“Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras – their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers. They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras. They developed into a whole science. This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga. That is how Kundalini Yoga was born.” – Yogi Bhajan
Yoga provides benefits that are not only physical but mental as well. Yoga asanas help to improve our flexibility, strength, muscles and even our posture. At the same time, yoga helps us manage stress and calm our minds–essential for conditions ranging from depression to pregnancy. However, aside from both the physical and mental aspects of the body, yoga is also associated with the spiritual aspect of our bodies, including the belief that humans can balance their energy fields and avoid negative energies that may be harmful or dangerous.
Learning about the Chakras
The concept of chakras, meaning wheel, from the Indian traditional medicine, is the circle-like vortices that exist along the spine of living beings. The force centers, or chakras, are circles of energy that receive and transmit energy. Chakras require balancing, wherein the energy of one chakra does not overpower the others. Well-balanced chakras are responsible for physical and mental well-being and can have significant effect on our energy and emotions.
Types of Yoga Commonly Associated with Chakras
Among the many types of yoga, there are a few specifically associated with focusing on chakras or mediating the balance of the chakras. One of these is the Anahata yoga, or the kind of Hatha yoga that focuses more on meditation. This yoga opens up the heart center or the Anahata Chakra, beneficial for bad posture, shoulders and lungs.
Another popular type of yoga is Kundalini yoga, which focuses on the energy of the Root Chakra or the lower spine and its surrounding area. This fast-moving type of yoga is helpful for lower backs as well as for those who are looking to strengthen their core and abdomen.
Yoga Poses to Balance Chakras
The cobra pose helps the 2nd, 3rd as well as the 4th chakra in the body. In this position that helps to improve the posture as well as the circulation of the blood flow in the vertebrae, the spine is strengthened, the body’s flexibility is boosted and it has positive effects for the heart.
In the triangle position that helps to trim the thighs and tone the muscles, it also stretches the spine, expands the lungs and strengthens the stomach muscles. This way, the extra weight in the middle of the body can be trimmed off as well. The triangle position is mostly beneficial for the 2nd chakra of the body.
Leg lifts, popular for the 2nd and 3rd chakra, is a yoga pose that helps in strengthening the legs, thighs and stomach muscles as well as those in the buttocks and pelvis area. This pose helps in releasing tension around the hips. This is also helpful for reducing fat in the buttocks and thighs.
In the fish yoga position, the chest and back is stretched fully, especially the dorsal. The position also stretches both the throat and the neck, leaving open the heart. The fish position is beneficial for the 4th to the 7th chakras.
With regular yoga practice, we can cultivate our inner and outer energy and balance our chakras. Sun Salutations are also wonderful for keeping balanced. They involve postures that link together movement and breath. To read more, see Sun Salutations to Balance your Chakras.