakra, the center for love and spirituality. Love doesn’t mean only love for others; it also applies to self-love and self-acceptance. This chakra is located right next to your physical heart – which is why, when you are struggling in this chakra, you may experience heartache! If your heart chakra is weak, you have trouble with giving and receiving love and being compassionate; you hold grudges and become needy in relationships, and this often leads to anger and distrust. A weak heart chakra can be at the root of heart disease, asthma and allergies.

throat chakra symbolThe fifth chakra is next in line. The Throat chakra is your communication center – your voice, your creative self-expression. The throat chakra is also responsible for truth, honesty and integrity. If you are unable to voice your opinions or true feelings; if you are known as the ‘quiet one’ and if you are frustrated because you don’t feel that other people hear what you have to say, your throat chakra is blocked. Throat and mouth problems are common.

third eye chakra symbolYour sixth chakra is the Third eye chakra (or brow chakra). It sits just between and above the eyes and it is responsible for psychic abilities such as intuition as well as your sense of purpose in life. Your third eye chakra is closed if you struggle with finding meaning in life and often ask yourself, “Why am I here? Why was I even born?” You have trouble making decisions and suffer from headaches and tension.

crown chakraFinally, we reach the crown chakra located at the top of your head. This is the connection between you and the divine. It is responsible for spirituality and enlightenment. Your brain functions and central nervous system are controlled by the crown chakra. If this chakra is depleted or blocked, you will experience loneliness, insignificance and meaninglessness. You may feel a strong attachment to material possessions and achievements (and define yourself according to them) and a disconnect from the spiritual side of life. Headaches are common.

Now, this list of problems can be overwhelming and depressing, if you suffer from more than just a few. But remember, you most likely have a blockage in one primary chakra that causes imbalances in the rest. That’s why it is important to find out where the main blockage is and what caused it. Then, with simple knowledge and exercises, you can become like a helpful police officer guiding traffic at a snarled intersection and restore the free flow of energy in your body.

When the seven chakras are in balance, life feels good and all is as it should be. This small introduction to the seven chakras is just the start to that journey.

The word chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. This is because each of the chakras is connected to the next in what appears to be a vertical line up the body. They also create loops of energy that surround your body. Generally, the 7 chakras are classified from the bottom to top of the head in an ascending manner. Each chakra has a corresponding color that make an ascending rainbow.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats:Chocolate Cashew Cookies

Food, Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Chocolate Cashew Cookies

First thing to know: You don’t need a dehydrator for these! (I prefer them gooey anyway).

All you will need is:

  • 2 cups of soaked Cashews IMG_1283
  • ½ cup of soaked almonds
  • 1 cup of medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp of raw honey
  • ½ tbsp of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of cacao powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder

Blend the cashew and almonds in a blender until you have flour-like mix.

Add the dates, honey, sea salt and vanilla, blend until you have cookie dough, add the cacao powder and blend again.

You can then roll these into balls and serve, or flatten like cookies! Place in a fridge or freezer to firm and then enjoy!

Quick, Easy, Delicious and Healthy!!

Recipe by nutritional health coach and raw food chef, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Chocolate Bliss Balls

Columns, Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Chocolate Bliss Balls

These balls are so quick and easy to make, and like all my IMG_0972recipes, they are great for on-the-go sweet treats that will give you energy and super nutrients too!

Plus they are chocolaty goodness… yum!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powderIMG_0974
  • ½ cup of melted cacao butter
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup of soaked almonds
  • ½ cup of oats
  • 4 medjool dates de-pitted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder
  • ¼ cup of raisins

In a blender add the seeds,nuts,oats, vanilla, sea salt and blend into a fine flour.

Then add the dates & raisins slowly until you get a cookie IMG_0964dough consistency.

In another bowl mix the cacao butter, cacao powder and honey together into a smooth sauce.

Roll the cookie dough mix into mini balls, cover in the chocolate sauce, and pop into the freezer to set for 20 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe by holistic health food coach and raw food chef, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Winter Elixirs

Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Comforting Raw Elixir’s

I have two recipes I want to share with you this week! Both are favorites of mine for the colder days and include ingredients to help keep you warm and comforted from the cold weather by focusing on warming, stimulating foods/herbs, such as ginger and cacao.

Super Magical Chocolate Shake

  • 1 bananaIMG_0660 2
  • 1 cup of almond/ hemp milk, I use both.
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • optional extra’s:
    • 1 tbsp of Rice Bran soluble, high in b vitamins and vitamin e.
    • 1 tsp of 4 Eternals by Shaman Shack – Ho Sho Wu,  Astragalus, Rhodiola and Shilajit.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and serve. A truly decadent drink for those dreary days.

Lemon and Ginger Tonic

  • juice of 1 organic lemonIMG_0653
  • 1 tbsp of msm powder
  • inch of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp of vitamin C powder, I use truly natural vitamin C by Healthforce Nutritionals.

Pour warm/hot water over ingredients in a glass jar.  This is really cleansing and a perfect way to start the day.

Raspberry Vanilla Ice Cream Heart

Food, Recipes, The Root Chakra

Raspberry Vanilla Ice cream Heart

I love cold creamy deserts and this one is a hit with everyone.  It tastes like vanilla ice cream but this one is without the Sugar or Dairy!

The raspberry top goes brilliantly giving it a refreshing sweet taste with the creamy base.

Plus, they look so pretty and it’s a great recipe to make for your loved one on Valentines Day, or a special anniversary…or just any day to say you love them.

Now for the important part the Recipe: (makes 9 hearts)IMG_0724

  • Cashew Nuts x 200g
  • Cacao Butter x 4 tbsp.
  • Agave Syrup x 4 tbsp.
  • Lucuma x 2-4 tsp. (to taste)
  • Coconut oil x 2 tbsp.
  • Filtered water x 160ml
  • Vanilla Pod – optional

Topping : 

  • Raspberries x 1 cup
  • Agave Syrup x 4 tbsp.

Soak the cashew nuts for at least 4 – 6 hrs. Rinse and drain them. Gently melt the cacao butter and coconut oil together (either in a dehydrator or over a bowl of hot water).

Add all the base ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Put the mixture into the heart molds and smooth over the tops. Place these in a freezer while you make the topping.

Blend all the ingredients for the topping in a high-speed blender until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl through a sieve to remove the raspberry seeds.

Bring the hearts out of the freezer when set, this make take an hour. Using a knife loosen the hearts from the mold and tap onto a plate. Spoon the topping onto the hearts and serve!

You can keep these in the freezer for frozen ice crème treats, or in the fridge for a softer mousse like dessert.

Sarah HookSarah Hook is a Holistic health coach, Raw Food Chef, and Creator of Juice Rehab – The Juice Detox in the UK. She loves Yoga, being outside in nature, being barefoot, meditating, and being creative in every area of life. You can check-out her services here.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: White Chocolate Hearts

The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

I love these chocolates, and they make a lovely change from the usual Cacao treats. Lucuma gives a sweet caramel taste, and these chocolates are so smooth they melt in your mouth! And they are totally caffeine free, so yes you can eat these before bed.

Ingredients: White chocolate hearts

  • 1 cup of melted cacao butter
  • 1 dropperful of stevia, I used vanilla stevia by Nu Naturals
  • ¼ cup of lucuma powder

Mix everything together with a whisk into a smooth texture.

Pour into molds and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

It’s that easy!

Recipe by Sarah Hook

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Coconut Cookie Dough Balls

Features, Food, Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Coconut Cookie Dough Balls

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups raw, flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 dropperful of stevia
  • ¼ cup of Lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Cacao nibs

Firstly blend the nuts into tiny pieces, then add the rest to the blender and pulse (or you can mix really well by hand in a big bowl).

Make sure everything is evenly coated.

Roll mixture into balls.

You can freeze for 10 mins or eat straight away, depending on how firm you prefer your balls.

Super easy! And Super Yummy!

Enjoy!

Recipe by Sarah Hook