Energy in different forms is what makes the universe go on. We humans being microcosm of the universe are bundles of energy. There is no doubt that our daily activities are the cause and effect of heat, mechanical, chemical, electrical and other forms of energies within us. As per Yoga, there are seven primary energy points called Chakras in our body and their balance and imbalance have positive and negative effects on us both physically and emotionally.
Being energy points, the Chakras cannot be seen or felt but are said to be positioned along the spinal cord starting from the base of the spine and extending up to the crown of the head. Each energy point is related to more than one organ in our body. So the imbalance of any Chakra can affect the proper functioning of our organs. Likewise our emotions and mental wellbeing can also get affected by these imbalances. In Yoga, there are certain postures or Asanas that can activate or correct the energy flow of the Chakras. Also, there are corresponding elements, sounds and colours for the Chakras.
Now let’s know more about these seven powerful Chakras within us.
Mooladhara Chakra is the first Chakra or the Root Chakra. It is situated at the base of our spine between the anus and the genitals. The corresponding element is Earth and colour is Red. The sound ‘LAM’ represents this Chakra and suggests “I AM”.
The body parts related to Mooladhara Chakra are the tailbone junction, rectum, sex organs and legs. When this Chakra is balanced the person experiences energy, safety, stability, confidence and strength. Since our body and mind are inseparably connected any damage to an organ linked to the Mooladhara Chakra can affect our feelings. Conversely, emotional disturbances involving this Chakra can result in problems like constipation, digestive disorders, piles, intestinal issues etc.
Healing of imbalance or blockage of Mooladhara Chakra can be done by doing balanced Yogasanas or postures like Vrikshasana (Tree Pose), Veerabhadrasana (Warrior Pose), Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose) and Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
1. Take a moment to feel both your feet root into the floor with your weight distributed equally of each foot.
2.Begin to shift your weight into your right foot, lifting your left foot off the floor. Keep your right leg straight but don’t lock the knee.
3.Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot high onto your inner right thigh.
4.Focus your gaze (Drishti) on a point to help you keep your balance.
5.Take 5 to 10 seconds with Normal breathing pattern, then lower your left foot to the floor and do the other side.
The Swadhisthana Chakra or Sacral Chakra is located below the belly button. The corresponding element is Water, colour is Orange and sound is ‘VAM’.
The essence of this Chakra is “I FEEL” and denotes emotions like pain, pleasure, sexuality, sensuality, masculinity and femininity. Any blockage of Swadhisthana Chakra can affect the intestine, kidneys and reproductive organs. Common ailments associated with an imbalanced Swadhisthana Chakra are lower back pain, sciatica, infertility, impotence, urinary problems, kidney diseases, PCOD etc.
Imbalance of Swadhisthana Chakra can be corrected by doing Maalasana (Garland Pose) and Upavishtakonasana (Middle Splits Pose).
Malasana or Garland pose
Step by step instructions :
*First, you need to stand at the top of your mat.
*Keep both your legs far apart,2 feet between the both legs.
*Now Bending your elbows and bring your palm together in Anjali mudra (prayer position) make sure hands near the chest.
*Now, while bending your knees, sit slowly towards the bottom, lower your hips towards the ground and sit on your soles of the feet.
*Keep your thighs wider, Make sure that your hips remain very close to the ankles and pull your shoulder back.
*Exhale and bend forward as if your torso is stuck between your thighs.
*Join both hands in such a position that a 90-degree angle is formed at the elbow.
*Stay in this posture for at least one minute to get the complete benefit out of it with normal breathing pattern.
Stand to get into your initial state, bring your hands straight down.
The Manipura Chakra or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the centre of the body on the stomach. The element is Fire, Yellow is the colour and ‘RAM’ is the sound denoting this Chakra.
“I DO” is the governing mood of Manipura Chakra, so the resulting emotions are self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth that add to the strong personality and determination of an individual. However, a blockage of the Chakra can affect organs like the pancreas, liver, intestines, gall bladder and the central nervous system causing health issues like diabetes, liver diseases, acid reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, spleen disorders, bladder problems and psychological issues.
Asanas like Pavanamuktasana (Knee-Chest Lock), Dhanurasana (Bow-Arrow Pose) and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) can be practiced to heal the imbalance of Manipura Chakra.
Dhanurasana or Bow and arrow pose
Step by step instructions :
*Lie flat on your stomach. Keep your chin on the mat and your hands at your sides.
*Exhale while you bend your knees. Bring your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Your knees should be hip-width apart.
*Lift your hands and take hold of your ankles. Be sure to grab the ankle and not the top part of the feet. Your fingers should wrap around the ankles, but your thumb does not. Keep your toes pointed.
*Inhale and lift the heels away from the buttocks, keeping a hold of your ankles. Simultaneously, lift your head, chest, and thighs away from the mat. As you lift, rotate your shoulders safely and comfortably. At this point, only your core should touch the mat, while the rest of your body is lifted towards the ceiling.
*You should feel the stretch in your back as the weight and balance shifts to your core. Your chest and shoulders should open.
*Look straight ahead and hold the pose for about 15 seconds while you focus on stretching, normal breathing, and balancing on your stomach.
*Exhale and release the pose. Lower your head, chest, thighs, and feet back towards the mat. Let go of your ankles and return to your hands to your side. Relax for a few seconds
Anahata Chakra or the Heart Chakra is the middle energy point of our body. This Chakra is situated at the centre of the chest region. The element is Air, colour is Green and the sound is ‘YAM’.
Emotions like love, empathy, honesty, trust and acceptance abound in a person with balanced Anahata Chakra as the dominant sentiment is “I LOVE”. Blockage in this Chakra can affect the heart, lungs, circulatory system and immunity resulting in heart ailments, respiratory issues, allergy, immunity disorders, abnormal blood pressure, upper back pain, frozen shoulder etc.
Imbalance of Anahata Chakra can be corrected by doing Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Dhanurasana (Bow-Arrow Pose).
USTRASANA OR CAMEL POSE
Step by step practice to Ustrasana
Starting Position: Vajrsana or sit on your heels.
*Stand on the knees. Keep the thighs fully straight.
*Keep the knees and feet together or
Lean in the backward direction. Slowly move more backward. Reach the right heel with the right hand, and the left heel with the left hand. Avoid straining the body.
*Push the hips in the forward direction. The thighs should be kept vertical.
*Then bend the head and the spine as backward and as farther as possible without straining.
*Relax the body and the muscles of the back.
*Support the body weight equally on the legs and arms.
*Keep the arms in such a way that they anchor the shoulders to maintain the back arch.
*Stay in the same position for as long as you find it comfortable.
*Then release the hands from the heels one by one and return to the starting position. Relax
Vishudhi Chakra is also called Throat Chakra and as the name suggests it is located at the centre of the neck. The corresponding element is Space, colour is Sky Blue and the sound is ‘HAM’.
“I TALK” is the gist of this Chakra and it influences our communication skills, expressions and creativity. The related organs are teeth, thyroid, tonsils, voice box, respiratory tract etc. Any imbalance in Vishudhi Chakra can cause medical conditions like hyper or hypo thyroidism, tonsillitis, voice problems, dental diseases, neck pain, laryngitis, ear complaint or throat ailments.
Self healing to balance the Chakra can be done by performing Asanas like Sarvangasana (Pelvic Stand) and Matsyasana (Fish Pose).
Bridge pose Setubandhasana
*Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Slide the arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. The fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.
*Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, spine off the floor. Try to work on your core, keep the knees hip width apart.
*Try to give a good arch for the spine and chin to chest lock.
*Breathe in while going up and hold for 5 to 10 seconds, exhale and come back to the original position.
*Exhale and slowly roll the spine back to the floor to release the posture.
Ajna Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra is located at the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows. This is the sixth Chakra and has no elements attached to it. The associated colour is Indigo and sound ‘OM’.
Being the Third Eye Chakra, “I SEE” is the dominant characteristic of this energy point. When balanced, this Chakra stimulates memory, concentration, coordination, imagination, wisdom, intuition and decision making capabilities. Any imbalance can affect body parts like the pituitary gland, sinus and the sense organs eyes, ears and nose. Headache, brain tumor, stroke, memory loss, eye or ear issues, neurological disorders and spinal problems can occur due to the imbalance.
Healing of the Ajna Chakra can be achieved by doing Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and Vajrasana (After Meal Pose).
Garudasana or Eagle pose
Starting position :
*From the standing position
Transfer your weight into your left foot.
*Lift your right foot up off the floor.
Cross your right thigh over your left thigh as high up the thigh as possible.
Hook your right foot around your left calf.
*Bend your arms and cross the left arm over the right, hooking at the elbows. With arms hooked, draw your forearms together and wrap your right palm around your left palm, crossing at the wrists.
*Keep your spine perpendicular to the floor and the crown of the head rising.
*Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
*Repeat on the other side.
Sahasrara Chakra or the Crown Chakra is the ultimate energy point of our body. This supreme Chakra is at the top of our head. The colour of the Chakra is Purple and sound is ‘AUM’. Sahasrara Chakra is not connected to any element as this level is above all elements.
“I UNDERSTAND” is the principle of this Chakra, hence the seat of knowledge, intelligence, memory, concentration, self-realization and spirituality. Any blockage of this Chakra can affect organs like the brain, pineal gland and the central nervous system resulting in frustration, fear, mental conflicts, confusion, depression, migraine and spiritual addiction.
Sahasrara Chakra can be activated or healed by practicing Shirshasana (Headstand Pose), Shavasana (Corpse Pose) or Mountain Headstand Pose
Headstand or Sirsana
Starting position :
*Sit on your heels
*Measure out the appropriate elbow width by placing opposite hands at the inside base of your upper arms.
*Keep your elbows in this position as you place them down on your mat.
*Bring your hands together to create a triangle shape with your forearms.
*Interlace your fingers, opening your palms and thumbs.
*Place the top of your head on the mat inside your hands.
*Lift your hips and straighten your legs.
*Walk your feet toward your head, bringing your hips above your shoulders.
*Gently bring your knees in toward your chest.
*Kick your one leg, so that the other goes along.
*Hold this position for 5 seconds.
*Slowly straighten your legs.
*Bring your legs slowly back and lye down in child pose for few seconds and slowly come back to the starting position.
If you are a beginner, better start with wall practice to avoid injuries.