How can we harness the energy from our Chakras to work for us ~ Rashita Banu
Have you ever had days where you just can’t seem to get out of your funk. Or perhaps your day just started and you feel emotional for no rhyme or reason. Where does all this energy come from? And how do we learn to harness this energy to work for us and not against us. The answer lies in the 7 Chakras
The human body contains hundreds of locations where there is focused and concentrated energy. There are, however, seven major energy centers, commonly referred to as “chakras". Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means “wheel.” The chakras are similar to wheels in that they are spinning vortexes of energy. They are centres of force located within our body, through which we receive, transmit, and process life energies.
Each chakra in the body is recognized as a focal point for life-force relating to spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental energies. The chakras are the network through which the mind, body, and spirit interact as one holistic system. The seven major chakras correspond to specific aspects of our consciousness and have their own individual characteristics and functions. Each has a corresponding relationship to one of the various glands of the body’s endocrine system,the five elements (earth/wind/water/fire/space) as well as to one of the seven colors of the rainbow spectrum.
The main purpose in working with and understanding the chakras is to create integration and wholeness within ourselves. Chakras can be balanced using several methods such as reiki, meditation, pranayama (breathing techniques) and yoga. As my area of expertise is the practice yoga, I will be sharing on how yoga can help to balance the chakras."
Lets look at each chakra in detail and how we can apply theory into practice.
Name: Muladhara/Root Chakra
Location:Base of spine, coccyx
Element :EarthSunMoonRain Bracelet: Garnet
The Root Chakra is the first chakra and is the most instinctual of all chakra, it is your survival center. This chakra is all about personal well being, a comfortable home, stable family and secure career. We draw our strength and inner security from Muladhara, it is what keeps us spiritually in sync with the earth. When the root chakra is out of balance we start to feel insecure and might to hold on to things, people and even places.
All of the seven chakras are important and interconnected with each other. Usually, balancing one chakra will create change in another chakra. It is important though to balance the Root Chakra first, before we proceed to others, or we will lack the stability and rootedness necessary for true transformation and personal growth. One of the many ways to balance and energise your chakras is the practice of yoga. Next time you start to feel insecure try the following two poses to start the grounding process.
Tadasana (Mountain pose),this pose encourages your connection with Earth, connects you with your own body and grounds you in the present moment. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior One Pose), This is a strong asana that creates a firm connection between the Earth and your body. This root chakra yoga pose allows your breath to move through your body, rooting you through the first chakra.
[Technique to apply- When you stand in either Tadasana or Virabhadrasana 1 ensure you are using your Ujjayi breathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to the base of your spine and visualise the colour red in your mind. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
Name: Svadisthana/ Sacral Chakra
Location: Between coccyx & sacrum.
SunMoonRain Bracelet: Carnelian
The second chakra is the Svadisthana/Sacral Chakra. It is your passion and pleasure centre. The energy of this chakra is about experiencing our lives through feelings and sensations.The sacral chakra is also your centre of creativity. Passion is the fuel of creative energy. Everything you create, a poem, a drawing, or a company, originates from the energy of second chakra. It is also where your fertility originates. I know my sacral chakra is out of balance when I start to have an addictive behaviour, this could be to food or work. Or when i’m experiencing a creative funk. This is also the chakra I focus on when I have students who find it challenging to conceive.
The two Yoga poses recommended to balance and energize this chakra are poses that work with movement in the hips and lower abdomen. Some poses are aimed at opening and some are aimed at moving energy through this area. Such as Mandukasana (Frog Pose) and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One Legged King Pigeon Pose).
[Technique to apply- When you are relaxing in either Mandukasana or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana ensure you are using your Ujjayi breathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to the area between coccyx & sacrum and visualise the colour orange in your mind. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
Name: Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra
SunMoonRain Bracelet: Yellow Agate
The third Chakra the is Manipura/Solar Plexus chakra.The Manipūra Chakra is your power center also know as the “City of Jewels”. The energy of this chakra is sensing your personal power, being confident, responsible, and reliable. It is also the centre of your self-esteem, your willpower, self-discipline, as well as warmth in your personality. You know your solar plexus chakra is unbalanced when have a lot of fears, your anger level is off the charts and you always feel lethargic or unmotivated.
Yoga poses to balance and energizes Solar Plexus Chakra are poses to build confidence, building heat and energy to fuel the fire in this chakra such as Ardha Matsyendrāsana (Spinal Twist) and Navasana (Boat pose).
[Technique to apply- When you are firing up yourself in either Ardha Matsyendrāsana or Navasana ensure you are using your Ujjayi reathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to your naval and visualise the colour yellow in your mind. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
Name: Anahata/Heart chakra
Location: Center of chest
The fourth chakra is the Anahata/Heart chakra. The heart chakra is the center of love & compassion.The love we feel at the fourth chakra is felt toward everything we encounter, because it is felt within as a state of being. At the heart chakra, our love is no longer one of need or desire. Love at the heart chakra is one of joyous acceptance of our place among all things, of a deep peace that comes from lack of need and of a radiating quality that comes from harmony within the self. The signs of a unbalanced heart chakra is when you start to feel disconnected with yourself and the people around you, experiencing a disruption of love, healing and growth within you.
Yoga poses to open and heal the heart chakra are, Ustrasana (camel pose) and Dhanurasana (bow pose) develop trust, surrender to your heart fully by practicing these backbends.
[Technique to apply- When you are balancing yourself in either Ustrasana or Dhanurasana ensure you are using your Ujjayi breathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to the centre of the chest and visualise the colour green in your mind. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
Name: Vishuddhi/Throat chakra.
The fifth chakra is the Vishuddhi/Throat chakra.The sanskrit meaning of vishuddhi means deep purification, referring more to removing the subtle obstructions which prevent us from understanding and expressing our deepest feelings and personal truth. The energy of this chakra is accepting your originality, expressing your authentic voice and not just speaking your truth but living your truth.When you have an inability to express emotional needs, feelings, and opinions as well as being dishonest, are all signs of a unbalanced throat chakra.
Yoga Poses to energies throat chakra are Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) & Halasana (Plow pose). These poses help to to release tension in neck/shoulders, stretch and strengthen muscles in shoulders and upper back.
[Technique to apply- When you are energising yourself in either Salamba Sarvangasana or Halasana ensure you are using your Ujjayi breathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to the throat and visualise the colour blue in your mind. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
Name: Ajna/ Third eye chakra
Location: Space between the eyebrows
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The sixth chakra is the Ajna/ Third eye chakra. “Ajna” means “to command”. Through the sixth chakra and pituitary gland we can master our minds.This is where awareness expands to the realization that nothing is separate, that we are truly all one.The third eye allows us to have a clear perception of our reality so we can fully understand our purpose in life. When our sixth chakra connection is strong, we have a reliable intuition. Some may experience visions and clairvoyance. One can experience aimlessness, headaches, nightmares, confused thinking, and depression if third eye chakra is unbalanced.
[Meditation technique to energize third eye chakra- Keep the eyes closed, engage your Ujjayi breath and bring the eyes to focus at the space between the eyebrows.Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable]
Name: Sahasrara / Crown Chakra
Location : Crown of the head
The seventh chakra is the Sahasrara/ Crown chakra, also known as the Thousand-petalled Lotus. Sahasrara possesses no special colour or quality. Its light contains all colour vibrations united in the incomparable brilliance of pure light. The energy of all Nadis flows together here, just as the water of a thousand rivers comes together in the sea. The crown chakra is associated with the highest state of enlightenment, spiritual development, and thought. The crown chakra is the entry point of human life force (prana), an invisible current of energy that endlessly pours in, nourishing every part of the body. Just as the root chakra reaches down into the earth, the crown chakra reaches upward into the spiritual world. When you start to lack spiritual connection to yourself and others, as well as have a lack of faith and courage, an unwilling to grow and change,these are all signs of a unbalanced crown chakra.
Yoga Poses to energize Crown Chakra are Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand) & Matsyasana (Fish pose).
[Technique to apply- When you are energising yourself in either Salamba Sirsasana or Matsyasana ensure you are using your Ujjayi breathe (deep inhalation & exhalation). With your eyes close, bring your focus and attention to the crown of the head and melt into the sound of your breathe. Stay there for as long as you feel comfortable.]
The seven chakras may be a thousand year old philosophy but it is still very much relevant for this time and age. When you apply the seven chakra philosophy with your yoga practice thats when you start to not only notice, but feel the difference within yourself. Six years ago when I embarked upon my yoga journey my intentions was just to learn a healing practice to keep my body healthy. I now realise this practice not only keeps your physical body fit but helps still the mind and clam the emotions. The seven chakras paired with yoga can be used as a tool to achieve a mind, body and soul connection.In doing so, I have felt more present with myself and enjoyed my interactions with my students at work, with my family at home and my neighbours in my community. Feeling balanced and centred throughout the day can be achieved at the comforts of your own home. Don’t just take my word for it,roll out your mat take 10 minutes out of your day and discover the word within. Namaste.
April 1, 2015 ~ Rashita Banu
Rashita is a 500hr Registered Yoga Alliance Instructor from Singapore. She believes yoga is a lifelong process. Each practice opens one to the idea that there is always more to know. That growth is a constant in this practice, whether physically, mentally, or spiritually, as long as one is open to it. She encourage students to practice the postures in a way that reflects the ethical tenets of yoga: to practice non-violence toward their own bodies; to be truthful (with themselves) about their capabilities; to practice without attachment to imagined future results, and so on. A sense of humour and an attitude of curiosity are, she believes, is all you need to get started. You can follow Rashita on @rashitayoga on Instagram.
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