Here's What Happened When I Attended a Chakra-Healing Meditation Class
That curiosity led me to do a lot of research. I learned all about the seven chakras in the body, and the belief that when energy flows freely between them, one experiences great physical, emotional and spiritual health. But even after everything I read, I didn't feel all that confident that I'd be able to identify which of my chakras might be blocked.
That's when I reached out to April Pfender, a local Reiki master teacher and meditation instructor who knows a thing or two about chakra healing. She generously invited me to attend one of her classes at Unplug Meditation in Santa Monica to show me what she does and give me a little bit of extra insight into my own chakras, and I happily took her up on the offer.
April's Restorative Meditation class was on a sunny Wednesday morning in the middle of a rainy week. When I showed up at Unplug, I signed in, silenced my phone and checked it in at the counter for the duration of the class. As the name suggests, the importance of unplugging to be in the moment is one of their main philosophies.
I showed up a bit early, and while I normally would have found 20 minutes without the distraction of my cell phone to be mind-achingly dull, there was something zen about it in this situation. It was actually the perfect start for clearing my mind, putting away the stresses of work and attempting to be more present. In the past, I'd done guided meditations with the help of YouTube and podcasts, but this was to be my first meditation class, and I wanted to go into it with an open mind.
The studio was buzzing before the class began, and it wound up being a packed house. Before we headed up into the meditation space, April greeted us all and handed each of us two different crystals. One was a shimmery blue stone, while the other was a marbled pink-red one, which would both be pivotal to the crystal and aromatherapy-centered meditation.
Next, we all filed into the room and found our places in reclining floor chairs lined across the hardwood floors. The room was dimly illuminated by a faint blue-green light, and filled with the pulse of slow, soothing music. As soon as I was settled and reclined into my seat, I felt like I was in a really good place for some spiritual healing.
It wasn't long before April started the class. While the voices on my meditation podcasts were typically soft and whispery—the type of voice that could potentially lull one to sleep—April's voice was bright and warm, and I felt it lent a completely different (and totally positive) energy to the meditation experience.
As we began, she had us hold our crystals in our hands to activate them before we placed the shiny blue lapis stones on our third eyes (on the forehead between the eyebrows) and the reddish ruby fuschite stones over our hearts. She explained that these stones would allow greater openness into the third eye and heart chakras. At this point, there was a lot of clinking of stones against the floor as they fell off of people, and I was slightly proud that I managed not to drop a single stone during the entire meditation.
Over the next 45 minutes, she guided the meditation, asking us to take slow, deep breaths, focusing the breath in through a certain chakra and out through another up and down the entire body. In essence, the entire class was about cultivating flow. By moving the energy through the body, we worked on unblocking chakras and bringing more health and positivity into our lives. We also learned that the class had closely followed the Aquarius new moon, so it was the perfect time to get rid of any of the burdens of the previous month and start anew.
And the crystals weren't the only items used to enhance the chakra-opening experience. Once we were all good and relaxed, April went around the room to anoint us all with the first essential oil of the class. It was a peace oil, and she stopped by each student to roll just a tiny bit onto our palms, asking us to rub them together to activate the oils before taking in a big whiff of their woodsy, slightly musty scent. The fragrance was incredibly soothing, bringing me even deeper into a zen-like state.
Later in the class, she came by again to dab drops of clementine oil on our inner wrists. I'd always been a fan of citrus essential oils, but the clementine scent quickly replaced lemon as my favorite. It was bright and energizing (and kept me smelling my wrists for the rest of the day because it smelled so darn good).
Occasionally, April also used a singing bowl to fill the room with deep, clear sound. The tones seemed to reverberate around in my head, moving between my left and right ear and up and down through my body. With the sounds, smells and ambiance, I didn't find my mind wandering nearly as much as it typically does when I meditate, and I don't know if I'd ever felt so carefree and grounded.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one, because just a few minutes into the class, I could already hear someone nearby dozing off. They didn't snore, so nobody woke them up, but I could completely understand how such a soothing class might help someone drift right off to sleep.
At the end of the class, April asked everyone how they were feeling. After a chakra meditation, feeling light and airy can mean you've worked through something and that a burden has been lifted from your body. On the other hand, people may instead feel heavy, which signifies grounding through the cleansing of the chakras. I happened to feel extremely light, with a strong sense of focus without an ounce of tension.
Before I headed out, I also got to chat with April, who was eager to give me a chakra reading using a small crystal pendulum. I was pleased to discover that most of my chakras were wide open, but that I had small losses of energy in my solar plexus and sacral chakras, which might sometimes lead to feelings of anxiousness or lack of creativity. She explained that it was likely that my higher chakras were so open because I'd just meditated, and that she often sees something similar in her own chakras. She taught me a breathing exercise involving placing my hands on different parts of my abdomen and breathing in deeply to help open those up, and sent me on my merry way.
Even though I had to head into the office once the class was done, a feeling of relaxation followed me for the rest of the day. I even felt inspired to find some zen meditation music online to accompany me as I completed my work. But most importantly, I finally got some valuable answers about my chakras—and a lesson on how to improve my life by letting them all flow.
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