Have you ever heard the term “find your center”? Have you ever wondered what exactly it meant to find ‘balance’ in your life? The answer can be found deep within, at the core of your innermost self. There, you will discover your energy sources and how they affect every part of your life.
There are seven chakras that align your soul. The chakras can be helpful visuals in representing what areas of your life need more love and attention, and which ones are too strong – resulting in chaotic emotions. The most simplistic way to find balance and alignment within yourself all comes back to yoga and meditation. By practicing specific yoga poses, or asanas, you are able to focus on each chakra individually, allowing healing and realignment to manifest.
In performing each pose, breathe deeply for up to one minute as you visualize a radiant light in the affiliated color to the chakra in its proper location. Imagine the light growing bright and connecting to all other chakras in perfect alignment. Use your own visualizations to develop the best personal understanding if you deem them more useful -- find what works best for you.
Our favorite yoga mat to perform these poses, or asanas, is the B Yoga B Mat Strong Yoga Mat. These yoga mats sure are durable, but our favorite feature is that they are super sticky and prevent slipping. This is a great mat for many different types of yoga, including hot yoga. Whether you're new to yoga or a seasoned yogi looking for a new mat, we've got you covered!
The Root Chakra (Red)
The root chakra, located in the pelvic region, is the foundation of all balance in your life. The root chakra is responsible for your sense of security and structure. If you are not properly grounded, then you may find many other areas of your life feel more chaotic.
The Pose: The pose to perform in balancing this chakra would be the half moon standing pose, performed with the flat part of one foot placed on the inside of the opposite thigh. Breathe deeply into this pose for as long as you see fit and visualize a beam of light spanning vertically down the center of your body. Focus on many deep breaths before switching legs.
Are you an experienced yogi? Take your practice to the next level by performing half moon standing pose on a block! Not sure which block to use? Our favorite is this Manduka Cork Yoga Block. Using a block can be a great way to improve your balance and concentration. Try it today and let us know your experience in the comments below! This block is as sustainably sourced as it is beautiful, and is lighter than other yoga blocks. Manduka is committed to creating sustainable, yogi-inspired tools and accessories for your best practice yet.
The Sacral Chakra (Orange)
Just below the navel is the second chakra, the source of creativity, pleasure, physical strength and emotions. With this chakra out of line, one may experience digestive issues most likely due to emotional imbalances. If this chakra is excessively charged, a person may be emotionally explosive, while if the chakra is deficient one will be more timid and overly sensitive, easily immobilized by fear.
The Pose: The simplistic child's pose will help you to breathe deeply into the sacral chakra. This pose is performed by sitting on your heels and slowly releasing your forehead down onto the mat. Elongate your arms to create a long flat back posture. Focus on breathing in positive, light energy as you feel your abdomen expand and contract.
Even child's pose can be made more intense by putting a yoga block under each hand for some extra zen. We recommend using this Manduka Cork Yoga Block.
The Solar Plexus (Yellow)
This third chakra is the center of your personal power. This is relevant in finding your calling in life, your passion, and your gift. If this chakra is not properly balanced you may feel insecure, depressed, or jealous, or you may be more judgmental, be a perfectionist, or rely on drugs or alcohol to relax. Finding balance will grant you a skillful mindset, a more relaxed feeling, the ability to be more in touch with your gifts, and enjoyment for new life challenges.
The Pose: Warrior poses one and two help open up your hips and entire core. Practice these poses by beginning in a lunge-like position. Straighten your back leg and allow your hips to drop until your front leg is vertical to the floor. Stretch both hands above your head in prayer position for warrior one, or elongate your arms above, horizontal to your legs, with a slight twist in your abdomen for warrior two.
Experienced yogis will find this pose, or a variation (extended side pose) can be intensified with a yoga block. Incorporating a yoga block into your practice can help with balance, concentration, strengthening, and more. Have you ever used a yoga block? Take your practice to the next level with this Manduka Cork Yoga Block.
The Dorsal Chakra (Green or Pink)
The dorsal chakra, or your heart center is the fourth chakra, located in the center of the chest. This chakra is the center for compassion, love, and humanitarianism. Someone unbalanced in this chakral area may be paranoid, closed off from relationships, indecisive, afraid of letting go, moody, demanding, possessive, or overly critical – to name a few attributes. The dorsal chakra is very important as love is the most healing and powerful ability we have.
The Pose: The cobra pose can be practiced to open up your heart center for this chakra. This pose creates a feeling of vulnerability as you open your heart to the world around you; you will find you are able to more easily give and receive love. This is an especially important practice for those that are going through the grieving process. Begin the cobra pose by lying down on your belly and placing your hands next to your shoulders. Slowly straighten your arms to press your chest up and rest your head back, looking up to the ceiling.
Want to take this pose to the next level? Adding a yoga strap to cobra pose can provide an opportunity to open your shoulders even more. This Manduka Unfold Yoga Strap (it's slip-resistant, durable, and adjustable!) is what we recommend for this practice.
The Throat Chakra (Blue)
The fifth in alignment is the throat chakra. Balanced, this chakra will provide a sense of contentment, feeling centered and calm. A person balanced properly in this chakra would most likely be a strong speaker, easily live in the present, and be musically or artistically inspired. However, an imbalance in this chakra may be expressed through arrogance, hesitance, self-righteousness, an inability to verbalize thoughts properly, weakness, or being unreliable.
The Pose: The most simplistic pose to practice in order to obtain harmony in this chakra is the fish pose. Begin by lying down flat on your back and tucking your fingers slightly under your buttocks. Expand your elbows out enough that you can comfortably lift your pelvis, and press into your elbows to take pressure off your neck as you lower your crown down to the ground. Visualize a light in your throat that is your ability to freely express yourself.
Up your fish pose game with this Manduka Enlight Rectangular Yoga Bolster which can help give you a more restorative practice. This one by Manduka even has a removable (and washable) microfiber cover! You can use this in child's pose, too.
The Third Eye Center (Indigo)
The sixth chakra is found at the base of the skull or between the eyebrows at the third eye. A person with a balanced third eye is disconnected from material things, feels connected to the source of all knowledge, experiences astral travel and or telepathy, and has no fear of death. An imbalance may manifest characteristics like being an egomaniac, manipulative, religiously dogmatic, undisciplined, overly empathetic, fearful of success, or even possessing schizophrenic-like qualities.
The Pose: The thunderbolt. To open the third eye, simply sit resting on your ankles with your hands on your thighs, palms facing up. Close your eyes and visualize your third eye opening and blinking. Allow your thoughts to come and go without staying stuck on any of them. Let your mind lead you and listen to what messages it has to tell you; this will help exercise your intuitive gifts.
The Crown Chakra (Violet)
The last of the chakras in alignment is the crown chakra. One with a balanced crown has great understanding of the divine and feels one, and open to it. To be centered and aware in this chakra is a great step toward spiritual fulfillment. A person imbalanced in their crown chakra may experience a constant sense of frustration, no spark or joy in life, an inability to make decisions, or may even be catatonic.
The Pose: The most influential pose to ignite a spark in the opening of the crown chakra is the half lotus. To begin, sit almost as if you are sitting crisscross: place one foot on the opposite thigh and the other below its opposite thigh. Both knees should be touching the floor if you are able. Place hands together in prayer position and close your eyes. Envision a lotus flower on the top of your crown blooming to open the seventh chakra. Breathe deeply.
After discovering the areas that are off-center, you can determine what yoga poses to implement on a daily basis until you feel the shift within yourself. You may find yourself going back and forth between areas or sticking with the same areas for long periods of time. It’s all dependent on your own personal needs – listen to your intuition and personalize your yoga plan to reflect those needs. However, because all chakras are interconnected, it is best to practice focusing on every area equally per session.
Are you doing these poses with some heat? Hot Yoga can kick your cleansing up a knotch, and we've got the perfect recommendations for Hot Yoga products, like this Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel. At 72" long, it will cover your whole mat! The gorgeous hand-dyed fabric will also give you a unique addition to your yoga routine. And the split microfiber tight weave of the fabric ensures top-of-the-line sweat absorbtion!
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