The postures we practice in class are mind/body tools that we can use in our everyday lives. One of the ways they work is through stimulation of our main energy centers or ‘Chakras’. Here are a few easy ways to stimulate these centers and access their power:
Issue – Lack of Strength, Fear, Obesity, Anorexia, Sciatica, Constipation
Related to our First or Root Chakra whose element is Earth and located in the Perineum, base of the spine, Coccygeal Plexus.
Practice: While standing spin slowly in a clockwise circle with arms reaching straight out from the shoulders and palms turned down. If you feel comfortable you may gradually spin faster. Stop when you feel slightly dizzy and sit on the earth cross legged with palms on the ground beside hips. Take the shoulders down away from the ears while elongating the back of the neck and tucking the chin in slightly. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen for a couple of minutes. If possible do these exercises outside on dirt or grass.
Issue – Lethargy, Guilt, Lack of Libido, Urinary Problems
Related to our Second or Sacral Chakra whose element is Water and located in the lower abdomen, genitals, womb.
Practice: Reclining spinal flexes (pelvic tilts) on the back with the knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip width apart. Be sure to move with your breath pressing the lower back into the ground while exhaling and allowing it to arch gently while inhaling. Now, place the soles of your feet together for Reclining Cobblers Pose and slowly open and close your knees in tune to your breath.
Issue – Inertia, Shame, Digestive Troubles, Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue
Related to our Third or Solar Plexus Chakra whose element is Fire and located in the area between the navel and the solar plexus.
Practice: Boat posture balancing on your sitting bones with your knees bent, shins parallel to the ground, feet lifted and arms reaching forward. Breathe the Breath of Fire which consists of active and audible exhales through the nose with passive inhales. When you need to stop straighten your legs on the ground and reach your arms overhead for a few deep breaths in Staff Posture. Now, take your palms behind you to the ground and lift your hips high into the air stretching the soles of your feet toward the earth for Reverse Plank Pose. Hold and breathe into the front of your body for as long as it feels good while drawing your shoulder-blades deep into your back.
Issue – Anger, Asthma, Coronary Disease, Lung Disease
Related to our Fourth or Heart Chakra whose element is Air and located at the Heart.
Practice: Cobra posture lying on the stomach with hands beside chest, slowly straighten the arms as far possible while keeping the hips on the ground, draw the lower abdomen softly inward and upward. Roll your shoulder-blades inward and downward and breathe here for about a minute. Now, take Yoga Mudra by easing into Childs Pose and clasping your hands behind your back with fingers interlaced and elbows bent. Keeping your elbows bent draw your shoulder-blades deep into your back then straighten the arms toward the sky. Be here as long as it feels right then bend your elbows and place the tops of your hands on your back keeping the fingers interlaced and allow your elbows to drop toward the earth. With your palms open to the sky invite Universal Love into your heart.
Issue – Grief, Difficulty Communicating Freely and Honestly, Sore Throats, Neck and Shoulder Pain, Thyroid Issues
Related to our Fifth or Throat Chakra whose element is Ether and located in the Throat.
Practice: Half Shoulderstand by balancing your weight on your shoulders, resting your hips in your hands, and stretching your legs into the air at a 45 degree angle. Make sure that there isn’t any weight on the neck by by lifting your chin softly toward the sky. Breathe here for as long as you feel comfortable. Now, catch the backs of your legs with your hands and roll your spine slowly to the ground then lower your legs. Lift your head off the ground and look toward your feet until you feel energy move into your throat then release your head to the ground and close your eyes. Roll across the back of your head by moving with your breath as you turn your face to alternate sides on your exhales and return to center on your inhales.
Issue – Confusion, Vision Problems, Headaches, Nightmares
Related to our Sixth Chakra whose element is Light and located at the Brow.
Practice: Lying on your back with your arms under your body and your hands beneath your thighs, legs straight. Press firmly into your sitting bones to arch your torso and lift your heart to the sky while draping the neck back and resting the crown of your head on the ground for Fish Posture. Keep the weight out of your neck by continuing to root through your sitting bones. Gaze toward your brow and breathe deeply. Release when your body tells you that it is time. Now, briskly rub your palms together and place them softly over your eyes. Let the heat and energy from your palms penetrate deeply.
Issue – Depression, Grasping or Heavy Attachment
Related to our Seventh or Crown Chakra whose element is Consciousness and located at the Crown.
Practice: Meditate on the Breath or a Personal Mantra. You could also Sing/Chant a Mantra or Song that has spiritual meaning for you and repeat it often throughout the day whenever you remember. Chanting the sound AUM can raise your vibration, clear your energy field and expand your perspective.