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Chakra Yoga - Why Yoga can change your life

Would you like to know where the seat of self-confidence and creativity can be found? Or find out how to feel stronger and more grounded, and harmonise yourself with the life flow?
 
My next Chakra Yoga workshop will take place from 18th April to 25th April 2021 at Adler Lodge Alpe, on the Alpe di Siusi resort in South Tyrol.

Our subtle body consists of energy channels connected by 7 energy nodes called chakras, which regulate our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Chakras are part of an energy system that runs along the spine, and correspond to specific areas in our body (e.g. endocrine glands). They are often described as energy vortexes that can absorb, transform and transfer prana, i.e. our life force. You can picture them as a bridge that links the various body parts – muscles, bones and organs – to our soul. Or, if you prefer, as a ladder that enables us to climb upwards to achieve liberation, or downwards to ground ourselves. For this to be possible, however, the ladder needs to be stable.
Our lifestyle, past experiences and emotions are all factors that can cause our chakras to become weakened, imbalanced or even blocked altogether. Deep-reaching introspective practices can be a great help in restoring chakra balance, releasing pranic energy and removing the obstacles on the path to inner transformation that is the ultimate gift of yoga.

CHAKRA NAMES AND FEATURES
Each of the 7 chakras is associated with a natural element, as well as specific themes and functions. Here is a short description of all the chakras and the influence they have on our mind and emotions.
The root chakra corresponds to the earth element. It is located at the lower end of the spine. Its energy gives us a sense of stability, safety and grounding. This chakra influences our relationship with the material world. It is linked to early childhood, and therefore plays a key role in our personal development.
The sacral chakra, corresponding to water, is associated with our sexual organs, procreation, pleasure and free self-expression. It also influences the ability to let go and surrender to the flow.
The solar plexus chakra corresponds to fire. It is associated with willpower, courage and self-esteem. By working on this chakra we can rekindle our inner fire, overcome our fear of change and put our will into action.
The heart chakra corresponds to air. This is where love, compassion and tolerance reside. Blockage of this chakra causes us to become possessive or isolate ourselves for fear of rejection. By unblocking our heart, we learn how to love unconditionally and build healthy relationships.
The throat chakra corresponds to ether. It is regarded as the seat of our communication skills and truth. Its energy encourages us to be honest (including with ourselves), to speak our mind and to express our feelings freely. Our ability to listen also resides here.
The third-eye chakra corresponds to light. The sixth chakra is thought to preside over our powers of imagination, intuition, discernment and creativity. When well balanced, it enables us to rely on our inner wisdom, open our mind and see beyond appearances.
The crown chakra corresponds to cosmic energy. It is considered to be the key to the spiritual realm and the higher levels of consciousness. Its energy acts as a compass, giving direction and meaning to our lives. It helps us to feel free in all our decisions and understand that happiness can only be found within us.

REBALANCING CHAKRAS THROUGH YOGA

Here are a few examples of how yoga can help us rebalance our chakras. Let’s say we are experiencing an energy low, and need to increase not only our physical energy levels, but also our willpower and determination to put our ideas into practice. In this case, we can perform specific asanas (yoga poses) that stimulate the solar plexus chakra, balancing our will to act with our ability to let go. Poses that target the core, such as the warrior sequence, help us to overcome inactivity and laziness while also training our self-discipline, self-esteem and clarity. Here is another example: let’s say we tend to overthink, and our mind is so clouded by thoughts that we struggle to focus and access our innate wisdom. By choosing yoga poses that unblock the third-eye chakra, we can restore our inner guidance. Inversions – like the shoulder stand, for example – teach us to let go of our set convictions and free ourselves from old fears, opening up to new perspectives. In our quest towards enlightenment we should not neglect the root chakra, as it enables our body to ground so that the pranic energy can spread upwards, opening up the other chakras. Poses like the garland, the tree and the bridge are ideal for strengthening our connection to earth and feeling more stable and safe.
Asanas are not the only way we can rebalance our chakras, though. Meditation, pranayamas (breathing exercises), mantras (sound vibrations), bandhas (energy locks) and visualisation are all powerful rebalancing tools. Yoga practice cannot be reduced to a simple sequence of physical exercises. While it is true that for many people these exercises are the gateway to the world of yoga, this is actually just scratching the surface. The further they pursue this path, the more doors they open towards a profoundly transformative experience that goes far beyond the physical realm.

WORKSHOP & RETREAT
This type of practice is particularly well suited to workshops and retreats, where you can practise yoga in a natural setting away from the urban bustle. During our retreat, we will focus on a different chakra each day. Our aim is to increase body awareness and slowly build a solid base for increased sensitivity and understanding of the finest, most subtle aspects of our being. The retreat will be a fascinating journey into self-knowledge, a path towards self-healing along which we will discover our shadows and remove the obstacles that are preventing us from living fully and harmoniously, working towards a state of “global wellness” not just for us, but for everyone else and our environment, too.
This practice embodies the very meaning of the word “yoga” – the union of body and soul.

Annalisa Tempestini