Ok, lame headline. I know. But I just can’t help myself sometimes.
I’m studying the chakras for my teacher training final tomorrow and I really am fascinated by them. I’d love to learn even more about them. I tried a class one time that was intended to really focus on the chakras. Unfortunately while it kept me very intrigued about the possiblity of how doing specific postures to work certain chakras can help keep your body in balance, all this particular class did was have me questioning – and by questioning I mean not really getting into – Kundalini yoga.
**sidebar** if you do Kundalini and it’s a style you love, I would really like to understand more about it and the benefits that are unique to it, so, please…. comment below and let me know!
Ok, so, anyway, back to the chakras. There’s something very cosmic about the idea that they’re located where the nerves collect and electrical activity is high. Electicity… in our body… amazing… Each creating its own color aura. (I wonder if you need special color glasses to see them…?? )
When you’re stressed and tight in certain areas, the energy can’t flow and the light is dimmed. Certain yoga postures can help re-open the flow. It sounds very akin to acupuncture, just without the needles.
Starting at the bottom: The Muladhara Chakra, or root. It’s red and is all about being grounded, starting with exercises to open the bottom of the feet so they can ‘root’ into earth and moving up the legs. Uttanasana is a great way to root the feet into the ground while lengthening the hamstrings to help calm the tension being held in the legs like you’re prepared to run.
Next up is the Swadhistana chakra at the lower back/hips, something I know all too well! It’s orange in color and and is associated with sexuality and emotions. Hello. This one hits home way too much for me. When this chakra is in balance, you just go with the flow. Clearly mine is not in balance most of the time. A few asanas to get it back in balance are gomukhasana (cow face), pigeon pose, and baddhaa konasana.
Then there’s the Manipura chakra at the navel. It’s the fire chakra that glows yellow. Maniupura is associated with self-esteem and my other big one, digestion. When it’s balanced, you’re bold and can take sensible risks and live life. When it’s constricted, there can be digestive problems and low self esteem. The asanas that can help put this chakra back in balance include Virabhradasana A & B, Navasana to strengthen the abdomen and even surya namaskara.
Moving up the body, the next chakra is anahata at the heart. It’s color is green and it’s the balancing point. An anahata chakra out of balance is likely to bring on feelings of loneliness. Too much brings on feelings of jealousy. Backbends or merely laying over a bolster to open the heart can help the energy flow through this fourth chakra.
Number five is Vissudha, the throat chakra that emits energy the color of a blue sky or turqoise. A vissudha chakra that’s unbalanced will result in either fear of speaking or over talkativeness. It can also cause shoulder tension, teeth grinding or other communication problems. Sarvangasana is a good way to get this chakra back in balance.
Next up. At spot number 6, Ajna Chakra, also known as the third eye. The command center’s aura is indigo. The third eye sees beyond the physical and when it’s overly active, we have too much energy that can bring about headaches and trouble concentrating. When it’s deficient, it can cause eye problems and poor memory. One way that I personally have worked the sixth chakra is to sit in child’s pose and feel the pressure of the ground against the third eye.
And finally, at the top, Sahasra Chakra, the crown. When it’s in balance, the world is limitless. It’s represented by a thousand-petaled lotus. Excessiveness of this chakra comes across as being overly intellectual. When it’s deficient, you have trouble thinking for yourself. Meditation is the best way to bring this chakra into balance.
I found a great post on Pinterest tonight that I think sums up the chakras:
1. I am
2. I feel
3. I do
4. I love
5. I speak
6. I see
7. I understand
There are days when I wake up and it feels as if every chakra is blocked and there is no energy moving throughout my body. But, as I usually find, a yoga practice is able to awaken the energy and the light from within so I feel as if I glow with all the colors of the rainbow and I am, I feel, I do, I love, I speak, I see and I understand.