CHAKRAS – What are they, and how do they affect us?
Have you ever heard the word “Chakra” and wondered what the heck they are and what do they have to do with you? Have you heard the word and thought “Gee, that’s nice but chakras are not really my thing”. Actually it is the mystery behind the chakras that I felt made them “inaccessible” or “not my thing” to me when I first heard the word. I didn’t know what they where or really how I could understand them so instantly thought “they weren’t for me”. It wasn’t until I read Caroline Myss’s “Anatomy of the Spirit” as part of my level one teacher training & through the practice of yoga that the mystery started to dissolve and they became accessible for me to understand.
Us humans are remarkable creatures and are made up of far more than what meets they eye, such as our physical bodies. In a nut shell, chakras are spinning “wheels of light” (as the Sanskrit word translated suggests). Essentially, there are 7 main chakras in the body which interact with our endocrine and lymphatic systems to feed in good energy to nourish and support us, and discard of unwanted energy that no longer serves us. When the chakras become blocked, this can affect our physical, mental and emotional state and can even bring about “disease” in the body.
Below is a brief outline of the Chakras:
1. ROOT (Muladhara) – located at the base of the spine
Seed sound: Lam
Relates to: Physical family, security, tribal power, all is one, loyalty, justice, honour.
Yoga poses: virabhadrasana 1 (warrior one), trikonasana (triangle pose), garudasana (eagle pose).
2. SACRAL (Svadhisthana) – located at the pelvic area, hips, genital region
Seed sound: Yam
Relates to: Creativity, relationships, money, sex, ethics, honour one another.
Yoga poses: parivrtta trikonasana (twisted triangle pose), utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose), natarajasana (dancer pose).
3. SOLAR PLEXUS (Manipura) – located at the core, 3 fingers below your belly, at your centre
Seed sound: Ram
Relates to: Self esteem, personal power centre, responsibility of making decisions, honour ones self.
Yoga poses: gomukasana (cow face pose), ardha matsyendrasana (seated twist), ustrasana (camel pose).
4. HEART (Anahata) – located at your heart
Seed sound: Yam
Relates to: Love is divine power, open heartedness, to love & be loved, forgiveness & compassion, hope & trust.
Yoga poses: bhujangasana (cobra pose), urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog), janusirsasana (head-to-knee forward bend), matsyasana (fish pose).
5. THROAT (Vishuddha) – located at the throat
Seed sound: Ham
Relates to: Self expression, power of will, communication, ability to speak one’s truth, using personal power to create.
Yoga poses: dhanurasana (bow pose), simhasana (lion pose), paschimottanasana (sitting forward bend).
6. THIRD EYE (Ajna) – Located at the third eye, between the eye brows
Seed sound: Om
Relates to: Power of mind, open mindedness, seek only truth, emotional intelligence, symbolic sight, intuition.
Yoga poses: halasana (plough pose), adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog), padmasana (lotus pose) with mudra (interlaced hands behind back) and forehead (third eye) to floor.
7. CROWN (Sahasrara) – located at the crown of your head
Colour: Violet or white
Seed sound: Om
Element: Universal energy
Relates to: Our spiritual connector, live in the moment, ability to see the larger pattern, faith & inspiration, connection to Spirit.
Yoga poses: salamba sirsasana (headstand), bakasana (crow pose) to sirsasana (headstand), sarvangasana (shoulder stand).