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Spiritual Fitness: Get Your Chakras in Shape

(ARA) 'For many of us, summer is a time to focus on our physical fitness. We get back into a regular exercise routine, and start watching what we eat more carefully so we can shed those extra winter pounds. But what about getting in shape spiritually?
Good health and vitality depend not only on physical fitness, but emotional and spiritual fitness. Just like the body, the spirit requires regular maintenance. After all, there's more to you than meets the eye.
In today's complex world, the integration of body, mind and soul doesn't happen by itself. We all need some help to raise our awareness and sharpen our focus. Author Elizabeth Clare Prophet and co-author Patricia Spadaro offer some guidance for creating spiritual fitness in their book 'Your Seven Energy Centers,' part of the Pocket Guides for Practical Spirituality series.
According to Prophet, ancient spiritual traditions believe that we all have seven energy centers that operate at levels unseen to the naked eye. These energy centers, called chakras, affect every aspect of our lives, including our vitality, creativity and well-being. Acting as receiving- and sending-stations for the energy that flows to you, through you and out from you, each chakra is like a 'step-down transformer' that converts the powerful spiritual energy from Spirit into nourishment for the body, mind and soul.
The authors believe that keeping our chakras clear, purified and vibrant is the best way to make use of spiritual energy. When an energy center is blocked, we can experience fatigue, health problems or emotional imbalances. When the energy is flowing freely, we feel energetic, creative and at peace.
- Just as physical toxins and substances like cholesterol plaque can build up in our arteries and veins, choking off the vital supply of blood, so mental and emotional toxins that collect energetically in and around our chakras inhibit the free flow of energy within us,' explains Spadaro.
All seven chakras are located along the spinal cord and each has an integral part to play in the process of daily living and spiritual growth according to Prophet. The first is the base-of-the-spine chakra which allows us to connect with the earth and nature and to stay grounded and practical. The second chakra, located just above the base of the spine, is the seat-of-the-soul chakra through which we receive our gut reactions and hunches. Located just above it is our solar-plexus chakra, our center of peace, where we express and master our emotions and desires.
The chakra at the heart center inspires us with compassion and generosity, and is considered by Prophet to be the most important: 'The energy that we receive from God passes through our heart chakra before it moves on to nourish the other chakras and systems of our body,' says Prophet.
The next chakra, the throat center, gives us access to a tremendous power of will and the spoken word to create personal and world change. Above it, our third-eye center enables us to focus, see a situation clearly and tap into the highest truth. Through the crown chakra at the top of the head, we engage our intellect and receive those sudden flashes of illumination.
What's the best way to keep our chakras in top shape? Prophet believes that visualization, combined with mantras and affirmations are powerful tools to purify and clear the chakras and increase the spiritual energy flowing through us.
For example, one of the most common blocks occurs in our soul chakra and is prompted by nonforgiveness. To transmute this block, try visualizing your soul chakra surrounded by violet light while you say the following affirmation:
I am forgiveness acting here/Casting out all doubt and fear/Setting men forever free/With wings of cosmic victory.
I am calling in full power/For forgiveness every hour/To all life in every place/I flood forth forgiving grace.
For additional guidance on chakras and bringing your spirituality into balance, consult 'Your Seven Energy Centers' by Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Patricia Spadaro.
The Pocket Guides for Practical Spirituality series, published by Summit University Press, offers insights and tools for finding spiritual health. Ask for these books at fine bookstores everywhere, or visit, the online bookstore of Summit University Press. For a complete list of books and audiotapes on spirituality and personal growth, call (800) 245-5445 for a catalog.

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