BY YOGOGIRLS & TAHL RINSKY A Collaboration on Instagram. Follow @yogogirls and Tahl for all the details. According to eastern medicine we have invisible energy channels circulating through our bodies. This energy force is called Prana by the Indians or Chi by the Chinese. Prana is constantly circulating through our bodies, running through a series of nadis (Sanskrit for ‘tube’ or ‘pipe’). Some ancient texts say we have more than 72,000 nadis in our bodies. They intersect with the chakras lining our spinal column. Like blood vessels transporting oxygen, they transport our life force through our extremities and beyond. The three most important nadis are the lunar ida (yin in Chinese philosophy) of the left side of the body, which is associated with feminine qualities; the solar pingala (yang) associated with our masculine qualities; and the central shushumna running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Running along the shushumna channel we find the seven main chakras. The chakras are believed to be moving in a clockwise direction moving energy up and down the spine. Eastern medicine believes that the fluctuations of energy we experience all the time are directly related to our chakras. Like any tube or vessel they can get blocked or overworked. If we are feeling slow and sluggish, our chakras are blocked up with stagnant energy. When we are feeling hyperactive, our chakras are too open and we are at risk of burning out. Chakra in Sanskrit refers to the word wheel. Constant spinning of the chakras balance out the prana throughout our bodies. Chakras are believed to spin in a clockwise direction at various speeds and work together like the cogs of a wheel. Each chakra is also said to vibrate at a different frequency, related to its own individual color of the light spectrum and sound associated with it. In a physical sense each chakra governs specific emotions and organs of the body, When the chakras are blocked or too open, these organs won’t operate effectively; causing disease, low or high energy levels, emotional imbalances, negative thought patterns and generally affecting our well being. Our yoga practice works to clear and balance the chakras and realign their internal flow. In the physical sense each sequence of poses (standing, balancing, back bending) is related to a specific chakra. In the emotional and spiritual sense; clear energy flow allows us to have a clear mind, which, in time will help us expand our consciousness and open our channels to the divine.
Root chakra – Muladhara | Color: Red
Is located in the base of the spine and is related to our basic need for survival, safety and security. It is the sense of ‘I HAVE’. When the muladhara is blocked we can feel anxious, insecure and frustrated. We often victimize ourselves and find it hard to stand in our power, feeling like we don’t belong anywhere. Physical ailments like constipation, weak bones, and knee problems are associated with this chakra. The male’s sexual organs are located in this chakra, which could be the reason why, for men, sex is primarily a physical response. A healthy root chakra promotes feelings of security and encourages exploration to find your life’s purpose and achieve success. A balanced root chakra also generates the flow of energy to all other chakras.
Sacral chakra – Savadhisthana | Color: Orange
Is located five cm below the naval, the sacral chakra governs our sexuality, creativity, intuition, self-worth and nurturing instinct. It is the sense of ‘I FEEL’. It is related to a wide range of emotional issues, including our ability to get along with others and accept situations. On the physical side its related to kidney problems, painful menstrual cycles, lower back pain, urinary track infections and sometimes addictions. With a healthy sacral chakra, you are able to live in the moment and experience life to the fullest. Physical tasks become easier while stamina increases.
Solar Plexus chakra – Manipura | Color: Yellow
Is located in the center of the abdomen and is the source of our personal power – ‘I CAN ‘. It is the ‘seat’ of the ego, the home for passion, impulse, anger and strength. When this chakra is open and clear we feel confidant in who we are. We feel ready to take on new challenges with excitement and joy. Physical outcomes resulting from blockage includes poor digestion and liver function, diabetes, nervous exhaustion and food allergies. Balancing the Solar Plexus chakra allows you to be more aware of your own energy and being, comfortable in your decisions, and psychically connected to your “gut” feelings so that you may act accordingly with confidence.
Heart chakra – Anahata | Color: Green
This is the central chakra, located in the heart space and forging the connection between the body, mind and spirit. Guiding our intuition, hope, love, forgiveness and compassion. ‘I LOVE’ .This is where our love for ourselves and others is rooted. When out of balance we can feel indecisive, paranoid, sorry for ourselves and unworthy. Physically it will manifest in the heart, lungs, circulatory system, shoulders and upper back. Balancing and opening the heart chakra enhances the love for self and others. It allows you to feel compassion, empathy, and forgiveness for others, and reconnects you to the loving world around you. Thus, generating a zest for life.
Throat chakra – Vishuddha | Color: Blue
The centre of communication – ‘I SPEAK’. This chakra governs not only what we say, but also how we express our creativity through thought, speech, song, art and the written word. When fully in power we will express our truth without fear or hesitation. When vishuddha is out of balance or blocked it will manifest in thyroid problems, skin irritations, teeth grinding, sore throat and hearing difficulties. Balancing and opening the throat chakra allows you to express your feelings and communicate freely, without worry of criticism or judgment from self or others. It promotes honesty and harmony with our feelings and actions, and helps us to live more authentically and free.
Third Eye chakra – Ajna | Color: Purple
Ajna translates in Sanskrit as the place beyond wisdom – ‘I SEE’. It is the center of perception. This is where we tune into our higher selves, getting rid of all attachment to material possessions. We use this chakra during meditation. By focusing on this chakra and using visualizations, intuition and imagination, we are able to access this scared place and see the truth. Balancing and opening the third-eye chakra promotes clarity, inspiration, and innovation. It allows us to follow our dreams and enhances our innate psychic abilities and spiritual connections.
Crown chakra – Sahasrara | Color: Violet or white
The crown chakra is our point of connection to the divine – ‘I KNOW’. It is here that the energy of the body and mind join with our spirit and connect with universal consciousness. Focusing on this chakra allows us to draw in wisdom and knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of our place in the world. When this chakra is blocked or out of balance it can result in migraines, depression, frustration and unexplained exhaustion. Balancing and opening the crown chakra is essential for a deep, spiritual connection within ourselves and the universe. Energy entering and leaving the Crown facilitates our flow of positive energy with the other six chakras, and creates the outlook we hold on life.
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