There is much more to Hatha Yoga than asana practice. Every competent Yoga teacher training graduate knows about the major, minor, and lesser chakras. Every Yoga certification course worth its weight teaches graduates about the subtle body of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine.
There are many different beliefs regarding the number of major chakras in the Yogic subtle body. It seems the most common theory is seven or eight major chakras or nerve centers in the subtle body. Each chakra is described with a color, flower with a specific number of petals, personality characteristics, a corresponding part of the body and an element.
Not all Yoga systems or Gurus completely agree on the exact characteristics of the seven major chakras. Each chakra also has a corresponding mantra sound to awaken it. In Kundalini yoga there is a serpent (the Kundalini) at the first chakra and the serpent can be awakened as it moves through the seven main chakras. As the chakras are balanced, under the guidance of a competent Guru, a Yoga practitioner can reach deeper levels of consciousness.
1. First Chakra, Muladhara – this is a yellow chakra with four petals. Its element is earth and its mantra sound is LAM. The body part associated with this charka is the base or root. Its is associated with being grounded and balanced characteristics are roundedness, physical health, being comfortable with your body, stability, safety, prosperity and being present in the here and now.
2. Second chakra, Swahisthana – this is a white chakra with 6 petals. Its element is water and its mantra is VAM. The body part associated with this chakra is the abdomen and reproduction. It is associated with moving and its balancing characteristics are gracefulness, ability to embrace change , emotional intelligence, being nurturing, ability to set boundaries and enjoy pleasure, passion and sexual satisfaction
3. Third chakra, Manipura – This is the red chakra with 10 petals. Its element is fire and its mantra is RAM. It is associated with Directing. The part of the body associated with this chakra is the solar plexus. Balancing characteristics are Full voice, good communication and listening skills, good sense of timing and rhythm.
4. Fourth chakra, Anahata – This is a green chakra and has 12 petals, its element is air and its mantra is Yam. It is associated with loving and is associated with the lungs, heart, pericardium upper ribs, inner arms and hands, Balancing characteristics are caring, compassion, empathy, acceptance, self loving peaceful centered and contentment.
5. Fifth Chakra, Vishuddha – This is the sea-blue chakra that has 16 petals. Its element is ether and it mantra is Ham. It is associated with expression and is referred to as the throat chakra connecting the neck, shoulders, mouth and jaw and related to the thyroid gland. Balancing characteristics are full voice, communicates and listens well, good sense of timing and rhythm and creativity.
6. Sixth chakra – Ajna – This snow white chakra has two petals. OM mantra is OM. This chakra is about seeing both internally and externally, It is associated with the eyes The balancing characteristics are strong intuition, insight, imagination, memory, dream recall, visualization and has a guiding vision for life.
7. Seventh chakra – Sahasrara – The thousand petal chakra corresponds to the Absolute. When the serpent, kundalini reaches the seventh chakra the yogi attains Samadhi or super consciousness. The crown charka is the most important it is the consciousness of all other chakra. It is associated spiritual connection, wisdom and mastery, intelligence, being open minded, ability to question, assimilate and analyze information.
© Copyright 201o – Samantha Grayson – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Samantha Grayson is a certified Yoga teacher.
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