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Exploring Yoga The Chakra System

The chakra system is essentially a system of energy centers along the spinal column, each of which functions as a focal point for the reception and transmission of psychophysical energies. Interestingly, there appears to be a strong relationship between the chakras and the neuroendocrine system as the location of the chakras overlaps with that of the glands. The glands are responsible for secreting hormones directly into the bloodstream creating the chemical balance in the body. The chakras are located along the spinal column and each of the energy centers specialize in a different aspect of our body, mind and spirit experiences, which contribute to the aura we carry through the world.

The lower chakras in the system are the most dominant as they represent our animal instincts, such as survival, sexuality and dominance. As you rise up the energy line, the upper chakras reach a more spiritual plane. In order to balance the existence of the Self (I am-ness), there needs to be balance between the upper and lower chakras. When the Self emanates at its fullest potential, from the midpoint of the heart chakra, the quest for spirituality comes from a place of love.The word "chakra" means "wheel" and they appear to be a sort of spinning wheel of light to those who can see them. The chakras transform this light (life force / prana / chi) by releasing subtle energy into the aura and the part of the physical body where they are located.

Unbalanced chakras can lead to physical imbalances. It is plausible then that the disharmonious, unbalanced or insufficient flow of subtle energy through the chakras could be the ultimate cause of disease.From the lowest most instinctual chakra rising to the highest most spiritual one, the seven major chakras are: Muladhara (root), Svadisthana (sacral), Manipura (navel), Anahata (heart), Vishudda (throat), Ajna (brow) and Sahasrara (crown).Muladhara (Root/Base) Chakra.

The root chakra is located at the base of the sacrum and the coccyx. It is associated with the earth element and the lower limbs and is energetically connected to the Adrenal glands. When Muladhara is imbalanced, it can create insecurity, fight or flight responses and a sense of being rootless - out of touch with gravity. On the contrary, we can stimulate Muladhara through the practice of Asanas (Frog, Bridge and pigeon), by the color red and with the mantra LAM to foster a strong sense of security, positive self image and grounded ness.

Svadisthana (Sacral/Sex) Chakra.Svadisthana is located mid point between the navel and pubic bone and is associated with the water element and sexual energy. Its connection to the neuroendocrine system appears to be through the sex glands (ovaries / testicles) which stimulates and maintains sexual characteristics and influences behavior. If Svadisthana is imbalanced it can result in primal emotions and lust. But with concentration on the color orange, the mantra VAM and Asanas (pigeon, cobra, sphinx and half locust) we can create vitality and willfulness, creativity and sensuality from the energy of the sacral chakra.

Manipura (Navel/Solar Plexus) Chakra.You can find the navel chakra halfway between the base of the sternum and the navel and it is associated with the fire element and personal power. It is connected to the pancreas which maintains blood sugar levels in our body which in turn affects our energy levels. Manipura or "jewel city" can affect us negatively with a sense of helplessness, fear of change, feelings of being stuck and sometimes actions of brute force. However, we can nourish our navel chakra meditating with the mantra RAM and the color yellow and with the practice of Bow, Full Locust and Warrior postures, we will benefit from power, vulnerability, calm assurance and adaptability and an openness to change.

Anahata (Heart) Chakra.As the name identifies, find your heart chakra in the middle of your sternum. Anahata is the energetic center of the chakra system and is associated to the air element, the cardiac system and compassion for others. The heart chakra connects to the glandular system through the heart and the thymus gland, effecting the development of immunity and love. Ignoring Anahata may result in a sense of despair and hardheartedness but through the practice of Camel and Fish postures, the color green and the mantra YAM, one can cultivate a Self of compassion and unconditional love for the universe.

Vishudda (Throat) Chakra.Vishudda rests in the hollow of the throat and is associated with the ether element, the auditory system, self-expression, energy and endurance. The throat chakra's connection to the neuroendocrine system is the thyroid gland which secretes hormones that affect the metabolism of the body.

Imbalanced, Vishudda might leave you with a prejudiced perception of the world and a rigidity to change. On the other hand, activating your throat chakra with Shoulder stand and Plow pose and meditating with the color blue and the mantra HAM can ignite your sense of reason, logic, creative expression and commitment to speaking the truth.Ajna (Third Eye/Brow) Chakra.Go between your eyebrows to find your third eye chakra which is associated with the light element, sensory input, intuition, telepathic communication and the ability to meditate. Ajna has a connection to the Pituitary gland which contributes to the reception of the nervous system and the secretions of hormones.

Blocking the path to Samadhi, the imbalanced Ajna will result in our wish to control things and our narrow-mindedness. But intuition, creative thinking and a larger view of life will nourish our energy system through the practice of Yoga Mudra and concentration on the color indigo purple and the mantra OM.Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra.At the highest energy center in the chakra system, located at the top of your head you blossom your crown chakra. To avoid a lack of consciousness and feelings of being put down and alienation, practice sitting in silent meditation in lotus posture. Focus on the pineal gland's role of creating the ability to see within - pure intuitive perception.

Concentrate your imagination on a violet white lotus blossom opening up at the crown of your head and absorb the aroma of cosmic understanding and oneness with all that will come to you.With the continued practice of yoga and an exploration of its eight limbs, mantras, meditations and root locks, we continue to open the energy lines to create balance in the chakra system. As we maintain this equilibrium, we will benefit from the energetic affirmations noted above and raise our energy from our primal instincts to a higher level of spiritual awareness and existence in the world.

Who knows? Perhaps we may even find Samadhi.

.Michael Russell.Your Independent guide to Yoga.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell.


By: Michael Russell

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