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The wheel of life

Chakra means ‘wheel' in Sanskrit. There are seven chakras — the wheels of energy — in the astral body. Six of them are found along the spine and the seventh is located at the crown of the head.

Chakras are powerful energy centres in the body. Although they are invisible to the eye, these wheels of spiritual energy balance the body and the spirit. The chakras store dynamic energy known to the yogis in India as Kundalini, to the Chinese as Ch'i and to the Japanese as Ki.

Each chakra spins in a clockwise direction and is depicted by a colour. These whirling vortices of energy glow with the light of the spectrum, from red at the base, to violet at the crown. Each of the seven chakras has a unique characteristic and a vital role to play in our physical body as well as in our consciousness.

The three lower chakras correlate to basic primary needs, those of survival, procreation and will. The four higher chakras correlate to the psychological make-up and represent higher spiritual qualities such as love, compassion and understanding.

Yoga and the awakening of chakras

The practice of yoga is directed at awakening the divine energy in every human being. Asanas play an important role in awakening of this Kundalini energy.

This energy, when awakened has a powerful vitalising and regenerating effect.

It can be channelled for self-development, healing the body and mind and to get in tune with the soul.

Yoga can illuminate life

Just as a goldsmith heats gold in the fire to burn its impurities, the practise of asanas removes physical and mental impurities from the system and cleanses the body. It can remove negative energy, stress, tension and other obstacles from the body and mind.

The 7 Chakras

1. Muladhara base chakra

Location: coccyx (base of the spine)

Colour: red

Body system: elimination, lymph system

Yoga asana: Upavista Konasana (seated wide-angle pose): Sit against a wall and keep your shoulders and spine upright. Place your palms on the floor behind your hips and open your legs wide into a split.

Affirmation: “I am connected to Mother Earth and feel secure and protected.”

2. Svadhishtana sacral chakra

Location: Sacrum

Colour: Orange

Body system: Digestive, reproductive system

Yoga asana: Pada Hasthasana (standing forward bend): Stand upright with feet together. Inhale deeply as you stretch both arms straight up. Then exhale, stretching down towards the ground.

Affirmation: “I am worthy of love. Life offers me everything I need for that journey”.

3. Manipura Chakra solar plexus chakra

Location lumbar region of spine (behind navel)

Colour yellow

Body system: intestines, liver

Yoga asana: Ardha Matsyendrasana (Spinal twist): Sit on your heels with your back tall. Lift the right knee off the floor and place it on the floor outside the left thigh. Raise the left arm and bring it over the right side of the right knee; reach your arm around to hold your ankle. Turn your head to look over your right shoulder and wrap your right hand around your waist.

Affirmation: “I know I am becoming the best person I can be.”

4. Anahata Chakra heart chakra

Location centre of chest

Colour green

Body system heart and lungs

Yoga asana: Bhujangasana (The cobra): Lie on your stomach with legs extended out. Place your palms downwards, directly below your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders relaxed and elbows slightly bent, lift your spine off the floor.

Affirmation: “I love myself for who I am and the potential within me.”

5. Vishuddha Chakra throat chakra

Location base of throat

Colour blue

Body system throat

Yoga asana: Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) :Lie on your back and raise both legs bringing them up at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands below your hips and lift the body off the floor. Continue this movement until your body is resting on your shoulders. Point your toes and straighten your back as much as possible.

Affirmation: “My voice, thoughts and speech are filled with conviction.”

6. Ajna Chakra third eye

Location eyebrow centre

Colour indigo

Body system forehead

Yoga asana: Padmasana (lotus pose): Sit cross-legged on the floor. Place your right foot on your left thigh and your left foot on your right thigh. Place your hands on your thighs in Chin Mudra (first finger and thumb should touch each other). Close your eyes and focus on the point in between your eyebrows (the spiritual eye).

Affirmation: “The answers to all my questions lie within me.”

7. Sahasrara Chakra crown chakra

Location crown of head

Colour violet

Body system brain

Yoga asana: Sirsasana (headstand): Sit back and keep your elbows on the floor and clasp your hands. Place the back of your head on your firmly clasped hands. Now straighten your legs so that your body takes form of an inverted “V”. Slowly walk your feet towards your elbows and take your feet up towards the ceiling.

Affirmation: “I release all limited thoughts and lift myself up to levels of awareness”.

( The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.)


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 1:54:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/The-wheel-of-life/article16371562.ece

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