The seven major chakras are energy points, spinning spheres of bioenergetic activity in the body, writes yoga master Amy Landry. When energy at the base of the spine flows freely upward through the chakras, it leads to an expanded state of consciousness.
The Muladhara, or root, chakra is associated with the earth element, groundedness, home, family, and boundaries.
Extend arms wide, and step feet open. Turn right foot out 90 degrees, and left foot inward 45 degrees. Inhale, then as you exhale bend your right knee to a right angle over right ankle. Gaze toward your right hand. Hold for 5 breaths; release and change sides.
The Svadisthana, or sacral, chakra is associated with the water element, movement, emotions, and sexuality.
Step your left foot behind you, turning it out to 45 degrees; keep right toes pointing forward. Inhale your left arm up. Exhale and fold forward, placing your left hand on the inside or outside of your right foot. Inhale, then exhale turning torso and head to the right, and extending right arm to the sky. Hold for 5 breaths; release and change sides.
The Manipura, or solar plexus, chakra is associated with the fire element, energy, self-esteem, and power.
Sit with legs in front and feet flat. Slowly lean backwards as you gently lift the feet so shins are parallel with the ground, keeping legs together. Extend arms forward toward your toes, keeping chest open and lifted. Hold for 5 breaths; release and repeat.
The Anahata, or heart, chakra is associated with the air element, love, self-love, intimacy, and devotion.
Begin kneeling, hands on the top back of pelvis. Lengthen the tailbone downward toward the back of knees, while lifting sides of chest high. Slowly bend backward, retracting shoulder blades. Keep hands on pelvis, or release hands to heels (or to blocks for support). Hold for 5 breaths, then engage abdomen strongly, draw chin to chest, and release back to upright.
The Vissudha, or throat, chakra is associated with sound, creativity, expression, and communication.
Lie on your back, arms by sides and feet flat, around sitting bone-distance apart and parallel. Pressing into feet and shoulders, slowly roll pelvis, middle and upper back off the ground, and raise chest towards chin. If safely accessible, clasp ankles with your hands; or, interlock fingers. Raise chest, lengthen tailbone toward the back of the knees, and press heels down. Hold for 5 breaths, then release.
The Ajna, or third-eye, chakra is associated with light, insight, imagination, perception, and dreams.
Kneel, thighs together, then sit back on your heels. Fold torso forward, keeping the weight of your pelvis anchored to the heels. Rest your head on the ground or on a block and close your eyes. Remain for 2 minutes minimum, then release.
The Sahasrara, or crown, chakra is associated with thought, beliefs, divinity, wisdom, and understanding.
Sit comfortably, elevating your hips on a bolster, and supporting your knees. Rest hands softly in your lap. Lift tall through your centre, anchoring your tailbone downward. Close your eyes, and relax your facial muscles. Focus on your breath rhythm. As the mind wanders, gently return your attention to the breath, inviting the mind to slow down. As you allow more space in between your thoughts you can invite your true sense of knowing into your life. Remain for 5-10 minutes daily.
Visit Amy at www.amyelandry.com