Currently enrolled in a yoga teacher training program at Heartwood Yoga Institute in Bradenton, Florida, I am in awe of the Chakra garden created by the owners. The peaceful, quiet garden surrounded by lush native plants in the country is a perfect setting for inspiration gained in all that I am learning.
Each week we spend time practicing yoga, meditation, Sanskrit terms, journaling and learning about the poses. Our certified teachers spend time teaching us the philosophy yoga and incorporating the subtle body or energies called Chakras.
Honestly, I am still working on memorizing a sun salutation sequence so I have a lot to learn. I can barely a balance a tree pose and have no desire to ever stand on my head.
But I do love sitting in a peaceful gardens. The idea that each part of the garden is a different color is cool. Colored statues or stepping stones are placed around a bench and surrounded in native plants that thrive in this tropical, Florida weather.
My dad grew the lush and beautiful plants in the vegetable garden as well as the multiple gardens around the yard. When people came by to visit, the tour always included a walk around the yard as dad pointed out the variety of vegetation. His wildflower gardens included plants he had rescued from the side of the highway and transplanted to flourish in our yard. In summer you could find him digging up plants and transferring them to new locations. Black-eyed Susans, yellow coreopsis and purple salvia grew so well, he divided up his plants into pots and sold them for one dollar in the front yard.
When the vegetable garden gave an abundance of tomatoes, he’d have us sit at the end of the driveway and sell them as well. This always attracted the neighborhood kids as we made faces at people driving by.
My sister and brother take after my dad with their enthusiasm and success in gardening. My sister reminds me of dad when we walk around her large yard and she identifies every green-leafed growth as a potential beautiful flora waiting for her debut. This year for Christmas, the idea hit me – wouldn’t it be fun to help my sister create her own Chakra garden. We’ve taken a yoga class together and have read about energies. She has all these colorful plants around her yard… put them together and we will have timeless peace and beauty steps from her covered lanai!
It started with a thought based on the beautiful gardens at Heartwood. I would need to purchase a pretty colored stone to represent each of the seven sections of the “human energetic field”. Still not sure what all that means, but I knew which colors to use (rainbow) and figured the knowledge will grow as the garden develops.
The stones I chose for the garden on Amazon, turned out to be too small. You would never see them. After researching ways to make stepping stones using cement, I took the easy way and purchased kits. If I made a stepping stone and incorporated colored mosaic pieces around the small heart shaped chakra stone I purchased, that would be awesome. I began to collect colored stones, ordered some mosaic pieces and then remembered – we still have a lot of mom’s colorful costume jewelry. She passed away two years ago and we don’t wear that much jewelry, but what a great way to honor mom and have her memory tie in with our dad’s gift of the green thumb.
I cut apart the bright colored stones, beads and multiple pieces featuring her favorite dolphins and other sea life. I tried the blue one first as I had so many beautiful turquoise pieces I couldn’t wait to use. Letting the :energy” direct me, I placed the pieces randomly in the hexagon frame and loved how it came out. Wasn’t my sister going to love this gift.
Using the kit, the cement was easy and not messy to work with. I easily started the second stepping stone and enjoyed placing each piece around the center heart shaped stone with the chakra symbol. I soon realized, this would be way more fun to do WITH my sister, so I told her I had an S – an S is what my mom called a surprise. It was the day before Christmas eve and she had company over, but told her I needed to see her. Since she only lives 5 miles away now, she came over.
As she walked toward my front door, I surprised her with the two finished stepping stones, and the buckets of colored objects and the kit for each of the other 5 colors. She loved it and was excited to make her own stones as well.
We laughed as we looked at the familiar jewelry that mom used to wear. She loved to shop for clothes and coordinating outfits. She also loved the beach and that is a love each of her kids continue to carry on.
My sister and I had fun creating stones for the Rainbow “Chakra” garden. We often feel our loved one’s energy as part of our lives and it gives us comfort.
Chakras come from the Hindu tradition and translate to spinning wheels of energy. The 7 main chakras correspond to a particular part of the body and particular characteristics within ourselves. So much is written (books!) about these chakras, but the simplified version from what I understand is this:
RED: Root Chakra, base of the spine, grounded and calm. “I am safe and secure.”
ORANGE: Sacral Chakra, below the navel, creative and sexual energy. “Life is pleasurable.”
YELLOW: Solar Plexus Chakra, belly area, power and purpose. ” I am strong, I can.”
GREEN: Heart Chakra, heart, love and balance. “I am loving to myself and others.”
SKY BLUE: Throat Chakra, throat, to speak, listen and express yourself. “I speak my truth.”
INDIGO: Third Eye Chakra, use insight or intuition, “I am open to the wisdom within.”
WHITE or VIOLET: Crown Chakra, to know and learn, “I am guided by higher power.”