Specific yoga poses draw from, and contribute to, how the seven chakras exist within each of us. In theory, chakras strength and asana strength correlate. I decided to investigate that in terms of my own practice.
Consider the seven Chakras and their related asanas:
1. Muladhara – Tailbone / earth / basic needs – mountain, chair, tree, sitting cross-legged
2. Swadisthana – Sacrum / water / emotion – seated forward fold, splits, hero, fixed firm
3. Manipura – Belly / fire – ego – twists
4. Anahata – Heart / air / selflessness – camel, bridge, wheel, dancer
5. Vishudda – Throat / ether / communication – shoulder stand, plow, fish
6. Ajna – Third eye / transcendence / intuition– child’s pose, kapalabhadi breathing
7. Sahasrara – Crown of head / soul / unity – twisting poses, headstands
If I organize these according to the strengths of my practice, I would order them as follows:
Steady asana: mountain; chair; tree; sitting cross-legged; seated forward fold; hero; fixed firm; camel; bridge; wheel; dancer; shoulder stand; plow; fish; child’s pose; kapalabhadi breath
Wavering asana: splits; twists; headstands
This implies that my basic needs are met, my emotions are often – not always – steady, and my selflessness, communication, and intuition are sound. Meanwhile, my ego is undeveloped and my soul is still seeking its place in this world. At a first pass, that is a pretty accurate description of the connection between my physical capabilities and mental/emotional condition.
So, are bottled up chakras holding me back from more fully realized poses, or are my physical constraints cramping my poses and restricting my chakras? It’s a chicken and egg thing. It would have been nice if the correlation led to a deeper understanding. But I’m torn. I feel good about energy and poses that align, and frustrated by those that are blocked.
Try it yourself and see where you land.