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Journey through the chakras

24 Mar 2023
by Aimée Kuntz

Each chakra is related to a specific kind of consciousness. All these forms of consciousness are equally important. So a 'higher' chakra is not more important than a 'lower' chakra, but just has a different function. They all have their own part to fulfill and all are necessary.

The chakras are also great focus points in your body for your meditation practice. Whether you focus on one specific chakra or like to tap into all of them one by one. There they can function as a gateway; showing you what is happening below the surface once you tap into the subtle energy flows. You can find one of my favorite chakra meditations HERE.


1. Root chakra (Muladhara)

The root chakra is about feeling comfortable in your own home. Your literal home and in your body suit -your physical body-.

It is also known for being related to being grounded, the earth and nature in general. Less familiar is that it is also about tribal power. So it's also about group identity, group force, group willpower and group belief patterns. Tribes are for example the groups you form with your family, co-workers or friends. But please also remember that in the end we are all one global tribe. All is one. 

If one feels that the root chakra needs some more attention, it can be worthwhile to investigate if one feels victimized by their tribe. And if so, what one can do to heal that.

From a body perspective, everything that helps to ground ourselves, can help us overcome the feeling of being powerless. Energetically, it also requires stamina. That's why physical strength can help with energy leaks in the root chakra. With regard to asanas, for example long holds in warrior poses. Personally, working on my strength helped me a lot to ground myself. And with a lot, I am not exaggerating. 

Since feeling rooted is also about connecting with the earth, also floor poses -like cobra and bow pose- can help to connect with your roots. Animals also often stay close to the ground on hot summer days; rooted and slow movements for more earth element (to balance the high fire element).

Furthermore, belly breaths also help you to connect to your roots. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just put your hands on your belly and take slow breaths through your nose while you feel your belly moving with the in- and exhale.


2. Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)

The second chakra is about the power of relationships. Physically it's located in the lower abdomen (up to the navel). You could even perceive the womb as a center of creation, like the soil of the earth. 

When problems or attachments show up in our life with regard to authority, other people, money or addictions, it can be helpful to tune into the energy of the second chakra. 

For example in meditation. Just like that you can focus on the point between your eyebrows, you can focus on any other of the chakras in your meditation. Focus on the physical and energetic area and observe if something comes up. Can you be there with those feelings? 

With observing what comes up, we can also create clarity about what we can do or change. We have the power of choice! 

Choice and creation are directly related. The power of choice helps us to balance all kinds of energetic patterns and is therefore important for the essence of our human experiences. To be able to create, a choice will be made. 

The energy of the second chakra also shows up in asanas where there is a combination of surrendering to the pose, with still some activation to stay present to what is. For example in splits with active legs and pelvic floor. Just like sometimes we need to put boundaries, but we like to do that in a loving way. 


3. Solar plexus chakra (Manipura)

The third chakra is about personal power in relation to the external world. This energy is strengthened by self-esteem, self-respect, and self-discipline. And also by ambition, the ability to generate action, the ability to handle a crisis, the courage to take risks, generosity, ethics, and strength of character. 

Giving power to this third chakra energy might feel challenging on the yogic path. But since it is actually about Honoring One-self, your True Self, your Highest Self, it is actually supported from a spiritual point of view. Yoga is actually about self-realization (and yes therefore about stilling the fluctuations of the mind). 

One needs self-esteem to be capable of making healthy decisions. But none of us are born with a healthy self-esteem: it's something we have to earn in the process of living, while facing challenges (hopefully one at a time). Furthermore, when you are refueled, you can also give more. That's not selfish. 

I love how abdominal muscle activation like boat pose or pike headstand make me feel content afterwards. Especially when the headstand is practiced as a drill by raising and lowering the straight legs all the way up and down; especially because it's substantial core work. 

A very gentle approach to connect to your third chakra is by using it as a focus in breath work or meditation practice. At the end of a prana/yoga nidra session, I love visualizing as if I breath energy into my third chakra and out from the third chakra to my whole body and far beyond. 


4. Heart chakra (Anahata)

The fourth chakra is about emotional power, a true central powerhouse of the human energy system. It teaches us to act from a place of love and compassion. Both towards ourselves as all other beings. 

While of course the energy of the sixth chakra is very valuable, one often doesn't pay enough attention to the fourth chakra. This chakra forms the bridge between the grounded energy of the first 3 chakras and the more subtle energies of the upper 3 chakras. And without a good base of the first 4 chakras, the sixth chakra can actually show illusions. Intuition needs both grounding and compassion to create clarity. 

In backbends we are often invited to work with the heart chakra energy. When it manifests as loving energy, it is usually appreciated. But also feelings of vulnerability can come to the surface. Some like to avoid these triggers (unconsciously). However, learning to set healthy boundaries (using the first three chakras) combined with a safe environment can help you deal with these feelings of vulnerability. It can therefore become a process of letting go (of control) and improving connection with your inner source. Feeling both the loving energy and the vulnerability can be extremely powerful in your personal journey!

Nevertheless, take it easy. While working on backbends requires consistency, you are not in a hurry. Allow the nervous system to ease into it. Feel your breath and use your breath to create space instead of focusing on depth. 

The lining around your heart -pericardium- even hardens when feeling wounded. It's a smart move from the physical body to protect the physical heart during trauma. Over time however, it's beneficial to process that trauma and to create space again for the loving and compassionate energies. Of course, supported by pragmatic grounding of the first 3 chakras. 


5. Throat chakra (Vishuddi)

The fifth chakra is about the power of will and how we express it. While it requires speaking up when necessary (while also not wasting unnecessary words), it is about connection. And even about handling your personal will to the divine. 

When the fifth chakra is balanced, there won’t be an egoistic use of energy. And you can also see how it's supported by the 'lower' chakras since it requires faith, self-knowledge and personal authority. 

It's also about understanding the energetic consequences of our thoughts and beliefs. This requires being honest in a kind way. While this can feel like it requires overcoming fear, it actually requires courage to act anyway despite the fear. Acting because you know it's the right thing to do, even when it's uncomfortable for you personally. 

Further, since the fifth chakra is placed between the heart and the head, it also requires communicating that is supported by a balanced heart and mind energy. 

To get to know your 5 chakra energy better, one could meditate while keeping your focus around your throat area. Not just for once, but for a longer period of time, where each time can help you to connect with your energy in a different way. It helps to keep your tongue in khechari mudra; keep the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth at the roof of your mouth. Or if possible keep the tip of your tongue further back on the roof of the mouth until you reach the soft part of your upper palate.

Along your meditation, you could focus on khechari mudra itself, on the pit of your throat (the point between your collarbones), your throat itself, the back of your mouth or on your neck.


6. Third eye chakra (Ajna)

The energy of the sixth chakra involves our mental and reasoning abilities. And also our psychological skill at evaluating our beliefs and attitudes. When one isn't grounded, the mental images and beliefs can actually show illusions and other false truths. That's why it’s so important to create balance in all the chakras and not only at the sixth chakra. Actually true intuition shows up when the 5 senses are balanced; then they work together and form the sixth sense.

It's a journey facing our own shadow and judgments to find our intuition, discipline, wisdom and inspiration. Looking for sacred truth... a truth that is true for everybody. So when your truth is not true from someone else's perspective... it's probably not a sacred truth. 

One of the harsh things of being human is that we don’t know everything (while it's so tricky to assume that we do). Another reason why we need lots of compassion for ourselves and others. 

Having said that, I do believe in the tremendous power of a daily sadhana. Yes, practicing asanas is wonderful, healing and creates clarity. But a sitting practice with for example pranayama, kriya and meditation brings you so much more inwards. And that will also show you how you handle life outwards (and what direction might be more beneficial for you).

Yet, a sitting practice can be even more challenging to maintain. For me it helped me a lot to check-in with a community (with my teacher Jared McCann) several times a week and meditate together. That also helped me to stay accountable on the other days and in the meantime have built a long-lasting daily meditation habit.


7. Crown chakra (Sahasrara)

The seventh chakra is known as our spiritual connector. So it's about alignment with the divine, but also our grace bank account. 

When one is going through 'the dark night of the soul' (which is not the same yet sometimes misinterpreted as a depression), one is faced with a challenge on a seventh chakra level. 

The strength of this chakra shows itself via faith in the presence of the Divine, and in all that faith represents within one's life. Such as inner guidance, insight into healing, faith and devotion. It’s an energy that comes inwards through the seventh chakra, not so much outwards. Because outwards here is only beneficial in the process of dying. One of the most intriguing things is that the more we let ourselves be inspired and led by the Divine, the more we seem to be our authentic selves. 


Would you like to read more about this?

If you want to read more about this, I can recommend the book Anatomy of the Spirit, by Caroline Myss. On the other hand, in accordance with the yoga path, it is always more important to experience your knowledge instead of accumulating through reading via your personal yoga practice. Pratyahara, meditation and prana nidra are especially suitable for this.



In the photo I am wearing the Yoga Democracy Third Eye Chakra legging of recycled plastic. Practicing on a sustainable Moonchild yoga matwith perfect grip.


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