This is a two-part blog post to help the Knowledge Seeker learn more about Chakra balancing exercises.
Chakra balancing as taught under the Indian Ayurveda system can help alleviate a number of physical, mental and emotional problems. The Ayurveda system states that many of these problems arise due to the imbalance of one’s Chakras which are the centres of energy, located on the mid-line of the body. The 7 chakras (see Chakra Chart) govern our psychological properties. The chakras located on the lower part of our body are our instinctual side, the highest ones our mental side. The chakras can be closed, open or over-active. The ideal state is when they are open and operating in a normal fashion.
To experience the energy, stand up with your arms in front of you, one palm facing up and the other facing down. Open and close your hands 10 times. Then reverse the direction of your palms and repeat. Now turn your palms inwards so that they are facing each other. Gently bring them closer to each other. You would feel a sense of energy which relates to the hands and heart. It may not happen the first time but will over a period of time.
These chakras are active at different levels for different people. In fact, when some chakras are under-active, others compensate by being over-active. So for example, if your sixth chakra which is called the Third Eye Chakra (located between your brows) is under-active, you might find yourself rigid in your beliefs. This might be compensated by an over-active third chakra called the Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra which will make you domineering and aggressive.
While chakras balancing should be done under the guidance of a trained expert, there are things that you can do to improve your Chakra balance which also reduces your stress levels. All that is required is willingness to try for size and one minute of your time.
The One-Minute Breather
This technique is based on the yoga principle of breathing to energies your body and is a beginner exercise for those who practice pranayama. It is also a great stress-buster and grounding exercise when under pressure.
Sit upright with your back straight and feet firmly on the ground. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Using your right hand thumb, close your right nostril while inhaling deeply with the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with your ring finger of the right hand and exhale deeply through the right nostril. We call this one set.
Repeat five sets and then slowly open your eyes. You will notice a sense of balance and energy. In addition, this exercise helps to clean up and tone the entire nervous system as well as removes mental tension and worries. Please note that for practicing this technique, both nostrils should be clear. Do not practice it if you are having a cold, suffering from asthma or your nose does not permit comfortable breathing through either nostril. In such a case, I suggest you try the other stress busting techniques.
The One-Minute Visualization
Perform this exercise seated on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor or sit cross legged on the floor with your back straight.Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Breathe in a normal fashion for a few seconds and then start your visualization breathing as follows:
Inhale deeply and visualize that you are inhaling white light smoke which is cleansing you of your negative feelings and beliefs. Visualize that it is going to the bottom of your stomach.
Then with every exhalation, visualize that this white light smoke has turned black and is carrying with it all the negative feelings that are inside your body. Repeat this exercise for about a minute. Return slowly to consciousness by counting backwards from 10 to 1 and slowly open your eyes.
You will feel balanced, rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to tackle the problems in front of you.
The One-Minute Stretch
This one is great if you find yourself stuck behind a desk for long periods of time. Stand with your legs slightly apart and raise your arms over your head while inhaling. Then gently lower your arms to your side while exhaling. This completes one set. Do 5 sets in the minute and feel the waves of energy wash over you. It is also a simple exercise for balancing the first chakra called the Root Chakra located near the base of the spine and relates to our sense of security.
Alternatively, make it a point to get up once every hour and engage in some activity, whether it is to go and get a glass of water or to make coffee.
The One-Minute Positive Thought
Our thoughts (whether mental or emotional) affect our energy levels. Have you noticed how a passionate thought makes you more energized while an angry thought exhausts you? This happens because these thoughts enhance or deplete your Root Chakra energy which is essential for stamina and resilience. So the next time something is going wrong, take time out to think of at least one positive thing about the situation.
The One-Minute Sun Bath
Stress affects our sleep pattern leading to problems of attention and lethargy during the day. Sunshine helps to stimulate the pineal gland which secretes melatonin. The area of the pineal gland corresponds to the sixth or Third Eye Chakra. The effective functioning of this chakra helps a person to release hidden and repressed negative thoughts, overcome sleep disorders and improve coordination. Through light, all the seven colour energies flow from the sun’s rays into our body so spending a minute or more in the sun helps.
These five tips can easily be incorporated into a busy schedule supplementing other actions to maintain a balanced life. Try the suggested tips for size and keep a Progress Journal for a week. I guarantee that you will notice a difference.
Specific exercises for each Chakra
Any set of chakra balancing exercises needs to first address the Root Chakra and then move onto the higher Chakras. The logic is simple, unless your base is secure and grounded; the rest of the structure will not be helpful and may create more problems than solutions.
Base or Root Chakra
- Grounding meditation also called the One-Minute Visualization exercise.
- Knee to chest yoga exercise: Lie flat on the floor. Lift the right leg and breathing in deeply; bring the leg closer to your chest using both hands. Bring the leg back to the floor while exhaling. Repeat with the left leg. This is one set. Do 3 sets.
- Head to knee pose: Sit with your back straight. Raise your arms above your head while inhaling and lower your body while trying to touch both legs’ toes. Hold the position for a few seconds breathing gently and then return arms to above your head and then to your sides with an exhale. Do 3 sets.
- Common sense grounding exercises for the Base Chakra: Believe it or not but the same can be achieved by just stamping, jumping up & down, kicking, riding, resting, eating, sleeping and massage.
- Water meditation: This can be done in 2 ways. First while drinking water and focusing on the feelings and sensations of the water entering your body. Secondly, by turning the process of bathing into a true cleansing ritual. Visualize and affirm to yourself that the water is cleansing you of all negativity that may have attached to your body during the day as well as any negativity that may have entered your body during the day. Then visualize and affirm that the water is restoring your balance and feelings of positivity. Try one or both! Water is good for you.
- Goddess Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet a few inches away from your buttock. Inhale and spread your legs wide open. Bring the legs back while exhaling. Do 3 sets.
- Scissor Kicks: Lift your legs about 6 inches above the floor while lying on your back. Inhale and open your legs. Exhale and bring them back together. Do 3 sets.
In the next post, we shall look at the remaining 5 Chakras.
This weekend, do try out the One-Minute exercises as well as the Base and Sacral Chakra exercises. Would love to receive your comments too!
Written by: Vatsala ShuklaFollow Me
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