Muladhara Chakra and Hatha Yoga

You can balance your Muladhara Chakra with Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga. Through the practice of the postures, bring awareness into your physical body. With breath awareness, envision prana flowing to specific areas of the body—nourishing the tissues and organs, strengthening, soothing muscles and joints. During Hatha yoga, you bring life and health into the physical body and feel your connection to the living, supportive earth. When you feel ungrounded, bring energy to the Muladhara Chakra through Hatha yoga to feel grounded, safe, and connected.

When practicing Hatha yoga, listen carefully to your body. If you feel sharp pain, slowly lessen the intensity or come out of the posture. If you feel just a little discomfort, not sharp pain, take deep breaths and envision your breath going into that area. This can dislodge a block and allow prana to flow, a wonderful benefit of yoga.

Svadhistana Chakra and Tantra Yoga

Tantra yoga is a specific practice that includes meditation on the chakras and the importance of awakening the Kundalini energy to unite with divine consciousness, Shiva. Tantra yoga also supports enjoying and being present with the sweetness of being alive in the physical body. Tantra is often associated with sexuality, with the idea that if you practice Tantra it will improve your experience of sex. Because of its regard for enjoying the sweetness in life, it relates to the Svadhistana Chakra. One of the forms of meditation that Tantra teaches is Japa, repeating a mantra using malas.

Malas and Meditation

Adding malas to your meditation practice can help focus your mind and allow you to pray in increments of the number 108, a sacred number in the yogic tradition as well as other traditions. Mala beads are made of various materials such as wood, gemstones, and crystals. You can choose a set of malas based on the energy associated with each crystal, and be sure to cleanse the crystals before your first use.

Malas are sacred objects; as you infuse them with blessings and prayers they hold that vibration. They are strung as a loop of 108 beads, and you can wear them around your neck as protection and a reminder of your dedication to your practice.

To practice Japa:

1. Get in a comfortable position for meditation, in a quiet spot.

2. Choose a mantra.

3. Start with the bead next to the “guru” bead, which is the bead at the knot. Hold the first bead in between your thumb and middle finger. Move the beads between those two fingers, and at each bead repeat the mantra you've chosen.

4. When you've passed each bead through your fingers and you arrive at the guru bead, you've done 108 repetitions. Do not cross over or use the guru bead. Instead, you can do another round by passing the beads between your fingers in the other direction.

5. After you've completed your Japa meditation for the number of rounds you've chosen, take a few moments to stop and integrate the experience. Allow the effects of the Japa to resonate within you

To practice Japa you can chant or repeat “om” at each bead, or you can choose a longer mantra. There are many Sanskrit mantras with specific intentions such as healing, prosperity, and surrender. You can also pick a line from a prayer from any religious or cultural tradition that works for you and connects you to the divine. A prayer that is considered the prayer of all prayers in Sanskrit is Om mani padme hum, which has been translated to mean in the jewel of the lotus. This is a metaphorical translation. The lotus is the sacred flower of the yogic tradition, and each of the chakras appears in the shape of a lotus flower, with a divine god or goddess inside on yet another lotus. Om mani padme hum isn't literally translatable; the phrase is said to contain all the teachings of the Buddha.

Chanting, speaking, or thinking a mantra creates a vibration. The energy of that vibration creates healing for you and affects others. In 1993, a study in Washington, DC, researched the effect of several people meditating from June 7 to July 30. The rate of violent crime significantly dropped. See the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?! and www.istpp.org/crime_prevention.

When you repeat a mantra, the meaning and vibration of the words have healing power. The second chakra is associated with emotions, which can pull you away from a feeling of equilibrium and focus. Repeating a mantra helps you become one-pointed in focus as you focus on repeating the mantra and moving the beads through your fingers. This type of focus is also one of the niyamas: Dharana. The second chakra is also associated with sweetness, and practicing Japa can connect you to the sweetness of whatever you are meditating on.

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