This introductory lecture and meditation will guide you through how chakras can be embodied and serve as a wealth of information to lean on in your practice. Think of chakras as a blueprint for your own self-care, and your practice as the architect that brings that blueprint to life. This class will serve as your foundation. Learn the names of each chakra, their translation, color, where they are located, and how each one is associated with an element in nature. Finish with a meditation and short visualization including Seed Mantra—a practice that utilizes the power of sound vibrations.
“Root to rise,” is a concept in yoga, that means, in order to go up you must work from your foundation first. This class teaches how to embody the Root Chakra. Pay careful attention to how you plant your feet, hands, forearms, this is the seed of your pose and it directly affects your pose’s ability to grow. Learn where this chakra is located and how this takes shape in your physical and subtle body. To ground, start with seated hip-openers, then find stability through Sun Salutes and standing poses. Finish with a grounding LAM mantra connecting you to the earth’s energy through the four corners of the feet and send that energy upward to nourish the entire body. Props Needed: A strap. Props Suggested: 2 blocks and a blanket.
Become aware of the architecture of your pelvis. Our third chakra, the Sacral Chakrais the source of our creativity and is deeply connected to our emotions, moods, and sexuality. When we are free-flowing, we are able to express our more difficult emotions—those tied to our relationships with not only others but also our deeper self. Students perform a breathing meditation to access the pelvis, sacrum, and pelvic floor. Learn to draw energy up the spine and find fluid movement. Warm up on hands and knees with circular, fluid movement. Move into Skandasana and powerful Warrior and Temple poses. End in Pigeon and VAM mantra for a sweet release. Suggested Props: A blanket.
Through heat comes transformation. Our third chakra is where our deep and knowing sense of “I am” resides. Students learn the anatomy of the Manipura or Navel Chakra. Situated at our core, this energy center is connected to our identity, ego, and personality, and establishes our sense of willpower and determination. Begin a breathing meditation with Uddiyana Bandha to explore the belly’s strengths and weaknesses. Move into seated abdominal expansion and contraction incorporating the breath and arm movements. Fire up the third chakra through core work and by visualizing an internal sun at the navel. Then, move through Surya Namaskar B, Warrior flow, and lunge twists. Finish with a seated guided meditation with RAM mantra. Suggested Props: A blanket.
Compassion, forgiveness, acceptance. This healing practice explores the relationship between the breath and heart to awaken the power of the fourth chakra. Located in the thoracic spine, our Heart Chakra is considered the ‘seat of the self’ and determines our ability to connect with others. This healing practice starts with heart-openers like seated chest spirals, Bridge, and a lunge series that incorporates chest-openers. Warm up in Dolphin with alternating leg lifts in preparation of Forearm Stand. Build heat with a lunge series, then shift into Virasana, Anjaneyasana, and peak with Backbend Wheel. Counterpose in Apanasana to soften and then finish with a seated guided meditation with YAM. Required Props : A strap. Suggested Props: A blanket.
The fifth chakra brings our awareness to the anatomy of the throat which governs our voice, speech, and ability to authentically express our most genuine self. Contemplate a center for communication between the individual soul (jiva) and universal soul (Param Atman), judgement and the element of space. This practice utilizes breathing, meditation, and an emphasis on opening the neck. Begging by gently awakening the head, neck, and shoulders. Then, move through Cat-Cow, Anjaneyasana, and a Warrior series that incorporates the neck through interlaced hands. Transition into major throat and neck work with full Bridge and supported Shoulderstand with blankets. Finish class in Supta Baddha Konasana and a guided meditation and HAM. Required Props: 2 blankets. Suggested Props: A strap.
Tap into the intangible. This practice teaches how to expand spiritual awareness. The Ajna Chakra, or third eye, is the sixth chakra located in the space between the eyebrows. “Ajna” which means “beyond wisdom,” is your center of intuition and encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. This class is designed to unlock your inner wisdom through meditation, breathing exercises, and welcomes you to feel your way through your practice. Start in Child’s Pose with forehead resting, then begin with a gentle standing warm-up. Trust your intuition in Eagle with eyes closed, if you can. Test your balance in Vasisthasana and find relief in Dolphin pose with hands interlaced to release tension. Wind down with reclined hip-openers and twists before settling into Supta baddha konasana with a guided meditation and AUM. Suggested Props: A blanket.
Through murky waters a lotus blooms. The seventh chakra, Sahaswara, is referred to as the Thousand-Petal Lotus Chakra and sits at the crown of the head. It encompasses the pituitary gland, hairline to back brain, sphenoid bone, and fourth eye at back of the skull. “Sahaswara” means the realization that you are pure awareness. It is the concept of consciousness, beyond time and space. Learn to breath light through the spine with Kapalabhati, or Skull Shining Breath, and Bhramari breath to release energy from the throat and rise up to the crown of the head. Finish with full Kundalini rising meditation and a guided Savasana to ignite the entire chakra system. Suggested Props: A blanket.