We, the humans, are supposed to have seven Chakras or energy centres ascending along the spinal cord. When these centres are unobstructed, we are fit both physically and emotionally. When they get blocked because of ill health, injury, or some other reason, we are blocked from being our own selves. There are thousands of energy channels or nadis, through which cosmic energy floods into our body.
For chakra yoga, sit erect, so that your head, neck and back are in line. Be comfortable whether sitting on floor, in padmasan or siddhasan or even on a chair. For the mind to be still, you need to feel comfortable. Several Mudras are used in chakras. When mudras also involve contraction of certain muscles, it becomes Bandha or locker.
Mudras are gestures or specified movements which alter mood attitude and perception and which deepens awareness and concentration. A mudra can be a simple hand or finger formation, or it can involve the entire body in a combination of asanas, pranayamas, bandhas and visualisation. Mudras are instrumental to awakening of Kundalini or the reservoir of dormant feminine energy, coiled up, at the base of spine. The grounding forces of the lower chakras provide the vital foundation for balanced spiritual exploration.
In Mantra Yoga, repeated chanting of certain mantras are potent words are used. Loudly repeated chants have an uplifting and soothing effect on human brain, while vibration from repeated chanting of primordial sounds, each syllable of which creates a unique resonance within the body and mind. This resonance assists healing and spiritual uplifting. Chanting is often misunderstood as religious practice. Of course you can chant a prayer to god, if that makes you happy, but you can also chant for the light within you, or for the peace and joy of your soul and create the unique vibration that starts to resonate within your heart and brain and escapes into the wide energy field of the universe.
CHANTS or MANTRA
Chanting produces positive effects. It can be a word, phrase or just any favourite sound. The vibration of a sound at a particular pitch, brings calmness in the mind and produces a specific effect on the body mind and psyche, inducing healing and spiritual elevation. The cells of the body consist of atoms which carry electrons that vibrate. Listening to chanting, at the right pitch, produces calmness. AUM and the other Chakra chants are more than just a procedure to start your practice. The chants are believed to be the primordial sounds born with the universe. As we exhale a sound like AUM, if done properly, the sound should reverberate from the pelvic floor upward, through the crown of the head, filling the body with pulsating energy, that, at the same time empowers and radiates peace and tranquillity linking us to the original source of creation. Chanting is a tool for empowering inward concentration and is usually linked with Chakra Yoga practices.
Mudras are gestures. It could simply be hand gestures or complicated body gesture. Hand gestures are called Hasta Mudras. There are special ways of placing the hands and fingers that energises the body soul and mind. Our hands and fingers have a direct connection with specific parts of the brain. Mudras direct the energy flow, linking the individual pranic energy with all pervasive universal force. Our different fingers are believed to receive energy from different planets and relates to a specific quality and specific emotion. It is also believed that the human body consists of five elements and each finhger represents one of these elements. – Thumb : Space. Index finger : Air. Middle finger : Fire. Ring finger : Water. Little finger : Earth. The Mudras stimulate the flow of prana through the body and seal it in , so that it is not lost.
CHAKRAS AT A GLANCE.
Muladhar or Root Chakra : Colour Red. Element Earth. Relates to Stability, Survival and Basic Needs. Mantra LAM.
Swadhisthana or Sacral Chakra : Colour Orange. Element Water. Relates to Creativity, Sexuality and Relationship. Mantra VAM.
Manipura or Navel Chakra : Colour Yellow. Element Fire. Relates to Power, Will and Action. Mantra RAM.
Anahata or Heart Chakra. Colour Green. Element Air. Relates to Unconditional Love, Self Healing and Joy. Mantra YAM.
Visuddha or Throat Chakra. Colour Sky Blue. Element Ether. Relates to Communication, Expression and Truth. Mantra Ham.
Ajna or Third Eye Chakra. Colour Indigo. Surpasses worldly elements. Relates to Intuition and Wisdom. Mantra AUM.
Sahasrara or Crown Chakra. Colour Violet. Element Boundless. Relates to spiritual awakening and a Blissful state. No specific Mantra.
The Chakras in ascending order, are :
Chakra Yoga (Full technique) :