Our hope in providing a studio theme at Kula each month is to deepen your understanding of the philosophy behind yoga, so you can start living yoga both on and off the mat. The practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between the body, mind and spirit. As part of our focus on ENERGY this week, let’s explore Chakras, or our energy centres.

The body is the vehicle, consciousness the driver. Yoga is the path, and the chakras are the map. ~Anodea Judith

What are Chakras?

The 7 chakras are the centers of our body through which energy or prana flows in our subtle body. A chakra or “wheel” is a point of energy located in the physical counterparts of our body like the veins, arteries and nerves.
Each of the seven chakras has its own vitality and is related to our emotional well-being.

Blocked energy in any of our chakras can lead to illness, heaviness or the feeling of being stuck. In fact, a blockage in one has a chain reaction affect on the movement of energy through all seven.

Each chakra has a different focus, pertaining to a different area through the midline of the body, correlating to a specific organ. Prana, or life force, circulates between the two poles, the crown chakra and the root chakra. Prana nurtures and sustains every aspect of the body and mind through these energy centres.

Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area, represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.

Sacral Chakra, located near the lower abdomen, represents our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.

Solar Plexus Chakra, located near the upper abdomen in the stomach area, represents our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.

Heart Chakra, located at the centre of the chest just above the heart, represents our ability to love.

Throat Chakra, located at the throat, represents our ability to communicate.

Third Eye Chakra, located on the forehead between the eyes, represents our ability to focus on and see the big picture.

Crown Chakra, located at the very top of the head, represents the highest chakra and our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
(Reference – Mindbodygreen)

The chakras are very intelligent – they are like the software of the whole computer body. ~ Dharma Mittra

Chakras on the mat

Yoga is an extremely beneficial way to release the prana or life force whenever it is stuck. Yoga releases the musty energy and invites fresh energy into our system through the poses and breathing. Different poses, vinyasa, meditation and breathing practices can help to keep the chakras open and balanced.

These range of yoga practices available to us can help to correct physical, energetic, and mental/emotional imbalances, directing awareness to the more refined levels of consciousness, and lessening or removing obstacles to self-realization.

Our yoga practice can be designed to target areas of our chakra system and indeed a yin style practice is particularly effective for this. It’s slower, more sustained movements can work deeper into these areas, tapping into meridian lines which are all connected to our chakra centres.

Working with our chakra system can have a dramatic affect on the body and mind, an example of which is the emotional release many people experience in extreme backbends.

Chakras ~ In life

Identifying the source of a blockage can help to allow energy to flow freely. Our focus on the mat can in turn affect us off the mat, as creating this freedom allows us to be more open and receptive in life.

As each centre has an integral function in creating our energetic balance, it is through the study and practice of our energetic and physical being that we can create health, emotional stability and spiritual bliss.

Chakras are the energy-awareness centres. They are the revolving doors of creativity and communication between spirit and the world. ~ Michael J. Tamura

About the author: Andy is a qualified Yoga Therapist & Teacher. She is Communications Manager at Kula Yoga, co-owner of High Tide Yoga on the Bellarine and runs her own small Yoga Therapy business. Andy is also a health & wellness blogger, hobby photographer and mama of 3!
Photo credit: Kula founder Kacey Smith by Andybbear Photography

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