30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 10 - Episode 9

Chakra System Meditation

30 min - Practice


Rosemary guides us through a mindful exploration of the 7 main chakras - root, deep belly, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown - through honest and compassionate observation and awareness. Find a comfortable seated position for this pranayama, chanting, and visualization practice which is useful as a first introduction to the chakras, or to further your connection to them. You will feel balanced, tender, and in touch with your inner experience.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Welcome everyone. Such a joy to be together as always. So the energy body and the chakra system is basically an infinite exploration. We could go on and on and on. My hope and intention for this brief practice is to give you kind of an essential taste, maybe a doorway in, and then if it sparks your curiosity you could continue to explore on your own. One thing I want to say before we dive in is that there are many doorways.

There are many pathways. So some of us respond through visualization, maybe others through pranayama or kind of a guided meditation experience or chanting. I'm going to just offer a lot and you can see what resonates with you. Alright, a little journey. Highly recommend a comfortable seat. Like any meditation practice, you don't want the knees higher than the hips. So if that's the case, lift your sit bones a bit.

Find something sustainable. And then you can rest hands up or down on the legs or palm and palm, base of lap. You can take a soft gaze or you can close the eyes. Let's just land for a moment or two. Let awareness drop into body and connect with breath.

Make that really deliberate move from the external to the internal and see what's going on inside. How's the body feel physically with the kind of energetic emotional state? How's your breath doing? And as much as possible, kind of allow it all, welcome it all while keeping your awareness tethered to the movement of your breath. And for now, gently begin to let the breath expand.

Feel the inhales moving around in all directions and with each exhale, let yourself kind of ground and settle. Very, very briefly, what we're working with today are the seven main energy centers in the body. So root, deep belly, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown. And this first pranayama practice aims to kind of touch in with each point of energy. So the idea is to take one long sustained inhale from the root to the crown and kind of pause at each energy center.

It's one inhale, but they're brief pauses along the way. And then one streamlined exhale from crown to root. I'll talk you through it as with any pranayama practice if my pacing doesn't feel quite right, really trust your own. Dropping back down and in. Let's take a cleansing breath together.

So through the nose, a really big inhale. And then go ahead and open your mouth and exhale, release. Inhale from root to deep belly to solar plexus to heart to throat, third eye, crown, pause. Exhale from the crown down to the root, all the breath out. Inhale root to deep belly, solar plexus, heart, throat.

Third eye, crown, pause. Exhale from crown, all the way back down to the root. Let's do that again. Inhale root to deep belly, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown, pause. Exhale from the crown all the way back down to the root. And then just a few moments of stillness here.

You can take a couple more cycles of breath on your own in that same way. Or you might just follow inhale up spine without pausing and exhale down the spine. The idea is to connect with your central channel and to feel the rise of each inhale and the grounding of each exhale. Sustaining that connection with the central channel, we're going to shift the practice into a really simple chanting exercise. So each energy center, each chakra has what's known as a seed syllable or a kind of resonance sound that helps to energize and awaken that center.

From root to crown, they are lam, vam, ram, yam, hum, om. And then the crown chakra is what's known as kind of a silent om. So the sound just reverberates around us. You can join me, you can just listen, whatever resonates. Soft gaze or close the eyes again.

Reconnect with the spine, the central channel. Yeah, big inhale. Again, just open the mouth, exhale, let it all go. Inhale through the nose. Vam.

Moving up to deep lower belly, big inhale. Vam. Moving up, central channel to third chakra, solar plexus, big inhale. Ram. Moving to the center of the heart, big inhale.

Yam. Moving awareness to the base of the throat, big inhale. Ham. Over awareness to the third eye, big inhale. Om.

Gently move your awareness just above the crown of the head, beyond the physical body, allowing a kind of silent resonant om. Resting in that vibration. If the chanting practice speaks to you, you could repeat that seed syllable many, many times, moving from root to crown, or if one energy center in particular feels a little out of balance, you could simply repeat that seed syllable in repetition. Make it yours. Again, many doorways in.

So from here, the breath is effortless, the spine is tall, the shoulders are relaxing down the back, and you'll simply sit in stillness as I guide you through a very simple meditation, touching into essential aspects of each chakra. So begin by placing your awareness at the root of the spine, muladhara chakra, root chakra, and as awareness settles there, picture a brilliant spinning ball of red light. The element is earth, and the essential qualities are foundation, home, core relationships, health and well-being. The shadow here is fear. So the whole system is one of a steady, healthy foundation, deep roots.

Let awareness rest there, picture that brilliant ball of red light. Feel into those qualities. Notice anything you notice. And again, create space for it all and welcome it all, while staying connected to the breath and the invitations into the visualizations. From the root, your awareness moves up just a little to the deep low belly, second chakras, vadisthana chakra, meaning sweetness.

The color is orange, the element is water. And the essence here is play, creativity, sensuality and sexuality, really kind of juicy, fluid center. The shadow is guilt. The essence here is one of juicy, fluid expression. Let your awareness rest there, picturing a brilliant spinning ball of brilliant orange light.

Feeling into anything you feel physically or energetically. Just letting awareness rest there. And then awareness moves up into the solar plexus. We all experience that in a slightly different place in the body. For me, it's kind of right where the lower ribs meet.

For some people, it's lower. You can explore that if you're new to it, see where it lands for you. Manipura chakra. This is the lustrous gem, the fire center. Picture there a spinning, brilliant, beautiful wheel of yellow light like the sun.

The essential aspects of this chakra are your individuated self, your autonomy, your ability to stand strong, to differentiate, and kind of land in your own center and your own self. The shadow here is shame. Let awareness play in that powerful, radiant spinning ball of yellow light. Notice anything you notice in that part of the body and that energy field. And then awareness moves up central channel to the center of the heart.

Anahata chakra, meaning unstruck. The color is green. The element is air. And of course, the essential qualities here are love, compassion, devotion, and the ability to process emotion of any kind, which means the shadow is blocked emotion, unprocessed emotion. And the heart closes and contracts. So let awareness rest there, picturing that beautiful radiant ball or wheel of spinning green light.

Feel into the expanse of the heart center. And or if it's present, any contraction around the heart center, again, it's all welcome. We're simply meeting ourselves right where we are. Let awareness rest there. Then let your awareness move to the base of your throat. Vishuddha chakra, the throat chakra. The color is blue.

The element is ether, kind of moving just outside of the material realm. And the essential elements of this chakra are your voice, literally and metaphorically, your expression, your truth, the purity, which is what the word means, of your sound and expression. Let awareness rest there, picturing a radiant spinning wheel of blue light. Shadow being lies or deception, sometimes of our own selves. What are we not ready to voice or speak?

Awareness arises to the third eye. Arjuna chakra meaning command or perceive. The color is indigo. The element is pure space. And the essential qualities here are vision and imagination, the ability perceive beyond the physical realm into unseen terrain. Let awareness rest there, picturing a brilliant spinning wheel of indigo light.

And finally, awareness rises to the crown of the head and the space just beyond crown of head, beyond physical body. Sahastra chakra, the thousand fold, the thousand pedaled lotus unfolding, opening. Picturing there a brilliant spinning ball of violet light. This is our connection with all that is. The essence of yoga, union, with the divine, with all beings, with seen and unseen, whatever word, whatever language resonates for you, we move beyond the individual self and reconnect with our innate interdependence.

Let awareness rest there, hovering just above crown of head, picturing that brilliant violet light, noticing anything you notice. From here, just allow your awareness to soften. And then in your own rhythm, let your awareness move from the root up central channel, up shashum ninadi, as it's known by the yogis, to the crown of the head and back down and up and down and in any direction and any rhythm that you feel for. The practice is to stay present when there's something a little less specific to focus on, it's easy to drift. So keep inviting yourself back to any sensations within the central channel and within the physical body around that central channel.

So maybe you notice some tightness in your hips, which can be associated with first or second chakra. Maybe you notice a little scrunchiness between the shoulder blades, back of heart, fourth chakra. Maybe you're really in touch with any of those colors that I mentioned. Maybe you didn't really see them or resonate with them at all. Maybe you're in contact with the breath in certain parts of the body, but not so much in others.

There's no right or wrong here. You're simply allowing your awareness to play through the spine, through the central channel and through the body around that central channel. Notice anything you notice. Notice if anything I said about the essential qualities of each chakra resonated. Maybe they were kind of exciting, opening, invigorating.

Maybe they led to a little contraction or slight wince inside. Just notice what are you in touch with? And if you drift, no big deal, just come back. Whatever arises, be curious, give it space. And as with all of our practices, maybe especially the ones that start to move into the internal landscape, let the undercurrent be compassion.

Just discover whatever you feel or notice, meet it with compassion. Okay, from here we're going to return to that opening pranayama practice that we did with the sustained inhale touching in at each energy center. We'll help to ground all of this and maybe it'll be a little bit more alive for you now that you've explored a bit more. The one thing that I want to add is as we hold the breath in at the top, we're going to draw the deep lower belly in and up and we're going to take a slight drop of the chin. For those of you who are familiar with the bandhas, that engages Uddhiana and Dralandhara.

If you're not familiar with the bandhas, it doesn't matter at all. You'll still feel it. What we're doing here is drawing the energy up, cultivating the energy in the body and then holding it in. And when we lift deep belly and drop chin, it kind of creates these nets or locks in the body that allows that energy to swirl and turn and sustain within rather than kind of bleeding out. Okay, let's try it.

As always, if my pacing doesn't feel quite right, trust your own. If it's right at the edge, see if you can work with it. Exhale, release. Let's take another cleansing breath together through the nose. Big inhale.

Go ahead and open the mouth. Exhale, release. Inhale, root to deep belly. To solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown, whole lift deep belly drop chin. Lift the chin, open the mouth.

Exhale. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the nose, all the breath out. Begin again, inhale, root to deep belly, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown, whole lift deep belly drop chin. Hold, hold, hold.

Lift the chin, open the mouth, exhale. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the nose. Once again, inhale, root to deep belly, to solar plexus, to heart, to throat, third eye, crown, whole lift deep belly drop chin. Hold.

Lift the chin, open the mouth, exhale. Let it go. Just rest. Let the breath be effortless. And let awareness move up and down the spine. Inhales lift way beyond the crown of the head.

And the exhales ground deep into the earth. Let your awareness stay connected to the flow of your breath. And let anything else that wants to arise specific to an energy center or the sensations of the body around that energy center arise. Just a few more moments of stillness together. And as you're sitting with it all, allowing it all, just one more invitation.

Whatever arises, and it might be surprising, of a tender heart, a rush of anger, an intense resistance, a really beautiful insight. There's no telling what can unfold when we start working with the energy body. So as much as possible, let thinking mind, let the cognitive mind kind of soften and let yourself experience whatever is here. You don't need to make sense of it, probably can't make sense of it. How about allow it and let it inform you.

To close, you can draw your hands to your heart, or you can let your hands rest on any energy center or maybe two that feel kind of vibrant or churny or particularly alive to you. And we're going to close with the sound of Aum and as we do, feel the vibration of that sound in those centers. Exhale just empty all the breath out through the nose, really big inhale. And the vibration of the sound. As you're ready, draw hands to the third eye and gently bowing forward to close the practice.

Namaste. Thank you all so much for going on that inward journey with me. If you have any questions or comments, we welcome them. If you're curious about any other resources around the energy body or the chakra system, we'd love to share. Enjoy the ride.



Jenny S
3 people like this.
What a beautiful way to end the season…your voice is so soothing. I’m going to revisit your meditation challenges on Yoga Anytime for more of your deeply healing medicine. Thank you from the bottom of my ❤️
Lina S
2 people like this.
Nice practice. Is it possible to know a yoga pose associated with each chakra? If each chakra is linked to a particular color, sound and qualities, I suppose there is one pose that stimulates that chakra.
Kate M
1 person likes this.
I did this guided practice in a supported śavāsana and it took me deep. I pulled some muscles in my thoracic spine yesterday and today's on the mat practice was tentative and exploratory (one of the blessings of injury!). This was the perfect way to dive deep and continue that exploration on another level. Thank you for this very grounded exploration of the energy body. Om shanti shanti shantihi.
Rosemary Garrison
Thank you, Jenny S . Your comments always touch my heart. Thank you for being here. 
Rosemary Garrison
YES! There is so much to say about this, Lina S . This season aims to address all 7 chakras... so if you start at the beginning and follow them, you'll be guided through an experience of each one per class. As for color, they follow the rainbow from root to crown. I could go on and on! Perhaps you might find a local teacher who offers chakra informed workshops? Or come visit me in the Bay Area sometime to explore more! 
Rosemary Garrison
That sounds like such a wise and nourishing approach, Kate M . I'm happy to hear it. I hope your back is healed and happy now. 

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