“Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras – their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers. They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras. They developed into a whole science. This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga. That is how Kundalini Yoga was born.” – Yogi Bhajan
The human body is a complex system encompassing vast energy systems that are not immediately perceptible with our limited eyes. The chakras are energy vortices powered by prana,or life force. By clearing the energy blocks from our chakras, we allow the Kundalini energy to rise up through us, invigorating and uplifting our minds and bodies to new heights.
Asana,or postures, are positions of the body used to activate and direct energy to open both a physical and an energetic position in the body. When using Kundalini yoga to clear the chakras, asana are useful to open pranic flow.
1) First Chakra, the Root Chakra (Muladhara): Foundations, fear, survival
Asana: Crow Pose
2) Second Chakra, the Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana): Creation, desire, relationships
Asana: Frog Pose
Keep the heels together and the fingers on the ground. Inhale through the nose as you straighten your knees; exhale through the nose as you squat down.
3) Third Chakra, the Solar Plexus (Manipura): Will, action
Asana: Stretch Pose
Lift the head and the feet six inches off the ground. Bring the arms up, palms facing. Stare at the toes. Do breath of fire.
4) Fourth Chakra, the Heart Chakra (Anahata): Love
Asana: Camel Pose
If full camel pose is too much of a stretch for you, place your hands in the small of your back for support and arch backwards with your head.
5) Fifth Chakra, the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha): Communication
Asana: Cobra Pose
Lie on the ground, hands under the shoulders, palms flat on ground. Push up, lifting the heart and letting the head follow, keeping the pelvis on the ground. If this is too much of a stretch, try Sphinx pose, keeping your elbows on the ground as you arch your head back.
6) Sixth Chakra, the Third Eye (Ajna): Intuition, Wisdom
Asana: Guru Pranam
Sit on the heels. Bring the torso over the thighs and place the forehead on the ground. Extend the hands in front of you on the ground in prayer.
7) Seventh Chakra, the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara): Transcendence, The Seat of the Soul
Asana: Sat Kriya
Sit on the heels. Stretch the arms over the head with elbows straight, hugging the ears. Interlace all fingers except the index finger, which you extend. Men cross the right thumb over the left; women cross the left thumb over the right. Chant “Sat nam” at a constant rhythm. As you chant “Sat” pull in the navel; as you chant “nam” release the navel. Draw the energy up the spine. Eyes closed. (3-31 minutes)
Sat Kriya is a complete Kundalini yoga workout for all of the chakras. It is an amazing and powerful practice, complete and entire in one asana and mudra. Doing Sat Kriya everyday for 40 days will have a profound effect on the function of your chakras. It specifically works on waking up the Kundalini energy and helping it move up your spine through your chakra system.
No chakra stands alone; the chakra system is holistic and interrelated. You cannot work on one chakra with Kundalini Yoga without addressing the needs of the rest. The Lower Triangle (the first, second and third chakras) deals with elimination, while the Upper Triangle (fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras) focuses on accumulation. They meet at the fourth chakra, the heart chakra, an essential point of balance between these forces.
There is another kriya that uses Sat Kriya to work specifically on each chakra called Sat Kriya for the Chakras. This wonderful kriya lets you do variations of Sat Kriya in asanas specifically affecting each chakra. It helps to clear the body for the rise of Kundalini energy.
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Ramdesh Kaur, MA, is an IKYTA Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher trained by Gurmukh. She writes extensively on yoga, spirituality and mantra. She hosts the show “Spirit Voyage Radio with Ramdesh” on Unity FM, one of the Top 100 Itunes Podcasts, and leads Spirit Voyage’s 40 Day Global Sadhanas, which bring together 20,000 meditators from 65 countries. Before working with Spirit Voyage, she was the residential Kundalini yoga teacher at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India in the Himalyan foothills, and has a Master’s Degree from the Courtauld Institute in London. She is the author of “Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart” with Karan Khalsa and has three best selling guided meditation CDs “Journey into Stillness”, “Relaxation Meditations”, and “Stress Relief Meditations” (with crystal singing bowl master Ashana) all available on Spirit Voyage, ITunes and Amazon. She teaches at festivals internationally and leads powerful personal creativity retreats in Mexico with her partner Harnam Singh, an accomplished mantra musician. http://www.ramdesh.com