Discovering Your Inner Energy: A journey to Chakra opening through awareness in yoga
“Where awareness goes, energy flows.“
During a practical class, one of the students on our 200hr yoga teacher training course shared that she saw an image of her chakras and the related colours on the wall opposite her! It was during bow pose (Dhanurasana), a deep heart opener*.
“Was that my chakras opening up?” she asked.
I gave this some consideration. We had practiced some supine hands-free alternate nostril breathing at the start of the class, progressing to breathing up and down the left and right sides of the body, then bringing our awareness into the central energy channel with an invitation to notice if any colour arises.
This practice was to balance the breath and nervous system, and begin to awaken and balance the subtle energy in the body as the theme of the class was balance.
Placing awareness (Nyasa) on the midline (Sushumna nadi) is a sure-fire way to begin to connect with these energy centres – “where awareness goes, energy flows”.
We then flowed through a sequence with lots of difference balancing asana, seated, kneeling and standing – which included heart openers such as dancer pose. This led us into half bow, with optional full bow and side bow (Parsva Dhanurasana). Not only would these deeper spinal extension movements open up the space between the vertebrae anteriorly, increasing energy and vitality to the chakras; the momentum and movement from side to side would massage the front of the body, stimulating the area further.
Stimulating the Chakras through awareness
During the class the focus was to maintain awareness on the breath – visualising life force – vital energy, and to link breath to movement. And I kept reminding the students to bring their awareness back to their breath throughout the practice. The aim being to help encourage the students to keep their awareness in their bodies and to help keep their minds calm and focused.
So it would make sense that her chakras had, at the very least been stimulated and awakened during the class, which could be described as ‘opening up’ and that her inner awareness and stirred up subtle energy projected an image onto the wall in front her like a mirror. Note how this arose spontaneously – with no expectations!
My class wasn’t intentionally themed around the chakras, it was a by-product of being present and aware. She described it as a beautiful experience – a feeling of deep connection and reassurance that she was on her right path.
Purification through yogic practices
This could be considered as part of the purification process within the practice of yoga. This is one of the main benefits associated with heart openers and alternate nostril breathing. When we cleanse and balance the energy channels, subtle energy can move more freely. Perhaps this freedom of movement coupled with a relaxed mind paved a way for the image to arise.
Of course, sometimes the purification process can bring up discomfort, negative emotions, and emotional releases too.
Observing what arises in the moment, without judging it in any way, is the practice of equanimity that helps us to release our subconscious blockages. This means we can elevate our emotions and raise our prana.
At it’s core, Yoga is a healing system. An opportunity to delve deep within, explore, observe, witness, de-mystify and free oneself from all limitations – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. And the way we teach and the language we use during a class can encourage this process.
Courses and workshops to develop these practices
Louise Windsor is our resident specialist in the Chakras and her Chakras and Elements Online Course is open to all, can be taken as CPD Yoga teachers and you can start right away. Study at home at a time convenient to you. She is also leading her next Meditation & Pranayama CPD Course 5th-7th May 2023. This course will inspire your confidence and help you to start incorporating these awareness practices into your classes and daily life.
If you would like to add more embodiment language, fascial and somatic movements into your classes, then this workshop on ‘movement and fascia’ is for you. It’s also open to any yoga or pilates practitioner who would like to understand more about movement for freedom, release, stress reduction and nervous system re-set.
- Not yet a teacher?
- Keen to train?
- Nervous about being able to ‘perform’ the big peak poses?
Then our 200hr yoga alliance teacher training is for you!
Understand yoga as a healing system, integrating breath, body and mind, balancing the nervous system and emotions and focusing more on how you FEEL rather than what you LOOK like is a key thread during our training.
Join our Yoga and Pilates Teacher Training Open Day on Sunday 11th June.
Whether you are a teacher or not, experiencing these practices is the most powerful way to create your own inner shifts to enhance your well being and life in general.
Investing in yourself during a Harmonise Retreat is one of the best ways to experience the effects of an array of practices designed to liberate and free yourself on all levels, taking a deep dive within in a supporting and nourishing environment with like minded people. And if you are a teacher, your experience will undoubtedly enhance your teaching, as when you shift and raise your own energetic field, you naturally share the fruits of your labour with others.
* Note: I refer to postures such as bow pose (Dhanurasana) and dancer’s pose (Natarajasana) as heart openers. I prefer not to use the phrase ‘back bend’ as I feel it may encourage students to hyperextend their lumbar spines which can cause compression, pinching and reduced space between the vertebrae.
Article by: Clare Francis