Chakra inspired Yin Flow
Chakras are not physical things and studying them can be quite an esoteric affair. It took me years of my own practise before I made any conclusions about their “reality”. The best way to learn about these energy centres is through a practical experiential approach but if we move too quickly it’s hard to tune in to the subtle energies below the surface of our everyday distractions.
Wether your a believer or not, using these centres as points of reference to ground your attention, you will discover a rich inner world bursting with the body/minds natural intelligence. It’s good to remember your not necessarily looking for extra-ordinary sensations rather developing sensitivity to what in our busy-ness we overlook as unimportant, or uninteresting; Here the Magic hides!
These poses are taken from Yin Yoga, a slow gentle practise which works more with the connective tissue than the muscles. take your time. Aim to stay still for 3-5 minutes, use any supports you need and adjust if necessary. No pushing or striving necessary, back off a little from sensations that are too strong to relax within, and intensify if there is not enough sensation to keep you present.
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara) ~ Childs Pose
Ground your attention just below the tailbone inside the pelvic floor. Feel the physicality & solidity of your body and the earth beneath you. Feel all the contact points between your body and the floor, the weight distribution and the physical sensations of the body in this shape. Keep your attention focused in the lower pelvic region as you rest here 3-5 minutes. As this pose is a rest pose you can move straight into the second pose.
2. Pelvic Chakra (Svadishthana) ~ Frog
Bring your focus to the centre of the pelvic bowl midway between the pubic and sacrum bones. Feel the fluidity of the body, it’s softness, juiciness, it’s pliability. Be aware of the water element in your body and the inner tides of your circulatory process. Feel the sensations through the pelvic bowl and be aware of your emotional experience, mood or feelings as you rest here for 3-5 mins. As you ease out take at least five rounds of cat cow to release the body before continuing.
3. Navel Chakra (Manipura) ~ Caterpillar
Most people can not get very far forward in this pose without being warmed up first so please use cushions and or blocks to prop yourself forward in a position you can relax in. Focus your attention into the centre of the abdomen. Invite a sense of softness through the belly all the way round to the lower back as you focus behind the navel centre. Feel the warmth of the belly, the digestive processes, and be aware of the energy created here. Pay attention to any energy experiences, feel the aliveness of the body and the soft movement of the breath in the relaxed belly. Hold for 3-5 mins, release gently onto your back bend the knees and sway them side to side like windscreen wipers.
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata) ~ Anahatasana
Roll over onto all fours and walk your hands forward away from your hips. Bring your focus to rest in the centre of your ribcage mid way between your breastbone and your spine. Keep lengthening the spine and the sides of the body as you soften the ribs and heart towards the earth. Be aware of the element of Air, of the movement of breath in and out, and throughout the body. Feel the touch of your hands on the earth, supporting your heart to make a direct connection with the earth the breath and with life itself. Release back into a childs pose and when ready Roll over onto your back.
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddhi) ~ Snail
You may want to take a few spinal rolls before attempting to hold this position. This pose can be quite intense and is not recommended if you have neck injuries. An alternative is to place a block under your hips and lift the legs, or rest them up against a wall as in a restorative Viparita Karini. Bring you attention to the sensations in the neck and throat centre. Be aware of the shape and volume of your body in this new position. Be aware of the space in which your body arises and all the different experiences contained within. Relax for 3-5 mins then release gently onto back with knees bent. When your body is ready hug knees into chest and rock Gently side to side.
6. Eyebrow Chakra (Ajna) ~ Cat pulling it’s tail
lying on your back with your knees bent hang your right foot over your left knee. Tip over onto your left hip and bring your right foot down to the floor on the left. If comfortable reach for your R foot with your L hand, and L foot with R hand. You may chose to hold here or extend R foot forward straightening the leg, and pull the L foot backwash the knee still bent. Try to keep both shoulders on the floor and look back towards the L arm. Focus on the eyebrow centre, feel The Right and left sides of the body and the cross over effect of the twist holding the opposite foot in each hand. Focus on your mind and observe, thoughts images and dreams that come and go. Hold 2-3 mins each side.
7. Crown Center (Sahasrara) ~ Shavasana
Lie back and Let go. make the body symmetrical and as comfortable as possible. You are welcome to use as many cushions as you like to enable maximum relaxation, (try one under your knees at least). Focus your attention on the crown of your head and on the whole central channel of the body running from the crown down to centre of the pelvic floor. Let go of any effort and open yourself up to a connection to something beyond your own small self identity. cultivate an experience of connection to whatever it is you believe in, be it God, higher self, cosmic consciousness or just life itself.
Take your time with this practise and be kind to yourself. This is not glamorous complicated yoga, it is time to be intimate with your own body, breath and life. Let it be a simple practise stripped back to give you space to discover the wonder that you already are. Find the shape of the pose that suits you best so you can feel some stretch but still stay relaxed with a smooth and easy breath. If you need help finding adaptations for certain poses feel free to ask in the comments.