Balancing Chakras with the Colors on Your Plate

The 7 Chakras

A chakra is like a whirling vortex of energy. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for “wheel”, which in the literal translation from Hindi means “wheel of spinning energy”. Within our bodies we have seven of these major energy centers, and many more minor ones. They are subtle centers in the energetic system of a living organism that take in and give out energy. The functions of the chakras are to vitalize the physical body, to bring about the development of our self-consciousness, and are associated with our physical, mental and emotional interactions.  

Our health is determined by the flow of energy from the 7 chakras into the metabolic network of the body. Blocked chakras, due to emotional, mental, and/or spiritual issues, can restrict energy flow and lead to illness.

Foods, especially foods that share colors with the chakras, carry vibrations that can activate or balance our chakras.

The root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the very base of the spine/tail bone and is the home of a stable, slow vibration that enables one to be grounded in the workings of the world on a physical level. A healthy root chakra will promote core feelings of being part of a tribe or community, and it anchors the body in feelings of trust, safety, and protection.

Chakra Color:  Red

Physically:  It is responsible for body systems that provide physical structure, allowing for meaningful contact with the Earth: joints, bones, muscle, legs, and feet. It oversees the “boundaries” of the body through an internal and external defense system represented by the immune system and skin.

Weakness in this Chakra:  Feeling a lack of physical energy and vitality, fear, insecurity, foot and leg pain, colon problems, immune disorders or bone disorders and eating disorders.

Root Chakra Healing Foods:  If you’d like to release a fear around eating or feelings of distrust, the root chakra is the place to release it. Eating issues stem from the need to protect the Self. Under or over-eating may cause you to feel scattered or flighty, but the root chakra helps you to feel grounded and more easily arrive in the present moment. Assist your root chakra by eating with others in community and honoring your body’s instinct on what to eat by communicating with your body to make good food choices. If you are feeling the need to be more grounded then you may need to be eating more protein, root vegetables, beans, beets, red peppers, apples, pomegranates, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, watermelon, cherries, strawberries and red cabbage. Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanin that do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to decrease the risk of stroke.

The sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) is located in our hips, sacrum and genitals it houses desires, creativity, sexuality, sensuality, and emotions through all layers of the Self allowing us to connect and accept others and new experiences.  A healthy sacral chakra allows us to “go with the flow” of life.

Chakra Color: Orange

Physically:  Responsible for the liquid functions of the body: kidneys, bladder and the large intestine. Oversees the creativity of the body through the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, as well as cell division and growth.

Weakness in this Chakra:  You may often find yourself wondering if you will find the one, lack in confidence of Self and lack of desires.

Sacral Chakra Healing Foods:  If you feel like you are not going with the flow and consequently overeating to keep your emotions down then your Sacral Chakra may need to be nourished.  Allow your sacral chakra to flow freely by spending time creating meals and by paying attention to your senses when eating. If you are feeling like you need to stimulate your creativity or get back in the flow then you may want to eat more tropical fruits, seeds, nuts, oranges, tangerines, carrots, apricots, curries, sweet potato, pumpkin and mango. Beta-carotene is the best-known nutrient in orange foods and is a powerful antioxidant, which gives orange fruits and vegetables their brilliant color.  Experts say beta-carotene is not only good for eye health but can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage. Orange foods are also full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, protects against cardiovascular disease and helps rebuild collagen in the skin.

The solar plexus chakra (Manipura) is located along the spine and deals with willpower, ambition and action. It contains fiery, transformative energy that radiates the essence of the Self to the outside world, harmonizing the inner and outer environments.  A healthy solar plexus chakra will manifest as a brilliant expression of personal power accompanied by balanced energy flow and clear perceptions of life situations.

Chakra Color: Yellow

Physically: It is responsible for the transformative functions of the body, including the digestive organs: esophagus, stomach, pancreas, small intestines, liver and gallbladder. It oversees the energy exchange of the body through the generation of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), the body’s physical currency of energy.

Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling powerless, suffering with self-esteem issues, constantly feeling like a victim or shaming the Self; suffering from frequent stomach pains and stomach anxiety.

Solar Plexus Chakra Healing Foods: The solar plexus is the flame burning bright within us to transform our energy inside and out. You may see problems here when we go into overdrive and then lose our power. However, you can harness your energy and power and transform it by looking at what foods you give yourself. Maybe you are eating too much sugar. Step back into power once again by eating more frequently through the day and by eating foods that sustain your energy. If you want to boost your self-esteem think foods for power and energy; foods that are low complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, yellow, tan and golden foods such as corn, ginger, bananas, squash, turmeric, pineapples, yellow lentils, amaranth, quinoa, whole grain breads and cereals. Yellow foods have an abundance of vitamin C and represent a class of water-soluble plant pigments that function as antioxidants. Studies suggest the nutrients in yellow fruits and vegetables will help your heart, vision, digestion and immune system. Other benefits of naturally yellow foods include maintenance of healthy skin; wound healing, and stronger bones and teeth.

The heart chakra (Anahata) is located along the spine in the center of the chest near our physical heart. It deals with compassion, self-acceptance, relationships and belonging by emitting a loving, compassionate rhythm that translates pure feeling into emotional wisdom, discernment, and kindness.  A healthy heart chakra will make love into a healing energy for all, including the Self, others, and the planet.

Chakra Color: Green

Physically: It oversees the nurturing functions of the body through the breasts/chest, shoulders, arms, and hands and is responsible for the circulatory functions of the body, including the heart, lungs, lymphatic system, and blood vessels.  

Weakness in this Chakra:  Needy in relationships, rarely open up to others, guarded, sabotage relationships with anger, and experience chest pain, heart disorders, asthma, allergies and circulation problems.

Heart Chakra Healing Foods:  A great way to open this chakra is through the process of sharing foods with others in a mutual exchange — with this, you can practice giving and receiving love in a healthy way. The heart chakra blossoms when we express gratitude for eating. If you have some deep emotional wounds or heart pain, think foods rich in chlorophyll, plant compounds like phytoestrogens and phytosterols (they can block cholesterols from being absorbed into the blood stream), any green raw foods, foods rich in chlorophyll and especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and leafy greens, asparagus, mixed greens, spinach, as well as other foods like kiwi, avocado, herbs, green tea and green grapes.

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The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is located in the center of the throat. It deals with honesty, integrity, expression and communication. It contains a communicative vibration that resonates truth. A healthy throat chakra communicates and expresses the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of the other chakras through sound in a way that is authentic and true.

Chakra Color: Blue


Physically:
 It supports the neck, jaw, teeth, gums, mouth, lower sinus, throat and thyroid. It is responsible for the sensory apparatus of the body, including the lips, tongue, nose and mouth, as well as our voice and breath like the larynx, pharynx, and throat. It also oversees the metabolism through the thyroid gland, and through the coordination of the multitude of functions (e.g. chewing, swallowing, breathing, smelling, etc.) occurring in the throat area.

Weakness in this Chakra: Shyness, often afraid to voice opinions, sinus problems, swollen glands and soar throat.

Throat Chakra Healing Foods:  hen we do not speak authentically about our desired foods choices (e.g. saying “yes” when we really mean “no”), we create an imbalance in the throat chakra.  Uphold your throat chakra’s personal truth by honoring your body’s choices, eating mindfully and chewing carefully. If you feel like you are having a hard time expressing your feelings and want to enhance clear communication you can eat more sea plants, juices, water, soups and sauces (which bring together different elements like water and earth), and foods from different ethnic groups. The throat chakra encourages a variety of foods but mostly liquids.  Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It also helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently.

The third eye chakra (Anja) located in the center of the forehead behind the brow deals with intuition as well as our sense of purpose and direction in life.  A healthy third eye chakra will encourage the path of internal visions and dreams.

Chakra Color: Indigo

Physically: It supports our upper frontal sinuses, eyes ears and outer layer of the brain. It oversees the perception functions of the body through the brain, eyes, and neurotransmitters. It is also responsible for hormone function and secretion, sleep/wake cycles, and dreaming.


Weakness in this Chakra:
Feeling lost when it comes to having a sense of purpose in life, indecision, and an over active imagination.

Third Eye Chakra Healing Foods: Sometimes we allow our intuition to be overridden by the intellect/ego, and in doing so, we lose sight of our highest path. There are several foods that stimulate the intuitive center, such as coffee, alcohol, and dark chocolate, keeping your mind and moods on overdrive. Respect your third eye chakra by avoiding these external substances and enable your intuition to be heard. If you are feeling as if you are spending to much time day dreaming and lacking intuition and focus then you may want to add the following foods to your diet tea, spices to stimulate and protect, purple potatoes, red onions, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, lavender and eggplants. Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body.

The crown chakra (Sahaswara) is located at the top of the head. It deals with our connection to the divine within us and around us. A healthy crown chakra will manifest as the ability for individuals to be confident in their spirituality, Self and inner and outer beauty.

Chakra Color: Violet

Physically: It supports our central nervous system and deep brain function and is responsible for infusing the body with life force, Prana.

Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling of loneliness or disconnected, strong attachment to possessions and relationships, migraines and tension headaches.

Crown Chakra Healing Foods: Since the crown chakra is more spirit than matter, it is not nourished with physical foods in the same way that we feed other chakras. To keep this chakra clear you can do a detox to re-energize, but the crown chakra benefits mostly by the balance of all the chakras as well as from sunlight, moonlight, air and meditation.

There are a number of techniques that can be used to keep chakras healthy, including Reiki, meditation techniques, and the assortment of foods you eat. Food can be used to heal, prevent sickness, and maintain a healthy body and mind; this includes a healthy chakra system. Healing and maintaining a healthy chakra system is one way of establishing balance and health in life.

Weekly Class Theme: Marichyasana (Flamingo Pose)

Left: Standing Flamingo, Right: Humble Flamingo of @nborassi

We will be doing leg leg legs this week!  Quads, hamstrings, bum, inner thighs you name it all parts of the leg and remembering the important role our feet play in standing asanas/postures, while working on these two wonderful asanas pictured above.

I find these flamingo postures to be great for grounding, feeling the earth beneath us, also as mentioned in the name of one of the asanas, humbling.  Reminding ourselves what a great gift we were all given. Life.  Being grateful for this gift with a simple bow, in humble respect.

Hope to see you this week, my humble friends.

Peace, love and light

Weekend Yoga Retreat Paris

 

The second weekend of July, one month from today, I am happy to announce our first Chez Cameil Weekend Yoga Retreat Paris!  It has been something I have wanted to do for a long time and am over joyed to finally do it this summer.

The focus of the retreat will be balance, wellness, and growth.  Teaching you to build a strong home practice.

It will include 2 classes each day, Saturday and Sunday.

1. A two hour morning class starting with meditation then moving into a vinyasa flow routine focused on awakening your energy, while working on those headstands. 😉

2. A one hour and a half evening Yin Yoga class with moon salutation practice.

Both days Morning class held 7h30-9h30 and Evening class held 18h-19h30 at the CENTRE DE YOGA DU MARAIS, 72, RUE DU VERTBOIS, 75003 PARIS.

You will have the pleasure to enjoy two vegetarian take away meals a day during the weekend, one for lunch and one for dinner, prepared by me for you. 🙂 If you have any allergies please let me know when you contact me to sign up for the weekend.

Those that are interested in Breakfast, after our morning class I will be heading to Wild & The Moon; 55 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, for a wonderful juice and sprouted granola and you all are more than welcome to join!

There will also be suggested activities to do during the day, mindful, cultural and bien-être, as well as some handouts to read.

If you are interested in attending or have any questions about the retreat don’t hesitate to contact me at cameilkettenring@gmail.com.

Places have already started to fill up, so reserve your spot by contacting me and making a payment in full of 175 euros.

Have a fabulous week!

Namaste

Abhyasa/Practice: Weekly Class Theme

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Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility

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Practice is the effort to secure steadiness.

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This practice becomes well-grounded when continued without interruption over a long period of time.

What does Patañjali mean by practice. Near the beginning of the Yoga Sutras, he gives us some solid, practical advice.

Initially, the goal of yoga is to steady the mind, to clear it of chatter and random impulses. He defines practice (abhyasa) as the effort of will required to achieve stability in that calm and clear state, though not without significant effort:

You may start to feel the benefits of your practice immediately, but you are only going to become well-grounded in the practice—able to summon up a calm and clear state with minimum effort, or even find yourself living permanently in a state of mental ease—after much dedicated effort. Patañjali has something to say about just this point:

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The goal is near for those who practice with extreme intensity.

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Thus, there will be a difference if the effort put into practice is mild, moderate or great.

8 hours a day, 2 hours a day, three times a week is a lot of asana and out of reach for most. But, of course, the physical practice is only a small part of the equation. The simple techniques we learn and refine in the context of the physical practice we can take out into our daily life, commuting to work, waiting in line at the store, interacting with our coworkers, our family and loved ones. The entirety of your life can become a yoga practice, the hours of training the mind to achieve expertise and mastery of the state of living, moment by moment.

 

The kindest words, from my students

I wanted to share some testimonials I’ve received from my students after sending out a mini survey to get feedback. I received so many beautiful, kind words that I hope will inspire more to participate and practice yoga, as they have greatly inspired me.

Thank you so much to those of you who took the time to answer the questions, I am forever grateful for your kind words and your practice!

Here’s a few excerpts, full testimonials will be posted on the (testimonial &) press page.

 

Classes are always varied, that’s what I like – it’s always different and I feel that every move is related to what we need at the present time.
– Stéphane Rouchy
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There are so many reasons Cameil’s classes are my favorite. No matter what level you are, Cameil takes you through each pose. Normally there is a goal at the end of each class – like a head stand that you would never believe you could do – however she proves you wrong with a set of unique positions working just the right parts of your body, giving you the strength to get you up into those positions. At the end of the class, not only have you succeed with the pose, but you feel confident and reassured that you did everything the correct way with her expert and friendly guidance. 
– Natalie Koudsi 

 I participated in Cameil’s retreat in L’arbre aux etoiles in the north of France and it was the single most relaxing weekend I’ve ever had. The space itself is beautiful and quiet and simple and the perfect backdrop to long meditation and intense, rejuvenating yoga classes. Cameil is also a wonderful cook and everything that has ever come out of her kitchen is delicious, she does great things to vegetables. The retreat is full of great Cameil food and sleeping and tea and reflection.
 
– Jess Saxby
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Practicing yoga with Cameil over the past year has been a joy.  I leave every single class feeling lighter and reconnected to myself and the earth. Cameil is a natural teacher with a grace and ease which creates a beautifully calm atmosphere in the studio, free from judgement and ego. She conducts her classes with lots of care and has a strong instinct for the needs of her students, through pranayama, making plenty of useful adjustments and teaching how to effectively use props. I especially appreciate how Cameil’s classes are tuned into the seasons and the rhythms of city life. They ebb and flow in their intensity over the course of each month and every class has a subtle, but poignent, theme which I personally can always resonate with. I highly recommend Cameil’s classes and workshops to anyone in Paris looking to develop a dynamic and meaningful yoga practice in a very friendly and supportive community.
She’s also a badass Vegan chef 😉
– Liz

WELLNESS RETREAT – April 29

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I am very pleased to announce that we will be having our second retreat at the beautiful L’arbre Aux Etoiles in Normandie.
We will be working on gaining knowledge to strengthen your home practice, bringing balance to your emotions and body. Giving you tools to, not only, strengthen your home practice, but also help you find complete awareness in everything you do, along with removing the weeds from the body so that it may grow.

This will be a smoke and coffee free weekend filled with nutritious vegan cuisine cooked by yours truly, yoga for emotional balance, sleep-well nighttime yoga routine, sun and moon salutations, and chanting. 

 

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When?  Friday 29 April @ 19h – Sunday  1 May @ 19h

Where?  L’arbre aux étoiles Honfleur, Normandie www.larbreauxetoiles.fr

What does it include?

  • 4 yoga classes
  • 2 morning meditation
  • 1 cours de cuisine
  • Meals: Dinner Friday & Saturday; Lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and Breakfast Saturday and Sunday. All meals will be vegan, vegetarian and gluten free made by me 😉
  • Sauna
  • Towels and yoga equipment
  • Transportation not included

Price does not include transportation

350 €   

(140€ to MCG Evenements for housing; 210€ to Cameil Kettenring for yoga and food)

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We can try to organise a car pool like the last years retreat, or you may take the train and then a taxi to the site. Information for transport will be provided upon request.

Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions!

Sign up by sending me a private message or email
Namaste

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Night Time Workshop March 20th

 

 

Sunday March 20th Centre de Yoga du Marais72 Rue du Vertbois, 75003 Paris 19h-21h30 40€ (2)

 

 

This workshop is about learning to create a night time ritual.

Most of us have a morning ritual but then when it comes to the evening we find ourselves lost, unable to relax and frustrated with our sleep cycle.

 

The Nighttime Workshop will include:

-A candle lit sleep-well ritual, to help with anxiety and stress release.

-1 bottle of my homemade Golden Milk: Golden Milk is an ayurvedic drink recommended by practitioners to drink at least 60 minutes before bed.  The main ingredient of golden milk is turmeric, which is known for its antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

-Meditation: with a focus on Suhtra 2:3 Pratipksha Bhavana

Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of.” Yoga Suhtras Patanjali

-Moon Salutation: Learn and practice moon salution in celebration of our New Moon moving into Spring.

-Restorative Yoga: Improving organ health, increasing circulation and flexibility also bringing emotional well being by refining the awareness of what’s happening in our body and mind through Svadhyaya (self study).

-Yoga Nidra: A guided relaxation where we drop into a quieter state.  Used to purify samskaras, deep impressions that create our karma.

 

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Hope to share this beautiful night with some of you!

To reserve your space you will need to make payment of 40€.  Contact me on how to do so cameilkettenring@gmail.com

Namaste

X Om

Cameil

 

 

 

 

Week Theme: Salamba Sirsasana (supported headstand)

 

I have received another special request for this week’s class theme, so we will be working on our headstand practice!

The key to getting into these more advanced postures is mind body unity.

“The mind is the king of the senses, but the breath is the king of the mind” — Pradipika

Using the breath, we can calm the mind and not let fear over come us.

 

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Over coming fear in this posture is great for building confidence, strength and balance.  requiring great concentration and body alignment, which is essential in our more difficult asanas, like Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand).

In Sanskrit, Salamba means supported and Sirsa means head, and asana means pose/posture. This asana is often called the king of all asanas. You can think of it as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), but upside-down.

The Crown Charka (Sahasrara) is activated in this posture through the direct connection to the earth. It is not often that we get this opportunity in yoga, so let go of fear and enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Why to avoid drinking during Yoga

 

I’m often asked the question: Is it ok to drink water or other beverages during yoga practice? How about eating before class?

I personally will never tell one of my students not to drink, but instead I like to use that moment to inform them as to why it is recommended to not drink during your yoga practice.

One main reason is that we are building up “fire” in our practice, also known as ushna. If you are drinking during your practice you are cooling yourself down, bringing down the ushna and in turn making you more susceptible to colds, allergies and the build up of excess mucus. During asanas, we are trying to sweat to help the body naturally cleanse/detox through the pores of the skin, our largest organ.

Another  reason is that it can be distracting to yourself and to others in the class. Patanjali says we learn through pain, by avoiding it with non-attachment. Distractions are obstacles with painful consequences, like having to go to the bathroom. So instead of letting drinking distract you from your asana, if you really get too hot or tired, slow down by resting in a more calming asana like child’s pose (balasana) for a few breaths. This is a better alternative for reducing the heat/ushna than drinking water, which brings you out of focus.

Eating should also be avoided up to 3 hours before your practice as a general rule. Yoga gurus have advised practising yoga on an empty stomach. Having food in the digestive system can interrupt with the rhythm of the body while doing yoga. A light stomach also helps you follow your asana practice more easily, distraction-free.

While practicing yoga, your energy is focused on poses and transitions. This reduces the capacity of the digestive system to manage the process of digestion. Food in your digestive system may also cause nausea, bloating or gas during practice. With an empty, clean stomach, your energy will be focused on the your yogic poses, maximising the benefit.

Some tips and general rules to follow on eating before yoga:

  1. The ideal time to do yoga is early morning on an empty stomach (like my Tuesday class at 7:30!)
  2. If you are to eat before doing yoga, try to practise 3 to 4 hours after a heavy meal, 1 to 2 hours after a light meal, 45 minutes after tea, juice or fresh fruits and 15 minutes after drinking water.
  3. Try avoid heavy foods like meats, processed grains, fried foods, and spicy foods.

 

The goal of yoga is to be free from distraction, fully aware, and present 🙂

 

 

 

Hanumanasana (Splits Pose)

 

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This week’s class theme we will focus on the splits pose (Hanumanasana).

Hamunanasana is named after the Hindu deity Hanuman, who resembled a monkey. The pose comes from an epic story when Hanuman makes a leap from India to Sri Lanka. Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana) is an advanced soas and hamstring stretch, and with this year being the year of the Red Fire Monkey in the Chinese lunar calendar, I found this asana appropriate.

And what should we expect in the Year of the Fire Monkey?

There’s a great and thorough overview of the Year of the Fire Monkey on Mystic Mama‘s website. Here’s an interpretation from Chinese Astrologer Shelly Wu from Chinese Astrology.com:

Using a delicious sense of humor, Monkey years hold out bright prospects of a fascinating future, rich in the unexpected. A year of transformations.  A year of great change and a year of discovering your own resources…”
A prime year to begin sizable enterprises, expansions and major cooperations. Business should shoot up under this year’s optimistic and hopeful influence. The resourcefulness in solving problems and dilemmas will be a pleasant surprise for all entrepreneurs.”
© Copyright 2016 ~Shelly Wu All Rights Reserved