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      The seven chakras are specific vital centers in the body that influence different aspects of our selves. They are energy vortexes that govern our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Therefore, they provide a foundation for the development of personal power.

      All of the Acupressure meridians run through these centers and most of the pressure points relate specifically to one of the chakras. Many of the traditional associations of Acu-pressure 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.

      From a neuro-physiological perspective, the chakras are represented as nerve plexuses from the spinal column and endocrine glands that connect with the internal organs. At the base of the spine is the first chakra, which is connected to the sacral plexus, the rectum, the prostate gland, and the male reproductive organs. The second chakra, below the navel, is related to the prostatic plexus, the adrenal glands, the female reproductive organs, and the kidneys. The third chakra is associated with the solar plexus, the spleen, the pan-creas, the liver, and the gall bladder. The fourth is called the heart chakra. It is connected to the cardiac plexus, the thymus gland, and the pericardium. The fifth chakra relates to the thyroid gland at the level of the throat, which regulates the basal metabolism-the amount of energy used by the body at rest. The fifth chakra is connected by the vagus nerve and the cervical ganglion. The sixth chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, and the seventh chakra relates to the pineal gland.

      Acu-Yoga uses the power of the breath to balance the chakras. In five minutes this can be accomplished by lengthening the respiratory process to four breaths per minute. These seven chakras are of central importance in Acu-Yoga practice. Each exercise works on a certain chakra, by flexing, stimulating, or stretching areas of the body. The following series of exercises works progressively from the first to the seventh chakra. By practicing this series of Yoga exercises you can systemically re-balance the energy in each of these vital centers.
       
© Copyright 2014 Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D.
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