Updated: Feb 8
The journey through the chakras is much like a journey through life.
Spring invites us to begin to turn our energy outward. As we do this, it's important to stay grounded and centered within ourselves. The first (muladhara) chakra invites us to do just this. With the element of earth and its location at the base of the spine, there is an energy that roots us down into the earth.
There is a practice called earthing where you put your bare feet or lay your body on the earth. Earthing not only helps balance the first chakra, but it also decreases stress, improves well-being and sleep, is balancing and calming, and is revitalizing. I encourage you to try it out and notice what you experience!
Yoga poses for the first chakra emphasize grounding to cultivate a sense of stability and earthiness.
The second (Svadhisthana) chakra is all about creativity, change, emotions, movement, pleasure, growth and nurturance. With the element of water and its location in the center of the lower abdomen between the navel and genitals, there is a flowing energy circulating creativity and sensuality within us. This energy moves us to water the seeds of what we want to create that took root in the first chakra, so they begin to grow and generate the change we want for ourselves and the world.
Yoga poses for the second chakra focus on opening the hips to allow creative energy to flow, while nurturing our bodies and supporting our emotions.
The journey through the chakras continues. We started from our foundation, our roots and grounded ourselves in our safety. From that space we connected to desires, emotions, creativity and reflected on how to generate change in our lives. From this grounded creative space, we journey to our center, the core of who we are and what we want to show the world; our third (Manipura) chakra.
The third chakra is located between the naval and solar plexus, and the element of fire creates a transformational energy that generates our power, will and assertiveness. This is an exciting and energized chakra!
Yoga poses for the third chakra work on strengthening the core, twists and breath to awaken our power.
Our journey has led us to arrive at the fourth (Anahata) chakra - the bridge between the lower chakras and the upper chakras. Located at the heart center, the third chakra is where we express our love, joy and compassion. The element of the fourth chakra is air, which represents freedom, openness, freshness, lightness, simplicity. Air implies spaciousness, which is created through letting go. Air is prana - life force - it is through our breath and postures that open our chest where the energy of this loving chakra center is awakened.
Yoga poses for the fourth chakra open the upper chest to open the heart.
We have arrived at the upper three chakras, which are more ethereal than the lower four. They invite us to take a deeper dive into spirituality and our unconscious reality. The fifth (Visuddha) chakra, located at the base of the throat, is the center of communication, purification, sound and finding our authentic voice. The power of the fifth chakra is being able to express ourselves creatively through speaking, writing, singing, music and dance. By activating our fifth chakra, we develop the ability to express powerful truths that can be heard and understood.
With the element of ether (space), the yoga poses for the fifth chakra are around creating space in our throat centers so that our voice and our truth can be heard in order to freely express ourselves.
We travel from the chakras of the body to the chakras of the head. The sixth (Anja) chakra is located at the center of the head, at eye level or slightly higher. It is the center of our intuition, which allows us to see our way through situations and shine light on challenging moments. The sixth chakra, also known as the third eye, is our ability to see both our internal and external worlds. Light is the element of the sixth chakra. It is through the sensory interpretation of light where we gather information about the world. With the light of the third eye, we begin to see clearly what we want to manifest, and with an open sixth chakra our manifestations become a reality.
The yoga practices for the sixth (Ajna) chakra focus on bringing more awareness to our third eye through visualizations and connecting to our inner light.
It is through clear sight at the sixth chakra that we are able to move into the seventh chakra with deeper knowledge. We have arrived at the final chakra at the crown of the head. The seventh (Sahasrara) chakra allows us to feel a connection between our innermost Self and all things. It is all about consciousness, information, understanding, divine intelligence, bliss, unity and awareness. The element is thought, which brings us awareness of the infinite field of consciousness that surrounds us. At the seventh chakra there is a balance of feminine and masculine energy, uniting these forces to bring clarity and an awakening.
A yoga practice for the seventh chakra focuses on balancing these energies in the left (feminine) and right (masculine) sides of the body, connecting your entire being from the crown of your head to the tip of your toes!
Over the last 7 weeks we have gone on a journey through the chakras – the seven energy centers in our being that have profound effects on our body, mind & soul when balanced and energized. Now that we have brought a deeper understanding and awareness to these energy centers, it's time to integrate them. In doing so, I invite you into a practice of gratitude for your body, your emotions, your power, your love, your voice, your intuition and your wisdom.
May you be grounded
May you be free
May you be empowered
May you be compassionate
May you be expressive
May you be imaginative
May you be awakened
Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System by Anodea Judith
Chakra Meditation: transformation through seven energy centers of the body by Layne Redmond
Yoga Journal articles by Stephanie Snyder