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  • Writer's pictureAsha Venkatarao

Chakras - What are they? Where are they? How to open & balance them for better health?

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Today's post is about Chakras & Chakra Yoga, a really interesting and different way of looking at one's physical and emotional health. I have been teaching Chakra Yoga Balancing Classes and have enjoyed seeing the results on my students. I also practice this series when I can and always feel rejuvenated and energized after the practice.  For most of us, the first question which pops into one's mind is "so, what's a chakra?" Well, as the name suggests, the word 'Chakra' stands for 'Wheel'.

According to research, there are Seven main Energy Centers or Chakras in the body.

These chakras are like spirals of energy, each one having certain specific functions.

Any imbalance in the chakras leads to imbalance in that part of the body, leading to dis-ease. There are seven chakras dotted along the spine, each responsible for specific spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of our being. As a result, a blockage or malfunction in the chakra system can lead to physical, psychological, and emotional abnormalities.

By clearing & cleansing the energy meridians in the body, Chakra Yoga can help you restore balance to your energy system and cultivate a healthier wellbeing.

Every Chakra has a specific color, a specific Beeja Mantra and specific Asanas to open & balance them. The 7 chakras are: 1. Mooladhara Chakra - Red / base of spine 2. Swadisthana  Chakra - Orange / at the navel area 3. Manipura Chakra - Yellow / Solar plexus area 4. Anahata Chakra - Emerald Green / Heart 5. Vishuddha Chakra - Sky Blue / Throat 6. Ajna Chakra - Indigo Blue / Center of Forehead 7. Sahasrara Chakra - Royal Purple / Crown of Head

So, Chakra Yoga Balancing series relates to this concept of re-aligning the chakra energies and bringing them to a state of balance and harmony. I do understand that all this seems to elicit the response of "really?" "Does she know what she's saying?" I too started with similar doubts and questions when I started practicing and then teaching this series.  But, I just practiced, breathed through the first doubt, the second doubt..till I completed the series and suddenly realized my chattering monkey mind was quiet for a few moments of blissful silence!!

That was worth it!! So, now its up to You.. Your mind will also have all the doubts, all the myriad reasons not to practice (no time, too much work, no energy, very tired, tomorrow is always there - Believe me, I have heard most of the reasons, from my own mind and from others!!) But, if you can persist and practice this series, which can take about 45 minutes, you will feel light, fresh and relaxed.

You have to attend the class this week to learn the Asanas and the associated Beeja Mantra for each chakra :)

Balancing the Chakras -  1. Muladhara Chakra - This Chakra is at the base of your spine. Visualize a spinning wheel of Red at the spinalarea. It is characterized by the emotions of survival, stability, ambition, and self-sufficiency. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Muladhara Chakra is ‘Lam’.

2. Swadisthana Chakra - This Chakra is at the navel area. Visualize a spinning wheel of Orange at the navel area. When balanced, it makes one feel more vibrant, happy, positive, satisfied, compassionate, and intuitive. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Svadhishthana Chakra is ‘Vam’.     3. Manipura Chakra - This is at the Solar  plexus area, just below the diaphragm. Visualize a spinning wheel of Yellow at the solar plexus area. By balancing this chakra, we feel more energetic, confident, productive, and focused. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Manipura Chakra is ‘Ram’. 4. Anahata Chakra - This Chakra is in the Heart area. Visualize a spinning wheel of Emerald Green at the heart area. By harmonizing this energy center, a person begins to feel more compassionate, caring, optimistic, friendly, and motivated. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Anahata Chakra is ‘Yam’. 5. Vishuddha Chakra - This Chakra is in the Throat area. Visualize a spinning wheel of Sky Blue at the throat. When this chakra is balanced, it enables creativity, positive self-expression, constructive communication, and a sense of satisfaction. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Vishuddha Chakra is ‘Ham’. 6. Ajna Chakra - This is in the middle of your forehead, between your eyebrows. Visualize a spinning wheel of Indigo Blue at the center of the forehead. When this chakra is active and balanced, a person feels more vibrant and confident, both spiritually and emotionally. In the absence of the fear of death, one becomes his own master and remains free of all attachment to material things. The seed mantra (Beeja mantra) of Ajna Chakra is ‘Om’.

7. Sahasrara Chakra - This chakra is at the crown of your head. You can continue to practice Meditation to energize this chakra. A balanced Crown Chakra promotes spiritual understanding, inner peace and a clear perspective on the world.

Sit comfortably on the mat, take back support if needed, lengthen spinal muscles, release hands onto thighs, close your eyes gently, soften your breathing and just glide with your inhalations and exhalations. Practice for around 6 - 10 minutes. That's it!! We are done balancing our Chakras!! This has been my practice when I feel frazzled with too many things to do or too many changes. It has help ground me and bring me to a place of comfort and ease. May it bring peace and ease to you too.. Namaste. Asha

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