Our astral body is made up of 7 points of energy. The points of energy in other terms refer to the 7 chakras within the body starting from the tail of the spine and moving upwards to the head. These chakras or disks of spinning energy each correspond to certain nerve bundles and major organs. For the human body to be healthy and functioning well, just like the various Doshas; namely, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, these Chakras too need to remain balanced and open. If they somehow get blocked due to sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices and lifestyle habits or excessive stress, one experiences immense physical and emotional distress related to the particular chakra that has been blocked.
While there are many means of tapping or unblocking these energy points in our body like wearing gemstones, repeating mantras, practicing pranayamas, yoga postures, meditation, etc, it is the Kundalini Yoga that is most commonly practiced to awaken the Chakras that helps to enhance an individual's awareness and move past ego.
What Is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is a part of yoga that mainly comprises of chanting mantras while meditating or doing breathing exercises or repetitive yoga postures. The chief purpose of this yoga form is to awaken the Kundalini shakti or the points of energy within the body. Also known as ‘Laya Yoga ‘ or the ‘Yoga of awareness’, the primary concept of Kundalini yoga has been around for several centuries and even mentioned throughout the spiritual texts and ancient Vedic literature. Although, this form of yoga has been practiced all over the world, the exact origin of it is still unknown.
The term “Kundalini” comes from the Sanskrit word “kundal,” which symbolizes “circular”, referring to a coiled snake. And according to several yoga practitioners, Kundalini energy is like a coiled snake that is sitting at the base of the spine in a sleeping and unaroused posture. By practicing certain postures mentioned in kundalini yoga, the energy at the spine gets activated and gradually moves up along the spine while activating the other 6 Chakras along its course.
Well, according to Yogic philosophy, there are 7 Chakras in the human body. These are:
Root chakra – Base of the spine
Sacral chakra – Below the belly button
Naval, or Solar plexus, chakra – On the stomach area
Heart chakra – At the centre of the chest
Throat chakra – In the throat
Third eye chakra – Between the eyes
Crown chakra – Top of the head
Unlike other forms of Yoga, Kundalini yoga is more of a spiritual practice involving chanting, singing, movements, and breathing in specific patterns.
What Does Kundalini Yoga Consist Of?
The Kundalini Yoga has six specific steps which are:
- Opening chant
- Pranayama (includes breathing exercises and spine stretching movements)
- Kriya (involves sequence of postures, pranayama, mudras or hand gestures, sounds, and meditation)
- Closing chant
What Are The Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga?
Well, like other forms of yoga, kundalini yoga too bestows your mind and body with numerous benefits. These include:
- Improves cognitive functions
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Boosts self-perception
- Awakens will power
- Clears fogginess of mind
- Stimulates creativity
- Enlightens spirituality
- Makes one compassionate and nonjudgmental
- Arouses intuition
- Allows one to make wise choices
How Does Kundalini Yoga Awaken The Seven Chakras?
Kundalini yoga uses a series of pranayama, meditation, asanas, and mantras to effectively awaken and unblock each of the 7 Chakras within the body. This practice is chiefly aimed at proliferating the creative and spiritual potential of a human being so that he or she can be one with the universe, speak the truth, practice high values, detach oneself from ego, and cultivate feelings of love, compassion, and be observant to the feelings of others.
Since the energy points are attached to some organ or body tissue, sometimes, there can be an overflow of energy, when the channels are open, or depletion of energy when the channels are blocked at the specific points which might bring out different outcomes. A blocked Chakra can bring about both psychological and physiological symptoms. And one such great way to open these Chakras is by Kundalini Yoga.
We bring you 7 such super-effective Kundalini Yoga postures to activate the Chakras when practiced in sequence along with the particular mantras mentioned:
1. Root chakra – Chant ‘Lam’
Tree Pose or Vrikshasana:
Stand straight on the floor. Bring both your arms in front of the chest and join the palms in a prayer position. Now keeping the palms joined, stretch both your arms upwards. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot on the interior side of the left thigh. Keep your left leg straight and hold the position as long as you can. Relax for a minute and do it on the other side with the left foot. Repeat 5 times.
2. Sacral Chakra – Chant ‘Vam’
Goddess Pose or Deviasana:
Stand straight keeping your soles 3 feet apart. Turn your feet out and bend your knees over your ankles in a squatting position. Now bend the elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms facing each other. Keep the arms active, as if they were holding a big ball over your head. Look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a minute and slowly come back to standing position. You can relax and repeat 5 times.
3. Naval Chakra – Chant ‘Ram’
Boat Pose or Navasana:
Lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body. While exhaling, try to lift your chest and feet off the ground and keep your arms stretched towards your feet. Ensure that your eyes, fingers and toes are all in line. Feel the stretch in the navel area as the abdominal muscles contract slowly. Now keep breathing deeply and slowly and maintain the posture for 2 minutes or as long as you can. While exhaling, bring your body back to the ground, relax and repeat.
4. Heart Chakra – Chant ‘Yam’
Camel Pose or Ustrasana:
Kneel on the floor, with your soles upward and legs touching the ground. While keeping hands on the hips, ensure that the knees and shoulders are aligned in a straight manner. Breathe in, and bend your back, gripping your feet with your hands for balance. Hold this posture for one minute or as long as you can, then slowly bring your back to an upright position, relaxing the legs and hands as well.
5. Throat Chakra – Chant ‘Ham’
Bridge Pose or Sethubandhasana:
Start the posture by lying flat on your back. Now bend your knees and elbows. Place your feet flat on the floor close to the hips and your hands firmly on either side of the head. While supporting both your hands and legs on the ground, slowly try to lift your body up into the air. Hold this arching posture for 20-30 secs and slowly bring your body up into a standing pose.
6. Third Eye Chakra – Chant ‘Om’
Easy Pose Or Sukhasna:
Sit in a normal meditation pose. Grasp your wrist with your right hand behind the back. Continue to inhale while pulling your shoulders back and expanding your chest. While winding forward, exhale and try to touch your right forehead to your right knee. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat the steps and continue on the other side by touching your forehead to your left knee.
7. Crown Chakra – Silence after ‘Om’
Corpse Pose or Shavasana:
Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Relax your body and mind and think happy peaceful thoughts. Take your time while you do this. Breathe normally and do not hold your breath. After some time, stand up.
Now when you have a detailed knowledge of the 7 chakras or energy points within the body and a detailed knowledge how it corresponds to the various organs and tissues of the body when blocked. Try performing the Kundalini yoga postures along with the particular mantra and meditation in sequence to activate the Chakras and promote overall health and wellness.