We hear about something called “chakra” in our yoga classes. The word is used in articles and books to grab your attention. Over 2,000,000 monthly searches on chakra are coming across google, but yet even the idea of trying to pronounce any of the 7 chakras go far beyond our reach. Do they have healing powers? What can I do to stimulate the chakra for stability?
Well, the study of chakras goes deeper than just a couple of yoga poses. By definition they form part of a subtle energy body along with the energy channels (nadis) and the subtle winds (prana) but the study of chakras is complex and somewhat difficult to understand. Below is a quick summary of the yoga poses, effects and other benefits to help you have a general understanding of what your teacher is speaking of in your yoga classes.
(1) Muladhara chakra (root chakra)
Associated color is red. Supporting our structure. Associated element is earth, representing security, releasing our most basic fears and insecurities.
Yoga Poses: Balancing postures, hip opening movements, and some back bends
Meditation Point: Time in life where security and stability existed
(2) Swadhisthana chakra (sacral chakra)
Associated color is orange. It is the origin of our individual self. Associated element is water, symbolizing our creative energy, becoming in touch with our intuitive voice.
Yoga Poses: Twisting movements
Meditation Point: Unlimited creativity and joy
(3) Manipura chakra (solar plexus chakra)
Associated color is yellow. It is the connection point to your will and personal power. Associated element is fire, the experience of power, expression and expansion, allowing one to break the constricting nature of ego, where communion with ones true nature begins.
Yoga poses: Warrior I pose
Meditation Point: Become who you are
(4) Anahata chakra (heart chakra)
Associated color is green. Representing compassion and unconditional love. Associated element is air, that which is ever new, constantly pervasive and self-sustaining. When you connect with the life around you through the heart chakra, your love will flow like air.
Yoga Poses: Chest opening movements
Meditation Point: Love
(5) Vishuddha chakra (throat)
Associated color is blue. Ability to speak and to listen will be free from inhibition. Associated element is ether/space and is known as the chakra for abundance and the doorway to liberation.
Yoga poses: Chair pose or chakrasana (Jalandhara Bandha)
Meditation Point: Open communication, the Truth
(6) Ajna chakra (third eye)
Associated color is violet/indigo, it represents inner awareness, discriminative wisdom and penetrating insight into the nature of things, life, people and our own true self.
Yoga poses: Inversions, meditation within the movements
Meditation Point: Awareness and creativity
(7) Sahasrara Chakra (Crown – Top of the head)
Associated color is white or all colors.