As spiritual yet human beings, we all crave for the same things. We want love. We want joy. We want confidence. We want safety and we want freedom. We want prosperity and purposefulness. We want to feel comfortable in our skin and we want to express our authentic power and to be connected to something greater than ourselves. Ultimately—we want to become more alive!
What most of us don’t know is that there’s a perfect system living inside of us, waiting to be unlocked. This 4,000-year-old system, which the ancient yogis and mystics of India left us behind, is our pathway to aliveness, and will help us live a purposeful life on fire—grounded in power, passion, creation, and connection.
This System is the Chakra System.
The word "chakra" means "wheel," "disc," or "circle" in Sanskrit, and they are often described as wheels of light, vortexes of energy, jewels of intelligence, or organs of the energy body. They describe the full spectrum of human possibility as they take into account body, heart, mind, soul and spirit.
The chakras help us:
Connect our outer and inner worlds,
Honor all aspects of ourselves and all of what we are made up of,
Awaken our consciousness at seven distinct levels,
Kindle the fires of transformation, calling us forth into action,
Restore our sense of wholeness and innate wildness, and
Align the wisdom of the earth and the magic and mystery of stars within the sacred core of our being.
Classically, there are seven main chakras, each located in distinct areas of the body, running along the spinal column from the base of the pelvis to the crown of the head. It's important to understand that there is no hierarchy among them; each holds its own intelligence, superpower, and expression of life force.
Traditionally the chakras were mapped on to the five sacred elements, the colors of rainbow, sacred sounds known as bija mantras, sacred shapes known as yantras, parts of the physical body, mudras ( hand gestures) and even animals and deities. In more modern times we have associated them with yoga poses, mudras (hand postures), crystals, foods, essential oils, tarot cards and more, giving us an array of tools to work with the chakras and unlock their power.
Let's take a peek into the empowerments of each chakra.
The first chakra is located at the base of the pelvis, and is known as the Muladhara Chakra. It is related to the element of earth and it vibrates to a ruby red color. “Mula" means root, “Dhara" means basis. This is where everything begins—the root from which true empowerment grows. It is your grounding, your foundation, the unwavering strength of both your physical and energetic body.
Embodiment practice: Ganesha Squats
Feet slightly wider than hip width distance, feet turned out 45 degrees. Inhale; hands to chest. Exhale; squat. Push out through your palms to extend your arms. Repeat 20 times.
Mantra: I AM Grounded
The second chakra, is located in the sacral region, and is known as Svadhisthana. It is related to the element of water and vibrates to the color orange. “Sva” means self, “Svadha” means sweetness, and “Adhista” is where your being is established. It represents the private, special place inside of each of us—the womb. Yes men you have a womb too! This is the power of creation, desire, your sexuality, sensuality, and all the things that bring about pleasure. It is here that we get in touch with the fluidity of our bodies, discover energy in motion, and we taste the sweetness and juiciness of life.
Embodiment practice: Hip Circles
Feet hip width apart, soft knees, and move like water circling hips in one direction, nice big juicy circles. Keep the sacred circulation going for at least one minute before switching directions.
Mantra: I AM flowing
Without desire, we won’t take action. And by understanding what brings us true passion and pleasure, we are able to ignite the sacred flames of transformation that call us forth to courageously say yes to our life! The Manipura Chakra is located at the solar plexus (the space between navel and base of sternum) and it blazes gold like the sun. “Mani” means riches or jewels, “pura” means place. This is the place where we remember our value, our worth, our true power, and confidence, and we shine bright like the diamond.
Embodiment practice: Plank Runs
Start in plank pose- hands shoulder-width apart, belly strong. Alternate bringing one knee to your chest, then back out again. Start slowly and gradually pick up the pace for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Mantra: I AM Worthy
The heart chakra, or Anahata Chakra is the center point of the entire energetic system with three chakras below and three chakras above, centering love as the ultimate power of our life. “Anahata'' means unbeaten or unbreakable. The name itself suggests that we have two hearts—the physical heart, which gets beaten up all the time; and the spiritual heart, which never dies. It’s the deep reservoir of endless love that we can turn to again and again for true healing and to where we learn self-love, unconditional love, and forgiveness. The sacred element is air and it traditionally vibrates to an emerald green color.
Embodiment practice: Heart Wing Breath
Inhale; open arms wide, spread your wings and lift chest, Exhale wrap yourself up in the most delicious hug as you flex your spine and tone your belly and continue in the flow of your breath flying in love for at least one minute.
Mantra: I AM Love
Once we learn to love and accept ourselves, we will be unafraid to share our unique creative expression with the world. The fifth chakra, or Vishuddha Chakra, is located in the throat and governs our ability to communicate, speak our truth, and authentically express who we are. Whether it’s through writing, music, fashion, or how one decorates their home, we remember we are all artists, working on the most important creation of all—our lives. The throat chakra is related to the element of space and it vibrates to a sky blue color.
Embodiment practice: Singing and dancing
Put on your favorite song and sing and dance it out like nobody's watching. This is your time to express yourself! Do for at least 1 song.
Mantra: I AM uniquely me
We’ve all heard of the “third eye,” but few people actually know how to activate its power. The sixth chakra—the Ajna Chakra—is the command center of our intuition, and the seat of our deepest wisdom. It is here we are asked to dream, manifest, and use our imagination in new and playful ways. When we dissect the word “imagination,” we find “magi,” which means magician. When we gain full access to our intuitive power, we ignite a spark of magic that empowers us to listen within, trust our instinct, and manifest the life of our dreams. It is beyond an element and it vibrates to an indigo color.
Embodiment practice: Close your 2 eyes to allow your 3rd eye to see.
Try some simple yoga asanas that you know well and are super comfortable with. Tadasana, Warrior 2, Goddess. If you are feeling brave, try a tree pose. Rely on your inner sight, your inner light of awareness. If closing the eyes feels too intense, try taking really long blinks.
Mantra: I AM Magic
The final stop on our journey through the chakras is at the crown, the Sahasrara Chakra, which is represented by a beautiful thousand-petal lotus flower that lives on the top of the head, connecting us to the divine. Just as a lotus flower unfurls its petals to soak in nutrients from the sun, the Crown Chakra opens us up to the heavens, awakening our spiritual power. The roots of the lotus flower reach all the way down to the earth, bringing us back to the ground and igniting spiritual power within. This is where we bring the mystical into the mundane, to live within higher consciousness, and to experience the thread of divine connection that moves through us all. This is the path to true liberation. You can imagine it as white or all of the colors of the rainbow.
Embodiment practice: Savasana
The pose of surrender, rest in the lap of the divine for at least 5 minutes.
Also Headstand (we will explore this posture in the Chakra vinyasa video)
Mantra: I am Divine Grace
The most important step when working with the chakras is taking them out theoretical and into the experiential. The most direct way to access the power of the chakras is through the body. That is why I created this series of chakra practices for you with Spirit Daughter. You will be able to take all of this information and ground it into the body through the embodied practices of meditation, mudra, dynamic vinyasa and soma practice, helping you to activate and align your energy, tap into your full potential and experience the rapture of being alive.
Meet Your Teacher: Cristi Christensen
When I decided to expand our yoga offerings, I knew Cristi would be the perfect teacher to guide you through the chakras. I’ve known Cristi for over ten years and have always admired her knowledge and dedication to teaching yoga. With over two decades of experience in helping students transform their lives, Cristi’s classes are inspiring, powerful, and will leave you feeling aligned to your core. You can dive deeper into unlocking the power of your chakras with her book, Chakra Rituals.