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The Chakras in Grief and Trauma


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. Muladhara (Root Chakra). 2. Svadisthana (Sacral Chakra). 3. Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra). 4. Anahata (Heart Chakra). 5. Vishuddha (Throat Chakra). 6. Ajna (Third Eye Chakra). 7. Svadisthana (Crown Chakra). References. Appendices.

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An exploration of the chakras in relation to grief and loss, showing how to balance energy and bring about healing

About the Author

Karla Helbert is a registered and certified Integral Yoga (R) teacher as well as an internationally certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT). She is also a bereaved mother and a licensed professional counsellor.


Karla Hebert does not back away from the depth and complexity of grief and trauma, a territory she knows well. Here is a book that understands the darkness and offers an equally deep understanding of a system that can help us find balance, even when healing seems impossible. What I love most about this book, is that it is not written to "fix" you or your grief, but rather welcomes and understands that your loss will always be part of you. If you are struggling, you will want this book by your bedside, guiding you back into balance. Hebert's compassionate understanding is boundless, as is her wisdom of the ancient Tantric systems that can restore body, mind and spirit to equanimity after tragedy. If you are a healing professional, The Chakras in Grief and Trauma lays a foundation for a timeless approach to helping your clients return to a life where joy and gratitude can be fearlessly embraced alongside loss and grief. -- Amy Weintraub, Founder of LifeForce Yoga, author of Yoga Skills for Therapists and Yoga for Depression
The Chakras in Grief and Trauma by Karla Helbert is an invaluable resource for those who are grieving or suffering trauma. By providing an introduction to the Chakra system, the book is accessible and relatable to anyone-from novice to master healer. I recently lost my father, and by applying a few of the practical techniques outlined within, I was able to not only acknowledge but lessen the anxiety and physical pain I felt as a result of my grief. For the bereaved, our world has changed, and with it, our energy, and our relationship to the world. This book offers multiple approaches to balancing the energy flowing through our bodies. It was extremely helpful. There are so many activities, no matter how you learn or process, there's something for everyone. The author knows of what she speaks. Her wisdom comes from personal experience and years of study. Her positive energy informs every page. -- Michele Young-Stone, author of O Magazine's Reading Room pick Lost in the Beehive and Above Us Only Sky.
Grief is like a circle of energy. The circle, the chakraic shape of grief, is always moving, infinitely spiraling in one direction or another, or simply moving in its place, round and round. Karla Helbert has moved with this energy of catastrophic loss and has directed it beautifully into its fullest potential with this book. While we cannot stop the energy of grief from its movement, we can learn how to be with it and allow it to transform into a bigger kind of energy: the kind of energy with which we can cope, the kind of energy that is productive and meaningful rather than destruction and absent of meaning. With tenderness and compassion, Karla introduces the reader to ancient wisdom, colors, oils, and stones for example, that pushes back against a more modern, medicalized approach to grief. Cover to cover, this book honors the circular energy, the chakras, in grief and teaches us to muster the courage to stay with it as the motion transforms our very being into beauty that stands beside the pain. -- Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, author of Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, Founder of the MISS Foundation and the Selah Respite House and Carefarm
All those who have gone through grief and loss know that being expected to move on, as Karla writes, does not always work and might in fact be painful. It robs you from the space of fully being with your feelings and memories. In essence all you long for is to be yourself, and for the other to meet you with utter love and respect. There is no need for fixing, yet there is an inner longing of Being. The strongest message in this book is Karla's sharing of direct experience of feeling lost, how she stopped trying. This reveals the depth of the spiritual seeker, that one who is seeking to be inspired in finding freedom. This is the true meaning of all Vedic scriptures, to develop a relationship with your Inner Teacher and to let that guide you. The practical and sacred tools offered in this book, are open invitations. You get to choose which tool speaks to your heart and for that to guide you back to a state of serenity. I highly recommend this book for anyone experiencing loss, and walk your spiritual path, one step at a time. -- Chinnamasta Stiles, C-IAYT, NAMA-CAYT, PK, LMT, PCPN-AC, Founder at Shiva Shakti Loka
A masterful blend of yogic wisdom, grief theory, and trauma-informed therapy, The Chakras in Grief and Trauma offers clear instructions on how to use the body's natural energy system to take back your power, restore balance, and rediscover your true self after the unthinkable has happened. Karla Helbert offers hope and compassionate guidance to those facing what feels like an insurmountable challenge, while shining a light on aspects of grief and trauma that are often left in the shadows. From self-care practices including aromatherapy and yoga, to easy-to-understand explanations of this complex topic, I am amazed at how much wisdom is packed into this one book! I recommend it to anyone working with trauma and grief - either personally or as a helping professional, including trauma therapists, yoga professionals and body workers. -- Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT Mindfulness & Grief Author & Podcast Host
The Chakras in Grief and Trauma is a tender triumph. Intimate knowledge of multiple strands of yoga are woven together here to create a cohesive approach to grounding, healing and growth. This provides a framework for connective creativity and the possibility of refining this as a compassionate and practical art form. I love this book for valuing the details of peoples' experiences and the necessity of learning how to reconnect. It is a profoundly valuable contribution to the integration of yoga and contemporary psychotherapy. -- Todd Zemek, Clinical Psychologist & Yoga Teacher, Creator of YogaPsychology.com
Karla Helbert has written the essential guidebook for anyone whose life has been impacted by grief and trauma. Rooted in wisdom traditions and backed by modern science, The Chakras in Grief and Trauma is a roadmap to healing and wholeness; destined to be a classic. -- r. R. Keith Bell Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Author of Refilling the Chalice: How to Heal from Burnout
The Chakras in Grief and Trauma, is an in-depth journey offering wisdom rooted in Karla's own story of love, loss, and post-traumatic growth. The author's clinical skills, teaching experience, and subtle bodywork knowledge culminates into a comprehensive guide for healing. Karla holds the door wide open for the possibility of healing physically, emotionally and spiritually. The seven chakra energetic cycles accompanied with tantra yoga, meditation exercises, and recommendations for utilizing essential oils and crystals, comes together in rhythmic cadence. The accompanying illustrations and charts enhance clear understanding and demonstrate proper form. As an essential oil therapist and energy worker for several decades, I am in awe of her selection of oils for each chakra and demonstration for usage. I highly recommend this powerful book to everyone experiencing grief, loss and trauma. -- Katie Buggs, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Cranial Sacral practitioner, holistic educator, owner of katybugs healingsense, author of katybugs PLANTSENSE deck with manual
Before losing my 20-year-old son Charles to suicide, I had not met grief. Since then, I have come to understand it's not my enemy but a connection to the one I love and lost. This book opened my eyes to a different kind of spiritual healing that allows me to embrace the journey, acknowledge and manage the emotional pain in a way that is healthy for my mind and my body. It offers tools to manage grief with love and grace. -- Anne Moss Rogers, writer & public speaker, founder of Beacon Tree Foundation and EmotionallyNaked.com
The Chakras in Grief and Trauma joins deep understanding of the chakras with instruction for helpful application to an individual's journey through times of grief and trauma. As a therapist who works with folks navigating these difficult waters, I find it extremely helpful. I love this book. It is a gift for all of us who engage with clients experiencing grief and trauma, in energy work and in therapy. Those who teach chakra material will also find that they can learn so much about how these events impact the energy system. I have such appreciation for this amazing book. It's a joy to read. -- Barbara H. Davis, LPC, FAMI, Reiki Master, Turning Point Counseling
When grief and trauma occur, Western doctors too often turn to pharmaceuticals, which only suppress the emotions, which in turn prolongs the grieving instead of assisting it to its own natural stage of acceptance. If you are grieving and if you love yoga and resonate to the chakra system, Karla Helbert has laid out a beautiful methodology for walking your body and soul through the grieving process. -- Joy Gardner, author of Vibrational Healing Through the Chakras

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