Let’s be real here. Life often takes a toll on our bodies both physically and emotionally. Whether it be emotionally traumatic experiences or general stress and anxiety, everyday experiences can cause a chakra to get thrown out of whack. When our chakras are underactive, or overactive, they are not able to work together harmoniously resulting in an overall imbalance. The negative effects of an over or underactive chakra can be reduced thanks to certain poses that target particular chakra systems. In my experience targeting the first and second chakra have been the most effective in allowing me to balance the remaining chakras – by starting from the ground and working up!
To dig a bit deeper into this concept, think of a creek in a forest. When the water flows through this creek without any rocks, branches or debris blocking the flow, the water moves freely and calmly. When there is too much water flowing through the creek, havoc and flooding may occur. When there is not enough water, the creek may dry up causing some water to become stagnant. When we have too much energy residing in one chakra, or not enough, it may act as a domino effect which could potentially throw our other chakra’s out of line by causing them to be overactive or underactive. So what do we need to do? Be active in finding harmony in your body!
Luckily, it’s completely normal to have chakras that are underactive or overactive! The aim here is to balance them. There are ways we can use our practice to help in finding harmony within the Chakra’s and ultimately find balance! One of those ways is using yoga asana, or the physical postures. No matter where you’re practising your asana, you can personalize the experience to target specific chakra’s that need to be worked in your body.
When you’re feeling anxious or fearful, standing poses or stable seated poses are a great way to help you feel more grounded. Anxiousness is said to be associated with the first chakra, Muladhara or the Root Chakra. Becoming more grounded makes it easier to analyse the body and determine what other chakra may need balancing. When we feel grounded, we generally begin to feel less anxious, less stressed and can think more clearly.
A good way to work this chakra is by spending a few extra minutes in easy seated pose. If you’re practicing on your own, give yourself a bit more time to sit in an opening meditation before your asana practice. If you’re attending a class, arrive a few minutes early to ground yourself in easy seated pose (sukasana). Another effective way to work the Root Chakra is by taking a few more child’s poses than normal in your practice, bringing you closer to the ground. Standing poses, such as tree pose, warrior 3, and half moon pose for example are great standing poses to help ground you.
Sometimes it may not be anxiety. Perhaps one minute there’s happiness, and the next minute there’s irritation and mood swings. Emotional instability is said to be with the Second Chakra – Svadhishthana. Through my experience, practicing hip openers and strengthening the hips have been extremely helpful in balancing emotions, and ultimately finding harmony in the chakras.
Great hip opening poses to work the second chakra could be pigeon pose or dragon pose. Often yogis can find themselves getting very irritable and sometimes angry when in hip opening poses. Believe it or not, this is a good sign, as it is a sign that you are releasing built up tension and emotion in the body. Other hip opening poses include frog pose, thread the needle, happy baby, fire log pose and cow face pose. Sometimes we may feel the opposite of emotional instability and rather feel emotionally numb instead. This would be a good sign that the hips need to be strengthened. Practicing poses such as warrior 1, warrior 2, and warrior 3 are great ways to strengthen the hips.
When our chakras are overactive or underactive, we often don’t feel like ourselves. Luckily asana is an incredible tool in our yoga toolbox that can help in finding harmony within our chakras! This has helped immensely in balancing the chakra’s in my body, helping me feel generally better and I hope it does for you too!