By Tania Ho
March 29, 2020
If you are stuck at home and are running out of ideas of what to do, or just feel like taking a break from your daily life without the time or money to travel just yet, this easy home retreat challenge is for you.
In this series of blog articles for the next 7 days, I will share some simple tips and ideas on how you can recreate a 7-day chakra retreat at the comfort of your home day-by-day.
Today’s blog is all about the preparation. Make sure to read this entire article properly. If you don’t feel ready to get started just yet? Don’t worry. You can always come back to our blog when you are ready to start this home retreat challenge at your own pace.
What are chakras?
Chakras are energy centers, or literally translated as “wheels” from this Sanskrit word, within our subtle energetic body. Energy flows through our chakras whether we are aware or not, and each chakra governs an area of the body and is related to a certain topic of our life.
Think of a chakra as a subtle energy “organ”. Chakras work with our energy channels in our energy bodies to manage our subtle energies (emotional, mental, energetic bodies) and our physical body.
When we get sick, we often think of treating our physical body only. But in a holistic point of view, our health also consists of our emotions, our mind, our energies and our spiritual well being.
Our energy plays a critical role in our overall health. If our energy is not balanced, then the imbalance may manifest into a physical illness.
I have written a blog about the meaning of disease four years ago but the post was lost when we were changing website platforms. I’m reposting the article here. You can read more about my blog “Why do we get sick? The Meaning of Dis-ease” to learn more about the meaning of diseases and what holistic health means in the holistic/ vibrational point of view.
Why a home retreat challenge with chakras?
The aim of this home retreat challenge is to get started on learning and experiencing the energies of chakras in our life. In this retreat we will be learning about the basics of our seven major chakras, though we have more.
This retreat is not about balancing or cleansing the chakras, changing or fixing anything here.
All we need to focus on is:
- To notice how different colors affect us on all levels (physical, emotional, mental, energetic)
- To observe our thoughts, responses and reactions when we are faced with certain topics of life
- To stay committed to our daily spiritual practices and observe how that affect us
- To be with the experience of everyday moment without judgment or criticism
- To have fun
What do I need for this home retreat challenge?
For each day we will be experiencing the energy of one of the colors of the rainbow. If possible, it will be great to stock up on a variety of foods in the rainbow colors. Otherwise, just make do with what you have at home.
Don’t worry if you don’t have everything listed. These are only my ideas and suggestions. Use your creativity and follow your intuition. You know yourself best. So just go with what resonates with you and discard any suggestions that don’t work for you.
Stay open and relaxed during the retreat. It’s different when you are at an actual retreat center than at home. When we are at home, we may get distracted easily by our daily life routine. Be flexible. Even if you only get to do one thing per day that is related to the home retreat challenge, you are already a winner! Celebrate your small wins.
Begin each day with your spiritual practices. With everything happening in the world now, it is important to stay committed to your spiritual practices in order to stay centered and grounded.
Start your day with your spiritual practices first before switching on your phone, or keeping your phone on “DND” mode. Begin your day the way you want, consciously set your intentions for the day before being swallowed up by the news, other people’s needs and the daily tasks.
I suggest a minimum of 30 minutes per day for beginners in order to kickstart your spiritual practices on a daily basis as below. I will list out some free resources at the end of this article for yoga and meditation that you can access online.
Even if you can’t get to do everything in 30 minutes, pick at least one spiritual practice and stick to it every day. Do the meditation for 5 minutes, or even 1 minute, and call It a day. It’s all about the quality and not the quantity.
If mornings don’t work for you, do it in the evening. Or do your yoga in the morning and your meditation and journaling in the evening when everyone else is sleeping.
- YOGA / EXERCISE: 15 minutes
- MEDITATION: 5 minutes
- JOURNALING: 10 minutes
Of course you can enjoy each practice longer depending on your schedule.
How about the rest of the day? Be as mindful as you can. Observe your thoughts. Tune into your feelings and emotions. Listen and pay attention to everything around you. Focus on the present. Don’t worry about the past or the future today. Be extra kind and gentle to yourself.
What if I have children?
I hear you, if you have young children running around the house, it’s even harder to focus on your own needs. If you can, wake up before the whole house does. If you can’t get out of bed because you were kept up all night by your kids, ask if your husband or another family member can help to take care of your children while you have your 30-minutes alone. Or whip out your ultimate weapon– let your kids watch TV or your phone for 5 minutes so you can do your meditation and get your sanity back. Devices are only limited for adults, but not for children during this retreat (so that the adults can take a break from children if necessary).
Can I work during this home retreat challenge?
Typically most people won’t be working when they are on a retreat, so they can use this time to solely focus on themselves. However, I understand that within the constraints of our own home, sometimes we do need to work, particularly those who are freelancers or self-employed.
Ideally you will be “off” from work entirely during the home retreat. But if not, try to schedule fixed times during the day that you will be working and then other times you can enjoy the home retreat.
If this doesn’t work, don’t worry just start the home retreat challenge when you do have the time available for yourself. Remember you are doing the home retreat challenge for yourself and not for anyone.
Taking the time to reconnect with yourself tells the Universe that you put yourself as priority and that you are worthy. When we are in harmony with ourselves on all levels, then we are also aligned with the flow of the Universe.
How does the home retreat challenge work?
For each day of the 7-day chakra home retreat challenge, I will list out the topic and the suggestions as below.
CHAKRA OF THE DAY: I’ll be listing the English name, Sanskrit name and its literal translation.
TOPIC: You can think of the topic of the chakra as the theme of the day.
BODY PART: The location of the chakra and what body parts/organs / systems it looks after. Give thanks to this area of your body by touching gently with your palms, and send your love and gratitude through your hands.
WEAR: Wear clothes, accessories (scarves, ties, hair), crystal bracelets, makeup, nails in this color.
EAT: Eat natural food if possible, but make do with what you have in your kitchen. Try to have one savory and one sweet dish (like fruits) in this chakra color. You don’t need to eat only one color per day, but you can make this color as the main theme for your dishes. If you don’t have any food in that particular color, don’t worry, just go with what you have. Vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free is optional.
DRINK: Ditch your sugary sodas and alcoholic drinks, and try making a different color herbal tea each day. Bonus if it’s caffeine free so you can drink it during movie night. Juices and smoothies are perfect too.
AFFIRMATION: You can repeat the affirmation during your meditation, or just when you have a quiet moment you can look at yourself in the mirror, look into your eyes, and say it to yourself three times. You can share the affirmation with your children, let them write it down or draw it out in the chakra color, and be creative with it.
SOLO: Activities that you can do on your own
FAMILY: Activities that you can do with your children
MOVIE: After a long day of “hard work”, you deserve a break. Movies are a great way to finish the day, to relax and kick back on the sofa, and to immerse in the imagination and creation of others. My movie suggestions are just for your reference. Select movies that are meaningful and nourishing on the soul level, or that the main character of the movie is on a search or an adventure for something. Avoid movies that are too violent (action movies are okay), too bloody, scary, or meaningless. Stick with only one movie per night and recreate a home theatre experience for yourself and your family. Keep the lights low, and put your phone away like you would normally do in a cinema. Enjoy a nice cup of herbal tea or juice to go with your movie (stay away from alcohol though).
BEDTIME JOURNALING QUESTIONS: The bedtime journaling questions reflect specifically to your experience during the day with the seven chakras, whereas the morning journaling will be more of a free flow writing session for whatever comes up in your mind – any feelings, thoughts, emotions, observations, dreams, etc. The bedtime journaling will be best completed before you fall asleep, after you watch your movie ideally and of course your phone is already switched off by then.
What should I refrain from doing during the home retreat?
It is, and will be more challenging to carry out a retreat when we are at home and immersed with our daily life, habits, activities and routines. The key is here to be flexible and open-minded. Plan for a few activities, but if life happens, it happens. I repeat again, be extra kind and gentle on yourself.
Having said that, retreats are all about breaking away from our daily habits. If we want change and are open to learn new things and new experiences, we must get out of our comfort zone and be willing to do something different than what we would normally do on a day-to-day basis.
Below are some guidelines to help you get into a “retreat” mode. There’s no judgment or criticism if you can’t follow the below suggestions. Rather, just stay curious rather than critical. Ask yourself honestly why it is difficult for you to live without these habits. Are these habits becoming your “addiction”?
If none of the below works for you, or if you don’t do any of these things anyway, take one daily habit you do and change it up. Maybe brush your teeth with your other hand. Sleep on the other side of the bed. Switch things up one week just for fun. You never know what you may discover.
During the home retreat, please refrain from:
- Alcohol: If you are a regular alcohol drinker, try to cut down to one glass per night (no refills please). Best to stop completely drinking for one week.
- 2 or more cups of coffee: You won’t be needing all the caffeine like you usually do when you have so many activities, tasks and appointments crammed into one day. Enjoy your one cup of coffee (make it a Venti if you like) in the morning, savor it with all your senses, and switch to water, herbal tea or juices for the rest of the day.
- Too much sugar / junk food: Treat this time as a gentle detox and a temporary break from all the sugars and food additives that we normally eat. I emphasize on temporary. Check in with your body at the end of the retreat on how you feel without eating what you used to eat – instant noodles, chips, sweets, biscuits, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, etc. Obviously if your only option is instant noodle and you don’t have access to fresh groceries, it is okay to feed yourself. Don’t starve yourself but try to stick with real natural food if possible.
- Smoking: If you are a regular smoker, try to cut down the amount you smoke. Start small. If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, cut down just one cigarette. One is better than nothing.
- Sleeping late: It’s very tempting to sleep later at night when we are stuck at home. Try to stick to an earlier bed time (think 10pm), so you can wake up early, and energize yourself with a morning yoga or exercise routine. Challenge yourself by switching off all your devices one hour before bedtime.
- Gaming on the phone or computer: Retreats are all about going inward and connecting to ourselves on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Playing games on the phone or computer are great distractions for the mind but not so great for reconnecting. Try to stop for one week. You can always get back to it after the retreat.
- Binge watching TV: I love watching TV but retreats are all about mindful consumption. TV and movies are great entertainment but again they can end up as mindless distractions if we are not careful. Choose only one movie every night to enjoy, switch off your phone, and make it your final activity for the evening before you go to bed.
- Browsing on the Internet forever: It’s hard to do a digital detox at home and we need the Internet to read the news and follow this retreat challenge. However, again it’s easy to fall into the pitfall of being distracted and scrolling mindlessly instead of using this time to focus on yourself. Limit your screentime by using the “screentime” function on your phone or set a timer for a maximum of 30 minutes for yourself to browse the internet and to use social media.
- Spending too much time on your phone: Given you do need Internet access to carry out this home retreat challenge, it is totally fine to use your phone consciously during this week. The key word here is “consciously”. Referring to my points above about refraining from browsing on the internet forever. It goes the same as using the phone to watch non-retreat-related movies or clips while you are engaged in an activity, to read and reply emails, or to chat online excessively till the point that you forget the people around you. Find the balance for you. Take photos during the retreat challenge to share with others but always remember, this retreat is about focusing on reconnecting with yourself. If the phone hinders that in any way, it’s time to put it away, even just for a little while.
- Free 15-minute Chakra-themed Yoga Sequences by Sea Flow Yoga (Instagram): https://instagram.com/seaflowyoga
- Free 30-40 minutes Yoga Videos by Yoga with Adriene (youtube): https://yogawithadriene.com/free-yoga-videos/
- Free 10-minute Online Chakra Meditation (youtube): https://www.youtube.com/embed/jeGT1VXwfx4
- Headspace App for free meditations: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app
- Rebecca Campbell’s “Spend More Time With Your Soul 21 Days of Group Devotion” (Free Facebook videos): https://www.facebook.com/rebeccathoughts/
- Quick easy read on “How to Journal for Self-Improvement” by Darius Foroux : https://dariusforoux.com/how-to-journal/
- Katie Dalebout: Journal Writing 101 (free to watch all 8 classes until 9 April): https://shop.mybluprint.com/other/classes/journal-writing-101-transcend-the-everyday/754554?SSAID=1820741&sscid=31k4_jqltk&sasClickId=31k4_jqltk&cr_linkid=ShareASale_Banner_ShareASale&cr_maid=46579&cr_source=ShareASale&cr_medium=ShareASale
- Email Tania below or DM us via Instagram @musefloweretreat for any questions, feedback, or just emotional support.
- Book: “Chakra Meditation” by Swami Saradananda
- Book: “Subtle Energy Techniques” by Cyndi Dale