Sun and Moon Yoga Studio

Home | JJ Schedule | Teacher Certification | Store | Class Schedules | Workshops & Retreats | Links | Cool Stuff | Latest News

Tragedy and Your Chakras
By JJ Gormley

The tragic events of September 11 have taken their toll on our energetic bodies and their capacity to cope with stress. Although each of us will handle the stress in different ways, an examination of the energies of each of the seven chakras tells us if we’ve moved energy into a particular chakra and whether it’s moving in a balanced fashion.

Though I will run through each chakra from one through seven, I should note that the way energy moves varies. Some of us focus on one chakra to the exclusion of others, and remain stuck in this pattern. Those who are aware of their patterns, and can sense or watch what their energetic body is doing, will be able to move the energy to a different chakra and awaken the energies there.

The energy of the first chakra represents our ability to feel secure and stable and face our fears with courage. When the first chakra takes a hit as it did on September 11, the energies get stirred up. The more balanced this chakra is in the first place the better prepared we’ll be to handle and process what the first chakra stirs up. Fear is the main emotion of the first chakra; it causes us to question our security and stability. If our first chakra is fairly balanced, we will quickly regain our stability, which helps process the energies of the other chakras. If our first chakra is out of balance, we may find ourselves more injury prone until the energies settle back down.

A student of mine who works for Nationwide Insurance Company said that accident claims had risen significantly in the aftermath of September 11. That statistic tells me that many of our first chakras are out of balance.

The energies of the second chakra are about pleasure and fluidity. It is certainly difficult to find pleasure immediately after a tragedy, so the fluid part of the second chakra is mostly what to focus on in the beginning. Later on, trying to find pleasure in the little things of life makes sense. Being fluid means continuing to move on with our lives as best we can. The second chakra is also the seat of all emotions, so part of going with the flow is to let those emotions run right up and out of you. That means letting the tears flow and anger come up.

Second chakra imbalances make it difficult to move on and "go with the flow" and equally hard to find pleasure anywhere. Try to not get stuck in negativity. Make yourself get out of bed and face each day. And by all means get help when needed.

The third chakra is about power. One is self-empowered when this chakra is in good balance. An imbalanced third chakra will see control issues and power struggles come up. The third chakra is also where anger arises. Because when anger rears its head we usually are ready to fight or flee. The Fight or Flee Response is stirred from first chakra because it is a survival instinct, but needs the power of the third chakra to react. One needs power to fight or to flee. This is why the adrenals are situated in the area of the third chakra. Many of us have been raised to hide our anger, but this frequently backfires later and reappears as rage.

Rage is a much more severe emotion than anger and is usually inappropriate. Anger can be felt, and expressed appropriately. Anger gets a bad rap when it is acted on inappropriately or goes up to the next level as rage. It is fine to be angry at a situation, but acting out that anger on someone else is not appropriate. Many of us acted out anger inappropriately during the weeks following September 11. I watched many people, including myself, become irritable over little things. As we are aware of this happening, it is important to take action to get the energy out of the third chakra and moved to another. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize the symptoms until I had already become irritable and angry with someone. Hindsight is always 20:20. Now you all know that my third chakra is one I'm still working on!

The fourth chakra is about compassion. So many people opened their hearts in response to the events of September 11. Our country experienced the greatest movement and opening of the fourth chakra than I've seen certainly in my lifetime and I'd venture to guess in all of our lifetimes. The compassion was overwhelming and beautiful to see. However, the full expression of the energy of the fourth chakra is to show compassion, not just to your loved ones, your fellow man and to the victims, etc., but to the enemy as well. We all have heard the expression "Love Your Enemy," well this is where we try to put that into practice. I sat next to a man, a former Navy Seal, on the plane yesterday and we got into a discussion of this very thing. He ended up bringing out his Bible and reading Romans 12-13 to me. The similarities between it and the story of Arjuna and Krishna are astounding. The basic message of each is to trust God to take care of the enemy, and for us to simply continue with our job, our duty. For us, our job is just to love all, however difficult that may be given the circumstances.

The fifth chakra is simply the outward expression of how all the chakras are doing. This is the communication chakra, or the ability to listen and to speak clearly about the tragedy, or to communicate in any way: writing about it, drawing or painting it, poetry, journaling to yourself, speaking to your therapist if you can't talk to friends about your feelings.

To be in good balance is to remember that both sides of the fifth chakra: listening(or taking in) as well as speaking (or putting out) need to be in balance. Be sure you don't glue yourself to the TV and only listen to other's thoughts about the tragedy, but articulate your own thoughts and feelings and anger to others. Get involved in the discussions on the radio station you are tuned into--be a caller and input your thoughts, not just a listener all the time. In general, most of us are taking in information way more than we express our own information.

The sixth chakra is the balance of both intellect and intuition. Many of us use only one side of this chakra (the intellect) on a regular basis and so awakening to the other side of this chakra is to energize your intuition. The more we trust our intuition, the more we will get ourselves out of situations that may be dangerous. Thus the fear of the first chakra can dissipate. If we use only intellect all the time, then we have no instincts or "knowing" what to do, we have to be told or read or rationalize all our actions before we make a move. The media is full of all the intellectualization of the events and figuring out what to do next. But learning to use your gut feeling and instincts about what to do next is the balance of the sixth chakra.

Our seventh chakra is our connection to a greater power or our philosophical belief system. If a tragedy such as this one somehow fits in to our belief system or to our way of knowing how life behaves on this planet, then we have an easier time of moving on. If however, this tragedy doesn't fit in, we begin to question our beliefs, to question our greater power or God. Until we rearrange our philosophy of life to allow a tragedy such as this to "fit in," then seventh-chakra energies are unstable. All the other chakras finding their balance can help our seventh chakra. If your seventh chakra was balanced, your belief system could fit this tragedy in to where you could make sense of it, then you are able to focus on your other chakras and balance them.

Those who are interested in learning more about the location, emotions and psyche of each chakra can find my favorite chakra book on the shelves at Sun and Moon Yoga Studio, Anodea Judith's, "Eastern Body, Western Mind."

I hope this helps you balance your energies during these difficult days.

Return to Articles