Chakras are energy points in the body, there are two main chakra systems, one with seven chakras, one with thirteen, with each point aligned vertically down the middle of your body.
These major chakras aren't the only energy points in your body though...there are actually 114!
With these yoga poses I wanted to focus on the hands and feet because not only is there a chakra in each palm and in either arch of your feet, but in everyday life, our feet and hands are what we use most - it's about time we give them a little more loving!
So here are 8 yoga poses for your hands and feet!
When doing the poses, breathe from your abdomen and ensure that you go at you own pace and to your own ability (you'll see later on I had help from a pile of compost bags for my headstand), don't worry about what you think yoga poses are 'supposed' to look like or about getting a pose 'perfect', that's not what yoga is about.
Yoga is about letting go and finding and doing what feels good!
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Bring your palms together, keeping your elbows wide and your shoulders blades drawn down. Spread your fingers as your press your palms together. Bring your hands as down as much as you can whilst keeping the palms touching.
Benefits; Relieves tension shoulders, stretches hands and wrists.
Upward Bounds Fingers/Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana
Start in a comfortable cross legged position. Interlace your fingers, keeping the tips of the thumbs touching, then turn your hands so that your palms are facing away from you, push forward and up, pressing your palms towards the sky on an inhale.
Start with you legs out straight in front of you. Then bend at the knees, putting your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under your right, knee bringing it to the outside of the right hip and cross your right leg over the left, bringing your right foot to the outside of your left hip. Adjust yourself so that you are sitting evenly on your sitting bones.
Then bring your right arm around on an exhale so that it is behind your torso, you forearm in the hollow of your lower back and your right elbow against your side body. Roll your shoulder back and down then slowly move your arm upwards until your forearm is parallel to your spine (or as close to that as possible, depending on your abilities).
Then on an inhlae, bring your left arm overhead, then bend at the elbow and actively reach your left hand to meet the right, hooking your fingers if you can.
Keep your shoulder blades firm against your back ribs and your chest lifted
Unravel on an exhale and repeat on the other side.
Benefits; Stretches chest, ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly bend at the waist. Lift your feet and bring your hands underneath (backs of your hands against the floor). Your toes should touch your wrist crease. Bend your knees as much as you want, relax your neck and move your elbows out to the side to bring your chest closer to your thighs.
Benefits; Lengthens hamstrings, calves, back, wrists. Strengthens thighs. Stimulates liver and kidneys. Relieves tension in neck and shoulders.
Wide Legged Forward Bend/Prasarita Padottanasana
Start in mountain pose. Then hop your feet to about 3-4 feet apart and place your hands on your hips. Press into all four corners of your feet, draw your thing muscles up and lift your chest. On an exhale, and while maintaining the length in your front torso, slowly bend forward at the hips. When you get parallel to the floor, bring your fingers down to the floor, inline with your shoulders and press your elbows out to the side. Keep your front torso as long as you can as you move down further. You can bring your palms to the floor, bring your hands to the outer side of your ankles or rest the crown of your head on the floor. Draw your shoulders away from your ears.
Benefits; Strengthens and stretches feet, inner legs, back legs and spine. Tones abdominal organs. Relaxes the mind.
Squat with your feet hip width apart. Bring your fingertips to the floor infront of your and slowly rock side to side, coming onto your right toes then your left.
Benefits; Stretches the feet, ankles, groin, back.
Start in a kneeling position with the tops of your feet pressed against the floor then sit on your heels. Place your palms on your thighs, roll your shoulders back and down and sit up straight so that your head is aligned over your heart and your heart aligned over your pelvis.
Then slowly come onto your toes and sit back on your heels.
Alternate like this a few times.
Benefits; Stretches feet, ankles, knees and thighs. Improves posture and ones pelvic muscles.
Hero Pose/Virasana (Variation)
Start in a kneeling position with your inner knees touching. Then slide your feet so that they are slightly wider than your hips, pressing each foot evenly onto the floor. Then sit back between your feet. If that isn't comfortable, sit on a place block between your feet and sit on that. Place your palms on your thighs.
If you wish, you can then slowly lean further back. Bring your elbows to the floor to help yourself down until your upper back meets the floor. Roll your shoulders back and down underneath to open your chest and let your arms rest by your sides. Keep your head in a neutral position.
Benefits;Strengthens thighs, knees, ankles and arches of the feet.