Chakras and Yoga

The word “Chakra” is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “wheel”. Literally translated from the Hindi, it means “wheel of spinning energy”. Within our bodies we have seven of these major energy centers and many more minor ones. They are Muladhara (root) chakra, Swadhishthana (sacral) chakra, Manipura (solar plexus) chakra, Anahata (heart) chakra, Vishuddha (throat) chakra, Ajna (third eye) chakra and Sahasrara (crown) chakra.
Each chakra is associated with a certain part of the body and a certain organ to which it provides with the energy it needs to function. Our body is said to be balanced and we reach optimal mental and physical health only when energy flows through each chakra evenly. However, when one or more of our chakras are blocked, we can experience emotional and physical problems.
In order to cleanse and balance the chakra system, yoga poses or asanas are a great way to look at. Not only does the stretching and strengthening help benefit the physical health, but also when in conjunction with pranayama, it helps to bring more oxygen and balance to our chakras in the body.
Here is a brief list of poses to cleanse and balance the energy centers. As root chakra represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded, grounded yoga poses are best suitable for this chakra. (e.g Standing Poses, forward bends, reclining bound angle).
Being sacral chakra represents the stable stage of sensuality and sexuality, hip opening yoga poses can be recommended. (E.g. Garland Pose, bound angle).
Solar Plexus Chakra corresponds to ability to be confident and in control of our lives. (E.g. Twisting Asana, boat pose and wheel pose) are best suited for this chakra.
Heart chakra corresponds to ability to love. Sample of poses which suit this chakra well are camel, cobra, chest opening poses.
Throat chakra is corrected to ability to communicate and self-expression. Healing exercises are shoulder stand, fish pose and plough pose.
Third eyes chakra is associated with ability to focus on and our intuition, wisdom. Inversion like headstand, handstand, and tripod are good at fixing the chakra if blocked.
Crown chakra represents our ability to be fully corrected spiritually. Meditation is the best to open and heal the crown chakra.
All in all, we should be eating a healthy, organic diet, and avoiding alcohol and drugs for optimal chakra function along with yoga.

Thida (IHA Student)

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