7 Yoga Postures for Energetic Equilibrium. ~ Shareen Woodford

Via Shareen Woodfordon Sep 13, 2013
photo courtesy John Shin
photo courtesy John Shin

We all get a little bit out of touch with ourselves sometimes.

This can cause us to fall out of alignment, both literally and metaphorically.

I have certainly experienced that feeling where I know something is just a little ‘off’ and I’m not quite myself, or my happiest self, but I can’t put my finger on what it is that is causing me to feel that way.

At times, too much of our energy flows in one direction—to one place in the body or in our lives—while we momentarily forget about the other elements of ourselves and our lives that make us the best version of who we are.

To regain balance once again we can start with yoga.

Perform the following yoga postures in this very order to restore internal and external equilibrium. I have designed this sequence to create awareness of all of the energy in your physical and subtle body and bring your attention to each energy center (chakra) so you can again become energetically balanced.

Once you have attained this balance on the inside, bring that mindfulness forward and create the intention for that balance to spill out into the rest of your life.

This yoga sequence will bring prana (life force energy) into the area of each of your chakras, one at a time from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head.

Try to hold each pose for 10 slow, attentive breaths if possible, then lie down and rest for a few minutes afterwards meditating on the locations of all seven chakras at the same time and try to feel even energy amongst them all, flowing up and down your central channel parallel with your spine (your shushumna nadi).

Root chakra (Muladhara)

Child’s pose (Balasana): From a kneeling position, sink your hips back onto your feet and bring your forehead to the ground in front of you. Your arms could rest out front or back by your feet.

This pose enables us to feel safe, get close to the earth and remain grounded, become present and easily stay steady and still. Your attention is at the base of your spine.

Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)

Bound angle pose (Baddha konasana): Sit on the ground with the soles of the feet pressing together, heels pulled in close towards your groin, the knees bent and dropping down to the ground. Hold on to your big toes and fold forward, chin towards the ground beyond your feet.

This posture should feel nurturing in quality, bringing awareness to the area of the pelvis, and allowing not just for physical release in the form of a hip opening pose but to facilitate an emotional release as well if needed. Your attention is deep inside of your pelvis.

Solar plexus chakra (Manipura)

Boat pose (Navasana): Sit on your sitting bones with the legs lifted off the ground, as straight as possible and together, trying to bring your toes to eye level. The upper body is reclined slightly and the arms are raised to become parallel with the ground and with each other.

This strong challenging posture creates a fire in the belly, activating the abdominals and helping us tap into our very core, creating strength and manifesting willpower. Your attention is in your low abdomen, three fingers below the navel and three fingers deep.

Heart chakra (Anahata)

Camel (Ustrasana): Kneeling with your knees hip width apart and the shins parallel, stack your hips directly over your knees. Press your hips forward without tensing your rear, start to lift the chest upwards and slowly let your head fall all the way back if your neck feels okay. Your hands could be on your low back or on the backs of your thighs or your hands could reach all the way to your heels only if this feels good for your back.

This posture opens your chest and shoulders, presenting your heart to world, asking you to be fearless and vulnerable, which allows love in. Your focus is on the area of your heart.

Throat chakra (Vissudha)

Fish pose (Matseyasana): Lay flat on your back and keep your hips heavy on the ground while you lift your shoulders and chest up off of the floor. Move your chin as far away from your chest as possible lengthening the front of your neck and place the very top of your head on the ground.

This posture lengthens the throat, opening up the possibility for communication and stimulates and balances the thyroid gland. Your focus is on your throat.

Third eye chakra (Ajna)

Lotus posture variation (Padmasana): Sit on the ground with crossed legs or pull your feet into full or half lotus if available. For this particular variation, close your eyes and bring Anjali mudra (prayer hands)  thumbs up to your forehead. You may chant OM on each exhale if you wish or maybe on the last of your 10 breaths.

This posture helps us to turn our gaze inwards and upwards, allowing us to become reflective and meditative, cultivating intuition and divine wisdom. Your point of focus is on the area between your eyebrows.

Thousand petal lotus chakra (Sahasrara)

Headstand (Sirsasana): (Only practice this posture if you are comfortable and steady in it) From downward dog release your elbows to the ground and make sure they are only shoulder width apart. Interlace your fingers and clasp the back of your head. Place your hairline on the floor and walk your feet towards your head until you can lift your feet and become inverted. Please rest back in child’s pose as soon as you come out of headstand. If headstand is not a good pose for you, feel free to do another inversion like shoulder stand or feet up the wall.

These inversions bring prana easily to the crown of the head, making this the king of yoga poses since energetically the goal of yoga is to help prana rise upwards. This posture requires mastery and an open mind to allow yourself to go upside down and balance on your head. Your attention is on the top of your head.

Take rest and allow yourself to be overcome with a sense of balance, unity and harmony.

 

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Assistant Ed: Renee Picard / Ed: Sara Crolick

About Shareen Woodford

 

 

Shareen Woodford is a Toronto based yoga teacher and Ashtanga yogini. Check her out at www.manayoga.ca

 

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4 Responses to “7 Yoga Postures for Energetic Equilibrium. ~ Shareen Woodford”

  1. Nisha says:

    Sounds like a great flow! Thx for sharing! NC

  2. @simonarich says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with the boat pose. It's really hard for me to hold it for more than 20 seconds, yet I know it benefits me immensely. I love to see the consequences of doing regular solar plexus asanas (flat stomach), yet when I'm doing them, I need to exert a lot of will.

    • Shareen says:

      Exactly! That pose is as much about building willpower as it is about strengthening abdominals. If you can hold it for 20 seconds that is amazing. I think you are stronger than you think :)

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