For the second year in a row, I’ve taken a seven-week sunrise chakra yoga class (6 a.m. – this morning, it truly was sunrise). Each week focuses on a different chakra, starting at the root and ending at the crown. We work through each one, trying to find it, connect with it, and make it function better to enhance overall health, well-being, and for me, creativity.
Here are the seven chakras with their associated body positions: attributes: color: and element.
- Sahasrara: Crown: Spirituality, Universe: Violet: Thought, Ether
- Ajna: Third Eye: Awareness, Intuition: Indigo: Light
- Vishuddha: Throat: Communication, Articulation: Blue: Sound
- Anahata: Heart: Love, Healing: Green: Air
- Manipura: Solar Plexus: Wisdom, Power: Yellow: Fire
- Svadhisthana: Sacral: Sexuality, Creativity: Orange: Water
- Muladhara: Root: Grounding, Basic Trust: Red: Earth
Today we focused on Sahaswara, which is the crown or the top of the head, but actually floats over the head. The attributes associated with it are spiritual connection, higher consciousness, enlightenment, unity, and intelligence. Our movements focused on channeling energy through the central channel, starting at the root and ending by pulling all the energy together at the top. This is the chakra that pulls all the others together, connects all our pieces-parts within us and to the universe. In thinking about the yoga practice this morning, I realized that if anything is gummed up from the feet to the crown of the head, it will get in the way of our creative process.
All the chakras are connected so if someone is ‘constipated’ in one chakra, it will impact the other chakras. For example, the throat chakra is related to communication. If one is hoarse or has a stiff neck or a sore throat, that could get in the way of communicating, both verbally, non-verbally, and even in the written word or creatively. Think about it , if you feel like crap, you’re not going to feel like creating (unless it’s creating a sick character). If something in your root chakra is out of whack, like a sore knee, you limp throwing the rest of your root chakra out of balance.
The point here is, if all the chakras are in good working order, and we can pull the energy up through the central channel, up to and through the crown, we can operate at our maximum creative efficiency. That, of course, means each chakra needs to be in working order independently as well.
As 8LW blog posts aren’t usually the length of a NY Times feature, I’ll focus on one chakra. I’ll give you some examples of things you can do to open up the second chakra, Svadhisthana. This is the chakra associated with creativity and sexuality. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel and encompasses the genital region – basically the lower abdomen region front to back and side to side. A balanced second chakra leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or, in the case of us writers, stymied creativity.
One non-physical exercise is left nostril breathing called Ida Nadi breathing. It can help to open up the second chakra as it brings forth lunar energy. You can do this by closing your right nostril with the first two fingers of your right hand and inhale and exhale through the left nostril for 8 to 10 breaths. Meditation is another non-physical exercise that can focus on the second chakra. I’m terrible at meditation, myself and generally need guided meditation in order to get the job done. YouTube has a plethora of guided meditations for creativity.
Yoga asanas that help to open and align Svadhisthana, and are more physical activities, include:
- Seated pelvic circles: Sit in a cross-legged or half-lotus pose with your hands on your knees, make circles with your torso. Go around in one direction 5 or 6 times and then switch directions.
- Baddha konasana (butterfly pose) with forward fold: In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees drop to the sides and bring your heels in close to your pelvis. Lengthen the torso and fold forward.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Lie on your stomach with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your naval on the floor. Be sure to press down through the pubic bone toward the mat and keep your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine.
For aesthetic help with this chakra, bring things into your creative environment that are the color orange, or the gemstones amber, calcite orange, carnelian, or hematite.
What do you think? Is this something that could stimulate your creativity or is it a little too out there?