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Bhadrasana and Chakra Work



Contents:







Introduction



Bhadrasana (cobbler pose) is typically thought of primarily as having an effect on Swadhisthana chakra. However, the approach to a posture greatly influences the effect of the posture on the chakra system. So, what I offer here are some examples of the sort of approaches to bhadrasana to try for having an effect on a particular chakra. I have also attempted to distinguish between practices and approaches that will tend to stimulate (make more active) the chakra and those that will tend to stabilize (strengthen) the chakra. Inevitably, there is significant overlap in this and you may well find that, for you personally, something which I suggest as stimulating is more stabilizing and vice versa. In any case, what is offered here is very much a personal view (rather than a consensual view of experienced experts), so my strong recommendation is that you play and experiment with these ideas both to find what works for you and to help you form your own views (as opposed to absorbing and trusting these ideas as they are.) [For information about the chakra system please see the Pranic Anatomy section of this website.]









Muladhara Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Sitting with a sense of the pelvic girdle or tail-bone sinking down into the floor.

Supine versions or with back supported by wall with a sense of back relaxing against floor or wall.

Actively engaging the outward hip rotators to draw the knees apart.

Allowing the knees to move apart as inward leg rotators relax.

Actively pressing the feet into each other and / or the floor (or wall, if feet resting against a wall).

Letting awareness rest on feet (or legs).

Using mula bandha or pelvic floor muscles.

Using “base support” practices (e.g. “core strength” idea in Pilates).




Swadhisthana Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Holding the pose in a way that strongly stretches the inward hip rotators.

Moving the legs in and out of the position of the posture.

Awareness of the “openness” of the “front of hips”.

Awareness of the sacro-iliac joint area.

Awareness resting in the pelvic girdle and contents.

Awareness resting in hips, upper legs and knees.

Awareness resting in hips & lower back – lumbar and sacrum and the mobility of the spine.

Awareness resting in the spine as a whole and its stability and the strength of the associated muscles.

Having a sense of luxuriating in & enjoying the movements and sensations of the pose.

Accepting the experiences and sensations of practice.

Exploring the possibility of (subtle) leg movements while holding the pose.

Awareness of the strength of the leg muscles enabling one to go deeper into pose.

Use of “base support” practices (e.g. “core strength” idea in Pilates” ).

Use of Mula bandha & / or pelvic floor exercises.





Manipura Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Maintaining tone (contraction) of abdominal muscles while entering into and holding pose.

Linking leg or arm movement with the breath.

Active abdominal breathing (i.e. actively squeezing the abdomen in towards spine while exhaling) while in pose.

Observing the breath and its effects / movement without deliberately controlling the breath.

Awareness resting in abdomen and feelings of movement or pressure changes in abdomen.

Awareness resting in mid-back and the general shape of the spine as a whole.







Anahata Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Holding with a sense of keeping the chest open and expanded.

Being aware of the lifting and opening of both the hips and chest and encouraging a general opening elongation of the front of the trunk.

Awareness resting in centre of chest.

Awareness resting in shoulders and arms.

Actively pressing shoulders &/or arms backwards (relative to the trunk).

Using arm movement either while entering pose &/or while holding pose.

Awareness of emotional feelings (relating to practice).

Awareness of the effects and benefits (of practice).










Vishuddha Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Awareness resting in throat area.

Awareness resting on (length of) back of neck.

Taking attentive care over alignment (e.g. position of feet & neck / head position) and other aspects of improving / refining posture.

Observing (or being attentive to) the effects of small (or not so small) changes in posture e.g. the effect of pressing different parts of feet together or arm position.

Use of Ujjayi &/or listening to sound of breath.

Synchronizing arm movement with breath while in pose & / or movement in and out of pose with breath.

Incorporating / linking with sound work & / or mantra or saying words.

Incorporating / linking with affirmations.

Awareness resting in “space” in throat.

Awareness of connections / contact of hands on some part of the body.





Ajna Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Analysing some aspect of the posture (e.g. effects, muscle use …).

While practising, observing the experience of practising the posture.

Imagining or visualizing practising the posture or some aspect of the posture.

Practising “meditatively”.

Using “imagery” to aid practising posture – especially a visual imagery.

Practising with one’s awareness resting on a simple focus e.g. rhythm of breath, “third eye”, heels …..

Letting awareness rest on “third eye” area – just above mid-point between eye-brows.

Letting awareness rest on the spine.





Sahasrara Chakra


Stimulate


Stabilize

Allowing bridge pose to occur “as if” of its own accord.

Practising meditatively.



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