How to Open the Chakras

5 steps to connect with your body's energy centers for enhanced meditation

Chakras are the seven energy centers in your body located along the spinal column. According to the ancient wisdom of Hinduism, these vortices, which extend from the top of the head to the genital area, are said to be like wheels or spinning flowers. To learn how to open chakras through yoga or meditation, you need to first be aware of their location in your body. Below is a brief overview of the seven chakras and their locations.

  • Root Chakra: at the base of the spine, near the sexual organs
  • Sacral Chakra: the abdomen
  • Solar Plexus: approximately in the area of the navel
  • Throat Chakra: the throat
  • Third Eye Chakra: centered between the eyebrows
  • Crown Chakra: the top of the head

Yogi and author of Yoga in Daily Life - The System, Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, describes a chakra as a “powerhouse” of stored and generated universal energy within the body. Keeping your chakras open, Maheshwaranda says, enables them to give and receive energy, and allows you to live a balanced life.

A chakra may close or become blocked for any number of reasons. However, learning how to open your chakras is not difficult.

Step 1: Create time and space

First and foremost, you must make the time to sit in silent meditation. Create a place where you can sit, uninterrupted, for five to 10 minutes.

Step 2: Focus and breathe

Once you are comfortable either sitting in the traditional cross-legged “lotus” position or, if you are unable to perform this yoga pose, sitting on a chair with a straight back, you should begin to turn your attention to your breath.

As you breathe deeply, controlling both the inhale and exhale, you will feel your body begin to relax. As you begin to feel more centered, it's time to move your consciousness to your individual chakra centers.

Step 3: Begin at the root

As you begin the course, start with your focus on the chakra energy center located just below the base of your spine. Just as one builds from the ground up, you must begin at the bottom and work your way to the top. Consciously move your attention to each of the above mentioned locations breathing deeply into that chakra. You may visualize the chakra as a flower blooming, opening into the light.

Step 4: Incorporate color visualization and a mantra

As you “see” in your mind's eye the chakra opening, you can also imagine the color of each chakra. The associated colors correspond to the colors of the rainbow: root, red; sacral, orange; solar plexus, yellow or golden; heart, green; throat, blue; third eye, indigo and crown, purple.

Renowned author Deepak Chopra, MD, suggests using a mantra as you open your chakras. A mantra is a word or phrase repeated in an affirmative tone during meditation. It may be one word, such as “open.” You might also choose to use a few words, such as “I see my chakra opening now” or “my chakra is now open.”

Step 5: Cleansing breath

When you have completed the process of opening the seven chakras, it's good to end your exercise with a cleansing breath.

Imagine your breath starting at the lowest chakra and ,as you breathe in and up through the now-open chakras, see your breath extending out to the universe through your crown. As you breathe out, reverse the direction from crown to root chakra. In this way, you connect earth and the universe through your open chakra with the purpose of creating a connection and a balance within yourself.

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