Yoga and Chakras: Working Together for a Balanced Life

"The Chakra System is a map for the journey through life. Its seven rainbow colors represent the full spectrum of human possibility that stretches from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from Earth to Heaven." ~ Anodea Judith Learning about the chakras gives you access to your programmed responses so you can minimize their negative effects and maximize their positive ones. The word chakra means wheel or disc. A chakra is a spinning vortex of activity located along the astral spine created by the presence of the consciousness within the physical body. There are seven major chakras whose locations correspond to seven central nerve ganglia branching out from the spinal column. The mind and the body are brought together by the life force running through you. In yoga, it is referred to as prana, which is equal to chi. Both mean “life force”. It is this vital energy that the chakras organize. When we work mind and body together (as in yoga), the basic tasks of life flow more smoothly and enjoyably. There are various ways to balance these spinning discs; I use yoga asanas, meditation, pure essential oils and crystals. Others may use Reiki or other forms of healing energy. Through a simple assessment called dowsing, the chakras reveal their balance or over and under stimulation. With this awareness, yoga asanas and essential oils can be used to align the chakras and create balance to one or more energy centers. For example, to open up the 4th chakra (anahata/heart) camel or ushtrasana asana is used. Working with rose quartz also brings balance to the heart allowing it to give and receive unconditional love. The anhata integrates the physical world of matter with the world of spirit (the upper three chakras). The quartz crystal may be placed on the heart during meditation or may be placed under a pillow during sleep. Crystals and gemstones provide natural elements and healing energy to the body working with our chakras to unite us with the divinity within each of us....the essence of yoga. Each major chakra is associated with a color. Gemstones with similar colors to each chakra are used to create balance in an unbalanced world. Lastly, imagery is also used with chakra balancing. The most common association with the chakras is that of a lotus flower…a flower that grows out of the mud unfolding into divine purity and beauty suggesting expansion of the soul. The lotus flower symbolizes eternity, good fortune and various Hindu deities. The lotus is a symbol of purity and enlightenment amid ignorance (the smutty swamps in which it grows). Om mani padme hum (mantra emphasizing the jewel of the lotus). Below are characteristics of each chakra: Chakra One - Muladhara

Location: Root of spine

Purpose: Foundation, grounding, survival, stability

Color: Red

Lotus Flower: 4 petals
Chakra Two - Svadhisthana

Location: Sacral area

Purpose: Movement and flow

Color: Orange

Lotus Flower: 6 petals
Chakra Three - Manipura

Location: Solar plexus

Purpose: Energy, will

Color: Yellow

Lotus Flower: 10 petals
Chakra Four - Anahata

Location: Chest/heart

Purpose: Love, relationship, compassion

Color: Green

Lotus Flower: 12 petals
Chakra Five - Vishuddha

Location: Throat

Purpose: Communication, creativity

Color: Bright blue

Lotus Flower: 16 petals
Chakra Six = Ajna

Location: Brow/third eye

Purpose: Seeing, intuition, insight

Color: Indigo

Lotus Flower: 2 petals
Chakra Seven - Sahasrara

Location: Crown of head

Purpose: Pure awareness, understanding, unity with divine

Color: Violet or white

Lotus Flower: infinite petals

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