Chakras and Yoga Postures

There are 7 energy centers called "Chakras" and they parallel the spine. Each chakra has certain qualities and associations. And there are yoga postures that help us get this energy in balance.

CHAKRA ONE......MULADHARA....meaning "root" and support...element is EARTH ...syllable for chanting is LAM....herb for incense is CEDAR... This chakra is located at the base of the spine. The verb associated with the first chakra is "I have".

The first chakra...the root chakra...the red or sometimes black chakra...is about survival. Of course that has to be the base or where are we?

A yoga posture that helps to open the first Chakra is SETU BANDHASANA or BRIDGE

This posture helps you to focus on the first chakra energy. It strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and thighs while you hold the posture.

Begin by lying on your back with your arms at your sides, your palms facing downward. Bend your knees bringing the soles of your feet close to your buttocks (my teacher usually says to bring your feet to standing).

Press down on the soles of your feet. You have a lot of strength there. Squeeze your buttocks and press your pubic bone upward, allowing the pressing to lift your hips.

What I like to do at this time is to gradually lower myself back down to the floor. As I raise myself up, I feel that I am raising each vertebrae off the floor one at a time until I am up and when I lower myself, I try to lower myself slowly, one vertebrae at a time until I am back on the floor. During all the lifting and lowering, there is a squeeze in my buttocks until it is resting on the floor. The raising and lowering sometimes reminds me of a rolled-top desk, opening and closing.

Finally, I raise myself in the full posture once again and stay up. (back to the instructions)....

Once you are up with your feet pressing down, your buttocks squeezed, your chest expanded, and your weight shifted to your shoulders, bring your arms under you and bring your hands together...interlacing your hands.

Take some of the weight onto your arms and your shoulders. Expand your chest and breath into your expanded chest.

When you are ready to release the posture, release your hands and allow your spine to roll down, using the squeeze to control your descent.

When the first chakra is malfunctioning one of the manifestations of that malfunction is obesity. Through the first chakra, we work to understand and heal our bodies. The challenge to us is to accept our body, feel it, validate it, love it.

Eating is a first chakra activity. When we eat, we are nourished and our physical body is supported. Eating grounds us. Meats and proteins are first chakra food.

A well functioning first chakra opens us to our power and stability and allows us to grow. We are grounded. And this grounding brings us rest and solidity and stillness.

NEXT...Yoga and the 2nd Chakra The Cobra
Yoga and the 3rd Chakra The Bow
Yoga and the 4th Chakra The Camel
Yoga and the 5th Chakra The Fish
Yoga and the 6th Chakra Seated Yoga Mudra
Yoga and the 7th Chakra Seated Meditation
Yoga Philosophy - The Yamas and the Niyamas From a Practical Point of View
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