The Journey Through the Chakras Inside the Wheels of Life
Intro The chakras: elusive, abstract, and at the forefront of every trendy yoga conversation. However, unless we experience them firsthand, the chakras seem to be more of an illusion than a reality. Until then, we have to take the word of the yogis who have walked the kundalini path before us to understand the power and usage of these esoteric energy centers. The term chakra means “wheel” or “circle” in Sanskrit. In a yogic sense, it’s more commonly translated as “vortex” or “whirlpool.” The chakras are also known as psychicenergetic centers or spinning points of energy connected by subtle channels (nadis) that carry prana throughout the body.
What is a Chakra?
Meet The Chakras
Which of your chakras is out of balance?
Uncover the meaning behind our body’s energy centers and learn all about Kundalini.
Gain a better understanding of each chakra and its’ location within the body.
Learn how an imbalanced chakra can effect you and your body.
The first of the seven chakras, learn about the history behind this chakra and the activation process.
Svadhisthana chakra, or second chakra is related to the water element.
Start by meeting each of the chakras then take our “Which of Your Chakras is Out of Balance?” quiz to determine which of your chakras is in need of activation. Next, learn about the history behind the chakras and gather the knowledge you’ll need to better your chakras down the road. Continue on by reading all about the various ways you can soothe, activate, and balance each chakra.
Our hope is that you gain a better understanding of these energy centers and the yogic practices associated with each, as you journey through the chakras.
-The beYogi Tribe
Manipura, or third chakra, resides at the solar plexus.
Anahata, or fourth chakra, is assciated with the heart and chest.
Our fifth energy center is related to the throat and speech.
Ajna, or sixth chakra, is responsible for our perception.
Begin on the path of enlightenment with the help of sahasrara.
What is a Chakra? Chakras are known as the body’s energy centers. Though we’re said to possess countless chakras, there are seven major chakras vertically spanning the midline of the body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra governs a particular area of the body, element, emotion, and mental state. When the chakras are open, they allow a free flow of energy that facilitates a balanced and healthy life. The chakras are associated with particular deities that represent a different aspect within us. They mirror our emotions and behaviors and reflect back to the subconscious feelings, habits, and thoughts that make-up or foster our growth. Each is
connected to a higher brain center. Chakras in the legs relate to animal instinct and consciousness, while chakras above muladhara or first chakra relate to human consciousness and spiritual evolution. Symbolism is important for awakening the chakras. Each chakra is represented by a color, a yantra (geometrical shape), a beej mantra (sacred seed sound), an animal symbol, divine beings, and a lotus flower with a specific number of petals. The chakras are subtle manifestations of human consciousness, and their purification enables kundalini energy to rise upward for the ultimate yogic goal of self-realization.
What is Kundalini? Kundalini is a dormant energy that resides within each of us. This energy is traditionally represented as a coiled serpent; According to many yogic traditions, Kundalini is said to be curled up in the back part of muladhara chakra or first chakra, around the sacrum. When it uncoils, it rises up a subtle channel within the spinal cord and passes through the chakras. Once it reaches the seventh chakra or sahasrara, one attains yoga’s ultimate goal of spiritual enlightenment. This awakening
results in the complete evolution of one’s body, mind, and soul. The concept behind Kundalini comes from the yogic philosophy of ancient India. It refers to the intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual process. In the Western world, the understanding of kundalini is often associated with the practice of expressive or religious practices. These practices induce an altered state of consciousness, manifesting either physically or mentally.
Meet the Chakras Sahasrara Sahasrara chakra is the final point where the kundalini energy can manifest. When kundalini reaches sahasrara, the yogi begins on the path of enlightenment.
Vishuddha Vishuddha chakra is located directly behind the throat pit in the cervical plexus. It is related to truthfulness and taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
Ajna Ajna chakra is located in the brain, at the top of the spinal cord. When awakened, ajna chakra gives clear perception of oneself and the outside world.
Anahata Anahata chakra is located at the center of the chest on the inner wall of the spinal column. It’s related to the heart center but is not actually located at the biological heart.
Manipura Residing at the solar plexus, manipura chakra is like the sun of the body. It radiates prana and gives energy, dynamism, and achievement.
Svadhisthana Svadhisthana chakra’s counterpart in the mind is the unconscious. It’s the storehouse of karma, samskaras, and mental impressions.
The root of all the chakras, muladhara is the seat of the kundalini energy. Its awakening is very important to begin the process toward enlightenment.
Which of Your Chakras is Out of Balance? Check all the boxes that apply and count up each mark. Fill in the total below the chakra with the matching color, the higher the number the more imblanced the chakra. Learn how to activate your imbalanced chakra on the pages listed with each chakra description.
How do you feel? Anxious
Svadhisthana Manipura Chakra Chakra
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Muladhara Activation page. (pg.7-8)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Svadhisthana Activation page. (pg.10-11)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Anahata Activation page. (pg.16-17)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Anahata Activation page. (pg.19-20)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Anahata Activation page. (pg.22-23)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Anahata Activation page. (pg. 25-26)
To activate this chakra, follow the yogic practices found on the Manipura Activation page. (pg.13-14)
Muladhara The first of the seven chakras is muladhara: the root chakra, which is associated with the earth element. In our body, the earth element is represented as our bones, tissues, and our connection to the ground.
establishes survival, stability, and security. When you align your body and emotions, you manifest your ability to live a full life. Your body is home to your spirit and ike any home, there needs to be a strong foundation.
Arriving at the mat
As Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, governs muladhara. With his elephant head, human body, and portly belly, Ganesha is one of the most recognized deities of the Hindu pantheon. His job is to clear obstacles, grant new perspectives, and guide us to recognize our strength and wisdom.
To ground down and tune into the sensations in our body is to acknowledge pain, limitations, and where we feel good. This is similar to the mala beads in Ganeshaâ€™s hands which represent the continuous process of knowledge; we never stop learning.
As the deity of the first chakra, Ganesha blesses all beginnings and asks us to connect to our bodies and to the earth. For many people, there is disconnect from our bodiesâ€”we move through daily routine without conscious attention to our actions. We swallow a pill to numb pain, eat quickly or distractedly, and spend more time in our head than our body.
Like a tall tree with deep roots, growing and expanding a strong connection to the body and the earth is vital. Ganeshaâ€™s large head represents our own capacity for expanded awareness. To live our best life, we must open our big Ganesha ears and listen to the wisdom within, build a solid foundation, and tune into our full abilities.
Ganesha, commonly depicted with four arms, holds a goad in one hand to prod humans forward on the path to enlightenment. Muladhara chakra
Muladhara Activation The root of all the chakras, muladhara is located inside the perineum in males, halfway between the anus and scrotum. Itâ€™s located on the rear side of the cervix in women. Until muladhara is purified the mind will remain tamasic, stuck in attachments and delusions. Muladhara relates to the reproductive, excretory, and urinary organs. This includes the rectum, large intestine, bones, teeth, legs, and spine. Physical dysfunctions can manifest in the form of sciatica, back pain, and immune disorders. Since muladhara is the first of all chakras, its influences are the base of our whole being. It gives us a sense of groundedness and security, as well as the feelings of safety and stability. Because muladhara holds all of our passions, including our agonies and complexes,its imbalance can make us feel ungrounded, fearful, and have low self-esteem.
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Sanskrit: Virasana Step By Step:
1. Sit with your legs folded underneath you in Thunderbolt pose, knees together. 2. Slide your feet out from under you so that they’re resting along your outer thighs. The backs of your feet will be against the floor, and your big toes will point slightly inward. You can grab the insides of your calves and rotate them outward to make the pose feel more spacious. 3. Rest your hands on your knees, palms down. Reach the crown of your head toward the sky and melt your shoulders down your back. Find expansiveness in your chest. Close your eyes and settle in. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds or up to a few minutes.
Warrior II Pose Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana II Step By Step: 1. Begin standing with your feet together. Step your feet about 3 to 3 ½ feet apart. Turn your toes slightly inward so that the outer edges of your feet are parallel. 2. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees and anchor the outer edge of your left foot to the floor. 3. Inhale and bring your arms to shoulder height, hands reaching away from you. 4. Exhale and bend your right knee until it’s aligned over your ankle. 5. Gaze past your right hand, breathing slowly and smoothly. Stay here for 20 to 30 seconds. Inhale and straighten your leg, then change sides.
Svadhisthana Svadhisthana chakra, or second chakra, is associated with the water element. It represents movement, flow, sexuality, pleasure, desire, and creativity. Svadhisthana asks us to tune into our flow, into our desire, our sexual nature, and our desire to create—we move from the place of inner knowing to an awareness of the world around us. Svadhisthana develops at around six to eighteen months of age, the time when a person begins to recognize that they are separate from the world around them. At this age, children discover their limbs and their ability to move unassisted. Svadhisthana is depicted as a sixpetaled lotus flower. At the base of the lotus flower is Makara, the alligator—an animal able to dive into water or sit on the shore. Vishnu, the Lord of Preservation, and Rakini Shakti the Shakti or Goddess energy of this chakra, sit above Makara, governing this chakra.
Vishnu’s energy works to bring us back to a state of equilibrium, so we function from our most radiant self. Rakini has two heads to represent the duality between one’s internal landscape and the external environment. Rakini represents the inner fluidity that allows us to move seamlessly with the duality we encounter everyday. When we learn how to live in our natural flow, we connect our inner world with the outer world around us, and we connect with inner joy and happiness.
Opening the door to desire We need to find a balance between our inner needs and external conditions. As we fall off balance, Rakini and Vishnu are the awakening forces that jolt us into action to find balance in our lives again.
The seat of Vishnu and Rakini When the world is out of balance, Vishnu changes shape and arrives in the world to bring it back into balance. During the world ages, Vishnu is believed to have returned in many forms including: a fish, a turtle, a boar, a prince, and Buddha.
Svadhisthana Activation Svadhisthana’s counterpart in the mind is the unconscious. If kundalini, the dormant energy that’s within each of us, resides into svadhisthana, negative samskaras or emotions, can rise to the surface to be expelled. Svadhisthana is the key to moving beyond one’s past! Seated close to muladhara, or first chakra, svadhisthana lies at the base of the spinal column. It’s a small bony structure that can be felt at the coccyx. This chakra is related to the reproductive and urinary systems, the liver, kidney, spleen, sex organs, and stomach. Its imbalance manifests in these areas in the form of urinary problems, gynecological disorders, and low libido. When svadhisthana is imbalanced, there may be issues with morality, guilt, blame, and power. Svadhisthana is also the source of our creativity and our ability to experience pleasure.
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Hare pose Sanskrit: Shashankasana Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs folded underneath you in Thunderbolt pose. Begin with your hands resting on your thighs. Close your eyes. 2. Inhale and reach both hands to the sky, palms facing forward. Exhale and bow forward, keeping your arms and torso in one line. 3. Bring your forehead and hands to the floor in Childâ€™s pose, with your arms extended forward yet relaxed. Hold the breath for a moment, then inhale and lift your head and torsoâ€”again reaching your hands toward the sky. 4. Exhale and lower your hands to your knees. Practice two to four more rounds.
Churning the Mill Sanskrit: Chakki Chalanasana Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs outstretched and your feet wide. Interlace your fingers and extend your arms at shoulder height in front of you. Exhale and reach forward, keeping your arms parallel to the floor. 2. Reach around to the right and lean back. Then, reach to the left and forward making big circles with your hands, as if you were churning butter. Exhale as you reach forward and inhale as you lean back. Practice five clockwise circles and five counterclockwise circles.
Victorious breath Sanskrit: Ujjayi Pranayama Step By Step: 1. Get comfortable in a meditation posture, eyes closed. Rest your hands on your lap. Open your mouth wide and exhale, as if you were fogging up a mirror, slightly constricting your throat. 2. Close your mouth but maintain this breath, breathing through your nose. Continue for one to five minutes.
Manipura Manipura, or third chakra, means “lustrous gem,” and this chakra is truly a jewel. Located at the solar plexus, the element associated with the third chakra is fire. Manipura can act as the fire in your belly that motivates you and propels you forward. Spending too much time in the third chakra can burn you out. However spending too little time in it will leave you feeling fearful, weak, lethargic, and inert. When we connect to Manipura, we connect to our inner power to incinerate fear, jealousy, and low selfesteem.
A myth of Agni Agni, the god of fire, oversees the third chakra. Red in color, Agni is a two-headed god, who treats everyone as equals. He is found in the homes of the poor, in the homes of the wealthy, among the homeless, and sometimes running wild.
The demon demanded that Agni tell him the location of his fiancé. Agni answered the rakshasa, who went and took his beloved back from the sage. The sage cursed Agni so that he would burn up everything, both pure and impure. Horrified by this curse, Agni disappeared from the three worlds of gods, humans, and demons. Where previously there was fire, warmth, joy, and food, now became cold, dark, dismal, and barren. The Lord of Creation, Brahma, recognized the importance of Agni in the three worlds and asked him to come out of hiding and bless everyone with his gift of fire. Unable to lift the curse completely, Brahma instead mollified the curse by saying that all Agni consumed, whether pure or impure, would be purified. Agni agreed to return to the three worlds, where he provides warmth, heat, and transformation.
Once there was a woman engaged to be married to a rakshasa, or demon. But a sage saw her, fell in love, and took her to his home. The demon was distraught looking for his beloved and, in search for her, came across Agni. Agni, who is welcomed into every home, knows everyone’s business.
Manipura Activation Once kundalini or the dormant energy within each of us, has reached manipura, judgment and personal prejudices fade away, and the yogi comes to see things for what they truly are. Manipura is located below the diaphragm and above the navel at the solar plexus on the inner wall of the spinal column. It relates to the kidneys, adrenals, mid-spine, spleen, and stomach. With its location at the solar plexus, manipura is closely tied to the digestive fire and heat regulation in the body. Imbalances may be in the form of liver and kidney disorders, diarrhea, indigestion, and other digestive issues. Manipura is our source of self and personal power. When out of whack, it can manifest as low self-esteem and distortion in our self-image. It can also affect our perception of others in the form of judgment.
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Sanskrit: Paripurna Navasana Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. 2. Hold onto the backs of your thighs, just above your knees. From the ground (while leaning back) lift your toes 3. Bring your shins parallel to the floor and draw your chest toward the sky to flatten your low back. Stay here or reach your arms straight ahead. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Exhale and release.
Bellows breath Sanskrit: Bhastrika pranayama Step By Step: 1. Get comfortable in a meditation posture, eyes closed. Rest your hands on your lap. 2. Take a deep breath in through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Then exhale forcefully through your nose, feeling your belly draw in toward your spine. 3. Forcefully inhale through your nose, again feeling your belly expand. The length of your exhalations and inhalations should match. These breaths should be exaggerated but rhythmic. Practice nine more rounds, then return to natural breathing.
Anahata Anahata, or fourth chakra, is also the heart chakra and regulates our heart, lungs, and thymus gland. Our heart is said to house the Atman, our highest self.
The world stood still. Nothing died, nothing grew. The demons began to take over the world and the gods went to the great mother, Shakti, for help.
Anahata is ruled by the air element. When we feed and nourish our lungs, where we take breath, we open ourselves up and are able to live in a fully-functioning state.
Shakti listens to their pleas to awaken Shiva from his meditation. She agrees to be born as a human with the sole purpose to arouse Shiva and set the cycle of life back into motion.
Yet through fear, phobias, and – isms (racism, ageism, sexism, etc.), we slowly suffocate. If the lungs do not work to their full capacity, the chest will cave in—sometimes causing people to physically form a hunchback.
The bliss of the heart
A healthy heart chakra keeps our blood flowing, our lungs working, and our body healthy. As the heart, lungs, and thymus gland keep the body healthy and alive, Shakti is the dynamic force behind this existence.
Through heartfelt devotion, and by performing extreme meditations, Parvati rouses Shiva from his grief and brings him back into the world where they marry, make love for thousands of years, and bring the world back to balance.
Shiva leaves the world
To bring Shiva back into the world, Shakti is reborn as Parvati—the maiden of the mountain. Parvati is born with a deep love and longing to be united with Shiva.
There is a story in which Shiva’s beloved wife, Sati, dies and his heart breaks. To avoid pain, he goes into deep meditation. Escaping into his meditation, Shiva stops performing his duties as the god of destruction. There is a continuous cycle always occurring with a beginning, middle, and end—but without Shiva destroying, there can be no beginning.
Anahata Activation The kundalini can potentially rise all the way from the first chakra, muladhara, up to the top of the head at the seventh chakra, or sahasrara. Our spiritual evolution is determined by how high this kundalini energy has reached. According to some lineages, only when the kundalini has made it to anahata can one become a true yogi. Until then, theyâ€™re merely a yoga practitioner. Anahata relates to the structures in the chest area: the heart, lungs, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, ribs, and diaphragm, as well as the arms, hands, and circulatory system. Anahata gives us all the joyful emotions we naturally associate with the heart; love, hope, compassion, confidence, and forgiveness. When anahata is imbalanced, it appears in the form of jealousy, anger, hate, and fear.
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Sanskrit: Matsyasana Step By Step: 1. Lie on your back and slip your hands underneath your bottom with palms touching the floor. Keep your feet together and relaxed. Inhale and push your elbows into the floor to lift your chest toward the sky. 2. Bring your elbows as close together as possible, then gently rest on the crown of your head. Keep most of your weight on your elbows. 3. Breath slowly and smoothly through your nose. Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute. 4. To come out of Fish pose, push your elbows into the floor and lift your head one or two inches. Carefully lower.
Cow Face pose
Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs folded underneath you and rest your hips to the right. Then, swing your left leg around so that your left knee stacks over your right knee. 2. Adjust your feet, so they are resting outside of your thighs with your toes pointed behind you. 3. Reach your right hand behind your back, palm facing away. Inhale and reach your left hand up. 4. Exhale and bend your arm, clasping your fingers behind your back. If they donâ€™t quite connect, hold onto both ends of a strap.
Vishuddha Vishuddha, oe fifth chakra, means purity. Better known as the throat chakra, this energy center governs speech and communication. Located in the throat space, its color blue, encourages peaceful communication. When the throat chakra is balanced, we communicate well—both with others and with ourselves. The goddess of flow, speech, knowledge, and the arts Saraswati is the deity governing the vishuddha. The throat chakra is a bridge connecting your heart to your brain, and it also connects your heart to the world. Our intentions move from our heart to our head, where they utter in sound and speech.
The Birth of Saraswati
Everyone has experienced a moment of transition—similar to being in a fog or at a fork in the road, this can be a scary, eciting juncture. In these moments, we can look to Saraswati’s response to Brahma. Saraswati says only through our knowledge can we create. This knowledge is not external but internal.
Embrace the goddess Saraswati is known as the artists’ goddess. In ancient times, Saraswati was considered to be a great healing river flowing from the heavens to earth. When someone bathed in the Saraswati river, he or she would be healed from all diseases. Over time, she became associated with speech and knowledge.
In the beginning, Brahma, the lord of creation, sat and wondered how to turn all chaos into order. From within, a voice answered, “with knowledge.” And from Brahma’s mouth came out Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, arts, and creativity playing her lute and shimmering with gold light. As she strummed, she taught Brahma the mantras necessary to create the next world.
Vishuddha Activation Although vishuddha chakra is given the least emphasis of all the chakras, its awakening is the secret of youth urging physical rejuvenation. Vishuddha can provide us with the proper understanding of the duality of life, higher discrimination, and healthy detachment. The realm of vishuddha includes the throat, thyroid, vocal cords, cervical spine, mouth, teeth, and gums. Physical dysfunctions can manifest as thyroid issues, speech or voice problems, as well as gum or tooth issues. When itâ€™s imbalanced, it can inhibit our personal expression and our decision-making. We are unable to connect our mind with our heart. When vishuddha is balanced, however, we are able to listen, to perceive, and to articulate a response from our heart.
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Shoulderstand Sanskrit: Sarvangasana Step By Step: 1. Lie on your back with your legs together. Place your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. 2. Bend your knees, inhale, and lift your hips, supporting your lower back with both hands. Reach your feet toward the sky and relax your toes. 3. Walk your hands down your back and draw your elbows close together. Breathe slowly and deeply, holding the pose for 20 seconds to a minute. 4. To come out of the pose, lower your legs overhead in Plow pose. Place your hands flat on the floor and slowly roll all the way down.
Lion Pose Sanskrit: Simhasana Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs folded underneath, toes untucked. 2. Open your knees wide. Place your hands on the ground in between your thighs, fingers pointing toward you. 3. Roll your shoulders down your back and lengthen your spine. Close your eyes. 4. Take a big inhalation through your nose. Then open your mouth, stick out your tongue, and exhale with a smooth â€œahhhhhhâ€? sound looking upward with your eyes wide open. Repeat this four more times. 5. Release and rest for a few breaths in Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana).
Ajna Ajna, or sixth chakra, is the chakra of light and inner sight. We open Anja when our masculine and feminine energy meld, recognizing ourselves and everything around as coming from one source. In Indian myth, the fusion of masculinity and femininity is represented by Ardhanarishvara, an androgynous form that is half-man and half-woman—symbolizing the union of Shiva and Shakti. More than an androgynous figure, this icon represents non-duality: the belief that all aspects of the universe come from a single source.
Marriage of being and knowing Ardhanarishvara is the marrying of being and knowing, as well as of matter and consciousness. We must melt the heart and mind together to receive true bliss.
Awakening Shiva’s Heart Shiva became all thought, and Shakti became all heart. Open to the pain of separation, Shakti understood suffering arose from people’s inability to connect with divinity and oneness. She incarnated into the form of Parvati and spent thousands of years meditating to reach union with Shiva. Through her discipline and inner tapas, Shakti in the form of Parvati, awakened Shiva’s heart.
Fusion of heart and mind This fusion of heart and mind and matter and consciousness is the opening of the sixth chakra—the ability to see beyond the physical object in front of us to the subtle energy that makes and connects all objects.
Poet and playwright Kamla K. Kapur relates the split of Shiva and Shakti to a command from Brahma, who could not recognize their vast shimmering presence. When the two split, the pain was so unbearable for Shiva that he turned to meditation to control his senses of desire and pain. Meanwhile, Shakti spent her days suffering, using her energy to manifest different ways to merge back with her beloved.
Ajna Activation Often called the â€˜third eyeâ€™, ajna chakra is the channel through which a yogi comes to understand the true nature of his or her existence. Ajna chakra is located in the brain at the top of the spinal cord. It is directly behind the third eye, in between but just above the eyebrows. Ajna relates to the brain, the pineal gland, the eyes, ears, and nose. Physical dysfunctions can be in the form of depression, blindness, brain tumors, deafness, headaches, and strokes. When we move into the ajna chakra, we gather all of the data collected from past experiences, sensory inputs, and future desires to recognize that time has no boundaries, limitations, or set order. When it is awakened, attachment fades and higher perception sets in. Dysfunctions of ajna can cause unfounded fears, delusions, attachment, and jealousy.
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Step By Step: 1. Stand with your feet together. Send your tailbone toward the floor and the crown of your head toward the sky. 2. Lift your right foot from the floor and place it along the inside of your left leg, above or below the knee. Open your right knee to the right. 3. Fix your gaze at one point ahead of you to help with balance. 4. Inhale and reach your arms out to the sides, then overhead, joining your palms together. If you feel steady here, begin to visualize an objectâ€”such as a lotus or the face of Buddha. Fix your mindâ€™s eye on this image and close your eyes. Keep visualizing this image to help you balance. If you fall out of Tree pose, come right back into it. 5. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute, then change sides.
Honeybee Breathing Sanskrit: Bhramari pranayama Step By Step: 1. Get comfortable in a meditation posture, eyes closed. Gently close the flaps of your ears with your index fingers. 2. Reach your elbows out to the sides, but let your shoulders drip down your back. Inhale slowly through your nose. 3. Exhale slowly and smoothly making a long humming sound. 4. Silently inhale through your nose, then exhale with a humming sound. Keep your awareness at ajna chakra. Repeat this three more times.
Sahasrara Sahasrara, or seventh chakra, connects us to divine intelligence. Located at the crown of the head, this energy center is associated with thought, consciousness, and enlightenment. When we connect to sahasrara, we understand our spiritual sovereignty. We are all connected to a cosmic web where our thoughts are the basis of manifestation. Sahasrara, also known as the crown chakra is the doorway into this cosmic web. Think of this energy center as a thousand-petaled lotus flower constantly unfolding to reveal the magic and mysteries of all life.
Shiva and the supreme consciousness In the universe, we have matter and consciousness: Shakti and Shiva. Shakti is the feminine energy of the cosmos, and she represents matter. Shiva, the masculine energy, represents pure consciousness and governs the crown chakra.
as our thoughts are both creative and destructive, Shiva appears in divergent forms: Mahesvara (the Great Lord), Nataraja (Lord of the Dance), Rudra (the howler), and Bhairava (his fearsome form). These different forms are single petals on the ever-blooming lotus. They help us to understand our true nature as part of a single consciousness. When we recognize different aspects of ourselves, we unite to our single source of ultimate consciousness.
The mind-body-spirit connection In order to balance the crown chakra, we must balance all of the chakras. There must be a foundational connection to the emotional, physical, and mental state of your being, as well as your spirit.
Thought originates at sahasrara. With thought, â€œwe can create, destroy, learn, and grow.â€? Shiva, an allpervading essence is the ultimate form of consciousness that is both the creator and destroyer. Like our ever-changing thoughts, Shiva comes in many forms. Just
Sahasrara Activation Deemed a chakra by some and not by others, sahasrara is the final point where the kundalini energy can manifest. Kundaliniâ€™s culmination here is the beginning of yogic enlightenment. Sahasrara is located at the top of the head and corresponds to the pituitary gland. Physical dysfunctions can manifest in the form of muscular, skeletal, or nervous system issues. When kundalini reaches sahasrara, the yogi begins on the path of enlightenment. This is beyond what the logical mind can comprehend. But for the sake of trying to understand sahasrara, it can be said that this point relates to spirituality, intuition, and a connection to the divine. When fully activated by kundalini, individual awareness fades away and the seer, seeing, and seen merge into one.
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Supported Headstand pose Sanskrit: Salamba Sirsasana Step By Step: 1. Begin kneeling with your legs folded underneath, toes curled under. 2. Clasp your upper arms just above your elbows. Place your forearms on the floor in front of you. Keep your elbows exactly where they are but release your hands. Interlace your fingers. 3. Place the top of your head on the floor so that your hands are cradling the back of your head. Lift your hips and then walk your feet toward your head. Once your hips are over your shoulders, bring your knees into your chest, one at a time. Slowly straighten your legs. Keep your feet together and relaxed. 4. Fix your gaze on the floor about a foot in front of you. Stay here for 10 to 20 seconds, and then lower carefullyâ€” one leg at a time.
Lotus pose Sanskrit: Padmasana Step By Step: 1. Sit with your legs straight. 2. Use your hands to carefully place your right foot on top of your left thigh. Then place the sole of the foot next to the pubic bone and facing the sky. 3. Bend your left leg and place your left foot on top of your right thigh. Then place the sole of the foot also next to the pubic bone and facing the sky. 4. Rest your hands on your knees in jnana mudra, or psychic gesture of knowledge, with palms down and thumbs and index fingers touching. Stay here for as long as it is comfortable.
Meet the Authors Kimi Marin teaches yoga to help others
find clarity in their mind, body, and spirit. She guides students through their practice by riding the waves of breath, continually aligning breath and body into a rhythmic flow of consciousness. Kimi has a master’s degree in literature, and loves to combine the power of stories with yoga. She often weaves the myths and stories about various poses into the class. Her transformative Yogic Lore workshops are a fun combination of stories, asana, meditation, and mantra. Kimi was featured in Origin Magazine’s Inspire Series, was the featured ambassador for Ahnu Footwear June 2013, and her writing has been published on several blog sites. Learn more at kimimarinyoga.com.
Julie Bernier teaches women the art of self-care so that they feel their healthiest and happiest in their own unique bodies. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in the ancient Indian knowledge of ayurveda. Julie is a registered ayurvedic practitioner by the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA), a Certified Massage Therapist, and a classical hatha yoga teacher. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from the source in India. Connect with Julie at trueayurveda.com, on Instagram, or on Facebook.
References: • Radha, Swami Sivananda. Kundalini Yoga. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2004. • Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life: The Classic Guide to the Chakra System. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1987 and 1999. Print. • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust, 2008. • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Kundalini Tantra. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust, 1984.
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