Saturday, 22 August 2015

the Chakras (Deepak Chopra -and Michelle Fondin )




Overview of the Chakras

There are seven main chakras, starting from the base of the spine and aligning through to the crown of the head. These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contain bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being.
Keep reading to get a road-map of what you’ll learn in this series, as well as a full overview of the Chakra system. 

Meaning 
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.

The Importance of the Main Chakras in the Body
These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.

Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge, but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailment.

The Chakras of Matter :-

The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.

First Chakra: The Muladhara is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.
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Second Chakra: The Svadhisthana chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel, and is responsible for our creative expression.
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Third Chakra: The Manipura chakra means lustrous gem and it’s the area from the navel to the breastbone. The third chakra is our source of personal power.

The Fourth Chakra: The Connection Between Matter and Spirit

Located at the heart center, the fourth chakra, anahata is at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection.
When we work through our physical chakras, or the first three, we can open the spiritual chakras more fully.


The Chakras of Spirit


Fifth Chakra: The Vishuddha chakra is the fifth chakra, located in the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.
Sixth Chakra: The Ajna chakra is located in between the eyebrows. It is also referred to as the “third eye” chakra. Ajna is our center of intuition. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability.
Seventh Chakra: The Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine. It is located at the crown of the head.

Clue to Aligning the Chakras

Awareness to which of your chakras are out of balance is key to aligning them. Our bodies are in constant flux between balance and imbalance. Unless you have an apparent problem in one area of the body, imbalances can be difficult to detect. That being said, it’s good to bring awareness to your body/mind and start to learn its signals and clues.

For example, frequent constipation can indicate a blockage in the first chakra. A recurring sore throat leaves clues to a blocked fifth chakra. Frequent headaches around the area of the forehead may mean your sixth chakra is blocked.

In the following articles on the chakras, we will explore each of the seven main chakras in depth as well as tips on how to align them.



1- Root Chakra: Muladhara

Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is responsible for your sense of safety and security on this earthly journey. The word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base.” 
This is the first of the chakras of matter. Balancing the root chakra creates the solid foundation for opening the chakras above. Imagine that you’re laying the foundation for a house in which you’re going to live for a long time. A solid foundation embedded in firm soil will provide the stability you need to create a home filled with joy for years to come.
The root chakra is comprised of whatever grounds you to stability in your life. This includes your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as your more emotional needs such as letting go of fear. When these needs are met, you feel grounded and safe, and you tend to worry less day to day. 
Whether or not you feel secure now often has less to do with what you have at your disposal and more to do with how safe you felt as a small child. When you consider psychologist Erik Erickson’s stages of development, the first stage—trust versus mistrust—is closely related to your root chakra development. As infants, if your caregivers readily gave you what you needed to survive with consistency, you felt secure in the world. You felt that the world was a place that could be trusted to provide your basic needs. Yet, if your caregivers withheld or delayed in giving you what you needed, or if that giving was inconsistent, you may find yourself with first chakra blockages.

Imbalances in the Root Chakra

If there is an imbalance in the root chakra you may experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.

How to Balance Muladhara

While meditation does connect you to a higher spiritual plane, it also serves to ground you. You may not always be able to trust that the world will give you what you need to survive, but connection to your higher self and trust in a power higher than yourself will give you what you need to feel safe.
It does not matter if you call that higher power Consciousness, Mother Nature, God, or Spirit. Connection to universal energy will bring you a sense of peace and stability. The animals in the forest have no idea if and when they will find food each day, yet somehow they trust in nature to provide for them.
Try this: The sense organ that corresponds to the first chakra is smell. While meditating, focus on the tip of your nose to help align the root and bring forth the qualities you need to balance your root chakra.

Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems

Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga Asanas that help to open and align Muladhara are…
  • Pavanamuktasana, knee to chest pose
  • Janu Sirsansana, head to knee Pose
  • Padmasana, lotus flexion
  • Malasana, squatting pose
Women can also practice Kegel exercises, and both men and women can do Bandha yoga—where you lock or tighten certain areas of your body—to help bring strong energy and strength to the area of the first chakra.
Chanting or toning sounds can also help bring you back to balance just like music brings people together. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony. The mantra sound that corresponds to the root chakra is LAM.
Finally, colors and gems can help bring a chakra into balance. The root chakra’s color is red. Gemstones for the first chakra include garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline, and blood-stone. You can place the gemstone on the area of the chakra while lying down to help open and align it.



2- Awaken Your Creativity Chakra: Svadhisthana

The second chakraSvadhisthana, is also known as the creativity and sexual chakra. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel, and encompasses the genital region and the hypogastric plexus. The word svadhisthana can be translated as “the dwelling place of the self,” and the element of the second chakra is water, which equals cohesiveness. A balanced second chakra leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions.
You can open this chakra with creative expression and by honoring your body. The energy of this chakra is feminine, passive, and lunar.

Creativity: The Focus of The Second Chakra

As humans, it is part of our nature to create. This creativity can be expressed as procreation but the second chakra energy is certainly not limited to making babies. When we cook, bake, or garden, we are creating. We create when we find a new solution to an old problem. Any time we take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy.
The problem with creativity is that we are often discouraged from creative efforts, starting with education. Once we pass through the phase where coloring, painting, or cutting paper is completely acceptable, it seems that we must mold into less creative beings. In order to conform, follow the rules and fit in, we sometimes lose our creative energy and thus, our unique ideas in the process. Adults become used to following what’s right, the latest trend, or what’s acceptable to others. Then, when asked to abstractly invent something new, we might have a difficult time doing it.

Play Like a Child to Awaken Your Creative Energy

We might feel open and creative in some aspects of life, while self-conscious in others. Ask me to write a book or essay and I can perform with ease. But if you ask me to draw a picture, paint, or even create a great meal without a recipe to follow, I feel much less than skilled. But, if you told me I had to paint a nice picture because my life depended on it, I would most likely rise to the occasion. Why? Because I would take the risk to get the job done.
The reason, that we stopped being creative or stopped taking risks creatively, is because along the way, someone told us that we weren’t good or that we couldn’t do it. In opening your second chakra energy, you must take risks and not be afraid of failure.
Play is a great way to begin this opening. Have you ever watched a child play? A child will spend several hours building a Lego tower, a sandcastle, or an exquisite dollhouse. Then, the same child will smash their masterpiece in an instant and start over from scratch as if it was no big deal.
Start to play like a child. If your gourmet meal doesn’t turn out, so what? If your potted plant dies in a week, plant another one. And yes, if your work project is a flop, it doesn’t mean your career is over. Like the child at play, start again. You have an infinite amount of creative energy within you, so use it.

How to Balance Svadhisthana

Besides being open to creativity in your daily life, you can balance the second chakra by maintaining a healthy sexual life and honoring and respecting your body. Get in touch with your emotions and see if there are any feelings you’re holding onto. Make a commitment to process those emotions in a healthy way.
Left nostril breathing called Ida Nadi breathing will help to open up the second chakra as it brings forth lunar energy. Simply close your right nostril with the first two fingers of your right hand and inhale and exhale through the left nostril, only for 8 to 10 breaths.
Meditation with focus on the second chakra brings about personal magnetism, refinement in behavior, freedom from diseases, and longevity.

Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems

Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga asanas that help to open and align Svadhisthana are …
  • Seated pelvic circles: Sitting in a cross-legged or half-lotus pose with your hands on your knees, make circles with your torso. Go around in one direction 5 or 6 times and then switch directions.
  • Baddha konasana (butterfly pose) with forward fold: In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees drop to the sides and bring your heels in close to your pelvis. Lengthen the torso and fold forward.
  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Lie on your stomach with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your naval on the floor. Be sure to press down through the pubic bone toward the mat.
The mantra sound that corresponds to the sacral chakra is the sound VAM. By chanting VAM, the vibrations will open and align this chakra. The color for the second chakra is orange and the gemstones for this chakra are amber, calcite orange, carnelian, or hematite.



3- Find Power and Warrior Energy in Your Third Chakra



The third chakra is called Manipura, which means “lustrous gem.” Located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone, it is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion.

When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. If your third chakra is out of balance, you can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. The element is fire and the color is yellow, bright like the sun.

Strengthen Your Inner Fire


When you have clear goals, desires, and intentions, you can move forward to achieve them. Each small step you take while honoring the larger intention helps to strengthen your third chakra. The fire within, called Tejas in Sanskrit, is the same fire in the Ayurvedic dosha PittaA person with strong Pitta has that inner drive to propel them forward toward their goals.

No matter which dominant dosha type you have, you can harness the power of Manipura to assert your will in a healthy way and achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. If you find you are stuck with a decision or are at a crossroads and aren’t sure which way to go, look to a gut feeling in your solar plexus for guidance.

  1. Close your eyes, place your hand over the area slightly above your belly button.

  2. Bring to mind the problem or dilemma.

  3. Notice how your third chakra feels when you give it choices regarding the subject you’re struggling with. A sinking or nauseated feeling may tell you that the decision is wrong.

  4. If you present your solar plexus with the right choice, you may feel lightness in the area or you may even feel like you can breathe easier.

Strengthen Your Digestive Fire


The digestive fire, called Agni, is also present in the third chakra. To help the Manipura chakra remain open and aligned, keep your digestive fire healthy. Follow these guidelines for more powerful Agni:

  • Drink beverages at room temperature or slightly warmed; avoid adding ice.

  • Eat about two cupped handfuls of food at every meal to avoid overeating.

  • Stay away from spicy foods if you are a Pitta type.

  • Take small sips of water while eating, and avoid soda, alcohol, and fruit juice. Drinking a lot while eating tends to dilute the digestive acids, while drinking alcohol tends to give you excess acid.

  • Let your stomach rest between meals. Grazing and frequent snacking don’t give your body time to replenish Agni, which happens when the stomach is resting.

Enhance Digestion and Increase Metabolism With Bhastrika Breath


Since the third chakra governs both digestion and metabolism, you can easily awaken both with breathing exercises. Make sure your stomach is not full before starting this breathing pattern.
  1. Sit comfortably with the spine tall and the shoulders relaxed.

  2. Start by taking a few deep breaths in and out the nose with the lips closed.

  3. Then, forcefully inhale through the nose while inflating the lower abdomen and forcefully exhale through the nose while pressing the lower abdomen toward the spine.

  4. Use one-half count on the inhalation and one-half count on the exhalation at a rapid pace. You will feel like you’re getting an abdominal workout.

  5.  Try for 10 repetitions and then work it up to 15 or 20. After you’re finished, you will feel a tingling or glowing feeling around the navel.

Balance the Third Chakra With Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems

Any yoga pose that brings heat to the area of the solar plexus is good for stimulating a sluggish third chakra. These poses include Navasana (boat pose)Matsyandrasana (seated spinal twist), and warrior.
The mantra sound for the third chakra is RAM. Chanting this sound will help to open and align the chakra.
Since the color of this chakra is yellow or gold, any gem corresponding to these colors will help to open the solar plexus area and bring energy to the spleen, liver, pancreas, and stomach. Yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones are all great gems to enhance your sense of personal power.

4- Open Yourself to Love With the Fourth Chakra



The fourth chakra is at the center of the seven chakras with three below and three above. This is the area where physical and spiritual meet. The fourth chakra, also referred to as the heart chakra, is located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system. The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists.                                      
When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive, and you accept others and yourself. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.

Choose the Essence of Anahata

Some people choose to live in the place of grievances. They’ve been hurt in the past by parents, siblings, classmates, or loves. Maybe you’ve been there too. It’s impossible to avoid situations where someone may try to hurt you. But you get to choose what to do with that hurt. Some people might try to hurt the other person back. Yet, that is not living from a place of Anahata. The person who inflicts pain on others is coming from a place of fear, ignorance or hatred, all of which represent a closed heart chakra.
When you encounter hurt feelings from your past or present, you can choose to feel them fully and let them go or hold onto them. By letting them go, you’re able to open your heart to new people and new experiences with compassion, love, and understanding. Holding onto hurt harbors negative feelings and cuts you off from opportunities to love and serve. Letting go is as easy as making a choice. Your mind and your ego may tell you otherwise but it’s as simple as choosing to let go and move on.

Empathy and Compassion Create Openness

Walking in another person’s shoes is not easy to do, but can be helpful in fostering a sense of empathy. To help create empathy and compassion, I like to play a game called, “the what if scenarios.” When encountering a person who is being unpleasant or who has treated me poorly in the past, I quickly take my mind through a host of what ifs. For example, ask yourself, “What if that person is just having a bad day?” or “What if that person just lost his job?” “What if she just learned her husband was having an affair?” “What if he was just diagnosed with an illness?” As you create these stories, of which the possibilities are endless, you begin to empathize with the other person and his or her situation. This method takes you away from yourself and self-pity and places compassion onto the other person.
Now, let’s suppose that there’s a family member or close friend who just repeats a pattern of inflicting hurt on a constant basis. You can still offer love and compassion either from a distance or by setting boundaries. In any case, know that when someone chooses to hurt you, it’s almost never about you. It’s about them.

Give Love to Receive Love

The best way to receive love is to give it. Author and motivational speaker, Leo Buscaglia, used to teach that we should give and receive 12 hugs a day for optimal health. So give hugs and kisses. Other ways you can give love:
  • Smile at everyone you see daily, even if you don’t feel like smiling. It’s contagious.
  • Forgive and move on. Life is too short to hold grudges.
  • Give friends, family and co-workers positive affirmations and feedback.
  • Try to go one day a week without criticizing anyone or anything, including yourself.
Take any opportunity you can to foster love and loving feelings. Love is a currency and whatever you give will come back to you.

Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems to Balance the Fourth Chakra

Any yoga pose that opens the area of the chest will help to balance the heart chakra. Some poses include camel, standing bow pose, and cow face pose.
The mantra sound corresponding to the fourth chakra is the sound YUM. A special mantra to help expand love and compassion is OM MANI PADME HUM. You can repeat this mantra in meditation to gain greater access to these qualities.
The color is emerald green and the gemstones associated with the heart are emerald, malachite, jade, and rose quartz.

5- Speak Your Inner Truth With the Fifth Chakra

The fifth chakra, Vishuddha, is the first of the three spiritual chakras. In the area of the throat, it governs the anatomical regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx. To be open and aligned in the fifth chakra is to speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication. Faith and understanding combine the essence of the Vishuddha chakra. The element corresponding to the fifth chakra is ether or space, and the sense is hearing.

Determine Your Highest Truth

Authentic expression is not something that comes easily. There’s a delicate dance between saying what you mean and staying tactful or diplomatic. Often it’s easier to say what the other person may want to hear instead of speaking your truth. Fear of not being accepted, or judgment from the other may hinder your truthful verbal expression. 
Work on the lower chakras will help prepare you for this level of communication. For example, when you align the first and second chakras, it helps with overcoming fear. Opening the third chakra helps you to feel your personal power and have the confidence to express yourself. Knowing what’s in your heart comes when you align the fourth chakra. Then, when it comes to verbalizing your needs, desires, and opinions you’re better able to determine how to be truthful to yourself and others.

Express Your Truth

If you’re used to being accommodating, rather than saying what you want, you may have to practice out loud to yourself. Affirmations are useful in making what you desire reality. Write down what you might want to express to others. Let’s suppose you’d like to ask your boss if you can work from home two days per week but you haven’t had the courage to ask. Write out the phrase you will say when you are with him. Practice it in front of your mirror.
Maybe you’d like it if your mother-in-law would call before dropping over but you’ve feared confrontation. Write down the request, practice it, and maybe include a couple of responses should she push back on your request.

Speak and Listen With Compassion

Dr. David Simon often refers to the following ancient wisdom. He says that there are three gateways you should cross before speaking.
  1. First, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say true?”
  2. If so, proceed to the second gateway and ask, “Is what I am about to say necessary?”
  3. If the answer is yes, go to the third gateway and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say kind?” 
Speaking your highest truth doesn’t mean you’re allowed to be hurtful or critical. The truth from your spiritual essence will come across as kind and compassionate.
Listening is another aspect of the fifth chakra. The highest form of listening includes giving the other person your full attention. This means putting away electronic devices or turning them off and waiting to hear the other person completely before responding.

Open and Align the Vishuddha Chakra

Chanting, singing, humming, and reading aloud are wonderful ways to open the fifth chakra. In fact, the mantra sound for this chakra is HUM. Two Pranayama exercises that bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi breath and the lion’s breath.

In your yoga practice, you can do camel pose (Ustrasana), bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana), and plow (Halasana). These poses will stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands as well as bring energy to the area of the throat.
The color corresponding to the fifth chakra is blue, and gems to balance this chakra are sapphire, blue topaz, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and turquoise. 





6- Trust Your Intuition With the Sixth Chakra


The sixth chakra, Ajna, is in the area of the third eye, which is found in the space between the eyebrows. It encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. An invisible yet powerful third eye, this is your center of intuition. A spiritual chakra, which means “beyond wisdom,” Ajna leads you to an inner knowledge that will guide you if you let it. An open sixth chakra can enable clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreaming, expanded imagination, and visualization.

The Sixth Sense

Your world is experienced through the five senses. Even before you passed through the womb, you heard noises like your mother’s voice and heartbeat, and listened to muffled sounds outside. You experienced touch, taste, and even perceived light. And since the moment of birth, you’ve attributed your experiences to what you perceive through the senses. You’ve learned to trust your senses in what you can taste, smell, touch, see, and hear. While sense perception is great in life experience, it limits you when it comes to expanding your awareness.
At one time, you had to count on your sense of intuition and inner knowing. Before modern technology, we had to rely on signals from the environment and a more primal instinct to guide us. Just like birds can sense when a tsunami might hit, or squirrels know when it’s time to gather food for the winter, humans too have an intuitive sense. We’ve simply lost touch with it as well as our ability to trust in it.

Feeling Your Way to Intuition

Your physical senses can give you clues as to how to follow your intuition. For example, have you ever had the feeling that a carton of milk was bad? You smell the milk, look at the expiration date that’s still a couple weeks away, and even ask everyone in the house, “Is this milk bad?” Then, not detecting anything concrete, you go ahead and drink it but experience severe stomach pain as a result? That’s because on a very subtle level, your sense of smell detected something wasn’t right and gave you a cue that you doubted.
Here’s another example: you’re making a business deal with someone and everything adds up. The person seems great and honest. But when you shake hands you feel something just isn’t right. When the deal goes through, you find out it was corrupt.
You receive these clues through your senses, but when something isn’t visible you tend to ignore it. The good news is that you can learn to trust these clues and make better decisions based on your intuitive sense. When your decisions turns out right, write them down to reinforce that your intuition guided you in the right direction. Remember that just like the animals in the forest, you too have always had this sixth sense; you simply need to find it again.

Ask Your Inner Knower for Guidance

You can also use your inner sense to ask for guidance to make the right decisions. Taking into account your mind, intellect, and ego, you are now including your soul in the decision making process. Just as you turned to the third chakra in the area of the solar plexus to guide you with comfort or discomfort, you will pay attention to a hunch or a subtle feeling of moving forward or holding back. If you are conflicted, ask for your sense of intuition to be opened to you in order to help you make the right choice.

How to Balance Ajna

Just like any of the spiritual chakras, Ajna is best balanced through meditation. Often, new meditators will report having a tingling feeling in the third eye or equate it to a headache. A tingling or pulsating sensation around the area of the third eye during or after meditation is a sign that you are opening this blocked chakra.

A great Pranayama breathing technique is called Brahmari or the bee breath. Bring both hands to your face. Place the two middle fingers over your eyes. Allow the index fingers to rest on the eyebrow line and the pinky fingers under the cheekbones. Close your ears with your thumbs. Take a deep inhalation and exhale the word AUM with the emphasis on the “M” sound while creating a buzzing sound like a bee. Do this for two minutes or more. You can alleviate tension in the head and it works to open the sixth chakra.

Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems

Any yoga Asana where the forehead is pressed down is a good one for the sixth chakra. Try child’s pose (Balasana) with your forehead pressed to the floor or a yoga block. Dolphin pose is another helpful pose when you lift the head up to look toward the floor.

The color for the sixth chakra is indigo and the mantra sound is SHAM.

Gems that help open the Ajna chakra are amethyst, lapis lazuli, and azurite.



7- Connect to the Divine With the Seventh Chakra


The seventh chakra, Sahaswara, is referred to as the thousand-petal lotus chakra. This is the top chakra of the seven and located at the crown of the head. Sahaswara is our source of enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. It is a connection to our higher selves, to every being on the planet, and ultimately the divine energy that creates everything in the universe.

True opening of Sahaswara means the realization that you are pure awareness. You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it.

Emerging From the Murky Waters


The lotus flower is a symbol in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It is nurtured, grows, and emerges in muddy waters. It blooms where there is no clarity. The beauty of the lotus is unique to its environment, which appears monotonous and lacks vibrancy.

When you reach the unfurling of the seventh chakra, you emerge through the confines of the physical body, the ego, mind, and intellect. You even push beyond the individual soul that ties you to Samsara, the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. You are freed from the shackles of desire. White light surrounds your body and you appear to stand out in your murky surroundings.

Is This an Unattainable Beauty?


After reading the description of the seventh chakra, it may seem out of reach. You may think, “Well, that sounds nice for monks and gurus, but not for me. I’m just an ordinary person with a normal life.”
While we have the demands of daily living and the busy minds that accompany these demands, reaching enlightenment may not be as far off as it appears. A worthy goal may be to live in a constant state of pure awareness. But how about living with moments of pure awareness? We have all experienced these moments at one time or another. Have you ever felt unconditional love for someone? Have you ever experienced a miracle?

Practicing meditation, prayer, and daily silence are disciplines that lead to increased moments of spiritual connection. In fact, these are the only means by which you will experience the essence of Sahaswara. Just as you would go to school for hours a day and study for exams to obtain a degree, meditation, prayer, and silence are your studies to obtain a spiritual degree.

Once you’ve established a daily practice of these activities that connect you to universal consciousness, you will see expansion of spiritual awareness in your outer world. You will begin to experience unconditional love on a consistent basis. You will be more compassionate, kind, and forgiving, and you will show more humility. Life will no longer be solely about you and your desires. Your life will become more about serving others because when you serve others, you are serving yourself.

Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems


While silence is the most powerful and important way to opening the seventh chakra, there are some other practices that support this chakra.

Two Pranayama breathing techniques you can do before meditation include Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, and Kapalabhatior the skull shining breath.

Inverted yoga asanas such as headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) and down dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) can help stimulate the seventh chakra, as well as any posture that brings the crown of the head to the floor such as fish pose (Matsyasana).

The color for the crown chakra is violet or white and the mantra sound is the universal sound of OM. Gems you can wear or have in your environment to help open and align the seventh chakra are amethyst, selenite, and sugilite.


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