Using Yoga to access your Energy Centers

by in Energy, Healing, Mental Health and Well-being, Tips and Tricks May 17, 2021

If you’ve ever heard the term chakra, you may have wondered what exactly it means and where it came from. The term comes from the east and is often talked about in yoga and Ayurveda. Chakra literally is the Sanskrit word for wheel, and the chakras are spinning “wheels” of energy. They describe and relate to the different energy systems in the body, also known as meridians or chi. Whilst you can’t exactly touch or see the chakras, these energy systems are connected to large nerve centers, where we hold different levels of energy throughout our entire body. There are seven major chakras or energy centers of our body situated along the spine. They serve as connection points between our physical body and consciousness. These energy centers receive, process and express our vital life energy. If there is a deficiency or an excess of energy in your body, this can create a blockage in one or more charkas. Such blockages in your energy centers lead to the manifestation of physical, emotional, spiritual or mental imbalances. Starting from the hips is our root chakra, followed by the sacral chakra, the solar plexus, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra and concluding at the crown chakra. Since everything is interwoven and deeply connected, emotional imbalances can create physical imbalances and so on. It’s important to understand our energies on a deeper level so that we can work on balancing them. Understanding the chakras is another tool we can use to work with our own energy in a deeper, more effective way. These subtle energies are also healing energies and anyone can learn to manage imbalances and promote equilibrium. The first step to encouraging balance in the energy centers is through yoga poses that are aimed at opening specific charkas and keeping the energy flowing between all seven of them.

The root chakra is an important chakra, located at the hips and at the base of the spine. This chakra associates with the color red. It’s responsible for helping us feel grounded, connected to ourselves, others and our community. The root chakra also lays the foundation for your entire energy system. We tend to be really stressed in our modern lives and are often in need of grounding here. This chakra governs safety and security and realties to our most basic survival needs. It’s also said to be a place where we store a lot of emotions and stagnant energy. When this chakra is blocked it can manifest in colon and bladder issues, lower back and leg pain, cramping and inflammation. If we feel really stressed, or untethered, it’s really important to perform yoga poses that encourage a flowing of energy to the root chakra to help you feel lighter mentally and physically. Focus on hip opener such as the yogi squat, garland or Malasana daily and hold for a period of one minute or more. Try forward fold, wide legged forward fold and seated head to knee pose. Even simple poses like child’s pose and Sukhasana are helpful in moving stagnant energy from this chakra and promoting flow.

Our sacral charka is the creative center, where our creative energy stems from. It governs our feelings of self-worth, desire, sexuality and sensuality. It’s also where our fertility and sexual organs reside. It associates with the color orange and is located below the navel in the lower abdomen. When this chakra is out of alignment it manifests in feelings of depression, emotional instability, sexual dysfunction, kidney issues, constipation and pelvic pain. To balance this chakra, you can perform poses like goddess pose, reverse warrior and reclined bound angle. The last being the easiest for even the least flexible person. Simply lie on your back with your knees bent, heels and soles of your feet pressing together in prayer and let the knees fall to the sides.

Moving up the spine next we find the solar plexus chakra, our fiery power center. This chakra holds the energy of confidence and inspiration to achieve our goals and fulfill our desires. It’s known as our fire center which also works to establish the relationship between your sense of self and the material world. It’s located near the gut and you guessed it, associates with the color yellow. Imbalances manifest in diabetes, blood pressure issues and digestive problems such as heartburn, bloating and malabsorption. Heal imbalances here with boat pose, reverse plank, and cobra. Cobra is a great beginner’s pose where you can adjust intensity simply but staying on your elbows or moving up to full height on the palms. Press legs together for a more intense sensation of compression in the lower back and don’t forget to breathe deeply and slowly.

Probably the most famous, the heart chakra, is where we feel love, whether that’s giving or receiving it. This chakra holds the energy of unconditional and expansive love. It governs our compassion and empathy. It resides in the region of our actual physical heart and is associated with the color green. Some people are more prone to giving than to receiving. Imbalances in the heart chakra result in respiratory issues such as asthma, pain in the upper back or shoulders, and feelings of jealousy and fear. Practice dancer’s pose, camel, upward facing dog and the super beginner friendly fish pose.

The fifth chakra, our throat chakra, is responsible for communication. It governs self-expression, self-discovery and uniqueness. The throat chakra is fittingly located in the region of the throat and is associated with the light blue color. When blocked, it can manifest in either too much talking, or on the other end of the spectrum, not sharing your feelings, ideas and your unique self with the world. Physically, it can manifest in thyroid imbalances, a sore throat, and even hearing difficulties. The throat chakra is nurtured by singing, repeating mantras, humming, especially the universal sound of Om. Try incorporating gentle neck stretches, try shoulder stand, plow and fish which all release the neck muscles.

The third eye chakra represents our inner wisdom, governs our higher intuition, perception, insight, dreams, visualizations and focus. It’s located behind the center of the forehead and associated with the color indigo. Energetic blockages here result in eye problems, migraines, insomnia and endocrine imbalances. Try eagle pose, dolphin, lizard and for beginner’s puppy pose will give you major third eye opening benefits whilst releasing tension in the shoulders and upper back.

Located just above the third eye chakra is the seventh and final chakra, the crown charka. This energy center is associated with feelings of unity between oneself, universal energy and the divine presence. It governs our all-encompassing energy that flows throughout our body. It’s found in the crown of the head and associated with the color violet or deep purple. Imbalances lead to hair loss, nerve pain, cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The crown chakra is energetically stimulated with meditation and sound baths, with some great versions available on YouTube for free. Meditation is the ultimate way to connect yourself with the universal divine energy that surrounds us, even just five minutes twice a day is a great starting point for anyone interested in boosting their energetic connection and physical health.

By learning about our chakras, we can best support our system to be able to dive deeper into our true-life purpose. Energy surrounds us and pervades us, harnessing this life force is truly transformative physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

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