I’ve been working on releasing trapped emotions in yoga asana practice and self enquiry for the past 4 years and wow it’s been one hell of a journey. However, nothing could have prepared me for the experience that was to await in Bali with the ananda mandala chakra breathing meditation.
During my yoga journey of (almost daily!) practice for many years, I have experienced first hand the transformative nature of yoga. Like most people I started practicing because I was experiencing some body pains from too many hours hunched over a desk at work and I wanted to stretch out and increase my flexibility.
By showing up to my mat and myself consistently, I began to notice subtle changes not just physically but also in my mind and emotions. Memories from my childhood would pop up, memories of things people said and had done, things I’d said and done, began showing up in my mind’s eye to review. And past hurts revealed themselves for me to work through.
But interestingly, when things appeared, they didn’t pop up in a critical, self loathing way, rather in a loving compassionate way. I’d then learn to sit with the emotion that arrived alongside the ‘story’ and feel it move through me. Yes for sure there have been a lot of tears as I let go of expectations, I accepted people and situations as they are. I also began to accept myself more. I found forgiveness for self and others. I faced a gazillion fears. I began letting go of the need to control. I found my heart, I found compassion. I found trust. And it continues as I work through more and more layers of judgements and limiting beliefs. I finally recognised that I needed to allow those things that kept me small and were holding me back in life to drop away one by one….
And then about 10 months ago I had an intuitive call to head to Bali, lucky for me my super hubby was keen for it, so in July we headed there for 2 months on a work-ation.
After a few weeks spent on the beach we headed to a treehouse in Ubud for 2 weeks to absorb all that this spiritual hub had to offer. It’s a busy place surrounded by rice paddy fields, with a plethora of yoga offerings. And it has an intense energy – it’s busy, it’s full of healings, spiritual seekers, tourists ……and monkeys! We took yoga classes, walked through rice paddies, checked out the local sights and did a tonne of work.
And then we attended a meditation with an Indian, teacher Punnu at the Yoga Barn, as it was recommended by a friend as an intense and transformative experience.
Intrigued, we booked in, and when we arrived we were surprised to see around 50-60 people seated in 2 giant circles. For the first 30 mins Punnu talked about the chakras (7 wheels of energy that impact the way we show up in the world), telling us about the intensity of this meditation and warning us about all the various experiences we could have and how the most important thing is to stay with whatever it is that comes up for us – emotional or physical.
No one was allowed to leave, and that’s when I began to wonder what we had put ourselves forward for…….
We then held hands and began. An inhale for the count of 1 and an exhale for the count of 2, the speed of the breathing then increased and we exhaled while focussing our attention on the lowest chakra and then inhaled and drew the energy up to the crown chakra. The breathing pattern began again, this time moving the energy to the 2nd chakra. It continued like this. After the second chakra I could feel the vibration, an almost buzzing feeling in my hands then my arms, feet, legs, torso. I became paralysed, my hands clamped up, and the physical pain was immense. I was in agony from deep inside my body all the way to the edges of my skin. When I reached the point of being unable to bare it any longer, I opened my eyes and called Punnu over. I had an urge to run away, but I physically could not move. He placed his hand on my head and told me to let go, my thinking mind wasn’t sure what that meant, but my body did and I began sobbing, big whole body crying. I continued crying throughout the rest of the meditation and then a feeling of peacefulness and lightness came over me. I realised that I had just felt the power of a deep emotion being released from my body. It was a crazy and incredible experience all mixed together.
A few days later I went back for more. I knew that I had released something powerful and wanted to see what else I could release. This time I softened my breathing, so when the vibration and energy began there was much less pain. I felt the energy rise up to my throat. It was a strong energy that made me open my mouth, at first nothing came out, just a little sound. My body knew what to do again and then sound began coming out, like a song with no words, and this was the only way to release the energy build up. The more I sang, the more I felt free. My thinking mind was telling me I was crazy, that I was embarrassing myself, but the wisdom of my body won through and I continued until that peaceful feeling overcame me again.
It’s taken me some time to really process these experiences as they were multi-sensory, whole body impacting. What I’ve come to realise is that I had an intense chakra opening experience. This breathing meditation, due to its dynamic nature was able to rip through my body and release stuck energies quickly. I think part of the reason for this is that I’ve been working with my chakras, yoga, meditation and breathing techniques for a number of years so my body was strong. The interesting thing is that everyone’s experience was different, some people felt very little, others felt bliss or strong energy surges, other people screamed.
This chakra system has its roots in ancient Indian spiritual teachings. It acts like a map along the spine and connects with our emotions and our endocrine glands. Learning about this system and applying the teachings to my own life has helped me to understand myself and others in a much deeper way.
I will be writing more about the chakra system in the coming months, as I have found that it can help to bring more clarity, balance and peace to our inner selves and result in a higher level of consciousness, awareness and overall health and wellbeing. By understanding and working with the chakras we are able to take responsibility for our own lives, our own health and direct our lives in a way that aligns with who we truly are.
If you are interested in hearing more about the chakras and how they can assist you, then head HERE. Put your details in and I’ll have more juicy information for you soon…
And if you’d like to hear from the man himself, Punnu Singh Wasu, then listen to my podcast interview with him HERE
It’s sprinkled with wisdom and insight ….enjoy!