Closing our Chakra energy exploration, we focus this week on our pranayama and asana work to reveal differences and changes in energy throughout our body, but also within our mind. Full breath practices with hand mudras (seals) can bring our sensate awareness to notice all parts of the lungs, and where we may feel resistance to opening up the breath.
Expansive poses highlight the need for applied effort combined with a sense of release- a tough combination indeed. We bring these elements into Warrior II with energised arms stretched out wide, effort through the legs and body yet calm gaze, relaxed through face, neck and tops of shoulders. Twists tend not to be associated with space, yet we need to feel lifted through the spine and open at the heart. Front body stretches such as Ustrasana (camel) require strong upward energy (from a firm base) to avoid any sense of compaction through the spine and at the lower back. Many muscle groups are working here through the abdominals, back, and legs. Full breathing can be a challenge which tends to introduce tension, so this must be noticed and countered. Hip openers culminate with Kapotanasana (pigeon pose), giving some students a chance to reflect on mental resistance as well as physical!
We conclude our practice with focus on each Chakra energy centre, using mantras to notice what difference is made by sound and vibration. Some may resonate more than others, which again, can provide clues as to where energy flows more or less freely. So let go of inhibition, and let the good vibrations roll!
Ruth is a yoga therapist and yoga teacher based in Cheltenham, UK. She emphasises yoga as a tool for well-being, for individuals and in her classes, in person or via zoom.