Jewelry artists and devoted yogis Erwin List Sanchez and Deborah Stotzky, makers of our new Precious Gem Chakra Balancing Necklace, believe in beautiful stones – and not just because they’re pretty. They keep carefully-chosen pieces of quartz crystals around their studio because of the power they hold.
In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, the term “chakra” (Sanskrit for wheel) refers to human energy centers. There are seven main chakras in the human body. It was probably inevitable that Erwin and Deborah would create a necklace that beautifully visualizes these powerful, invisible forces.
What was the inspiration for the Chakra Balancing Necklace?
Because Erwin and I practice yoga a lot, it gives us a chance to energetically tap into our bodies and therefore the opportunity to better perceive what is going on in our energy centers – our chakras. So we wanted to create a piece that represented this opportunity for continual self-exploration and balance. We have been using gemstones lately and felt we could do something really dainty, elegant and yet powerful for our chakra piece – I think the piece is even more beautiful than we had hoped!
Are the chakras associated with the different colors of your necklace, and if so, why?
Absolutely. There are 7 chakras in the human body. Each chakra, among many other attributes, is associated with a color (some have 2 colors). So the precious and semi precious gemstones of our necklace are designed to represent the colors of the chakras of the body as they ascend from the first to the 7th.
Do you remember the first time you learned about chakras?
I don’t actually remember the first time I learned about chakras, but I imagine it was through my sister who first introduced me to meditation and yogic philosophy and my cousin who brought me to my first yoga class – both events were over 20 years ago.
How has your understanding of them changed over time, and how has it helped you?
Because I am both a yoga instructor and an acupuncturist I view the body through different but often similar filters: chakras and/or energy channels called meridians. These different but similar philosophies have deepened my understanding of both.
Could wearing your Chakra Balancing Necklace help one be more mindful of one’s chakras?
Yes! Not only is the necklace very beautiful to wear, but our hope is that it will also help people to remember and allow balance in their lives.
Do you wear one yourself?
Every day! I wear it alone or with other pieces on the same chain.
Where are your Chakra Balancing Necklaces made?
We design the pieces in our Chelsea, NYC studio/apartment. They get cast in the jewelry district on 47th street and Erwin does all the finishing touches back at the studio.
How long does it take to make each Chakra Balancing Necklace?
Several days from start to finish: From an existing mold that we have previously made, we make waxes and then cast them in sterling silver, set the stones, and finally the whole piece gets put together, polished, and buffed.
Where do you get the materials for the Chakra Balancing Necklace?
We have spent a lot of time scouring the NYC jewelry district to source the most beautiful gems with the most clarity. And we now have sources we love and great relationships with the people we work with. There is a lot of love, humor and light heartedness that goes into our pieces! Everybody we work with in the jewelry district is fantastic. We have our different sources and when Erwin calls them on the phone, everyone seems to recognize his voice – I never hear him actually say who’s calling, they just know it’s him. Recently one of our vendors passed away and it was very sad, as Erwin had developed a really lovely relationship with him.
Did making your Chakra Balancing Necklace give you a closer emotional, psychic, or spiritual connection with these stones?
Yes! These gemstones are magical. I feel a shift when I wear them. It is similar to having crystals around you – these stones truly help me feel balanced.
Do either of you have any spiritual symbol tattoos?
We are both tattoo-free.
Do you have any inspiring chakra art in your apt or studio?
We have Buddhas, bones, feathers, pottery, paintings, but we do not actually have any chakra art – yet.
What is the chakra you have the most trouble with, and why? How about the one that gives you the best vibes?
They change all the time, as we change. But I suppose the 5th chakra, which among other things, can relate to speaking one’s mind, representing one self clearly and effectively, is one I often work with. I also focus a lot on my heart chakra. I think Erwin focuses on the crown chakra.