06 Jul What Are Chakras And Why Should You Integrate Them Into Your Yoga Practice?
French-Canadian-Chinese Energy Healer and Yoga Teacher Héloïse Chong introduces the Hong Kong yoga community to Chakra flow and its soul-awakening benefits
In the wake of her fully-subscribed Yoga and Crystal Healing Workshop, we catch up with Héloïse Chong in Hong Kong to dive deep into the topics she covered during the event. Healer, world traveler and ocean lover, Héloïse comes from a multicultural background. Her journeys both abroad and within have been guided and enhanced by her learning of the Yogic Chakra System.
A breath of fresh air and unique addition to the Hong Kong yoga community, Héloïse introduces a different approach to practicing yoga in Asia’s busiest city. Let’s flow with her through the spiritual energy centers within the human body to find light and energy…
What are chakras? Where did the chakra system originate?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word, the direct translation means “disk” or “wheel.” They are essentially wheels of energy centers or points that are found in the body. There are seven main ones — each directly correlates to a different system in the body and has different characteristics.
For example, the Heart Chakra is located in the chest and it’s connected to love. In excess or in deficiency, it affects, on the physical level, the heart, lungs, thymus, breasts, arms, breath, asthma and tension between the shoulder blades and pains in the chest. Some other sources share that we have not just seven chakras, but multiple centers throughout the whole body. The system originates from ancient Indian text called the Vedas from about 1500 to 500 BC.
The first chakra is the Root Chakra, in Sanskrit known as Muladhara. It’s associated with the color red, earth element and it’s located at the base of the spine. It is said to be linked with your bones, nervous system, immune system, vitality, energy levels and nourishment.
Then you have the Sacral Chakra, Svadhisthana, located in the lower abdomen, connected with the color orange and the element of water. It is linked to creativity, the sexual organs, bladder, womb, prostate and kidneys.
The third chakra, Manipura also known as the Solar Plexus Chakra, located around the belly button or slightly higher in the solar plexus. It is the color yellow, associated with the fire element. It is linked to will power, identity, the digestive system, pancreas, gallbladder and liver.
The Heart Chakra, Anahata is linked to the color green and it sits at the base of your sternum. The element is Air and it relates to love and relationships, cardiac nerve plexus, respiratory and cardiac systems and Thymus glands.
The fifth is the Throat Chakra, Vishuddha located at the throat. It’s the color bright blue, connected with the element of Ether and associated with communication and self-expression, throat, ears, voice, neck and thyroid.
Now we have the sixth, Third Eye Chakra, Ajna. It’s the color indigo, connected with the element of light, located in between the two eyebrows. It’s linked to perception and self-perception, the medulla plexus, the pituitary gland and eyes. The seventh and last chakra, the Crown Chakra, Sahasrara. It is located at the top of the head, seen as the color white or violet. It is to do with spirituality and your connection with divinity, source and universe, upper skull, cerebral cortex, pineal gland.
How can yoga help us activate or open up our chakras?
Your chakras are already or mostly activated, and it is either healthy, deficient or in excess. On the physical level, yoga can help stimulate different organs and different parts of body systems that correlate to the corresponding chakras.
On the energetic level, specific yoga poses can help with cleansing, purifying and charging your chakras. This can be done by holding the poses for a longer period of time, in which case Savasana (corpse pose) is important to do after charging your chakras in order to integrate the charge you’ve just generated.
There are also plenty of chakra meditations available to help cleanse and charge your chakras.
How long have you been practicing chakra yoga? How were you first introduced to it?
I would say on and off for the last seven years. My practice shifts to what is needed at that time. Not sure who was the one who first introduced me to it, I believe the studio back home in Canada offered chakra yoga classes. I eventually became so drawn to it that I did the Chakra Module with Seane Corn, and continued to pick up more and more information from different sources, books, workshops and retreats.
What are the benefits of chakra yoga?
The list of benefits is endless; however, the results depend on how frequent you practice. If you truly practice frequently, you are affecting all types of bodies (your energetic body, physical body, emotional body, etc.) and different systems in your physical body like your immune system, nervous system, digestive system and respiratory system.
My personal experience, in addition to the emotional release healing work that I do with the Kriya Lightning Foundation, has been a feeling more attuned and aligned with myself. It’s grounded, centered, peaceful, yet refreshed and energized at the same time. My health overall is better, and these days I rarely get sick.
Try it out with a daily practise of ten minutes and see how you feel after a month.
As you teach yoga, what have you observed are the major issues people have today?
I would say lack of prioritising mental health and emotional well being. I do see people putting effort in ensuring they have a work out, or a sweat a day. However, very few are taking care of their mental and emotional state. Meditation and a slower yoga practice like Stretch & Release or Chakra Flow Yoga focus more on the breath and energetic body – as do other alternative healing practises.
How can chakra yoga (or yoga in general) help resolve these issues?
Yoga has eight parts to it (known as the 8 limbs). If you are truly practicing the Yamas (external discipline), Niyamas (internal discipline), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath work), Pratyahara (going within), Dharana (awareness/concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (peace, union, oneness), your mental and emotional state would shift to more lightness, happiness, peace and joy in your daily life.
We just introduced a new class called Chakra Flow Yoga here at Flex. What can students expect from this class?
It’s a vinyasa yoga class, with a focus on the energetic body. The poses are tailored to correlate with each chakra. You do not need to be advanced to attend this class. We do hold poses for a little longer than normal and we finish with a meditative Savasana. Oftentimes, you’ll leave the class feeling more grounded, lighter, happier and at peace.
In need of healing and restorative classes to balance out your other activities? Join Heloise’s weekly yoga classes at both Central and One Island South! Click here to book.