Chakras are something I often discuss in class. If we are in the middle of a deep twist I will ask my students to rinse out their anxiety and will power through their third chakra. Many of them likely have no idea what I’m talking about, but I try to describe in best detail as I’m able what a chakra is.
A chakra is an energy channel. We have seven chakras within our being and today I will discuss our first three: root, sacral & the solar plexus. I am starting from the root and going to the top in an attempt to discuss how important it is to stay grounded.
The first chakra is your root chakra also known as Muladhara. The root chakra is red in color and located at the bottom of our spine. It represents all things grounded. Money issues, shelter, work, stability and so much more can be found coming up through this chakra. It is where we store a lot of our deepest set fears in the world and often the toughest energy channel to break through.
The root chakra is best opened with grounded poses (warriors, triangle, mountain pose). Typically chakra flow classes begin from the ground up and as such we often begin by opening our root chakra first through grounding poses, as well as to build heat within our bodies to create a better flow.
Swadhisthana is the sacral chakra and is located within the sacrum. It is orange in color and represents sexuality, fertility, relationships, basic emotions and creativity. When I “open” this chakra through asanas (poses) I often jokingly tell my students I am not trying to get them pregnant but rather cultivate the fertility of new ideas. This is a very sensitive chakra but in my experience can be very easy to open through a yoga class.
The sacral chakra is best opened with hip openers (lunges, pigeon, frog). Hip openers tend to open a lot of energy channels and emotion (especially for women) and it is often where we store old pains and fears. This is one of the reasons we are so tight in our hips (among others: driving, sitting in offices etc) and why occasionally we feel like cursing the teacher or crying in pigeon. It’s normal to open and release this energy while we’re in our hip opening poses.
Manipura is the solar plexus or belly chakra. It is yellow in color and represents will power, anxiety & digestion. The poses most associated with the manipura are often twists to release some of the anxiety we build. We need to hold onto our will power, however so we must not twist too deeply. And as we do, we must rememeber to hold our will power within while letting go of what no longer serves us.
I LOVE asking my class to get into deep twists and begin rinsing away all of the worries that no longer serve them. Next time you’re feeling anxious, try sitting cross legged on the floor and doing a nice spinal twist across your body. It may release a bit of your manipura energy and open your third chakra to let go of all your worries!
Chakra flow classes can be extremely eye opening. You are often opening energy channels you did not know existed. You begin to use the physical to connect to the spiritual and the energy within you. I mention “opening the channels” as we literally open the channels of this stuck energy through asanas, physical yoga classes and spiritual journeys.
A yoga instructor can and often does take the seven charkas to create a yoga flow to help open your energy. It’s one of the reasons you sometimes leave class on a yoga high!
The quiz below is a lot of fun and represents where you are in terms of energy. If you answer the questions honestly you will understand where you are blocked and need to be reopened! Please do not hesitate to ask me additional questions and I will try my best to answer them.
Next week I will be discussing the final four chakras and creating an at home yoga practice to begin opening all your chakras!!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!