A few years back I experienced an extraordinary sensation. I was in a yoga class and at some stage I had a powerful feeling of joy leaving me. I could feel it and almost see it, watch it leaving the room. I felt bereft. It’s not unusual to have strong emotional experiences in yoga; some poses, especially deep back bends, open the heart, others open the hips, where lots of emotions are stored. In ancient Indian philosophy (especially Kundalini and Ayurveda) there is a belief that there are energy centers within the human body – chakras – that help to regulate all its processes, from organ function to the immune system and emotions. There are yoga poses associated with these chakras and many yoga teachers use these poses to work with chakras: to balance and align.
I haven’t been a believer in chakras. I’m not a spiritual person. Yoga was for me a form of physical exercise which eventually became something more powerful; I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was spiritual, but it certainly made me feel much better – less anxious, calmer, happier, better. I always marvelled (and still do) that no matter how I felt and what my intention was for going to a yoga class, somehow I always came out feeling like I got exactly what I needed – and this is contrary to what I thought I was after. I would always walk out more energised, smiling, grateful for the class.
So having this experience of being abandoned by joy has felt devastating. This was some 2 years ago and I still have this sensation that joy got up and left and hasn’t yet returned. I miss joy.
A note on chakras:
There are 7 chakras positioned throughout the body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra has its own vibrational frequency, that is depicted through a specific chakra color, and governs specific functions:
- Red is the color of the root chakra (first chakra); it’s located at the perineum, the base of your spine. It symbolises safety, survival, grounding, nourishment from the Earth energy. Its function is concerned with earthly grounding and physical survival.
- Orange is the color of the sacral chakra (second chakra); it carries meanings associated with emotions, creativity, sexuality, and is associated with water, flow.
- Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra (third chakra) and symbolises mental activities, intellect, personal power, will.
- Green is the color of the heart chakra (fourth chakra) which is connected with love, relating, integration, compassion.
- Blue is the color of the throat chakra (fifth chakra); it symbolises self expression, expression of truth, creative expression, communication, perfect form and patterns.
- Purple (or deep indigo blue) is the color of the third eye chakra (sixth chakra) which evokes intuition, extrasensory perception, inner wisdom.
- White is the color of the crown chakra (seventh chakra) and is associated with the universal, connection with spirituality, consciousness.