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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