Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chakra Resources--Five Reviews in One Post

Chakra Meditation: Discover Energy, Creativity, Focus, Love, Communication, Wisdom, and Spirit by Swami Saradananda proved to be the most valuable resource, full of information. After introducing the theory behind chakras, each chapter is devoted to a single chakra. Swami Sradananda includes yoga practices, meditation, and more. The meditations are not so long that after reading them they cannot be practiced. A variety of modalities are included—flower essences, essential oils, affirmations, mudras, and even incense. Each chapter includes a yantra meditation, a meditation focusing on an image that is symbolic of the chakra. While not strictly traditional, they are not so removed that the symbolism is completely lost. There are other meditations throughout the book, breathing practices and mudras are used to complement the experience. There is truly nothing missing from this wonderful book and if I had to give away all but one resource, this is the one I would keep. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in working through the seven chakras. The Chakra Energy Plan: The Practical 7-Step Program to Balance and Revitalize by Anna Selby is the book I thought I would use most closely while doing the chakra work because it includes yoga and qi gong practices along with meditation and pranayama (breathing). However, it proved not to be as exciting to me as the previous book. There are some lovely meditations included but many of them are long, too long to be used without recording them yourself. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cd available to complement the book and if you don’t have access to a means of recording then you won’t be able to use some of the meditation practices. The qi gong recommendations are an added layer that none of the other resources I used offered. There are also some crystal and aromatherapy recommendations. If Chakra Meditation seems too overwhelming with content, you might prefer this book to the other. I would recommend going to the bookstore, finding copies of both books, and reading about one of the chakras in both resources to see which one feels more like the one you will find most useful. The Chakra Deck by Olivia H. Miller is more thorough than one would expect. If you are looking for a resource that puts more emphasis on yoga then this is the resource you will probably find most useful. There are also meditations included which, because each meditation can only fill a single card, can easily be used without recording the practice. Miller also includes suggestions for crystals, flower essences, essential oils, and more. If the two books above offer too much information then I would recommend giving this deck a try. It is just enough without being too much. Awakening Through the Chakras is a compilation cd that includes music by various New Age artists. Normally I hate New Age music but every now and again I some that doesn’t distract and/or annoy me. This cd is one of those exceptions. I didn’t use this cd often during my chakra work. I occasionally would repeat the one piece associated with the chakra on which I was working. However, I found it most useful when I was ready to conclude the weeks of chakra cleansing, playing the cd from beginning to end and allowing the music’s energy to help me focus during meditation. I have no doubt that in the future I will use this resource many times, especially when I feel a need to rededicate myself to chakra clearing. I was incredibly disappointed with the Chakra Meditation Kit by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber. It comes with a booklet, some lovely cards which can be used for meditation, unscented tea lights in different colors, and a cd. Unfortunately, I did not like the cards. Lovely though they may be, the images are not traditional enough for my taste. The cd is simply annoying with its cloying affirmations and distracting music. I found it impossible to sink into a meditative state with this cd in the background. My favorite element are the candles, one for each of the seven chakras. I am sure there are those who would prefer this kit to Swami Saradananda’s book and that is why there is a place for this kit in this review. I am clearly not that audience.

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