What is Chakra System?
The Chakra System is a complex network of energy channels connecting these wheels and is mapped throughout the whole body, much like a spiritual nervous system.
When the chakras are activated and in balance, the prana (life force) flows freely and the physical, mental and emotional bodies are in harmony. However, when one or more yoga chakras are out of balance, this can also create disharmony within. Asana practice is an effective way to create equilibrium between all parts of the self and live with clarity, purpose and be aligned with all parts of the self.
There are 7 main and biggest Chakras:
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Introduction: at the base or root, the perineum, this chakra represents grounding, and survival needs like shelter and security, often a good one to focus on if you travel a lot and don’t always have a fixed home or sense of security. Associated with the color red and the spinal column, the kidneys, legs and colon.
Poses: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Garland Pose (Malasana), Head to Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana), Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
2. Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana)
Introduction: Located by the Sacrum, a large piece of bone at the base of the spine, but above the coccyx. This chakra represents pleasure, emotional balance and sexuality. Associated with the color orange and the reproductive organs, prostate and bladder.
Poses: Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana), Wide Legged Forward Bend C (Prasarita Padottanasana C), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
3. Navel Chakra (Manipura)
Introduction:Located by the belly button, this chakra represents our willpower and assertion, it is yellow in colour and associated with the pancreas, liver and stomach.
Poses: Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana), Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana), Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana I), Warrior 1 and 2 (Virabhadrasana I and Virabhadrasana II)
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Introduction: Located centrally near the heart, this chakra represents of course, love, unconditional love, acceptance, compassion and intuitiveness. The color is green and the associated organs are the heart, the circulatory system, the arms and hands.
Poses: Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge), High Lunge (with thumbs hooked overhead),Natarajasana (Dancers Pose)
5. Throat Chakra (Vishudha)
Introduction: Located at the throat, this chakra is all about communication, creativity, truth and reliability. The color is blue and the organs associated are the thyroid, hypothalamus, throat and mouth.
Poses: Plow Pose (Halasana), Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), King Pigeon (Kapotasana)
6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
Introduction: Located in the center of the brain, at a cross section found between the eyes and just above the ears. This chakra represents wisdom, imagination, intuition and an ability to analyse and perceive truth in the world. The color is a deep purple and the associated organs are the pituitary gland, the nose, the ears and the pineal gland.
Poses: Candle Gazing (Trataka), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana), Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing), AUM (Ajna Bija Mantra)
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Introduction: The only chakra to be found outside of the physical body, this is located just above the crown of the head in what is considered our “spiritual body”. There are less words about this chakra as it is the chakra associated with higher consciousness, pure unconditional live and a state of pure being (beyond words!). There are no physical organs associated, but it is associated with vitalizing the upper brain, and the color is a light purple or indigo, or white.
Poses: Headstand (Sirsasana), Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Intentional Silence (Mauna), Selfless Service (Seva)
This is a very brief overview of what is an extremely complex subject, but we can start to see from our own lives, ailments, habits and potential blockages where we may need some work to balance out those chakras and bring more clarity to our lives. All yoga practices, including the physical postures, breathing techniques as well as chanting, and of course, meditation are methods of cleaning and balancing the Chakra System.