Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chakras: Energetic Spirals

In the yogic tradition, chakras are spirals of energy in the body. Each chakra of the body relates to one another energetically. There are 7 main chakras of the body:

1. Red or Base-ground spirit forces in the body and to cultivate the ability to lovingly work on the physical plane
2. Orange or Sacral-Creativity, soul procreation, and directs the self toward devotion
3. Yellow or Solar Plexus-ability to assimilate experience, digestion, positive use of personal power, and the ability to manifest goals
4. Green or Heart-the release of emotionally suppressed trauma, soul/heart consciousness, and expressing love in action
5. Blue or Throat-verbal capability and expression of truth through power of spoken word
6. Indigo or Third Eye-the indigo in this chakra helps to clear the subconscious to channel intuition, the purple helps to balance the state in one's mind. Overall, the openness of this chakra sees the divine perfection in all things and channels one's devotion.
7. Violet or Crown-Wisdom, peace, oneness with God, and personal identification with the infinite.

Through the various colors of the chakras, color therapy has been used to help on not only a physical level but also a mental and spiritual level within oneself. Chakra meditation is also a great tool for looking within oneself and seeing where there is an "energetic back-up" or closure within one of one's chakras. Chakra meditation is one of my favorite meditations. I always find something new. If it interests you, here is how you can try this meditation. Get into a comfortable position-seated (sukasana) or on your back (constructive rest pose or sivasana) and go through a focused visualization on the color and shape of each individual chakra. Spend a 5-7 minutes meditating on each chakra. I suggest taking a break between each chakra to write a few words (flow of consciousness) on what you felt while meditating each chakra.
Here is an online chakra test to help shed some light on the energetic balance of your chakras.

There are also certain yoga poses which focus specifically on certain chakras (i.e. fish pose-throat chakra or bridge pose-heart chakra).

One of my favorite poses is full wheel or in Sanskrit  urdhva dhanurasana. This pose is also referred to as chakrasana because it equally targets each chakra within the body. Here is a picture of me on a yoga retreat in Mexico in my full wheel pose:

It's a powerful pose, which at any level (or krama) of your practice can energetically ignite one's inner fire. Try starting your morning off with three rounds of your backbend practice. For yogis newer to the practice, bridge pose is an equally powerful pose to work up to your full wheel. I suggest not doing full wheel late at night because it energizes the body and might keep you up. 

Here's a nice video demonstration for visual learners. Make sure that you listen to your body and go at your own pace. If you lift all the way up into full wheel, focus on the internal rotation of the arms and pulsing your heart through your arms. Do not go far enough to hurt your lower back. Also, tuck your chin coming out of the pose:

And finally a song to start your day off with. Hey Yoga Girls: 

Have a good hump day :) 

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