Chakra,  Late Summer

Meet your Chakras

My yoga teachings are heavily influenced by the people I learned from, and they taught me using Traditional Chinese Medicine as a filter to view my yoga practice. This is especially true of my yin trainings, where we explored the 5-element teachings in greater detail. Over time I have explored these theories on my own, I’ve weighted them up, read about them and worked them into my own life.

But these are one way of looking at things, and a very different way than we approach our wellbeing in the western world. Today I’m going to discuss a different ‘filter’ altogether – the chakra system.

The chakras are probably more closely related to classical yoga as they are mentioned in the ancient Hindu text, the Vedas. This writing dates back to between 1500 and 500 BC, so this isn’t a new idea by any stretch of the imagination.

Chakra means wheel and it refers to a series of energy centres which exist within the subtle body. There are 7 main chakras which are arranged from the base of the spine to the top of the head, each governing different aspects of our wellbeing and influencing how we interact with the world. A blockage in a particular chakra may account for physical or emotional symptoms being experienced.

Reiki is a form of energetic healing which works with the chakra system. This healing modality involves a ‘hands-off’ healing experience where a trained practitioner works to ‘channel’ energies to unblock the chakras. We can also use yoga and meditation to encourage the free flowing of energy through the chakras, just as we do when working with the meridian energy lines of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

So let’s meet the charkas.

Root Chakra – Mulhadhara

This chakra is related to our basic human needs for survival. Being out of balance here means we may not feel safe.

Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana

The Sacral Chakra is all about our experience of joy and pleasure, with this being out of balance we may have difficulty seeing the happiness around us.

Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura

This chakra is all about our personal power, our sense of self. Being out of balance here we may become a people pleaser and put our own needs last.

Heart Chakra – Anahata

The heart chakra is where we experience love and compassion. If this is out of balance we may give too much of ourselves and have difficulty feeling empathy towards others.

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha

This is our centre of communication, being able to understand others and express ourselves. An out of balance Throat Chakra can encourage us to take part in gossip or speak harsh words to others.

Third Eye Chakra – Ajna

Ajna, the centre of our intuition and imagination. The Third Eye Chakra is where our intuition flows freely, guiding us through life. Out of balance we may experience nightmares, lack of focus and migraines.

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara

The 1,000-petalled lotus flower is the peak chakra and is connected to our sense of universal love, intelligence and understanding. An imbalance here may leave us lacking in inspiration, judging others and feeling ungrounded.  

By having a little understanding of the chakra system we can begin to look at the healing potential of our yoga practice through another lens. This has only been a short introduction, and I hope it has piqued your interest a little.

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