Chakra Theory

Activate the Solar Plexus with Pranayama Exercises

Many standing Yoga poses and pranayama exercises help to strengthen and activate the Manipura Chakra. The Ha Kriya is a very powerful Kundalini Yoga breathing technique for activating and re-energizing the Third Chakra.

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The Seven Main Chakras of Yoga

The word “chakra” literally means wheel. Traditionally, they are thought to be energy centers with the body. Chakras generally do not correspond to any western idea of the anatomy of the body. More commonly they are thought to be part of the subtle or astral body rather than the “gross” body. Kundalini Yoga attempts to awaken these energy centers though meditation. In Kundalini Yoga, seven Chakras are recognized (Tantric Buddhists recognize only four).

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Yoga Poses for the Fifth Chakra

There are many effective Yoga poses for opening up and re-balancing the Throat Chakra. All backbending asanas will open up the front of the chest, throat and neck. Many standing poses, including all three Warrior poses, will help to release tension and stress in the neck, shoulders and jaw. Inverted postures such as Shoulder Stand and Plow Pose will also help to balance the Vissudda Chakra. Ustrasana or Camel Pose is one of the most profoundly effective Yoga asanas for opening up the entire Throat Chakra area.

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Lotus Flowers, Yoga and the Ajna Chakra

There are a number of Yoga practices that can help to stimulate and balance the Ajna Chakra. These practices include physical Yoga postures, pranayama exercises and chanting the bija mantra of this chakra, “Aum.” Because the very essence of the energy that creates, sustains and dissolves physical reality resides in the Ajna Chakra, chanting this primordial seed mantra will re-calibrate this energy center, so that it is balanced and healthy. If you chant Aum while holding your gaze in Shambhavi Mudra, the effect of your practice will be much stronger. Shambhavi Mudra simply means to hold your gaze at the point directly between your eyebrows in an unremitting fashion.

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Singing Kirtan for a Balanced Throat Chakra

Chanting mantras and the sacred names of Gods and Goddesses with the ragas is an important element of Kirtan singing in the context of a Yoga practice. The musical arrangements of the notes themselves deeply impact the chakras. There are a number of Kirtan musicians who have recorded a variety of devotional chants in a classical Yogic fashion.

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Morning Glories, Yoga and the Throat Chakra

According to ancient mystic Yogis and Yoginis, this chakra is a sixteen-petal flower that pulsates with a bluish-purple color and, upon which, the sixteen letters of the Sanskrit vowels are written in gold. At the very center of the Visuddha Chakra is a pure white color where its bija or seed mantra resonates with the sound “ham.” One of the most well known Sanskrit mantras is So-Ham. When this mantra is repeated for an extended period of time, it will help to remove blockages in the Throat Chakra area. Repeating this mantra also helps to soothe the heart and balance the movement of prana between the Heart and Throat Chakras.

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Spring Green Leaves, Yoga and the Heart Chakra

Often, our bodies reflect our emotions, or the need to blunt our emotions, without us being consciously aware of this process. However, somatizing painful emotions by closing down your Heart Chakra will also block the flow of prana throughout your body. When pranic energy is not able to circulate through your body with ease, your vitality will likewise become diminished. Many different health problems can be directly linked to blocked energy throughout the body. In the long run, you may even develop heart or breathing problems if your Heart Chakra remains blocked for many years, hence the saying that he or she died of a broken heart.

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Sunflowers, Yoga and the Svadisthana Chakra

As the sun travels toward her yearly zenith point, her warmth and energy begin to permeate the earth, coaxing new life to emerge from its winter stasis. With each passing day, we begin to witness the perennial growth of abundant flowers and plants. The sunshine and warm temperatures also bring bears out of hibernation and the bees back to the business of making honey! Traditionally, the Incas worshiped the yellow color of the sun as a symbol of optimism, happiness, pleasure, and wealth.

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