Guest Author - Tracy Webb
The chakras are invisible energy centers which are located between the pelvis and the top of the head. Chakra is the Sanskrit for wheel. The chakras are said to spin clockwise and anti-clockwise distributing energy through the body. When the chakra system is in balance, we can experience harmony in our life.
Each chakra has an associated color and emotional connection. When practicing yoga asana, meditation and breathing exercises, we can enliven and balance the chakra system. There are seven main chakras. I have outlined the basics for you below.
The Root Chakra
This is the first chakra. It is associated with the color red, and it is located at the base of the spine. The root chakra is associated with keeping us grounded, financial security, survival issues and standing on our own two feet. Yoga asana that are especially good for balancing the root chakra include; Mountain Pose, The Bridge and The Warrior Pose.
The Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is the next one. It is located in the lower abdomen approximately two inches below the navel. This chakra is orange and relates to issues of sexuality, hormones, femininity and the reproductive system. To keep this chakra in balance, practicing The Child Pose and Trikonasan can be very beneficial.
The Solar Plexus
The solar plexus chakra is located in the center of the body in the solar plexus. It is usually this area we feel pain or tension when we are feeling threatened. When we do not breathe properly, the solar plexus chakra is affected. It is yellow and relates to our sense of worth, self confidence and generally how we feel about our self. If we feel threatened or out of control, it is the solar plexus that is affected. To keep this chakra in harmony, try Tadasana, Navasana and breathing exercises.
The Heart Chakra
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest. It vibrates to the color pink or pale green. It is associated with our ability to give and receive love. The heart chakra is concerned with love, joy, connection and empathy. Cat Cow, Sphinx and Ustrasana are excellent for keeping the heart chakra open and balanced.
The Throat Chakra
This chakra is located in the center of the throat. It is associated with the color turquoise and concerned with our ability to speak our truth and communicate effectively. Keeping this chakra in balance assists with self expression, telling the truth, standing in our power and communicating our desires. Lion pose, Fish pose and inverted plank pose are great for keeping this chakra active and vocal.
The Third Eye Chakra
This is located in the center of the forehead and is associated with our intuition, inner wisdom, instincts and our ability to make clear decisions. It is represented by the color indigo. Keeping this chakra is crucial for our thinking and spiritual well-being. If your feel you are not in touch with your inner wisdom and intuition try; Vajrasana and Downward Facing Dog.
The Crown Chakra
The crown chakra is located at the top of the head and is our place of receiving universal love, inspiration and our connection to God/Spirituality. When this chakra is in balance we feel connected to something bigger than our self and in the flow with life. This chakra vibrates to the color violet. The Headstand, Shavasana and sitting in half lotus are great asana for keeping this chakra in good condition.
While practicing asana to keep the chakras in balance is a great way forward, the most important factor that affects the health of the chakra system is the thoughts we think. All the chakras have locations, emotional connections and resulting health implications. When we are balanced in mind, body and spirit the chakra system can function to its optimum ability.