Within our bodies run an astral plane made up of energy circles, or 'chakras'. Each 'chakra' corresponds to a set of bodily and emotional functions. The energy both governs and is governed by these functions in a dynamic, dialectic relationship.
While 'chakras' are part of an ancient knowledge system in the East, everyone may not believe in them. Even if you do not believe in 'chakras', you may consider this a symbolic system to help you visualise certain qualities. As such, 'chakras' may serve as a metaphor on which to hang certain thought exercises. This makes it a helpful meditation tool.
Each 'chakra' has certain core properties and functions, physically and emotionally. 'Chakras' can be exercised through physical activity (yoga), mental activity (affirmations, for example), and actions related to the core properties. When our 'chakras' are balanced, energy flows.
Here is a summary of the seven 'chakras', the colour of their energy, where they are located, the qualities they govern and are governed by, and an example of how you might exercise each.
Violet – Crown
I know. Ability to connect spiritually and feel oneness with God.
Beauty. Inspiration. Wisdom.
Yoga pose: headstand
Alternative exercise: meditating to work this 'chakra'.
Indigo – Third Eye
I see. Ability to see the big picture and be guided by intuition.
Intuition. Understanding. Imagination.
Yoga pose: eagle
Alternative exercise: visualisation exercises.
Blue - Throat
I speak. Ability to communicate and express oneself.
Creativity. Communication. Truth.
Yoga pose: shoulder stand
Alternative exercise: singing.
Green – Heart
I love. Ability to love and heal.
Love. Balance. Joy.
Yoga pose: camel
Alternative exercise: pranayama (breathing exercises).
Yellow – Solar Plexus
I do. Ability to be confident and manifest dreams.
Self esteem. Sense of responsibility. Self control.
Yoga pose: boat
Alternative exercise: eat healthy meals that suit your bodily needs.
Orange – Sacral
I feel. Ability to accept change, connect to others, enjoy emotions. Happiness. Well-being. Feeling of abundance.
Yoga pose: cobra
Alternative exercise: relax in water (swimming, warm bath).
Red – Base
I am. Ability to feel secure in terms of food, money, shelter.
Vitality. Courage. Grounded.
Yoga pose: down dog
Alternative exercise: running or walking.
By Shazia Omar
Shazia Omar is a yoga instructor at Studio 107.
Photo: LS Archive/Shahrear Kabir Hemeel