Meet Alanna Hankey, yoga instructor based in Brisbane. We are so grateful to Alanna for very kindly hosting our Chakra Healing Workshop with Sal this August and for sharing this lovely article.
The word yoga means union. Union between body and mind, thoughts and truth, left and right, head and heart, movement and breath – union between all parts. The physical practice of asana invites all the different facets of ourselves to come together into one unified state, guiding us toward a place of Samadhi – Enlightenment. It is here in this place that meditation flows and the unification between body, mind and spirit align.
When we begin to focus on the role of chakras within a yogic practice, we are focused from the physical right through to the more subtle realms of energetic and spiritual practice, which can take place on or off the mat. As we move through an asana practice on the mat we can explore, engage and even heal different chakras through movement, breath, bija mantra and music, deepening our awareness of the energy centres (chakras) that require our attention.
Take our base chakra, Muladhara Chakra – located at the base of our spine, Muladhara Chakra is our foundation, our grounding, our earth connection. Often referred to as our root chakra, it relates to family, security and our instinct for survival. It embodies the elements of the earth and its sensory association is smell – a powerful chakra to explore through aromatherapy. To explore Muladhara Chakra on the mat we can engage through our foundation and take a deep forward fold that invites the earth’s rebounding energy up the back of the legs and right into the location of the lower spine, Muladhara Chakra. As we start to feel the grounding qualities that this physical movement offers, we can stay here for a few breaths exploring the level of ease (or lack of) you find in grounding yourself.
Once we begin to pinpoint chakras that need more attention, it’s here that our practice becomes more than just a physical practice and allows us to heal as we flow – flowing with awareness of all levels. When we work with our breath, we can move prana (life force – oxygen) around the body in ways that engage with and serve a particular area. We can use sound as well. Through bija mantra, the seed mantra for each chakra, we can connect and heal on a vibrational level. Music has the same effect. The different vibrations of sound affect us in different ways and when we listen with awareness the healing itself has already begun.
Some yoga practices can be entirely led by your chakras, offering the opportunity to work out where your in-balances may lie, empowering you to flow toward healing and harmony. We have seven chakras – seven energy centres – located in different areas of the body, each with their own energetic qualities. Similarly to the alignment of the body, the alignment of balanced chakras moves us away from feelings of disconnection and toward connectedness, inner peace, union – yoga. Naturally, once we’ve worked inward, this energy flows outward creating what becomes our aura. This is the energy we give others, the energy through which we connect with the world.
So, the next time you meet someone and you say, “wow, they have great energy”, chances are their chakras are in-balance. Chances are they are doing the inner work, both on and off the mat.
Yoga Teacher – Yoga With Alanna