Recharge your en­ergy lev­els

Nav­i­gate tran­si­tions with more calm, con­fi­dence, and joy by tap­ping the pow­ers of your chakras.

Yoga Journal - - Contents - Story and Se­quence by Kat Fowler // Pho­tog­ra­phy by Paul Miller

TIMES OF CHANGE CAN BE to­tally ex­hil­a­rat­ing—and ut­terly ter­ri­fy­ing. Af­ter all, along with the prom­ise of some­thing new and dif­fer­ent comes the re­al­ity that the out­come is un­known. Step­ping into this ten­u­ous space takes courage, willpower, and a lit­tle faith in your cho­sen path. Luck­ily, turn­ing to your yoga prac­tice—and work­ing with the chakras—can help you sail through any type of tran­si­tion or trans­for­ma­tion.

The chakras con­sist of seven key points in the body—vor­texes of en­ergy that run through the spine. When the en­ergy in these cen­ters is bal­anced and flow­ing freely, you feel ease, peace, and joy—all emo­tions that can help you glide through times of change. But when en­ergy in a chakra be­comes blocked, it can trig­ger fear, anx­i­ety, ex­haus­tion, re­gret, and other emo­tions that can make tran­si­tions trick­ier.

The key to har­ness­ing the pow­ers of your chakras is to be hon­est with your­self and ad­mit when you’re feel­ing off bal­ance or out of sync— and to do so with­out judg­ment (be­cause it hap­pens to the best of us). Then, try to iden­tify how, and where in your body, you’re feel­ing un­bal­anced, both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally. Once you’ve lo­cated the site of in­sta­bil­ity, you’ll have the power and abil­ity to con­sciously tune and heal the cor­re­spond­ing chakra(s) by stim­u­lat­ing the en­ergy cen­ter through yoga prac­tice and men­tal at­ten­tion.

Be proac­tive, and you’ll pave the way for an in­ter­nal shift that will not only help you han­dle change but also set you up to have a lit­tle fun through­out the process.

Mu­lad­hara Chakra (Root Chakra) The root chakra is your en­er­getic con­nec­tion to your home: the earth. It's what con­nects your spirit to the planet and what grounds you in the present mo­ment. When mu­lad­hara is func­tion­ing prop­erly, you feel cen­tered, con­nected, and rooted to the earth—which can re­sult in lim­it­less en­ergy. If change has you feel­ing up­rooted—per­haps you're mov­ing to a new home, start­ing a new job, or trav­el­ing—it's time to re-ground your en­ergy and con­nect to earth's calm­ing mag­netic force. THE POSE // TADASANA Moun­tain Pose Prac­tice this pose with con­scious aware­ness, send­ing your en­ergy down through your feet—all the way into the earth’s core. Once you’re con­cen­trat­ing on the con­nec­tion be­tween your foun­da­tion and the earth be­low, take a mo­ment to breathe deeply. Imag­ine ev­ery breath you take is root­ing your en­ergy fur­ther and fur­ther into the earth. Stay here, con­tin­u­ing this visual med­i­ta­tive breath­ing prac­tice un­til you feel calm and fully grounded.

HOW TO Stand with your feet to­gether or hip-width apart. Con­nect all four cor­ners of your feet to the ground. Al­low your palms to face for­ward and your shoul­ders and fore­head to soften as you find a tall, elon­gated spine.

Svad­histhana Chakra (Sacral Chakra)

The sacral chakra en­hances your abil­ity to feel in this world; it’s also what houses your in­nate sex­ual en­ergy. When it’s func­tion­ing op­ti­mally, you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence in­tense cre­ative en­ergy and feel con­nected to your­self and your part­ner on an in­ti­mate level. If you’re deal­ing with emo­tional or sex­ual trauma— say, a breakup or some form of abuse—it’s pos­si­ble you may lose touch with, or par­tially shut down, this en­ergy cen­ter. The re­sult: feel­ings of guilt, shame, dis­trust, or un­wor­thi­ness around shar­ing or hon­or­ing your sex­ual en­ergy. THE POSE // UTKATA KONASANA God­dess Pose This pos­ture can stim­u­late the sacral chakra by ac­ti­vat­ing strength in your lower ab­domen, hips, groin, and legs; the longer you hold this pose, the more in­tense the heat in these ar­eas will grow. (In fact, this pose is some­times called Fiery An­gle Pose.) Prac­tice God­dess Pose to in­voke and rein­vig­o­rate the fiery en­ergy that’s within all of us.

HOW TO Step your legs a few feet apart, turn­ing your feet out about 45 de­grees. Bend your knees so they fall di­rectly above your an­kles, mak­ing sure they point in the same di­rec­tion as your toes. As you hold this pose and it in­ten­si­fies, feel your feet iso­met­ri­cally draw­ing in to­ward one an­other. Draw in and up through your pelvic floor, softly en­gag­ing your lower ab­domen. Stay here for at least 5–10 slow, deep breaths.

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