Most of us can intuitively feel when we are a little off. Maybe we are short tempered and irritable. Perhaps we are flighty or impulsive and can’t settle down to get anything completed. Maybe we sit too much, eat too much and sleep too much. We just don’t feel balanced in life and our vitality suffers.
In Western cultures, we pay scant attention to the energetic body. Many people would be at a loss to even define the term must less acknowledge its’ importance. I think of it as a mass of consciousness based on electromagnetic properties that harbor our thoughts, emotions, opinions and judgments.
Like anatomy for the physical body, the energetic body has its own language. This then can provide a framework for diagnosis and treatment to heal our emotional selves and create a more rewarding life.
The Chakra system (among others) provides such a framework. Defined as energy centers running up the spine from the base of the pelvis to the crown of the head, each of the seven chakra is associated with a neurological hot-stop in the physical body and specific emotional and psychosocial issues in the energetic body.
Start with the root chakra located in the base of the spine. Imbalances relate to issues of survival, safety and security. At the most extreme are those living in a violent space that fear for their very existence. Issues of having enough money, food, or shelter fall under the energy of the root chakra. A healthy first chakra shows sufficient willpower and resourcefulness to manage during difficult times.
The second chakra is located below the navel and pertains to our ability to have fun in life and feel connected to others. Look at the quality of your relationships – how attached you are to a relationship outcome. Are there unhealthy relationships that no longer serve you. Can you find pleasure in life, take appropriate risks and enjoy healthy sexual relationships. Passion for life and love depict healthy second chakra traits.
The solar plexus or third chakra relate to issues of self-confidence, personal power and self-esteem. How readily can we exercise self-compassion and silence the nagging inner critic. Do we feel in charge of our own lives and feel free to make choices that work for own well-being. Cultivation of inner peace, conviction and integrity depict healthy third chakra traits.
The heart chakra relates to issues of loving and being loved. Out of balance third chakra results in anger, jealousy, bitterness, abandonment and loneliness. Do we live in harmony with the world around us and express gratitude for the beauty inherent to the earth. Kindness, respect and compassion depict healthy heart chakra traits.
The throat chakra relates to our ability to communicate effectively. To know when and how to speak the truth and to know we have the ability to transcend familial or community beliefs. Can we communicate our feelings freely and live a life consistent with our heartfelt desires. Seeking knowledge that is true represents a balanced throat chakra.
The third eye chakra is located at the brow. Energy from the third eye allows us to think clear thoughts, to have the capacity for self-reflection and to contemplate spiritual gifts. Imbalances are characterized by distorted perceptions, inability to distinguish truth from illusion and lack of introspection. Healthy third eye chakra traits are the ability to receive wisdom and insight.
The crown chakra is responsible for spiritual mysticism that allows selfless realization that we are all connected at a fundamental level. Remaining overly attached to worldly concerns and lacking spiritual guidance characterize crown chakra imbalances. Opening to the wisdom of the universe imparts peace within.
Problems in areas associated with a chakra reflect “blocks” and do not allow the free flow of energy up and down the spine. Physical, emotional and psychosocial issues can result. Although a very quick examination, any thoughts that came up can be used to delve deeper into the chakra system to balance the energetic body.
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience. They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
“SDK Pilates’ yoga instructors are beyond wonderful and very reliable. Our community and hospital staff truly enjoy the classes and we are extremely thankful for their partnership with us.”
Pilates has been a wonderful experience both physically and mentally – it relieves stress and gets your body in a “can do” spirit to stretch and feel good. The instructors are the best and the people I’ve met in class are fun to be with. Friendships develop. I will do this forever!
SDK Pilates is great! So far I’ve taken Pilates classes with Steph and Nancy, and I’m looking forward to Yoga with Mark. Currently working on core strengthening, shoulder mechanics, overall conditioning, and my golf game.
Stephanie’s class is well-paced, challenging yet welcoming for first timers and those who are more experienced. She offers seamless coaching throughout and her enthusiasm and energy is inspirational.
SDK Pilates is wonderful! I have been taking classes from Stephanie for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy both her Pilates and therapeutic yoga sessions. Her training as a doctor enables her to work around physical limitations and injuries and strengthen weaknesses. She has helped me immensely with chronic shoulder issues. The fun nature of the classes, the camaraderie of the attendees and the great workout make SDK classes my favorite way to exercise!
My experience with SDK Pilates has been outstanding. All of the instructors have been knowledgeable and welcoming. All levels of fitness and capabilities are embraced, addressed and challenged. Individual needs are seamlessly met with in the class. Every class is different and I always walk out feeling better than when I walked in. I take Pilates twice a week and wish I could take it every day!
I have taken yoga and Pilates classes from Stephanie for many years, and I can say that she is terrific. Her background in physical medicine and rehab makes her uniquely qualified to instruct and coach with a focus in balanced strengthening, proper alignment, and prevention of injury. I enjoy the low key environment at the studio, and have made many friends in her classes.
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience.They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
I love the classes and instructors at SDK Pilates! Stephanie, the owner, has been a tremendous help to me with understanding challenges I face with a bad hip. Her expertise and medical background have helped me select exercises that are appropriate for me and I have learned there are still plenty of things that I can do to strengthen my body! At other places, I sometimes overdid my workouts (and hurt myself) – SDK’s instructors have helped me increase my flexibility and strengthen my body in a s…