How Reading "Eat, Pray, Love” in Bali Changed my Relationship with the Chakras
You Don’t Have to Take Everything Literally!
I’m reading the “Pray” section of the book “Eat, pray, love” which is based in India and it brings me straight back to my time learning yoga there. It’s quite fitting for me right now as I embark on a kind of homemade yoga retreat in Canggu, Bali.
I relate a lot to the authors’ frustrations with meditation.
The first time I tried to meditate at a Korean Buddhist Monastery, not only did I actively resist it, I actively hated it. I had the monkey mind and my monkey was pissed off at being woken up at 4 am to sit out in the cold and dark.
It wasn’t until my yoga teacher training course years later that I grew to love it.
I used to think of myself as a bit of a hippy at heart. I said that I had “hippy tendencies” I adore yoga and meditation. I’m generally a very calm person. I studied environmental science and I’m pretty liberal. I like to think that I’m open-minded and I love to travel.
I went to India and quickly discovered that actually no, I’m not a hippy at all.
I like science. I want Western medicine when I’m sick. I’m sceptical and my tolerance for new age spiritually is surprisingly low. I hate chanting. I don’t need to balance my doshas or hold that crystal. I don’t want my palm read, please stop going on about reiki, or the fact that Jupiter is in retrograde.
If you can’t already tell, I spent a lot of my time in India (particularly Rishikesh) a little bit annoyed.
So, as you can imagine, I didn’t have a great relationship with the idea of the chakras.
The chakras are a set of seven energy centres in the body that need to stay open and aligned in order to achieve optimal well-being and health. When a chakra is blocked it can manifest in physical and emotional problems. Considering that I’m a yoga teacher, I felt that I should be all about the chakras but for me, there’s just no scientific validity in the concept.
Now, there’s a piece I read today about someone Elizabeth Gilbert (the author) met who struggled with the concept too. Until he came up with this beautiful quote.
“Just as there exists in writing a literal truth and a poetic truth, there also exists in a human being a literal anatomy and a poetic anatomy. One is made of bones and teeth and flesh; the other is made of energy and memory and faith but they are both equally true”
I love that. It’s simple and beautiful. I don’t have to be at odds with the chakras because I question the medical validity of their existence. It matters not. They are simply a poetic anatomy.
Now when I think of the chakras, I don’t have to pretend that these are literal, physical energy points in the human body.
This is a mindset shift that is a complete game changer for me and my yoga practice. I no longer feel the need to roll my eyes. I can approach the concept in an entirely different way and learn to embrace something which I once resisted.
I think more about what each one metaphorically represents. For example, the throat chakra represents communication, and the heart chakra represents love and compassion.
Have you ever had an ah-ha moment like this while traveling that has changed the way that you thought about something completely?
Thank you for reading! Hearts and tips are always welcome and your support is very much appreciated.
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About the Creator
Sh*t Happens - Lost Girl Travel
Hi! I’m Georgie and I share travel stories of when sh*t happens. I think that sometimes the worst things that happen to you traveling, are often the funniest
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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really appreciated your perspective on moving through understanding chakras & clearing too. love your journey
Excellent work. Looking forward to observing more of your excellence. Thank you.
Hi, Georgie! I hope your experience in India was enthralling. :) Excellent read, and glad you are fascinated by Yoga and its intricacies.
Enjoyed your spiritual journey story
I enjoyed reading this and I can totally relate to the monkey mind as mine is the same