What are Chakras?
There are 7 main ‘energy centers’ or Chakras in our bodies. These chakras can become blocked and out of balance by built up emotional, physical or spiritual tension. Chakras are points in our bodies where we absorb, receive and release energy throughout our lives. Practicing asanas that correlate to each of these energy centers can unclog built up tension, allowing the proper flow of energy.Muladhara (Root) Chakra
Muladhara Chakra (Root)
The root chakra is identifies with the element earth and the color red. Muladhara chakra focuses on our survival needs, the feeling of being grounded and bodily care. Asanas associated with the root chakra are Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) and Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
Svadisthana Chakra (Sacral, Hips)
The sacral chakra identifies with the element water and the color orange. Svadisthana chakra focuses on sensuality, pleasure, ‘going with the flow’ and embracing experiences in life. Asanas associated with the sacral chakra are Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana), Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana) and cow Faced Pose (Gomukhasana).
Manipur Chakra (Solar Plexus)
Manipura is the third Chakra which identifies with the element fire and the color yellow/gold. The Solar Plexus chakra focuses on the power of transformation, self esteem and the assertion of will power. Asanas associated with the Manipura chakra are Warrior I, II and III, Marichi’s Pose (Matsyendasana), Boat pose (Navasana) and Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar).
Anahata Chakra (Heart)
The anahata chakra is the fourth chakra which is the bridge between the lower three chakras (Physical) and the three higher chakras (Metaphysical). It identifies with the element air and the color green. The Anahata chakra focuses on love, opening up and leading from the heart and not the head. It is positioned at the core of our soul (the heart). Asanas that revitalizes this chakra are Cow Faced Pose (Gomukhasana), Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and backbends.
Visuddha Chakra (Throat)
The throat chakra is the fifth chakra and it is the first chakra to focus on the spiritual plane. Vishuddu identifies with the element sound and ether, the color is blue. The throat chakra focuses on our will, inner truth and our ability to present our voice to the world. Asanas associated with this chakra are Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Plough Pose (Halasana) and Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana).
Ajna Chakra (Third Eye)
Ajna chakra is the sixth chakra in the chakra system and the second chakra of the metaphysical plane. The Ajna chakra is the spiritual eye and it focuses on seeing beyond the physical, enhancing creativity, clairvoyance, and intuition. Asanas that enhance the ajna chakra are forward bends.
Sahasrara Chakra (Crown)
The crown chakra (thousand petaled lotus) is the seventh chakra and it is the symbol of purity and spirituality and provides the direct connection to our Divinity.The Sahasrara chakra is associated with the element of thought and the colors white and violet. As we think we create our reality so this chakra focuses on our power of thought and creation, it is the highest function of the mind. To enhance the function of this chakra, meditation is the best yogic practice. Meditiation may be done in a number of seated asanas like the Lotus Pose (Padmasana), Adept’s Pose (Siddhasana) and Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana).