Writing for Wellbeing

Any writing, including free writing, writing stories, poems, journaling, even letters, can improve our mood and wellbeing. You don’t need any special materials other than a notebook/paper and pen/pencil and you don’t need to write with good grammar or punctuation or be an accomplished writer to benefit, just a willingness to get your own words down on the page.

I am thrilled to be able to offer a series of five Writing for Wellbeing workshops (see my Writing for Wellbeing page for more information). Using a variety of writing prompts such as poems, objects, photos and visualisations, my aim is to help participants express themselves through writing.

By writing down our thoughts, feelings and ideas, things can become clearer, more understandable and gives a sense of perspective and control. Writing helps with personal development and this kind of writing has the potential for therapeutic benefit.

Writing can stir up many thoughts, feelings and strong emotions and so it is important to write what is within safe limits and to practice self-care. Sharing writing with other participants in the group is not obligatory.

These workshops are designed to use the medium of writing for self-discovery, affirming the ability to know what is needed to enhance personal wellbeing.


  • Experience a sense of release as words are written down on the page.
  • Helps people get in touch with themselves.
  • Helps gain a sense of control over unsettling emotions.
  • Increases self awareness and feelings of compassion for the self and for others.
  • Helps bring things into perspective and helps to see things from other perspectives.
  • Helps with feeling restored emotionally as people focus on what they already have and what they may need to improve their wellbeing.

This series of workshops is designed around 5 different ways to wellbeing which research has shown can improve our sense of feeling good about ourselves and our lives. Whilst including happiness, wellbeing has a much broader concept than moment to moment pleasures and includes how satisfied and fulfilled we feel, our sense of purpose, how in control we feel and how we evaluate our lives as a whole. Wellbeing is a process of discovery and is different for different people.

Clearing Out

The origin of yoga has been lost in the midst of time. The closest we can get, is that it began in India over 5000 years ago. In today’s modern world, many people think of yoga as a physical practice, but this is not the case. The essence of yoga is about stilling the mind, emptying the mind. If you’ve ever tried to sit in meditation, you will realise this is extremely difficult to achieve and certainly for any length of time. The physical poses and the breathing we practice on the mat are tools to use to help still the mind off the mat.

This week I am in the Lake District. On some of my walks, I have been alone, spending time on the hills and mountains practicing yoga. No, I haven’t gone into a downward dog on the summit nor knelt down on the fell to do a cat – I’ve been practicing emptying my mind and having a psychological clear out of all the rubbish I carry around in it in an attempt to find an inner stillness and tranquility.

In recent years, as I have developed my yoga practice, I have been focussing on taking what I practice on the mat, off the mat, and into my day to day activities. I have learnt I can practice yoga anytime and anywhere just by becoming aware and bringing myself back to the present moment.

I have a tendency towards an over active mind and if I am not careful, I can find myself ruminating about things (people, events, issues, situations, imaginings, ideas etc.) to the detriment of my wellbeing.

One of my daily affirmations is to have a clear, steady, quiet and alert mind. This is far easier to achieve when I’m walking in the Lake District than when I am at home. This week I have focussed on having a clear out of my mind and enjoyed peace and quiet when out on the fells. The challenge will be to maintain this sense of being when I leave this beautiful national park behind and return to my usual day to day routines.

It is therefore my intention whenever … :

  • I catch myself ruminating about my past (which I can do nothing about)
  • Worrying about my future (which I have no control over)
  • Getting stuck with an issue I can’t resolve
  • Churning over something in my mind I feel guilty about OR
  • Overthinking a decision I need to make, when all I need to do is listen to my heart and my gut,

… that I pause, watch my thoughts, allow them to float away and then reset. I will remember I don’t need to roll out my mat, practice asanas and breathing or sit cross legged in meditation … I can achieve this wherever I am and whatever I am doing. I don’t need to be solo walking in the Lake District.

All it takes is practice!

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature.

Being with the source – Sahasrara Chakra

This is the last in my series on the chakras where I share a little of what I know about each of them and what they mean for me.

The Sahasrara (Crown) chakra is the chakra of supreme awareness. It is for me the most challenging to write about. The experience of it is vast and constantly unfolding and as I practice yoga and expand my awareness, more of me is unfolding too, more of who I really am. The goal or the pinnacle of yoga is Sahasrara, knowing our true selves; Self Realisation.

The whole essence of my yoga journey is about this ultimate supreme awareness; my awakening to my higher self, the divine, pure awareness, pure consciousness … there are many words / phrases to use, but basically I am referring to my spiritual growth; knowing I am more that my physical body and more than my mind.

In 2009 when I first made a commitment to a regular yoga practice, it was mostly about the asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation and meditation. Now it is a way of being, a spiritual path where I can practice being me and at the same time begin to experience unconditional love (for all life forms) on a consistent basis … so I can be more compassionate, kind and forgiving and show more humility.

This chosen path is not easy or straightforward and it does take a certain discipline (or tapas in sanskrit) and commitment. Life for me is about searching for meaning and trying to support others in the ways I can and acknowledging I am part of something far greater than me. When I meditate on the crown chakra, it is like a reaching out for something that I know will take me home.

But the words I have written there are quite meaningless. There are no words that can describe what it is we are all searching for but whatever it is, my belief is that it unites everyone and everything, the entire universe and beyond.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

Being With Your Intuition – Anja Chakra

We experience the world we live in through our senses.

We’ve all learned to trust our senses in what we we can taste, smell, touch, see and hear, but these sense perceptions can limit us and stunt our spiritual growth. Everyone has heard of the sixth sense; our intuition, our ability to tap into a deeper sense perception, but how can we learn to trust this too? This is what the Anja Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra is all about.

The symbolism of the Third Eye Chakra is acquiring wisdom beyond our perceptions, so we can see beyond what is illusion. It is witnessing a freedom beyond the realms of what can hold us back; stereotypes, for example, traditions, conventions, rules and regulations and powerful conditions of worth placed upon us by our parents. We can break out and realise ultimately nothing can hold us back – it is only the mind that has power over us and if we can control the mind, we can then transcend any limitations.

When I think of this, I am reminded of Victor Frankl and his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. A holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl believed that in the most unbearable conditions, one can survive through one’s spiritual self. He noted that animals have instincts to guide them but that we have replaced instincts with social traditions, finding guidance in conformity and conventionality, but overlooking the freedom and the responsibility to make our own choices in life and to find our own meaning.

Connection with the Third Eye Chakra helps us to see beyond what is deemed the ‘norm’ and beyond the mind and all its desires, longings, worries, fears and judgments. We then enter into the realms of knowledge, wisdom, and intuition.  The Ajna Chakra is the seat of emotional intelligence and the sixth sense that regulates the five lower chakras. When Ajna Chakra is open and balanced we feel inspired and creative and are able to see intuitively.

When I was a young person, I looked to other people for guidance and advice. I sought opinions when I needed to make decisions and asked whether my thinking was sound or if I ought to choose a different way. Sometimes, I asked what I should do. I often followed other people in what they did, in all different facets of life; in career choices, in what I wore, what food I ate, in how I conducted myself in social situations and what lifestyle choices I made. As I grew older, this changed as I learnt to pay attention to my inner guide, but I still fell into the trap of social conditioning and in many situations, I didn’t follow my instincts. This only caused further trauma and difficulties in my life; damaging relationships with men, unrewarding job choices, an unhealthy lifestyle. I was suffering, but only because I wasn’t awakened to the life force within me; the ability to ‘see’ with my third eye.

Thankfully, I have left all this behind, but it wasn’t until I fully embraced yoga as a mind, body, soul practice that I realised developing the third eye is the doorway to moving beyond the physical world to a unified whole with an unyielding connection to spirit.

In my yoga practice, working with the third eye chakra can realize the following benefits:

  • mental clarity
  • improved concentration
  • clear self-expression
  • strengthened intuition
  • a sense of bliss
  • decisiveness
  • insight

I have one more chakra to write about, the seventh chakra, or crown chaka, known as Sahasrara or Thousand Petals. This is where there is no intellectual knowing but only serenity, joy, and deep peace.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

Being Expressive, Being Creative – Vishuddhi Chakra

‘Can we speak in flowers? It will be easier for me to understand.’ – so says the poet and reclusive writer Nayyirah Waheed who describes herself as the ‘quiet poet.’

The Vishuddhi Chakra is located in the spine at the base of the neck. Known as the throat chakra it is associated with change and purification and establishing your voice.

Interestingly, I have noticed in myself over the last ten years or so (since my mother died and since I immersed myself in my yoga practice), a growing disinterest is some of the normal aspects of life; for example I no longer watch or listen to the news, I have no interest in going shopping, I have withdrawn from incessantly scrolling social media and pull away from political discussions or negativity and grumbling in general. If I ever did enjoy celebrity news or gossiping, I certainly don’t partake in it now, or at least I try not to by keeping vigilant and stopping myself if I do!

In studying the Vishuddhi Chakra, I realise this slow but steady shift is an unwitting, positive and inspired change in me, an indication I am refining the texture and calibre of my mind. As Deepak Chopra often talks about, I am expanding my awareness.

With the Vishuddhi chakra awakened and functioning properly, any experience, thought, emotion, or word, can be transformed into nectar for my own personal awakening and enlightenment. All I need is awareness and directed intention. This is why I focus my time and energy in pursuits that bring me great joy: writing, painting, walking in nature, reading, cycling, yoga and meditation.

I’ve written previously about the Swadhistnan Chakra, the energy centre of emotions and creativity: https://lihazleton.com/2020/11/05/being-creative-being-in-tune-with-emotions-swadhistana-chakra/

When Swadhistana is awakened, Vishuddhi is spontaneously energised and helps transform emotions and creativity so you can express yourself in many different ways.

I have noticed this happening to me. Here are a few examples:

  • I find it easier to show love – for myself and others
  • I can confess mistakes I have made with ease and say I’m sorry
  • I find it easier to let go of past hurts and forgive
  • I speak out and I am no longer afraid to say what’s in my heart and what is true for me

The Vishuddhi Chakra is our voice and is where we affirm life in the way we speak and express ourselves and through the way we are and what we do. I am aware that to communicate love and vocalise an appreciation for global matters beyond the fixation of ‘normal stuff’ that has little importance to me, is where I want to focus my energies. Why immerse myself in negatively and grumble when the very fact we are here and have breath is a miracle?

But none of this is easy or possible if we are not aware. We all have mental and emotional struggles – this is human life but we do have choice and we do have willpower and the tapas to exert that willpower for greater good. It’s just a matter of opening up to possibilities and listening to what’s inside. This is where meditation can help.

I have grown my meditation practice over the last year and it helps me connect to my true authentic self. Deep listening enables me to formulate who I am, what I want, how I can serve and what I am grateful for. I can then take this out into the wider world, drop the conformity of social conditioning, be who I want to be and speak out for what I truly believe.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

Being with the Heart – Anahata Chakra

Responding to all things associated with the heart stirs feelings of love, affection, compassion and a willingness to open up to feelings that connect us with each other, with all living things and with the universe.

I know I need more heart stirrings in my life. Moreover, I believe we all do.

Continuing with my exploration of the chakras, the energy centres we have in our astral body, the heart chakra, known as the Anahata chakra, is sometimes referred to as the bridge connecting our state of being in the physical world (the chakras centres below the heart) with our more spiritual self (the chakras found above the heart in our throat, our third eye and our crown).

If our heart chakra is blocked, we can remain ‘imprisoned’ in our desires for physical comforts, sexual stimulations and every experience in life driven by the ego. We neglect (or we are unaware of) human qualities and experiences such as profound love, creativity, self expression and a desire to know the truth, and to come to know our Higher Selves.

Another way of viewing this is that the bridge at our heart chakra connects our thoughts and our emotions, with our spirituality. In my own exploration of the chakras and my own spiritual journey, I believe the Anahata or heart chakra has become the most chakra of all for where I currently am on my journey.

When I practice asanas and pranayama and when I meditate, focusing on the heart chakra, I am working on developing:

  • My capacity for empathy for other people
  • My capacity and empathy for all animals, nature and the planet
  • My intensity for which I can care for another person and all life forms
  • My emotional openness
  • My self-knowledge and capacity for self-reflection
  • The compassion and love I feel for myself
  • How peaceful and calm I can feel and for how long I can sustain this feeling

I know I need to work on my heart chakra. Why? Because I am aware I sometimes feel feelings of irritability with others, I can be judgemental, I can feel hurt in response to the actions of others, I can feel restless and agitated and sometimes I struggle to find empathy or compassion. All traits of being human some might say and why not just accept this and carry on?

For me, being aware of these traits in myself is something I choose not to ignore. I strive to be centred and to be the best I can be, to feel at peace with myself and others around me and to connect at a higher level and develop my spiritual practice.

In my psychotherapy training, I discovered the ‘real’ relationship; being with another and experiencing unconditional love, a love that is compassionate, a love without reason or attraction and born of the understanding we are all one and all in this together. We are all travelling on the same journey, a long and arduous one from unconsciousness to consciousness.

Awakening my heart chakra and discovering who I truly am is bringing me peace and contentment.

Chakra work and the practice of developing self awareness and a greater understanding of what is and what isn’t real isn’t always easy. It’s a path I stumbled upon back in 2009 when I discovered yoga. It is one that is fulfilling and enriching and never-ending.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

Being Radiant, Being in Tune with Your Personal Power – Manipura Chakra

Here I continue my humble attempt to briefly introduce the Chakras and describe a little about them and what they mean to me. This is the third Chakra – Manipura Chakra.

Later in my life, much later than I would have liked, I began believing in myself and listening to my intuition. I began making my own decisions without referring to others for advice, listening to my heart and moving in a direction where I felt empowered, sustained and fulfilled..

For many people, depending on their family circumstances and whether or nor they have felt safe and been securely attached and nurtured, a sense of self esteem and inner strength can come at an early age. For other people, they may remain immersed in feelings of powerlessness all their life.

The Manipura Chakra is concentrated at the solar plexus, at our naval centre. When it awakens with feelings of self worth, willpower, action and endurance, our energy will flow. Conversely, feelings of worthlessness will contract the Manipura energy centre and our life struggles may continue.

We all need an inner radiance, a personal power, so we can shine and ultimately enjoy being unique, solitary, creative and self-empowered. This is part of our essential nature.

In the last decade, I have moved towards a steadiness in my mind, a personal self-belief and a discernment which enables me to feel strong. As with everyone though, energy fluctuates, so when I notice a lack of motivation or concentration or a feeling of a shadow descending or a lethargy, I remember the Manipura Chakra and give attention to my solar plexus and focus on reclaiming my personal power.

Usually, my sense of personal power diminishes when I allow my attention to drift to the past and get caught up in the bad stuff. With my awakened awareness, I am now able to catch myself and exercise choice and initiate will. This is how I continue to develop my individuality and discover new strengths and build the power to steer my own life and leave the passivity of being a child behind.

It is easy to confuse inner radiance and power of the Manipura Chakra with the ego. I have written about the ego before — https://lihazleton.com/2020/08/17/how-to-be/ — and have described how a strong ego has many pitfalls and disadvantages. The Manipura Chakra is considered to be the real place where a spiritual life begins. When the energy there is stirred and awakens, a spiritual charisma awakens. The ego then must allow for guidance from the spiritual realm which may be beyond normal consciousness, while still keeping the Self safe, engaged, committed, strong and empowered in the mundane world. Tricky! Hence the importance of being aware of our egos and letting them be a force for good.

Studying the Chakra’s isn’t easy. It’s complex and complicated, but I am committed and for me, the effort I put in to self-study reaps many rewards. In the path of yoga, in particular using the asanas, meditation and pranayama I am able (if I wish and if I feel the need) to design a practice that focusses on building (or rebuilding) the essence contained in Manipura Chakra, this essential part of myself.

How fortunate I am to, albeit later in life to have discovered yoga!

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

It’s Time to Reflect

It’s 18:18 on January 1st 2021 as I begin writing this.

This time last year I was facing an operation and was filled with fear. Anxiety overwhelmed me as I found myself in whirlpool of irrational thoughts and feelings I struggled to control. They were all to do with my mother. A dark cloud descended on me as I played out in my head her breast cancer diagnosis and her final years when chemotherapy treatment damaged her heart beyond repair and she died of heart failure with cancer rampaging in her bones, her lungs and her liver. As I trailed through these unwanted memories, all I could focus on was a feeling of extreme foreboding and isolation as I approached a procedure which would leave me with only one breast.

Like my mother before me, I was going to have a mastectomy. Her mastectomy was essential. It was needed to remove cancer from her left breast. My mastectomy was not essential. Thankfully, I did not have cancer.

I decided to have a mastectomy so I would not not get cancer in my left breast. Simple to say but not so easy to face.

In October 2019, a routine mammogram revealed I had micro-calcifications in one of my breasts. Not cancer, but these abnormal cells could develop into a cancer if left untreated. My consultant said there was no way of knowing if they would turn into a cancer or not. He told me because of the wide area the micro-calcifications covered in my breast, a ‘lumpectomy’ was not feasible and so I faced the choice: Have my breast removed or not.

I didn’t hesitate. ‘Off with her breast!’ I remember saying to him with David quiet be my side. We all laughed. Strange how my black humour made me feel instantaneously better at a time when I could have cried.

That was then. This is now and what a difference a year makes!

As we begin 2021, I am relaxed, calm and overflowing with blessings and gratitude. I only have my right breast, but I am well and above all, I am grateful for only having one breast. I know having gone through the trauma, I have grown in love and understanding. I love my flat side; I can see and feel all my ribs and I can sense the closeness beneath my palm of my heart as it beats. I cherish my remaining breast as I cherish the whole of my body and I do truly, for the first time in my life, love the whole of me – my body, mind and spirit. Living through this experience, I have grown and developed as a human being and I would like to share why and how.

In a year when the human race reeled and faced the global challenges of Coronavirus with repercussions we continue to experience and a future that is still uncertain, in my inner world, I faced my own challenge – the first significant threat to my health and wellbeing. When faced with adversity, we have a choice: to stand strong or to crumble. Drawing on our innate inner strength and wisdom is our choice. We all have it. I chose to access mine through:

  • Searching Within – what did I need, what would make me feel better and how could I take care of myself? I established a routine of self care activities that would sooth and comfort me and would help still my mind.
  • Practising Yoga – I already had a long established yoga practice, but this was now the time for me to really deepen my practice, to develop a habit of deep listening and meditation and focussing within.
  • Reaching Out – I needed help from others. I turned to my husband first and foremost. He was and remains my rock, but he couldn’t be my everything – I needed someone to help me at a spiritual level. I knew this would not be any of my family or my friends. I knew I needed a spiritual guide. I am fortunate to have two people in my life who were open. loving and willing to help me. Vonnie, my yoga teacher and Dinah, my spiritual guide and healer. Without them, I would have struggled.
  • Reading – books are one of my lifelines, one of my go-to’s. I read to learn and to develop as a person. In fiction I am taken in to other people’s lives, experienced through my senses and wonder about my own life. In non-fiction, I am in awe of the knowledge and wisdom of others and aghast by how little I know and how much I have to learn. This year I have read far too many books to list here, but every single one of them were chosen with care to keep my spirit soaring and to keep me growing.
  • Meditation – it’s essential for me to sit and to be still, to connect to my higher being, the unwavering part of me that is the eternal awareness, the ‘I am that’. I meditate to discover who I am.
  • Being Open and Showing Vulnerability – I have tried every day to be aware of my ego and put it aside so I can be available and open for connection with others. To do this, I have to show my vulnerability. Not always easy, as conditioning and the need to survive in this world has meant like all of us, I have developed a strong ego. To show my vulnerability, I need to feel safe. I feel saddened this is not always possible in my relationships. This is an ongoing process for me … finding those people (my tribe) who, like me, are willing to engage in a ‘real’ relationship. I keep trying.
  • Appreciating – every day I am grateful for all I have; the ability to experience awareness through all of my senses. I am grateful for my body, my mind, my heart and lightness of being. I am thankful for the safety of my home, my husband, my family and friends. I am grateful for my breath. I am grateful for my writing, my art and my willingness to grow. I am thankful to be part of nature and the universe.

I have peppered this entry with a selection of images of trees. Photographs I have taken throughout the year. Trees are symbolic of eternal life. The Tree of Life is a popular and universal symbol that represents multiple different things across various cultures and religions. The tree is seen as sacred and carries significant meanings:

  • Connection to everything in the universe (we and everything are one)
  • Growth and strength (we root to earth for stability and grow our branches, reaching for the stars and the universe beyond)
  • Individuality (we all are unique and grow in different ways, at different times, and at different speeds)
  • Immortality and rebirth (a tree may die but its seeds develop into saplings and grow to be trees themselves – representing eternal life)
  • Peace (stillness and steadfastness, trees represent the calm and peace we all yearn for in life)

In my yoga practice, Tree Pose (or Vrikshasana) is a regular asana. It’s a balancing pose and like all balance poses it helps improve my concentration and focus and calms my mind.

What I practice and learn on the yoga mat, I take off the mat. Practicing Tree Pose helps me in all areas of my life, especially when I feel ‘off-balance’. The pose has a positive impact on the grace and ease with which I approach all circumstances, even during times of difficulty. It teaches me the benefits of a meditative state of mind, and is a gentle reminder that I can bring calm focus and clear-headedness to all situations.

With love and Light to all.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love dogs and other animals.

Being Creative, Being in Tune with Emotions – Swadhistana Chakra

Swadhistana Chakra – LIHazleton – Oil Pastels on Paper

Creativity is inherent in us all whether we realise it or not. For most people, our creativity as babies and children falls by the wayside when we learn to be in the world as responsible young adults. We have to pass exams, find careers, build sustainable lives and conform to social norms. This is what happened to me.

This year I have spent much of my time in creative pursuits and being aware of my emotions and dealing with them as appropriately as I can in the moment as they arise.

In 2008 when my role in the corporate workplace was made redundant, I allowed my creativity to surface again after many years of absence and have been drawing, painting and writing ever since. I also re-trained as a psychotherapist and took up yoga. Both of these enabled me to explore my inner world and understand how to balance and work with my emotions.

The Swadhistana chakra is known as the chakra of creativity and emotions. When in balance it leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When out of balance, a person may feel emotionally unstable and be susceptible to depression, addictions or anxiety.

In my yoga practice I have been working with this chakra in combination with consistently painting and writing. I have been utilising online courses to keep learning new techniques in landscape and portrait painting. Likewise, in creative writing I have been workshopping with others in tutor-led writing groups and doing a memoir course run by the National Centre for Writing https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk and tutored by the novelist Monique Roffey.

There are yoga poses designed to stimulate the Swadhistana chakra to help keep emotions and creativity in balance. I am an emotional person – vulnerable and emotionally charged at times and often easily reduced to tears. By continually being aware of and gaining a greater understanding of my emotions, I am discovering I can cultivate balance in my emotional body and perceive better and higher ways of living and expressing myself.

In my writing life, my goal is to write freely, in a way where I can fully express emotions and expand my awareness. In fiction, I endeavour to do this by writing stories with interesting characters who are emotionally challenged so I can explore their inner world as the plot/story develops in the characters outer world. In my non-fiction, I am writing memoir, exploring ‘the self’, writing in the first person and putting ‘me’ centre stage. To do this in an engaging way, I have to fully express myself and bare my soul, not necessarily on the page, but certainly to myself, keeping nothing hidden. I use yoga to help here in a specific way, on the mat in asanas but also whist in meditation.

Writing doesn’t come easy to me. It’s a constant challenge, but my yoga practice and studying the chakra’s help. Creativity and self expression is entangled and connected. Exploring it, examining what it means for me, brings unbounded joy.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature .

Being Grounded – Muladhara Chakra

Muladhara Chakra – LIHazleton – Oil Pastels on Paper

For me, this year is one of new experiences and taking the time to notice how I react to events / circumstances I can’t control.  It’s been a time of learning about myself and how I respond when my security and safely is threatened, or when I feel fear. We all know we can’t control everything that happens to us and around us, but we all can control our responses. We have choices. Even in the most dire circumstances, we can control how we respond and therefore how to keep ourselves safe and being grounded.

To understand fear and it’s impact on body, mind and emotions, I have been studying the Muladhara chakra. Using my yoga practice, I focus on its qualities and choose asanas to help redirect fear and use mantra’s in my meditation to help still my mind and expand awareness. 

The Muladhara chakra is part of the chakra system. The chakra system represents an holistic view of being human. This system can be a guide for us to find wholeness and balance in all aspects of our existence. 

In the yogic tradition, there are seven chakras representing seven levels of our being from our physical manifestation to pure consciousness. As we grow, we realise we are much more than our physical existence and we move “up” the chakras to pure consciousness. This is a long journey and in day to day living, the overall aim is to have all of our chakras functioning in harmony and balance. 

Chakras are all about energy and if our energy is not flowing / functioning well, then this will eventually manifest itself in the physical body (and others aspects of our being) and we may become unwell, fractured and feeling out of balance. One of the best ways of attending to our energy body is though a regular and sustained yoga practice but we can care for it in many other practical ways with exercise, rest, diet, breath practice, meditation and addressing feelings, beliefs and values. 

The word chakra means wheel and to help me understand the chakra system and how it works, I visualise the chakras as “wheels” of energy in my subtle body which when “spinning” in perfect balance help keep the whole of my existence; my body, mind, emotions and spirit in perfect harmony. Of course in practice, this isn’t always easy to achieve, but just by being aware of and working with the chakras I have felt vast improvements in my all-round wellness. 

The Muladhara chakra is the “lowest” chakra in human development and sits at our root / base. It is where our fears reside. Therefore to release our fears, to unblock the energy and set this chakra spinning, we need to overcome the obstacles holding us in the grip of fear and replace fear with love. 

The main obstacles are our ego and our attachments but also our unawareness of reality and our fear of death. 

Knowing this, I have been:

  • Watching my ego and keeping it in check … knowing my ego is only a mask and therefore I always (or as much as I can), let my “true self” be seen and listen to my gut and my heart.
  • Letting go of being tightly attached to … everything … people, objects, places, routines, habits … anything that no longer serves me.
  • Feeling fear, acknowledging it by working through the emotions it initiates and then taking power over it.
  • Re-programming my mind and not falling back into ways of beings that hold me back. 
  • Drawing love into my heart and sending love out into the world and knowing that love opens eyes to the truth, allows us to surrender, makes us tolerant and open-minded and makes us powerful.

Working with the chakra system is not easy, but it is rewarding. 

I have been practising yoga consistently since 2009 but it is only in the last few years that I have embraced the chakra system and started studying it and following the practises. With seven chakras, there is much to learn and to cover, but with perseverance and an open mind, I am finding it fulfilling and I am feeling the benefits.

Next time, I will move “up” to the second chakra.

Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature, dogs and other animals.