Harnessing Your Life Force To Succeed In Life – Yoga With Sapna

Harnessing Your Life Force To Succeed In Life

Harnessing Your life force (1)We all have days when we feel drained and just cannot get out of bed and other days when we feel emotional for no apparent reason. Ever wondered from where this flow of energy comes from? The answer lies in our seven chakras.

Our body is an energy system through which universal life force flows. In our subtle “pranic” body there are numerous locations where there is concentrated energy. There are innumerable such points of concentrated energy but we usually talk about seven main ones, our seven major energy centers known as chakras.

In Sanskrit, the word ‘chakra’ means ‘wheel’ or ‘turning’. Each chakra is a spinning vortex of energy. They form a part of our energy system and connect us with our higher self and the universe. They hold the secrets of our unique soul.

Chakras form a network that helps us to balance our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energies.The seven chakras harmonize specific aspects of our consciousness and have their own unique function.

They have a close relationship with the body’s endocrine system, thus affecting the balance of hormones in the body. They also relate to the five elements of nature (earth, water, fire,air, and space or ether) and to the seven colors of the rainbow spectrum.

To stay healthy and emotionally centred, our chakras must spin at a balanced rhythm. An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to our chakras falling out of frequency or even being blocked. This disrupts the flow of energy within the physical body as well and we may experience illness or moments of stress.

Understanding chakras and working to balance them goes a long way in keeping our energy flow smooth, enhancing positivity, and having a better handle on  our life. Let us learn more about the seven chakras and how yoga can help us balance them.

The Chakras

Muladhara or Root Chakra

Element: Earth
Colour: Red

The Root Chakra is the most fundamental and instinctive chakra of all It is our survival center and drives our personal well-being which includes our attitude and values towards a comfortable home, monetary security and family life. We receive our inner strength and security from the Root Chakra. It keeps us spiritually in sync with mother earth and is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area.

Since our Root Chakra is the key to stability, transformation, and personal growth, an imbalance here causes feelings of insecurity  and we often end up clinging to things, people, or places.

Yoga Pose: Tadasana (Upright stability) )

Tadasana (for root chakra)This pose restores your connection with the earth and helps keep your Root Chakra in balance.

How To Do It:

  • Stand with your spine erect, a small gap between your feet, and equal weight on both feet.
  • Keep your chest lifted and shoulders drawn back and down. This will keep the arms also drawn back slightly.
  • Don’t allow the lower back to sway, by keeping the tailbone lengthening downwards and strongly tucked under.
  • Keep the chin pulled in towards the chest so that the head is correctly balanced on the neck.
  • Keep your thighs rotated inwards and calf muscles rotated outwards.
  • Check again for equal weight on both legs and both feet.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply enjoying the sense of complete balance and poise.

Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra

Element: Water
Color: Orange

The Sacral Chakra is located in the lower abdomen, below the navel, and behind the genital organs. It is the passion and pleasure centre. The Sacral Chakra establishes our connection with our feelings and sensations. It is also the centre of creativity and our relationship with ourselves and others.

Our sense of self and our awareness of others develops through the Sacral Chakra. The energy of this chakra is responsible for everything we create, whether it is a piece of writing, a drawing or even a company.

An imbalance of the Sacral Chakra blocks our creative energy and might result in mild addictive behaviour, whether towards food or even work.

Yoga Pose: Mandukasana (Frog Pose)

Mandukasan

Mandukasana helps us energize this chakra by stimulating this area and pushing energy through it.

How To Do It:

  • Sit in Vajrasana and close both your hands into fists in such a way that your thumbs are placed inside your fingers.
  • Press your fists on either side of the navel, about an inch and a half away from the navel on each side.
  • Bend forward while exhaling.Rest your forehead on the floor or on a cushion or bolster.
  • Hold your breath while in this position, staying for as long as you can comfortably hold your breath. About ten seconds is  fine.
  • Inhaling, come back to an upright  position.
  • Repeat three to four times.

Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra or Fire Center

Element: Fire
Color: Yellow

Being the power centre, the Solar Plexus Chakra is the energy centered around your personal power. Willpower, motivation, self-esteem and the desire to express your individuality originate from this chakra. The Solar Plexus Chakra is responsible for our sense of satisfaction and contentment.

It is located in the  abdomen, behind the navel. We experience feelings of fear, insecurity, lethargy, or demotivation if this chakra is out of balance.

Yoga Pose: Navasana (Boat Pose)

NavasanaNavasana or Boat Pose helps stimulate this chakra by building confidence.

How To Do It:

  • Sit down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your breath even.
  • Keeping your knees bent and spine straight, lifts your feet off the floor. Your shins should be parallel to your floor. This is the half boat pose.
  • Now, straighten your legs so that they form a 45 degrees angle with the floor without losing balance.
  • Your torso should be upright so that it forms a V-shape with the legs.
  • Keep your arms stretched out, parallel to the floor, on either side of your raised legs, with palms facing the floor.
  • Balance your body on your buttocks.
  • Hold the position for about 30 seconds and then release.

Anahata or Heart Chakra

Element: Air
Color: Green

The Heart Chakra is the centre of love and compassion. Located in the chest, behind  the heart, this chakra is the centre of unconditional love and spiritual growth. The Heart Chakra is home to our spirit, our free and independent true self.

When our heart chakra is balanced, we are at peace with ourselves and experience joyous acceptance of our place. A disharmony in the Heart Chakra may leave us feeling disconnected with the self and our environment.

Yoga Pose: Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

DhanurasanaDhanurasana or the bow pose opens up our heart centre and develops trust.

How To Do It:

  • Lie on your abdomen , forehead on the floor, feet and legs together and arms by the side of your body.
  • Bend your knees. Reach and catch hold of your ankles.
  • Inhaling, lift your head, chest, and thighs off the ground, resting only on the abdomen. Do not rock back on your hips. Keep your back deeply arched.
  • Look straight ahead. Your body is now in the shape of a bow and your weight is on your abdomen. Try and keep the knees and thighs together, but if not possible, allow them to come apart.
  • Hold this position for long deep breaths, feeling the lift and an opening in the thoracic chest and the heart region.
  • Hold the pose for about 15-20 seconds. Exhaling comes back to the original position.

Vishuddha or Throat Chakra

Element: Space
Color: Violet

The meaning of ‘Vishuddha’ in Sanskrit is deep purification. Vishuddha or Vishuddhi or the Throat Chakra is the centre of communication and self-expression. The Throat Chakra is home to our inner voice and our own individual truth. The energy that dominates this chakra pertains to accepting our originality, living our truth and expressing our authentic voice.

An imbalance in this chakra is manifested as an inability to express emotions, feelings, and opinions.

Yoga Pose: Halasana (Plow Pose) 

halasanaHalasana or Plough Pose helps release tension in the neck and shoulders and helps energize the Throat Chakra.

How To Do It:

  • Lie down on the floor on your back with your arms beside you. Keep your legs together.
  • Inhaling, lift your legs off the floor with momentum, using your abdominal muscles, and swing the legs up.
  • Continue to swing your hips and waist off the ground while supporting your lower back with your hands, and your upper arms on the floor.
  • Allow your legs to continue to sweep over your head and try to touch the floor with your toes. Ensure that your back is perpendicular to the floor. Be gentle on yourself. Do not strain your neck or overstretch. If the feet don’t reach the floor behind your head, just keep them hanging in the air.
  • Balance your weight on the neck, and shoulders. Stay in this pose for a few seconds to about a minute, breathe steadily and let your body relax.
  • Exhaling, gently takes your legs back. Release the posture with control, lowering the vertebrae bit by bit and then the legs too with control.

Ajna or Third Eye Chakra

Element: Light
Color: Creamy white

This chakra represents our ability to see the bigger picture. The Third Eye Chakra is home to intuition and spiritual awakening and is located behind the forehead between the eyes. Mastering this chakra corresponds to mastering the mind. This chakra is associated with knowingness, intuition, wisdom, and imagination.

In the Third Eye chakra, our awareness expands and we realize our true purpose in life. Also, a balanced Third Eye Chakra strengthens our intuition. An imbalanced Third Eye Chakra can lead to a sense of aimlessness and confusion. It can also lead to headaches, nightmares, and depression.

Yoga Pose: Balasana (Child’s Pose)

BalasanaBalasana or the Child’s Pose can help you balance the Third Eye Chakra. It connects the third eye with the earth and activates the centre of intuition.

How To Do It:

  • Start by kneeling on the floor.
  • Keep your knees and thighs together and bring your hips down between your heels.
  • Inhale deeply, lengthening your spine and on the exhale bend forward so that your torso rests on your thighs. lengthen the back of the neck till the forehead touches the floor. Or rest the forehead on a cushion.
  • You can keep your arms lengthened forwards on either side of your head or then circle them back next to your hips, keeping the palms facing up.
  • Stretch your feet with the toes pointing back and soles facing up.
  • Breathe with deep relaxing exhales and stay in this position for a minimum of 5-7 long breaths, with a feeling that the forehead and the mind are deeply easing and melting into the floor. Feel a strong connection and support of the earth beneath your forehead.
  • Inhaling, sit up slowly.

Sahasrara or Crown Chakra

Element: None

Color: Golden

The Crown chakra represents the highest level of consciousness and enlightenment. It is also known as the Thousand-petalled Lotus. It is located at the crown of the head. And  is an amalgamation of all color vibrations that unite to form the brilliance of pure light, and also the brilliance of the sun This chakra is the integration point of all other chakras with their unique purpose.

Just like the Root Chakra connects us to Mother Earth, the Crown Chakra connects us to the higher world of our spiritual self. This chakra is the opening wedge of human life force or ‘Prana’. If the energy is not balanced in this chakra, we feel disconnected with our spiritual self. We also experience a lack of courage and faith and unwillingness to grow as a person.

Yoga Pose: Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

matyasanaMatsyasana or Fish Pose helps to energize the Crown Chakra.

How To Do It:

  • Lie flat on your back, bring your feet together and wriggle your arms under your body.
  • Keep your elbows close to each other and your arms straight, under your body
  • Inhaling, press down with your elbows and arch your spine and tilt your head back so that the crown of your head rests on the ground.
  • Keep all the weight on your elbows while your head touches the ground lightly.
  • Inhaling, arch your chest upward even more,as much as you can. Hold the position and breathe deeply, holding the inhaled breath each time for as long as you can. Every time you exhale, eases and relax the chest down a little bit. Keep repeating a few times – inhaling arching the chest up, holding the breath with full and concentrated awareness on the crown of the head. Also, feel the blood rush to the brain.Then exhaling releasing the chest down a bit.
  • To ease out of  the position, pressing down with the elbows, lift the head and slide it back on the ground Lower your chest and relax.

Over To You

The concept of Chakras may be thousands of years old but they are relevant even today. When we apply the power of yoga to keep our energy centres balanced, we start to feel a striking difference within ourselves. This is because yoga balances out the energy of the individual chakras and also  purifies  lower energies,  guiding them upwards. And remember the chakras relate to our physical body, so the free flow of energy in the chakras impacts our physical health.

Weave the magic of yoga on your seven chakras to experience a mind, body, and soul connection.

Namaskaar.


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