Sanskrit word â€œchakraâ€ means â€œwheelâ€. A wheel rolls, turns and, by means of circular movement takes one on a journey. You may find it interesting, as I do, that the word also refers to cyclical phenomenae, such as:
-a circular flight pattern of birds -a cycle of years -a winding of a river -an astronomical circle
This circular, cyclical movement is happening throughout the body and at different speeds; however, we can think of the chakras divided into seven primary energetic centres. These centres are analogous with many things, including: the anatomy of the body; the elements of the earth; emotions; colours; animals; and sound.
When these energy centres are open and wellness flows throughout the body, we are at ease â€“ physically, emotionally and in our relationships. However, when they are blocked through injury, illness or disconnection with others, we are prevented from being our best selves. The chakra system is in place from an early age, so the imbalance can begin within the earliest years of development when our earliest needs for food, shelter and warmth are not met. Imbalances can be formed at anytime and within any of the chakras when energy becomes static and inert.
The goal for a yogi is to keep the energy fluid and balanced, which can be done most directly through diet, energetic movement (such as vinyasa and deeply held asanas), pranayama, sound vibration and meditation.
Sourced from ancient teachings, chakra yoga is perhaps more relevant today than ever, at a time when so many feel disconnected from themselves and the community. By rebalancing the energetic channels in the body your heart will be more open to experiencing joy.
I will be teaching a Jivamukti Chakra Balancing Workshop at Indaba Yoga Studio in Marylebone, London on December 4, 2011. Suitable for all levels except complete beginners.