Yoga - The chakra pose connection
by Shameem Akthar
Shameem Akhtar says that being aware of the chakra touched by each pose, will help you tackle problems which concern you in particular
Shameem Akthar has trained as yoga Acharya with
the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Kerala, and
is a master-trainer in neuro-linguistic psychology.
At a particular point in your practice, you acquire a refined awareness of how one side of your body may be misaligned, or how balancing on one side is more difficult. Awareness of such physical issues crop up, which may be tracked to your own emotional concerns.
At that point in your practice, the awareness of a dominant chakra activation in each pose becomes useful. Being aware of the pose-chakra connection will help you tackle the physical and emotional problems, which concern you in particular.
Chakras touched in poses
Whenever there is talk of chakra therapy, most people talk of blocked chakras. I myself find an overflowing chakra even more troublesome. It is a very subtle subject. Having a regular and dedicated sadhana, will possibly give you more insight than any instructor or therapist ever can.
The ideal way then, when practising a pose, is to learn which chakra is touched in that pose. When your practice is regular, and your eagerness to understand the subject reaches an intoxicating level of involvement in your practice, you will find that this connection becomes very easy to sense.
Poses that involve the mind completely, where it needs to be aware but involuted, work on the third-eye centre (ajna chakra). Interestingly, the laid-back corpse-pose (shavasana), as well as the challenging meditating crane-pose (bakadhyanasana), both engage the centre.
The chest-opening poses work on the heart centre (anahata). Practitioners may weep if an emotional release is facilitated by the pose. Interestingly, when the tears flow they will not be sad tears, but just an overflow, as if something that was locked finds an outlet.
Poses that involve the legs, be they standing balancers or supine ones, work on the base chakra (mooladhara) dealing with basic survival instincts – fear and anger.
Poses that engage and strain the neck involve the chakra of self-expression (vishuddhi), which when controlled, leads to peace and purity.
In this fashion, it is easy to locate the chakra involved in each pose. If you feel that you are suffering from either blocked or overflowing chakra, becoming aware of it could mean a major life-transformation. It could also prevent your practice from causing an unintentional downslide.
(Balancing pose, easy version)
Sit with your left palm on the ground. Stretch out legs on the side, the left leg below the right. Fold the left leg lightly, as shown, keeping the edge of the foot on the floor/mat. Push into the left palm, to hoist hips up, as shown, trying to keep the body in a straight line. Look ahead, continuing to breathe normally. If the balance is good, raise the right hand up in the air, as shown (at the ear or overhead). Hold for a few seconds. Shift sides.
Works on the manipura (navel) centre, the core in us. It makes the wrists strong, the spine perfectly aligned, and tones the legs. It is a complete body workout.
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