Acu-Yoga integrates two ancient holistic methods of health and wellness — Acupressure and Yoga. When you combine these two complementary practices of self-healing, the result is increased effectiveness. We can greatly benefit today from their time-tested healing wisdom.
Acupressure originated in ancient China;
Yoga and the chakra system are from ancient India.
Each Acu-Yoga technique stretches or presses various muscles, nerves, and Acupressure points. This releases muscular tension and promotes the flow of the life force – known as Chi or prana – through the Acupressure Meridians and the chakra nerve centers of the body.
The seven chakras are specific vital centers in the body that influence various aspects of ourselves. They are energy vortexes that govern our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. They provide a foundation for the development of personality and personal strengthens and weaknesses.
The bottom three chakras are called the lower chakras, and the top three are the upper chakras. The fourth chakra, at the heart center, is a bridge. It unifies the upper and lower chakras and connects earth and spirit.
These energy centers are of central importance in Acu-Yoga practice. All of the Acupressure meridians, along with their internal branches, are associated with one of these centers. In addition, most of the pressure points relate specifically to one of the chakras.
Many of the traditional associations of the Acupressure points correspond to the characteristics of the nearest chakra. Since chakras are so related to Acupressure, being aware of them aids in one’s understanding of the dynamics of Acu-Yoga.
Acu-Yoga & Chakras
In this article, I’ll give you extensive information about the chakras, such as the meanings of each one and their physical associations.
For specific Acu-Yoga methods for each chakra, here’s my comprehensive book, Acu-Yoga. It contains a series of exercises that covers Acu-Yoga exercises for all of the Chakras and goes progressively from the First to the Seventh Chakra.
Each exercise works on a certain chakra by flexing, stimulating, or stretching various areas of the body. Acu-Yoga also uses the power of the breath as a way to promote balance in each of the chakras.
By practicing this series of exercises, you can systematically re-balance the energy in each of these vital centers. You can also prevent the difficulties associated with each chakra – both physical and emotional – with these exercises.
In the Acu-Yoga book, you will also find a detailed chart on various aspects of the chakras. These include Emotional & Psychological Qualities for both Balanced Functioning and Imbalanced Functioning.
First Chakra is connected to survival, where the main motivation is to protect oneself as a separate being. Therefore, developing the First Chakra means developing a sense of security in life.
When you are insecure, you tend to cling to something. This could be a love relationship, an occupation, a religion, or some other aspect of life. People who have trouble with their First Chakra may not have developed a strong identity. They also may not have found a purpose in their life.
If such people are too yin, they might be ungrounded. If they are very yang, they might be too attached to the material things around them. They could be generally self-indulgent or overly preoccupied with satisfying their own needs.
Second Chakra governs our impulses of creativity and sexuality. If this chakra is too yin, a person might have sexual problems, such as impotency. If it is too yang, sexuality can dominate one’s life. Then sexual frustrations, thoughts, and fantasies become excessive. In either case, imbalances in the Second Chakra can lead to sexual problems.
For other physical conditions, if the Second Chakra is too yin, then the abdominal area may be flabby, saggy, or generally weak. A person may also develop kidney or bladder weaknesses and other urinary problems. If the Second Chakra is too yang, the muscles in the abdominal area will be constricted or tight, and tension may accumulate in the lower back.
Third Chakra is the power center of the body. If there is a deficiency (excess yin) in a person’s Third Chakra, he or she may feel powerless. A person who is too yang, however, may have a tendency to be aggressive or greedy.
Third Chakra relates to the liver, gall bladder, stomach, and spleen. They help to regulate how centered we feel during the day in relation to our mental abilities and our self-motivation. Good diet, especially green vegetables, and daily exercise, such as jogging or swimming, help to develop this chakra.
Unifying Heart Chakra
Fourth Chakra is a bridge that unifies the upper and lower chakras, connecting earth and spirit. It relates to our capacity to love, to open up our hearts, and to give to others and to life.
If the heart center is excessively yang, then a person may be insensitive. If this chakra is too yin, one may be hypersensitive, or feel emptiness within the heart. When this chakra is blocked, a person may appear to be cold or inhibited in their life. Fourth Chakra governs joyfulness. It’s the master control center for balancing your emotions.
Fifth Chakra regulates sound. A person who talks very softly is apt to be more yin. A loud and boisterous voice represents a yang condition. Within the Fifth Chakra comes the power of communication and self-expression. Thus, difficulties in expressing oneself would demonstrate a block in the Fifth Chakra. Expressing what you want in life is very important. It makes the difference between being insecure and being in control and able to create your life. Opening the Fifth Chakra aids in this ability.
Exercises for the Fifth Chakra open up the points on the neck and stimulate the thyroid gland, which is located in the throat area. The thyroid gland is important in regulating the basal metabolism – the amount of energy the body uses when at rest. It is also responsible for balancing the endocrine system. This is important since our hormones affect the internal organs and ultimately the whole body.
Sixth Chakra helps to develop a person’s intellect. Blockage in the Sixth Chakra often manifests as a frontal headache or as an inability to think clearly. These headaches, or scattered or confused thoughts, may also be caused by blockages in the digestive system affecting this chakra. Strengthening the Sixth Chakra helps to clear the mind.
Seventh Chakra governs universal consciousness and liberation. When this center at the top of the head is opened, there are no limitations in terms of time and space. The pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, is the core of this chakra.
Chakras Physical Associations
From a physiological perspective, the chakras are associated with the nerves, the internal organs, and the endocrine glands. Neurologically, the chakras are associated with the nerve plexuses from the spinal column.
First Chakra, at the base of the spine is connected to the sacral plexus, the large intestine and rectum, the male reproductive organs, and the prostate gland.
Second Chakra, below the navel, is related to the prostatic plexus, the kidneys and bladder, the female reproductive organs, and the adrenal glands.
Third Chakra, below the rib cage, is associated with the solar plexus and the liver, gall bladder, spleen, stomach, and small intestine.
Fourth Chakra is called the Heart Chakra. It is connected to the cardiac plexus, the Pericardium, and the heart, lungs, and thymus gland.
Fifth Chakra, in the throat area, relates to the laryngeal plexus, the cervical spine, and the thyroid gland. The Fifth Chakra is connected by the vagus nerve and the cervical ganglion.
Sixth Chakra is associated with the cavernous plexus, the Triple Warmer Meridian, and the gall bladder, brain, and pituitary gland.
Seventh Chakra relates to the meridian plexus, the Governing Vessel, the liver, bladder, gall bladder, and the pineal gland.
Self-Acupressure & Acu-Yoga Resources
The Acu-Yoga Video Series demonstrates how to do many therapeutic Acu-Yoga exercises. It offers a variety of three major topics for you to explore: Acu-Yoga for the Flexibility of the Spine, Acu-Yoga for each of the 12 Meridians, and Acu-Yoga for Stress Relief.
The Acu-Yoga book provides a series of chakra-balancing exercises. They work all the way from the First to the Seventh Chakras. The book has detailed step-by-step instructions on how to practice all of the sets of Acu-Yoga exercises that are demonstrated in each of the videos.