Friday, November 1, 2019

November's Theme: 11th Chakra - "I CONVERT"

November
* Thanksgiving * 
* Daylight Savings * 11th Chakra*
November's Studio Theme:
"I CONVERT"
Ah, so THOSE are the chakras in the hands and the feet! I remember in my own yoga teacher training hearing talk about these "minor" chakras, but never learning anything more about them. Yet they are so important in understanding energy. This is where we feel energy between one source and another. Take a pose as simple as Downward Facing Dog. What are your hands and feet doing in this posture? Do you know that there is a specific way to connect them to the earth? Not doing so, leaves you disconnected to energy and unable to convert it towards optimum vitality in the postures. 

Yoga Mudras are also an importation component of energy conversion. We take the energy associated with each finger, manipulate their positions, and thus create new energy patterns within us. Mudras are so simple and yet so misunderstood and underused! Yet Yogis will tell you to sit with a particular mudra for a length of time can actually "cure" different issues in the body and mind. 

Anyone who is an energy practitioner (this includes yoga teachers) has a deep sense of this energy in his/her hands. If not, then I suggest getting to some expert classes to reconnect. And the more that you work with your healing gifts, the more sensitive you are to the energy here. We are all healers, we just have not all awakened to these gifts. But, why not start with your own self? Put your hands on a part of your body that needs healing, focus and breathe. Just hold space for the healing to occur. Be patient, and notice. You will feel something if you do. And then you will be more inclined to go deeper into this practice. 

In your yoga practice this month, pay particular attention to the cues given for the hands and the feet and the bandhas or locks there to focus on. So let's do it!

11th Chakra Basics:
Name(s): Hasta and Pada Chakras
Location: Around the hands and the feet
Color: Pink
Issues: Energy Transference, Transmutation of physical energy
Physical Connection: Hands and Feet

Things to Ponder about the 11th Chakra:
  1. Do you feel energy or heat in your hands? Feet?
  2. Are you an energy worker/healer?
  3. Do you feel energy coming from the earth?
  4. When you shake someone's hands, can you feel their energy?
  5. Do you like to hug?
  6. Do you love to touch living things to feel the connection?
  7. Do you ever feel electrical charge in your hands?
  8. Have you been able to heal or change energy with hands-on intentions to do so?

Some things to do this month to work with the 11th Chakra:
  1. Walk barefoot on the earth 
  2. Hold crystals in the palms of your hands - Meditate on what you feel
  3. Try hands on healing with intention
  4. Take Reiki or other energy healing trainings involving use of hands
  5. Mudra work
  6. Get a Reflexology treatment
  7. Care for your feet with a pedicure or new shoes with good support
  8. Yoga Practice

So what type of things should you practice for your 11th Chakra?

Asanas - Any postures where feet or hands touch the ground and root down. Work a lot with pada (foot) and hasta (hand) bandhas, the locks in the foot and hands when in the postures. Ask your teacher for assistance with the location in various postures if we do not refer to them.

Mudra- Mudras are particular positions of the hands (and the feet), whereby touching one part of the hand to another you create particular healing energy. Mudras relate to the energy of the planets and the elements. For instance, the thumb represents the planet Mars and the fire element. The index finger represents the air element and the planter jupiter. The planet Mars is often called the "Task Master" and with fire and the 3rd chakra being bold and ego strength, this is a highly charged energy in the thumb. The index finger's association with the heart charka and energy of love, combined with the planet Jupiter known as the "Planet of Luck." When we bring the index finger and thumb together in a yoga posture, it is called the Gyan Mudra, and it allows the active energy of Mars to come in tune with the air element energy of love and balance. Immediately the mind is calmer. This is often a great mudra for meditation. There are many, many mudras, and the benefits of using them are endless. For research look at Gertrud Hirschi's book Mudras - Yoga in Your Hands.

Breathing - Place the right hand on the heart and the left hand on the solar plexus. Allow the feet to be flat on the earth, so you may need to sit in a chair. This creates a balance to the forces of the right/left side of the body (male/female, respectively) and the solar plexus and heart chakra. Then, inhale filly the abdomen up to the chest. Pause/Hold. Then exhale relaxing the chest and squeezing the belly in towards the spine. Repeat, focusing on the energy in the hands. 

Meditation - Pranic Ball. Stand in Mountain pose with feet flat on earth. Connect/earth down. Cup hands at waist, fingers touching, imagining that you are holding onto a ball of Prana. Inhale the ball upwards, keeping elbows in towards ribs and relaxed. Exhale ball downward. Repeat. Then, play with the ball if you like by imagining holding it between both hands. Slowly move hands further apart but continue to feel connection to the energy ball. See you far you can move hands apart or take ball from your body to still feel the energy.

Reiki Level I is Sunday November 10th! Start your journey as a healer this month.

Love & Light, Tracey & the Teachers at One Yoga & Wellness Center!
Stone of the Month: Selenite
Selenite is one of the only crystals that cleanses and charges other stones without needing to be recharged and cleansed itself, making it the ultimate healer!

Our Natural Healer shop has Selenite wands and pendants for sale now!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

pecial Message from Tracey for November...
For the longest time the chakras in the hands and feet felt like secret places that no yoga teacher wanted me to know about! These chakras were referred to but never discussed in depth, so they always had an heir of mystery about them. Even today, try to google hand or foot chakra, and you don't get a lot of information through reputable yoga sites. So, I have to say, "thank goodness" to the holistic healers of the world who are starting to discuss these chakras, which, by the way, are NOT "minor" in any way!

How sensitive are your hands? Is this something that you've even discovered? When you shake someone's hand, do you pause to feel the connection? Or, is it a another quick thing you do mindlessly? What about your feet? Do you feel the connection that your feet make with the earth and actually feel the energy there? Or, do you hurry around, disconnected, constantly covered with socks and shoes? Yogis, just like babies, like to explore the energy in the hands and the feet. Watch a baby. They are fascinated by their appendages! They appear to even see the energy coming off of them. This is a "beginner" mindset that yoga teachers often refer to. In the beginning, you were amazed by what you felt here...and now?

Many of you already know that I started my Reiki healer journey over twenty years ago. I took Reiki I and II and just didn't "get it." I didn't see anything like other people said that they did. I couldn't remember where my hands needed to be or how to hold them. I wasn't even sure what I was supposed to be feeling. I became a massage therapist and for years felt the physical - muscle tension. Last year I completed my Reiki Master with Michele Granberg because I was finally ready to. My hands are on fire, often. Whenever someone comes into the studio who needs healing, it's like they wake up. My feet also need to be connected. I don't like socks like I used to. I want to feel things with my feet. My hands and feet used to be terribly cold when I was a teenager and even into my twenties. Now that I work with this energy on a daily basis, they are rarely so, and no, it is not menopause!

The 11th Chakra is not just the hands and feet, however. It is also the skin, muscles and connective tissues, in general. We take in and give out energy through all of those tissues. While particular vortexes exist in the hands and feet, it is not uncommon when you start to connect deeper to this energy to feel forces of energy in all parts of your body. Being a yoga practitioner is an energy worker. You are working on your own energy healing and conversion every time you step onto the yoga mat. Even if you never take a Reiki class, you will still hone these centers and start to notice greater healing gifts that you can use for yourself or share with others. And isn't that why we are here? To help ourselves and others heal in any way that we can? 

This month focus on loving your hands and feet more and be receptive to the energy centers here. The world needs healing, and it does start with each one of us. 
In Love & Light,
Tracey

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Western Vs. Holistic Medicine (One Story)

So, I realize that this blog will be controversial. Those in the Western Medicine world will come up with a litany of things to throw at me. To them I say, "get your own blog." I am discussing my story, and only my story, and from my perspective what I have gone through and continue to with respect to my ongoing issues with my back. I have great respect for both traditions, however, it is not the only game in town. I guess that you can see where this is headed already. Here goes...

Since my fractured spine when I was 16 years old, I have had many ups and downs with my back. Yoga has been an amazing godsend for me and has helped keep me in a fairly good place for many years. However, the stress I had in my life, contributed by nearly 2.5 hours of driving a day, was undoing any physical yoga practice that I was able to muster the energy to do. Honestly, most days I was too exhausted to practice anything much. For many years I lived in constant pain. Now, the pain usually resulted from overexerting myself or being on my feet too long. I would come home and my husband would give me a bear hug and my back would "crack." Once this happened, the pain would go from an eight to a two or less. This was my usual for many years. Then, a couple of years ago when stress intensified, things got worse. I put on a little extra weight, and I started having ongoing issues with my right hip. As a soft tissue girl, I contributed it to muscle tension, and tried to get regular massages to alleviate this issue. Again, not enough massage, and too much stress and driving equals it not working to well.

About six months ago the pain started to travel around my right hip and down my inner thigh. It nearly got to my knee, and I often had trouble taking my first steps in the morning. I was pushing through the day and I knew that I was going to have to look into something else. I was not sure what the whole problem was. I had noticed that little by little, something was changing in my back because I was no longer to do the same postures I used to. My twists had been challenging and I could twist A LOT farther to one side than the other. When I did, I heard and felt scraping in my lower back. Backbends had become a thing of the past. Suddenly my back had just seized up, and I knew that it was more than tension in my muscles. So, I called my primary care physician.

By the time that I was able to see him, things and progressed to a pretty bad point. So much so, that he was able to push my insurance company to do an MRI, convinced that I had lumbar spine disc issues. I went that week and got my MRI and waited to hear something. For a week I got nothing from my doctor. So, I went to see my chiropractor and he was able to call and receive the MRI report the same day. We reviewed it and there were some surprising things there. Muscle atrophy around my fractured "deformed" vertebrae, and arthritis in all my lumbar facet joints. My disks, however, were apparently perfect.

I was in the middle of moving my home, so that was probably the last time that I got to see my chiropractor. But when I moved in to the new home, I quickly began seeing my old chiropractor, and he also received the MRI report. This was probably a four week period. And although I had called my primary, he still had not called me back. The woman in the office had said that there was some issue she found in their system and that was why they hadn't received the report, but that she had fixed it and they should have it the next day. Still, no word from my primary.

I started chiropractic care with my new/old chiropractor, gently. But he suggested that I try a detox to get my inflammation down. I knew that this was a major problem for me and decided to go for the detox.

I rang up my primary again - now about there months later - and was told that I missed a scheduled appointment to speak to him about my back. Now, I do not miss doctor appointments. And I know that nobody ever called me to schedule one, nor had a ever received the usual confirmation reminder call about it a day or so prior. Yet, they insisted that it had been planned and I had missed it.

In the meantime, I decided to start acupuncture for pain management and also to get the energy moving again in my back. I realize that discussing "energy" with my primary was not anything that he could discuss, so I reserved the opinion to not tell him about these holistic methods, and just do them myself. The first session moved so much energy that I had to sit in the waiting room for about a half an hour before I could leave. The second session started to really get things moving again. I was also a week into my detox, and had lost about five pounds too. The pain no longer radiated down my leg and was isolated to my right hip again. I felt like I was peeling back time, ever so slightly.

So I go see my primary, loaded with my information and he suggested physical therapy and pain management specialist. I stare at him. He gives me the scrips, and I leave the office. I make an appointment with the physical therapist, but the pain management guy can't see me for a month, and I cannot attend the one single appointment that they offer me, so they go into November, with one date when I will be out of the country. The woman on the phone says, "Well, I don't know what you want me to do. You aren't able to come at the times that I am offering you." "Okay," I say, "but you only gave me two dates in two months on specific times." This was greeted with silence, then more distain and attitude. I hang up. My primary gives me another option to call and I make the appointment to see him the next week.

Now two weeks into my detox I am feeling really good physically. I lost about eight pounds, and my daily pain is more consistently a two than an eight. Of course, I have moved and am not driving more than 50 minutes a day now as well as having A LOT less stress. And, there's the acupuncture and chiropractic care that I am doing on a regular basis.

The physical therapist and I have a good rapport. She understands yoga. She suggested three things to do daily, which it cannot hurt to try for a week to see where it gets me. She seems to really understand the two very different issues I am facing: one, the instability in my fracture that will never return due to the muscle atrophy, and two, the pain in my hip associated with years of torture. We decide to work on the later, as the former is a lot more complicated an issue.

The pain management guy is a spinal surgeon. Who knew? He listens to my story and does a little exam. He says, "you have a 51-year-old-back with an old compression fracture. Surgery is not suggested, and you seem to be doing everything else that I would recommend. Have you tried CBD?"

In fact, yes, I did a bout of CBD. It worked great initially, then nope. So, I consider finding another product that may better suite me. I thank him and leave, knowing that basically, I have to find another way to live with my issues, until I am so incapacitated that they have to do spinal fusion. Great...

Had I not gone to my chiropractor and started a detox, and then added acupuncture and certain specific yoga that I detailed for me, I would not be feeling better. Even the destress and the less commute, I would still be in pain from the chronic misuse and spinal, I am going to use the word "decay." None of the western medical doctors will say that I have disk issues. But my chiropractor says looking at the image there certainly appears to be disk issues. Even if the surgeon did admit that, he would still not recommend anything, except he can give me a nerve block if it starts to travel down my leg again.

I certainly cannot say that I am at peace with this. My out of pocket expense for holistic practices has been a lot, but it has worked. The medical insurance that I pay a lot for has provided me with little to nothing - except the images so that I can see for myself what is happening inside of me, and so that I can figure out the best way to handle that on my own.

If I am 80 years old and still able to lay down on the floor and crack my back in on a daily basis, I guess I will be happy about that. But wouldn't it be great to be able to wash dishes without being in pain after and have my back "out?" I can't stop doing things for myself because I am a person that does things, and I also do not have the luxury to pay people to do things for me. I pay for 100% of my medical insurance, and it provides me with imaging and emergency care. That is what I am using it for moving forward. The lack of concern or care from the various offices astounded me. I felt so unimportant, so neglected, so mistreated by office staff in the western medical offices. Yet, my chiropractor will spend an extra twenty minutes talking to me about whatever I want, and my Acupuncturists's Mother sat with me for nearly a half an hour until I felt okay to walk out. And, at the end of the day, western medicine basically said, do these few yoga poses and try CBD oil.

My story is unique. Nobody else in the world has a compression fracture where I do nor a spine that has mutated and changed in the way that mine has. I'm not in an ongoing acute phase anymore because I did things in my life to change that and because as a holistic practitioner, I understand what I need to do to heal my body so that I am, at the very least, much better than I was. Will my back change? No. Will it continue to be terribly unstable? Yes. Will I have to work mindfully and diligently to ensure that it does not get any worse? Absolutely. Will Western Medicine help me with any of that? Probably not. Will Holistic practices? You betcha.

I don't know what else to say. I certainly appreciate having doctors and my insurance. If I get sick or break something, I appreciate that. But, for this particular issue in my life, I have to say, once again, another checkmark for the Holistic practices.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why I Joined the Seminary - It's All About ONE


This summer I did something that nobody who knows me could have predicted ever happening: I enrolled in seminary school for my Master's in Divinity.

As anticipated, this enrollment came with a huge mix of responses. Some of the people who I thought would "get it" the most, did not. Most people were simply shocked. A few understood. It is okay. I did not enroll for the approval of anyone else. And, my reasons are my own personal reasons, not to be understood, necessarily, by anyone else. But, due to the nature of my open-book policy, I want to talk about it a little. So, here I am.

First of all, understand that I did not grow up in an organized religion like most of my friends did. While my friends were headed to church on Sundays, I wrote stories or read books. I was raised by parents who always told me that when I was old enough, I would figure out what I believed in. My Grandmother was Jewish, but did not practice any rituals nor went to Synagogue. My grandfathers and other Grandmother was not religious. My Father's extended family was associated with the Methodist church in their town, so when I was born, and probably since I was the first grandchild and everyone wanted some big celebration, I was Baptized in a Methodist church. I still have the little Bible they gave me. It is scribed all over inside...and I love that.

Growing up I remember going to Catholic church with my cousins when I slept over their house. Getting dressed up and going out was fun, but I did not understand all the components of the service and giggled a lot every time we had to stand up or sit back down. It seemed kind of silly to me. I remember my cousin Kristin and I getting yelled at for laughing in church a lot.

In Burlington City where I grew up, we lived on a small two-block street. Across the street was a church that held Vacation Bible School during the summer and many of my friends were going to attend. I asked my parents if I could go and since it was no extra cost they said Okay. We didn't have a lot of money back then, and I'm sure that the fact that I was going to be attended to for a week sounded pretty good to my mother as well. And if she needed me, I was literally right crossed the street. I actually loved Vacation Bible School! I learned all these incredibly Bible stories that my friends already knew. They seemed bored and couldn't wait to get to arts and crafts, but I loved listening to tales about Noah, Moses, and Jesus. They were wonderfully colorful and with positive messages at the end. Well, the spin for children was positive, anyway.

Now about another block away there was another church in our neighborhood - St. Mary's. I used to walk through the yard on the way to school because it was a shortcut. I felt very comfortable there. One day I lost my house keys and I was so afraid to tell my parents. My mother told me that she would not be home in time and I would need to use my key to get in the next day. I started sweating. I didn't know what to do. That day after school I stopped and, instinctively went inside the church. I went to the front pew and sat down, and prayed to God to help me find my key. I was so scared. I was scared to tell my mom that I had lost the key because I thought that she would think I was irresponsible and I was scared that I was praying to something that I did not understand. But, I did it nonetheless. I didn't know how long I should stay there. I looked around a little. I was the only one in the church. I thought that I should get going and made my way out of the church and down onto the bluestone path, sliding my hands into my vest pockets.

Suddenly I realized that there was a hole in my pocket - the last place that I had left my keys. I stopped short, just steps away from the church door. I took off my vest and snaked my hand through the hole and around my vest. And there it was - my house key, tucked in the back of my vest, hidden, but present.

I.
                 Was.
                                    Astonished.

God had heard me. Or, I thought, I was magical. I erred on the side that God had heard me, but I never told anyone about it until many, many years later. But it has always stayed with me.

As a twenty-something-year-old I started to go to friends weddings. Due to my lack of connection to spirit, I made this running joke that every time I went into a church for a wedding or a funeral that there was a 50/50 chance it would burn down. People thought this was funny, so I kept it up. But somewhere in the back of my mind I had this interest in learning more about world religions. I even toyed with taking some courses during my thirties and forties, but never did. But that interest was always there.

In my twenties I found new age, earth-based spirituality. Rituals and energy became a huge part of my life. I found out about the Divine Feminine and that really opened me up to the nature of spirit. It expanded my understanding, but I still felt mildly disconnected. Many of the women that I met along this path were very deep into Goddess worship. And while I respected that aspect, I felt somewhere that there needed to be some sort of balance, no? I mean, you can't hate men and find power in the Goddess only - isn't that the same as honoring God and relegating women to second class citizens? I kept my mouth shut about it. I went to the rituals and did all the earth-based, energy, elemental stuff. And I learned to honor the Goddess when I felt her, when it was authentic.

And then l I became a yoga teacher. Now, that happened purely out of physical reality of the benefits of yoga on my body and mind. But, it opened me up to Hinduism, and I learned of the comparable natures of Shiva/Shakti and the dance that the Divine Masculine and Feminine do together. One is no more or less important than the other. That felt right. Through my continued yoga education, I was led to many Hindu rituals that honored the many faces of God through different deities - both male and female. To this day, Lord Ganesha is one of my deepest connections that Hinduism brought me. And yet, I knew there was more.

I could go on and on with my studies in Buddhism, Shamanism, and other Pagan religions. Suffice it to say that for most of my adult life, I have done my fair share of independent research into the nature of God. I continue to do so every day. One of the things that I have come to understand is that what makes one person find understanding and meaning, is important for them. But, it may not be meaningful for me. And yet, I can find a peace of meaning and understanding in someone else's experience. And yet...

Who is God to me?

Flash to my recent Dark Night of the Soul, a three-year period of intense internal examination. Too much to discuss here. Coming out the end was an understanding of true Oneness, something I taught in theory for nearly twenty years. And there it was - this need, a calling, to deepen my ministries and attend seminary school for my Masters in Divinity. Why? The truth that I have come to know is that everything is ONE, that energy on a planetary level is changing rapidly, and people need help navigating these changes. Through an Interfaith approach of honoring all spiritual traditions, I hope to help guide people to their own deep understanding of Oneness. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what path anyone takes to get to their own connection, just as long as they eventually do find one.

So, there you have it. I'm in seminary school. I've already been given the title of Associate Minister with The Interfaith Temple, and I continue my journey. Where it takes me remains to be seen. The seed was planted many years ago, probably when my parents first told me that I would figure out what I believed in on my own. And what I believe is that we are all ONE. And that it is our duty to expand from duality into Oneness by whatever means we are inspired to take.

I'm here for you, if you want to go deeper. Just reach out.

Rev. Tracey


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lessons on Being Challenged by Others

This weekend while at a retreat for my seminary school (which I will blog about separately), the idea came up that I may be challenged by my interfaith approach. Without hesitation I said, "Oh, I am used to being challenged, that won't be a problem for me." In fact, within the span of that weekend, I had received a message challenging me about something. I have found myself in this situation many times in my life and have come to some very powerful conclusions - for me.

First of all, I want to say that when someone challenges something that I have said, I stop and take pause. I listen to what they have to say and I give myself time to digest it and feel it. Then, I do a little research to see if I am, in fact, coming from a truthful place. Sometimes that research is meditating on who I am. Other times I am pulling out books or looking up things online. The point is, I don't just lash back quickly. I take time to look into what I am being challenged about.

When challenged, and even upon deep inquiry, we may not ever know who is "right" and who is "wrong" because there may not even be a context for that. Something that I have come to believe in VERY strongly, is that there are many ways, many paths, many completely different ideologies, and there is validity in all of them. What works for or resinates with one person, may not with another. So why not honor differences, instead of creating division?

We could bring this idea from simple conversations with friends, to the social media context, politics, and religion. The arenas in which this touches are endless. The basic theme is that there are differences, and they are not mostly being honored. More and more there is a need to be right, share your idea or viewpoint, and not create space for another to explore theirs.

I wish I could remember the movie I saw years ago with a Catholic Priest who struggled with his faith. And one of the kids who he was working with went to the head of the church and said this of the Priest. The head of the church said to the kid, "It is because he challenges his faith everyday, that makes him a good Priest." Yes. It is good to be challenged! It is good to investigate what you feel, think, or know. And, at the end of the day, if after that investigation you still feel the same, then great, you have a deeper sense of self and a deeper conviction to your ideology.

As an owner of a yoga studio, I often share what I have learned, which comes both from teachers, my own reading and research, and self exploration of the practice. Someone who practices Bikram Yoga and teaches to lock the knees, would challenge my teaching people to NOT lock the knees. I explain that locking the knees stresses the joint and allows one to rely on the joint and general flexibility, thus putting strain on said joint, rather than the strength of the muscle around the joint, which creates a balance of tone and flexibility. There, I explained myself. Go try it out, if you practice Bikram. If you like it, keep it. If it does not work for you, let it go and go back to locking your knees. I can't change what you feel is right, nor should I want to. Guess what? I will still "like" you if you do not agree with me. But don't insist that I am wrong, and that the Bikram method is the only valid one. This type of thinking is what gets us in trouble all the time.

When was the last time that you were challenged by someone about something that you "believe" in? And, how did you handle it? What was the resolution?

Its sad that today many people do not understand that not only is it important to be challenged so that we can look deep within ourselves and question our truths, but it is also even more important to accept other viewpoints as their truths. (And, of course, I am not talking about sick situations of mass injustices that hurt and kill other beings. That is another entire discussion, and honoring narcissistic energy that only wants to hurt others for their own gain is certainly never going to be okay).

Swami Satchidananda said, "Truth is One, Paths are Many." This idea is shared in the Yogaville LOTUS Shrine in Virginia at his ashram that I had the privilege to visit last year. It resonated with me deeply, since I named the studio ONE, and truly believe that we are all One, and that we can coexist with different viewpoints and ideologies, as long as there is love and respect for one another that goes along with it.

So the next time that someone challenges you, take a moment to reflect. Maybe do some meditation or research. And respond from a deeper place of understanding, but in the energy of love and respect. Let's see if we can change the world, one challenge at a time.

In Love & Light,
Tracey


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October's Theme: I EMBODY

After the energies of the 8th and 9th chakras, it may feel a little more comforting to come into the 10th chakra this month, as it is literally located below us in the earth. But remember, things are not what they used to be - and the earth of the Earth Star Chakra is quite different than the earth of the Muladhara chakra!

Sometimes the Earth Star Chakra is known as the Subpersonal chakra or Super Root, and is located about 12-18 inches below the feet in the earth. It is the grounding point for the whole entire chakra system and is said to keep us connected to both earthly energies as well as Universal energies. The Earth Star Chakra is linked to "Mother Earth," Gaia, or Pachamama. When you need to discharge negative or impure energies, asking Divine Mother to take it from you and transmute it is powerful. The Earth Star Chakra is also deeply connected to Archangel Sandolphon, who is involved with our entire existence here on Earth. 

So let's tend back to the earth energies this month, but in a deeper way.

10th Chakra Basics:
Name(s): Earth Star
Location: Below the Feet about a foot into the earth
Color: Brown to black
Issues: Legacy and Nature
Physical Connection: Feet, legs and bones

Things to Ponder about the 10th Chakra:
  1. What aspects of the natural world do you draw upon or bring into your life?
  2. How do you connect to the Divine Mother Earth, Gaia energy?
  3. How do you interact with nature and the things of nature?
  4. Do you grow herbs and plants and work with natural healing?
  5. Is there a place in nature that holds a special energy for your spirit?
  6. Do you know how to ground to the earth?
  7. You are a product of nature, the world, ancestry and divnity - how connected are you to all of those things?

Some things to do this month to work with the 10th Chakra:
  1. Walk barefoot on the earth or dig into the earth
  2. Tree Rooting Meditation to the Earth Star Chakra
  3. Clean up the planet
  4. Reduce your "footprint"
  5. Earth Healing work
  6. Plant trees, let the weeds grow, and garden as often as you can
  7. Reconnect with your crystals and crystal healing
  8. Yoga Practice

So what type of things should you practice for your 10th Chakra?

Asanas - All standing postures. Seated postures where you root down through the sitting bones, anchoring the roots of those bones into the Earth Star. 

Sequence - Mindful connecting to the earth, but more deeply than in the 1st chakra. Not necessarily slow and steady, as the vibration here is much higher than the 1st chakra, but still not flying through. Remember that the deeper we dive into the earth, we encounter water tables, so connect a little to that flowing energy as well.

Breathing - Squat Breath. Standing with feet, hip-width apart and toes pointed outward, inhale the arms above the head. On the exhale, bend the knees coming down to a birthing pose or full or half squat. Inhale pushing up through the feet and legs and repeat. As you exhale, pull down any lower or negative energies and release them into Mother Earth, asking for Divine transmutation.

Meditation - Tree of Life Meditation. Root down from the soles of your feet to the Soul Star Chakra, feeling the deep connection between all nature in the world. 

Come by this October for a more deeply rooted experience on the mat.

Love & Light, Tracey & the Teachers at One Yoga & Wellness Center!
Stone of the Month: Black Obsidian
Obsidian is a natural volcanic rock that is actually glass. It is black to brown with golden inclusions. It helps to keep energy well grounded, clears subconscious blocks and brings an experience and understanding of silence, detachment, wisdom and love. A POWERFUL healer and protector.

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Special Message from Tracey for October...
Ah, Earth Star, how lovely to see you here!

To me the Earth Star chakra feels a little like coming home. Well, coming home if someone else had come in to your house, changed everything around and removed all of your personal items and knick knacks (let's refer to this as the energy that no longer served you) so that you could focus on what was really important in the world - healing the beings in it as well as the planet itself.

Here is what I picture when I think of connecting to the Earth Star Chakra: living in a little cottage in the woods, living off the land, taking care of the animals and other people in the community and living in peace. Sounds a little like Snow White, but this is no fairy tale and there is no Prince waiting to "rescue" anyone. If it sounds strange or unattainable, trust me that it is not. There are a lot of people all over the world that are living this way now, creating new communities that live harmoniously with Mother Earth, leaving a very small footprint, and/or working to repair the Earth's crystal grids. A couple of years ago, a very good student of mine, who many of you know, took off on such a journey. Many people felt that he had "lost it," but I felt very deeply that he was embarking on this very type of voyage. He lived and worked on organic farms all around the country, taking him to Alaska and, eventually, Hawaii, where he has landed. He told me that when he got there he finally felt at home. So my question is, how many of you do not feel at home - at home?

Our quest for progress has taken us further away from the connection to our home planet. In the not too far distant future, if we do not change things, this very home may become uninhabitable. If that scares you, then maybe it should. If instead it inspires you, then Hallelujah, and let's get to work! Some may say, "Well, what can I do?" First of all, everything is energy - our thoughts, our words, and our actions. And all energy affects other energy. So, if I think that I can heal myself or the planet, and I think this enough, then I will start to talk about it to others (exhibit A - this newsletter), and if I talk to enough people and inspire them, then more people will get involved to make the connections to the planet and our collective healing. This is the ripple effect, and its happening already just by you reading this.

How can we help now? We can start with healing ourselves. If we are sick or tired or sick and tired, we have not got the prana, the life force to generate our own healing, let alone anyone else's or the planet. SO, go back over your health, home, work, and all the items of the 1st chakra, and if you STILL haven't done what you need to, uh, helllloooooo, time has come! 

Next, and I truly believe this, we all need to learn how to heal with energy. If you have not taken a Reiki Level I class, do it. If you did a while ago, but aren't using it, why not? Get to working with healing energy however you can! Do you like crystals? Take them out of the box and put them to work! Create crystal grids, place them in plants and, here's a novel idea, put them back in the earth! 

If you need to get back in tune with Gaia, Mother Earth, then time for a retreat away to immerse. A low budget camping trip will do the trick. But, if you really want to plug in, consider joining me on one of the Sacred Journeys coming up - especially Galapagos and/or Peru in September 2020. This trip promises to be life changing in plugging you into the planet's healing energies. Not sure if any of this is for you? Do me a favor, take a day and go to a park. Get up north or west to a park that you can actually get lost in. Take some water and healthy snacks like nuts or fresh fruit, and take a walk. Find a comfortable place to sit, and plant it there - for a while. Try not to DO anything. Just sit, walk, stand, lay down and BE with the place. If you've gone with another person, make a pact not to talk and to separate a short distance to give each other space to contemplate. After some time, and before it begins to get dark, start heading back, taking anything you brought with you, but leaving everything else as it was. If this does not change your connection to Mother Earth or give you insights on how to heal yourself, others, or the planet, then let me know. Heck, I want to hear the good parts too, so let me know when it goes well!

I decided to put a Nature Hike on the events in October. This is also an awesome way to connect to your 10th Chakra with me. So let's do this together, and start to inhabit a deeper sense of connection to all humanity by plugging into the Earth.
In Love & Light,
Tracey

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September's Theme: I ASCEND

September
* Vernal Equinox * 
* Labor Day * 9th Chakra*
September's Studio Theme:
"I ASCEND"
The 9th chakra goes by many names: Stellar Gateway, Mouth of God, Seat of the Soul, etc. The theory is thus: we came into this world for a reason. Nothing that is happening to us is happening for anything less than we wanted it to happen. We CHOSE this life. We CHOSE the experience that we are having. We CHOSE to learn. Our Soul had a desire to improve itself by descending downward from the 9th chakra and into this human body. Our Soul has been enjoying each life, continuing to learn and improve. Now, the reality here on planet earth may feel something quite different than "stellar," but trust in the idea that nothing is random. Our Soul has a contract to fulfill, and it is bound and determined to do it.

A woman named Dr. Sue Morter of the Morter Institute, and author of The Energy Codes, has a great way of putting it. She calls it "The Bus Stop." She explains it so well, we will just plant a link here for you to view. Dr. Sue's The Bus Stop ConversationNow this is not a new theory and Dr. Sue may have named it "The Bus Stop," but she didn't create it. Our Soul's story has been happening for eons and eons, and, if you are like us, then you want to get to understanding its purpose, right? Dr. Sue's Energy Codes are closely related to many yogic principles, and yoga, as we know, is a thousands year-old self-development practice. We may have been focusing on the body, but our entire purpose is to get to the Soul, the Spirit, and Oneness. Our Soul will eventually move on again, but as for right now, we can work to tune in to this higher energy center and clear away more patterns and debris. Now, how? Let's take a look at the 9th Chakra:

9th Chakra Basics:
Name(s): Stellar Gateway
Location: Above the Head - just above the 8th chakra - highest chakra above us
Color: Gold
Issues: Soul programs and plans, Ascension/Descension
Physical Connection: Diaphragm, pineal gland, corpus callosum and other higher learning centers including the cortex and neocortex

Things to Ponder about the 9th Chakra:
  1. What life lessons did I come into this body to learn?
  2. What life lessons did I come into this life to learn?
  3. What is my soul's plan?
  4. Am I connected to my healing capabilities?
  5. Am I connected to Creatorship?

Some things to do this month to work with the 9th Chakra:
  1. Meditate, Meditate, Meditate
  2. Attune with Nature
  3. Step up your healing practice - seek out reputable healers (Shamans, Reiki practitioners, Chakra balancing, Rebirthing, etc.)
  4. Journal about dharma
  5. Clear old patterns
  6. Vision Quest
  7. Yoga Practice

So what type of things should you practice for your 9th Chakra?

Asanas - With the physical links of the brain and the diaphragm, we have a connection to both the 3rd and 7th chakra areas here. Bring in any core work to accelerate the energy upwards, but then balance with equal inversions and rest. 

Sequence - A balance of energized with deep rest. Half the sequence should be core-centric and upbeat, with the second half nourishing and restful. 

Breathing - Bhastrika or Bellows Breath. Similar to Breath of Fire, except Bellows Breath emphasizes BOTH the inhalation and exhalation, while Breath of Fire focuses only on the emphasis of the exhale. 

Meditation - Lying down with a crystal on the 3rd eye and hands on abdomen. Slowly exhale and inhale, forcing abdominal muscles to work as deeply in both directions as you can. While you perform this, focus on energy rising from the abdomen upwards through the third-eye, and continuing upwards above the head. Visualize a golden light in the abdomen, generating great intensity to push energy upwards and out of the body. Pay particular attention to what comes up. Before finish, visualize this energy descending back down into the abdomen and place your hands and feet on the earth, grounding back down. 

Join us this month as we integrate the higher brain centers and push energy upwards!

Love & Light, Tracey & the Teachers at One Yoga & Wellness Center!
Stone of the Month: Shungite
This very rare, 2 billion year old stone is hailed as containing healing powers incomparable to any other. It has the ability to purify, charge, protect, stabilize, heal and promote growth in all living organisms. This stone both grounds and protects while allowing one to embrace source energy and full potential and possibilities.

PS Tracey has some! Private message her.
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Special Message from Tracey for September...
2015 - I was living my best life. Or was I? Well, things seemed to be going well. I had a successful yoga studio, lots of close friends, and a beautiful home, amongst other things. I was beginning a new venture conducting yoga retreats and had just arrived in Peru. It may have been our third day there when we, as part of a larger group from Australia, went to a special place called "The Heart of AN." It was here that I was astonished to meet the woman who was responsible for sharing with the world the meaning of 11:11, the now very common symbol equated with making a wish or having an angel wink at you. Solara is a special person with a true gift. I was deeply moved by my visit, having taken exactly 108 screen shots of my cell phone's 11:11 sightings to date, and understanding that this was a big deal. The Heart of AN emanates a frequency of Ascension. I didn't even know what that was, but I felt it.

A mile from her home, after having quite an emotional reaction to visiting the special place, our tour stopped to see a perfect rainbow around the sun. We all knew that this was auspicious. And then, I started to feel something. Within minutes, my body began to feel unsteady and shaky. From a place deep in my abdomen, there shot a queasiness. And as our bus headed through Sacred Valley to more Sacred Incan sites, I became more and more nauseous and light-headed. It came to a head and I had to literally lie down on my stomach and breath into the earth until the energy subsided enough for me to get up and walk again. 

This experience was what I originally called a "Reverse Kundalini" because the energy descended from above my head and down through my body and its energy centers, until finally reaching my feet, feeling like a million pins and needles shooting energy down into the earth. This experience was undeniably a major energetic shift in my life. Since then I have not looked at things the same. I have had several out of time, out of body experiences, as well as some of the most difficult and challenging times of my life. It is as if before that energy shift of higher light waves and vibration coming down, that I was sleepwalking through my life - and although I had come a long way, was still relatively unaware of my Soul's bigger purpose. For the past four years, energy has continued to shift, ascending and descending from the Stellar Gateway, through my earthly body, and the earth. 

So have I discovered my Soul's true purpose? Solara would probably laugh if I told you yes! I am going to conservatively say that this is a work in progress. And those of you that are on the path, continue to stumble, like me, through this on a daily basis - some perhaps more gracefully than others. But here we are: Soul Spirits and Starseeds, connecting again here on planet earth to discover what we came to learn and continue our journey. 

Fascinated? Intrigued? Feeling it?

Join me in Peru for a Shamanic Sacred Journey next year - September 2020. Can't make Peru? Join our monthly ONE Circle of Light gatherings. Our September meeting will be Saturday the 7th at 1 pm. Let's move through these energies together. Enjoy the 9th Chakra, everyone!
In Love & Light,
Tracey