Our bodies have their own energy field surrounding us called our Aura. From the base of the spine to the tip of the head there are found 7 major energy centres or Chakras. There is a central Nadi (energy channel) that runs down the spine called Shushumna, and 2 more called Pingali and Ida Nadis that cross over at each Chakra (Ida starts at the left nostril and Pingali at the right nostril).
The Chakras concentrate and distribute refined life-force energy (Prana) throughout our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. The energy at each chakra vibrates at a certain rate, relative to a colour of the rainbow, and effects an area of human life and being. When the Chakras are all balanced and in harmony, we are holistically healthy and full of vitality.
The branches of Yoga that mainly work with the Chakras are Kundalini Yoga and Tantra Yoga.
A Mantra is a chant – when spoken or sung, the vibrations of that particular sound will resonate with the vibration of the relevant Chakra. A Yantra is a symbol or image that resonates at the same rate as the Chakra. Using these tools will release blockages within the Chakra and help to balance it.
Base Chakra – Muladhara
Associated colour = RED Location = Base of the Spine.
Relates to: Grounding, Survival, Instinct.
Yoga postures: Grounding – Tadasana (mountain), Utkatasana (Chair), Vrksasana (Tree), Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
Yantra: Golden Square
Related Crystals: Obsidian, Bloodstone, Black Tourmaline, Smoky Quartz, Red Jasper
Related Essential Oils: Patchouli, Vetiver, Myrrh, Benzoin, Violet Leaf
Work on this chakra if you feel ‘spaced out’ and ungrounded to reconnect you with the earth and develop and maintain a connection with nature. Also if you have trouble maintaining wealth, relationships, etc, you may need to work on this ‘anchor’ point.
Sacral Chakra – Svadhishthana or Hara
Associated colour = ORANGE Location = Just below the navel
Relates to: Sexuality and Creativity.
Yoga Postures: Hip Opening – Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), Trikonasana (Triangle), Prasarita Padottanasana (Fan), Upavista Konasana (Seated Wide Angle)
Yantra: Silver Crescent Moon (opening at the top)
Related Crystals: Carnelian, Orange Calcite, Topaz, Citrine
Related Essential Oils: Jasmin, Rose, Sandalwood, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Cardamon, Ginger
Work on this chakra will encourage us to open to and accept our sexual selves and our need for pleasure and nurturing. It can also help to unleash blocked creativity.
Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura
Associated colour = YELLOW Location = just below the rib-cage
Relates to: Personal power, Individual Will, Divine Will.
Yoga Postures: Twisting & Core Strength – Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank), Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revloved right angle), Parivrtta Janu Sirasana (Revolved head to knee), Virabhadrasana II variation (Crescent)
Yantra: Red triangle pointing down
Related Crystals: Malachite, Jasper, Tiger’s Eye, Citrine, Yellow Tourmaline
Related Essential Oils: Juniper, Vetiver, Geranium
Work on this chakra will boost confidence and self-esteem, help de-stress and focus our intentions.
Heart Chakra – Anahata
Associated colour = GREEN Location = Centre of the chest, at the heart
Relates to: Unconditional love on all levels, links the lower 3 chakras to the spiritual higher chakras.
Yoga Postures: Back Bending – Biralasana (Cat sequence), Ardha Bhujangasana (Sphinx), Bhujangasana (Cobra), Ustrasana (Camel), Hasangasana (Hare)
Yantra: Blue star of David
Related Crystals: Rose Quartz, Green Quartz, Aventurine, Red Calcite, Peridot, Ruby
Related Essential Oils: Rose Otto, Rose Absolute, Melissa, Neroli, Ylang Ylang
Work on this chakra will encourage the flow of love and compassion in your life, not only for others, but especially for yourself.
Throat Chakra – Vishuddha
Associated colour = BLUE Location = Throat
Relates to: Expression and communication. Links all other Chakras allowing us to express our creativity, will, intent and the truth in our hearts.
Yoga Postures: Shoulder opening – Ardho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing Dog), Sirsasana prep (Headstand prep), Chatushpada Pitham (4-legged table), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)
Yantra: Egg shape
Related Crystals: Amethyst, Turquoise, Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Amber, Blue Tourmaline
Related Essential Oils: Roman Chamomile, Angelica, Rosewood, Thyme
Work in this chakra will improve the flow of communication and support you in reconnecting to your own true voice when using chants or mantras.
Third Eye Chakra – Ajna
Associated colour = INDIGO Location = At the ‘Third Eye’ in the centre of the brow
Relates to: Wisdom, Intuition and Insight.
Yoga postures: Clearing – Nadi Sodhana Pranayama (no related postures)
Mantra: KE-SHAM (pronounce kuSHAM)
Yantra: Violet coloured eye
Related Crystals: Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Purple Fluorite, Diamond, Moldavite
Related Essential Oils: Helichrysum, Rosemary, Basil, Juniper, Thyme
Work on this chakra will help you reconnect with and trust your inner guidance.
Crown Chakra – Sahasrara
Associated colour = VIOLET / WHITE Location = Top (crown) of the head
Relates to: Higher Self, Spiritual Centre, connection to the Divine/Universe.
Yoga Postures: Relaxation – Savasana (Corpse)
Yantra: Thousand-petalled Lotus
Related Crystals: Moldavite, Quartz, Purple Jasper, Clear Tourmaline
Related Essential Oils: Lavender, Rosewood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood
Work on this chakra will help us connect to our spiritual or higher self and help us to reach a state of self enlightenment and bliss (or Samadhi).
Shiva (powerful male force) is believed to reside at the crown chakra, with Shakti (powerful female force) at the base of the spine. An energetic coil known as the Kundalini holds Shakti down in human form. The Kundalini is believed to be held down by effects of Karma and the Kleshas which are ignorance, ego, materialism (attraction), Repulsion (hatred) and fear of death. When a higher state of consciousness is reached during meditation, and the Chakras are all balanced, the Kundalini can be awakened, spiralling up the spine allowing Shakti to meet with Shiva, revealing your true self and enabling you to reach enlightenment, or Samadhi (the aim of Yoga).
In addition to the 7 major Chakras are 3 other Chakras:
Higher Crown Chakra
Associated Colour = WHITE Location = Above the Crown Chakras
Related Crystals: Petalite, Selenite, Apophyllite
Higher Heart Chakra
Associated Colour = PINK Location = Between the Heart and Throat Chakras
Related Crystals: Dioptase, Kunzite
Associated Colour = BLACK/BROWN Location = Between the feet
Related Crystals: Hematite, Rhodonite, Boji Stone, Brown Jasper
Danielle Bryant BSYA