about chakraciseAn Article By Val Joy
The Joyful Connection To All That Is…
is called Chakracise!Article by Val Joy published in Hawaii’s Inspiration Magazine - Spring 2015 Issue
I felt the carpet between my toes, yes, my knees were slightly bent, yes, I was sitting slightly, yes, my arms fell relaxedly by my side, and were there any thoughts in my head? “Don’t think,” I heard. Was that a thought? As I stood there not thinking, my body started to gently sway. Keep your body still, the teacher whispered.
That scene plays out every day, as women are prodded to separate the yin from the yang by quieting the chatterbox in our heads and stripping the movement out of stillness. As Rita Harrison, founder of Chakracise, so colorfully puts it, “Meditating like a man is like having women pee while we’re standing.”
Harrison’s Chakracise has been 30 years in its evolution from the notion that traditional yoga and meditation techniques don’t quite work for most women, and that our moments of clarity come after movement like walking, running, or exercising. Her research began as a casual survey of women around her and led to the discovery that the feminine energy flow is like “a water wheel or propeller.” “Women can activate all of their chakras at once and stay connected while being active,” she says.
Drawing an invisible circle about her head, Harrison goes on to show the male energy flow. “It’s like a sombrero around the Third Eye and pineal gland,” she adds. “Those in the male flow activate one chakra at a time and are either in the physical or the divine.”
With this acknowledgment that men and women are very different, Harrison set out to create a meditation program for women, first called AIM for Active Inspirational Meditation, and then AYM for Active Yoga & Meditation. She realized early on and regardless of its name, that as she incorporated techniques culled from her years of experience, she had developed a constant healing system. In keeping with the philosophy she employs when treating her Willow System clients, Harrison uses a “feminine” or non-linear approach, pulling the best or most applicable pieces of different modalities into a unique program that gives results on any or all of our levels - physical, mental, emotional, systemic, spiritual, even DNA.
From a deep understanding of yoga gained from 15 years of studying Kriya Yoga with Guru Dhiranandaji, a relative of famous Paramhansa Yoganandaji, Harrison developed a workout in which women can connect with the negative emotions and energy stored in our chakras, clear them out, and replace them with new experiences. By incorporating her knowledge gained as an aerobics teacher and physical therapist, Harrison layers in physical exercises that activate the chakras and simultaneously work our “waistline, abs and popo,” to unashamedly give “women a woman’s figure.”
Harrison added meridian tapping, physical and spiritual stretching, a relaxation in stillness, and then tied them all up with Systemic Dialoguing questions designed to invite clients to reach deep thoughts and emotions.
Fast forward to her AYM workshops in late 2014-15, and Harrison is strolling comfortably before the workout room full of women who have come to see what this “yoga” technique is all about. The brief description is followed by a 90-minute musical journey to Africa, Europe, the high mountains of Tibet, and the depths of the ocean. The physical and emotional journey involves everything from squeezing and burning to mad salsa and the Pony. The accolades range from “So fun” to “Wow,” and I see women thrilled to find an exercise and meditation practice all their own and for each one, slightly different.
From those classes, the women have become invested. They want to name the baby. “Yoga is the wrong word.” “It’s not like any yoga class I’ve taken.” “It’s like dance and this amazing journey.”
“I’ve got it. It’s Chakracise.”
Rita Harrison is an international author, Physical Therapist (PT), German Government Registered Naturopath, Heilpraktikerin (HP), Humanologist and teacher. She is the founder of the Willow System International, The Willow System, The Wise Women’s Circle and The Healed Woman Initiative.