Open Up your Chakras with Yoga

A chakra or a wheel is a point of prana (energy) in our subtle body, located in the physical counterparts of our body like the veins, arteries and nerves. Yoga is an extremely beneficial way to release the prana or life force whenever it is stuck. Yoga releases the musty energy and invites fresh energy in our system through the poses and breathing.

Each of the seven chakras has its own vitality and is related to our emotional well-being. TheMuladhara or root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is related to basic human instinct and survival. The Swadishthana is located above the root chakra, at the sacrum and corresponds to the reproductive cycle. Above that is the Manipura, located in the stomach area and deals with self-esteem, power, fear etc. and physically it deals with digestion. Above this is Anahata, located in the chest just above the heart and deals with love, inner peace and devotion. This is followed by Vishuddhi, located in the throat and dealing with communication, self-expression etc. Above this is Ajna, which is between the eyebrows and responds to intuition, imagination and ability to deal with situations. Finally, there is Sahasrara, which is at the very top of the head and deals with inner and outer beauty, connection to spirituality, etc.

When yoga and mudras are practiced, the chakras get balanced and make our system, both physical and emotional, function in a stable, balanced manner. Some of these yoga poses include:

TADASANA (MOUNTAIN POSE)

Mountain Pose encourages your connection with Earth, connects you with your own body and grounds you in the present moment.

VEERABHADRASANA (WARRIOR POSE)

This is a strong asana that creates a firm connection between the Earth and your body. This yoga pose allows your prana to move through your body, rooting you through the first chakra. It physically strengthens your legs, opens your hips and can help with knee and lower back strength.

SETU BANDHASANA (BRIDGE POSE)

This is a dynamic root chakra yoga pose that allows your feet to be firmly rooted into the Earth and your spine engaged in the release of excess root chakra energy. Bridge Pose also stimulates the throat chakra, opens the heart and solar plexus chakras, and balances the sacral chakra.

Along with these, certain mudras also help release the prana and open up the chakras. They include:

MULADHARA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention your perineum.
  • Form a circle with your forefingers and thumbs. Rest your hands on your knees with palms up.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

SWADISHTHANA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area one-inch below your navel across to lumbar vertebra one.
  • Rest your right hand over your left with the palms up, in your lap with thumbs touching lightly.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

MANIPURA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area of your navel to solar plexus and across to thoracic vertebra eight.
  • With your fingers straight, touching at the top and pointing forward, form a V with your thumbs crossed right over left.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

ANAHATA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area of your heart across to thoracic vertebra one.
  • Form a circle with your forefingers and thumbs. Rest your left hand palm up on your left knee. Raise your right hand up to the center of your breasts with palm angling slightly toward your heart.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

VISHUDDHI:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area of the base of your throat across to cervical vertebra three.
  • Form a circle with your thumbs touching and the rest of your fingers crossed and loosely cupped. Raise your hands in front of your throat, solar plexus, or rest them on your lap.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

AJNA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area of your third eye, beginning slightly above the point between the eyebrows across to cervical vertebra one, encompassing the skull’s interior.
  • Form a heart with your thumbs touching at the tips and your forefingers, ring and pinky fingers touching at the second phalanges. Raise your middle fingers to form a crown. Raise your hands in front of your third eye, solar plexus, or rest them on your lap.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

SAHASRARA:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight and focus your attention on the area of your crown at the top of your head up and to three inches above your skull.
  • Clasp your hands with fingers crossed inside and left thumb underneath the right. Raise your ring fingers to form a crown. Raise your hands over your head, in front of your solar plexus, or rest them on your lap.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale.
  • Repeat for 7 to 10 breaths.

Practicing yoga daily, along with mudras, meditations and breathing exercises can help open up these chakras, which can have a very positive and bright effect on our body, mind and soul.

[“source-Artofliving”]

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