Complete chakra system

Welcome to the last newsletter of the year from Inner Sanctum Yoga. It felt right that we concluded the year with the completion of our subtle energy practice by combining asanas from each chakra in one lesson. We substituted our traditional yoga nidra with a Kundalini colour meditation, which was very much enjoyed by all.




As a little take-home practice we learned the ‘magic 7 breaths’, using each finger of our hand to guide us forward and back. Remember that the Ujjayi breath (throat friction) or the AUM-breath on exhalation is a wonderful way to invoke the body’s relaxation                 response, particularly during the
hectic Christmas period.

The last class of the year will be a lovely restorative class, similar to the one we did at the end of last term, in which we used all the available props and cushions to get that ‘complete relaxation experience’.

Below is a brief summary of our subtle energy system practice in an easy to read diagram. With the help of the series of newsletters on the chakras, you can now  practice some personal energy healing/boosting that suits your particular state on a given day. The diagram could also assist you with your personal meditation practice.

Chakra and
Representing Action affirmation Asana Breath Mudra
Higher, spiritual self I understand Headstand Jyoti
(energy visualization breath)
Prana mudra
(feeling the energy of all chakras)
(Indigo Blue)
Intuition and knowledge I see Balancing/focus poses Nadi Shodana (balancing breath) Shambavi mudra
(eyebrow gazing)
(Sky blue)
Clarity of speech
(necessary, kind & true)
I speak Poses involving the neck, shoulders and throat Ujjayi
(throat friction)
Shunya mudra
(for ear problems and travel sickness)
Love and compassion for self and others I love Chest opening and back bending poses Bhramari
(humming bee)
Hridaya mudra(for a healthy/loving heart)
Motivation, drive/ digestive fire I do Twists and core strength poses Kapalbathi
(breath of fire)
Solar mudra
(symbol for personal power)
Creativity and sensuality/
I feel Hip openers Yoni mudra
( symbol for fertility and creativity)
Grounding in the material and physical world I am/ I exist Standing poses Abhaya mudra
(symbol for strength and courage)

Wishing you all a wonderful summer break and looking forward to seeing you again when the schools go back around the 28th of January. I will send a reminder email of our starting day a week before.

May the benefits of your practice stay with you and extend beyond you.

Sahasrara Chakra

With Sahasrara chakra we have come to the end of the yoga practice relating to each individual chakra. The 7th and top most chakra in our energetic system means a thousandfold, referring to its infinite nature. This chakra energizes our higher self, the selfless self or the part of our self that is devoid of ego. Its colour is violet and its element is air. A balanced Sahasrara allows us to be open-minded and provides us with clarity and perception of the bigger picture in life.

If you like to practice seeing auras, this chakra may be the easiest to see. In a dimmed room, against a plain background and without focusing you may perceive Sahasrara as an upside down cone-shaped light at the crown of someone’s head.

To stimulate Sahasrara with our breath, we practiced a new form of pranayama, which involved a strong visualization. For Jyioti pranayama, we imagined inhaling a light through the crown of the head to activate and rejuvenate the whole subtle energetic system in 6 stages.

The main asana associated with Sahasrara is sometimes referred to as the crown jewel of yoga practice: the headstand. To be able to do a headstand you not only need to have a strong core, upper back and shoulders, but also complete body awareness and the ability to focus and concentrate. It comes as no surprise that it takes a fair amount of practice to perform a headstand.  Considering that all yoga practice is a training in strength, awareness and concentration, eventually some variation of the headstand can be achieved by most. Any approximation is part of the practice and will benefit body and mind. Realistically some people may never be able to practice the headstand because of a variety of health reasons, but this will not stop them from being an excellent yogis! A good yogi knows and works within the limitations of their own body.

In the remaining classes till Christmas our asana practice will incorporate a couple of asanas for each chakra and their action affirmation. During shavasana, at the end of the class, we will practice a variety of short chakra and colour meditations. Once we have finished the whole subtle energy practice (Kundalini Yoga) we will conclude the year with a lovely restorative/release class, so we feel completely relaxed for the holidays.

Wisdom related to Sahasrara:
Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T.S. Eliot 1948

May the benefits of your practice stay with you and extend beyond you.


Ajna Chakra

The first two weeks in October our yoga sessions were dedicated to Ajna Chakra, also referred to as the third eye or the perception centre. This chakra is located at the forehead between the eyebrows, directly in line with the pineal gland, which is buried in the centre our brain. Western philosophy refers to the pineal gland as being the centre of our 6th sense. However, in our current society we place more importance on rationalization and ‘googling’ for information than drawing our senses inwards to find and trust the answers we sense through our intuition (inner tutor).

Ajna chakra allows us to feel connected to what yogis call ‘the universal truth’, but this chakra also plays a big role in developing our creativity through imagination, dreaming and visualization.

Developing Ajna chakra leads to a profound insight into our own personal development and spiritual growth. It often is a challenge to remain balanced, level-headed or ‘detached’ in confronting situations. Inviting our inner observer or inner awareness during our practice allows ajna chakra to flourish.

Nadi Shodana, or alternate nostril breathing, balances our body and mind and is therefore most suited to Ajna chakra, particularly when practiced in combination with Shambavi mudra (gazing towards the eyebrow centre). This mudra was the first ‘non-hand’ mudra we practiced. Remember that mudras work on a neurological level and contribute to our ‘attitude’ in the yoga practice.

Our asana practice became more meditative as we increased our focus and concentration throughout the practice; feeling the poses from the inside out. Our usual yoga nidra at the end of the practice is also a wonderful way to get in touch with our intuition.

Ajna in a nutshell:Element: Light
Sound: Om
Colour: Indigo blue
Endocrine system: Pineal gland
Deficient: Poor memory and concentration, poor visualization, suffering paranoia.
Excessive: Headaches, hallucinations, nightmares and difficulty concentrating.
Balanced:Calm clear intuitive knowingness. Being able to see the big picture and being open to all possibilities.

Supported child                             Parighasana




Virasana or Hero Pose



or eyebrow


Wisdom relating to Ajna:
‘Instinct is intelligence incapable of self consciousness’
– John Sterling

May the benefits of your practice stay with you and extend beyond you,Namaste,

Swadhisthana chakra

Swadhisthana chakra

Welcome to the second edition of our Kundalini yoga practice. The second chakra we explored was the Swadhisthana chakra, sacral chakra, or chakra of creativity. Literally swadhisthana means ‘one’s own abode’ and its location in the body is only 2 cm above the Mooladhara chakra, between the coccyx and the pubic bone. Therefore the asanas we practiced to balance this chakra were fairly similar to those relating to Mooladhara. After a month into this Kundalini practice we should all feel quite loose, yet strong in the hip and lower belly area.I have enjoyed exploring the new mudras associated with the chakras, as well as finding specific music that balances each chakra separately. The Tibetan crystal singing bowls track seems to be the general favourite.At the end of  Yoga Nidra we played around with different visualizations.  An easy visualization is that of colour and a more challenging is that of a symbolic landscape, like the ocean by night with a crescent moon, which belongs to swadhisthana chakra.  In stead of the ‘so hum‘ mantra of our standard practice, we are now using the sound mantra belonging to each chakra. All these subtle changes have definitely added another dimension.Soon the next newsletter about Manipura will arrive in your Inbox, as we have already move up to the heart chakra this week.May the benefits of your practice stay with you and extend beyond you.Namaste,
Swadhisthana in a nutshell
Element: Water
Sound: Vam
Colour: Orange
Emotion:  power, lust, joy, blame and guilt.
Balanced: One can go with the flow and is open to new experiences. Creativity rules.
Unbalanced: sexual addiction, wanting constant entertainment(overactive) or
lethargic, depressed anxious(underactive)
Asana: Opening the hips and strengthening the lower abdomen.
1. Malasana 


2. Pigeon Pose



3. Crescent Moon



Yoni Mudra

Kundalini Yoga – Mooladhara chakra

Welcome to the third edition of the Inner Sanctum Newsletter. After a break of about 3 weeks over the school holidays I hope everyone is ready and motivated to get back into yoga. During these colder months we’ll continue to keep the body warm with a more vigorous vinyasa style yoga. Ocasionally we need to remind ourselves that yoga is a body-mind practice. For that reason I would like to introduce some theory of the Kundalinni Yoga practices this term. While we are working the body, we can direct the mind to the energetic benefits that we are gaining from the asana practice at the same time. I am planning to spend about 2 lessons on each of the 7 main Chakras, or energy centres, in the body.The lowest chakra is Mooladhara chakra (see chart to the right). The internal organs we’ll aim to balance are the kidneys, colon and skeletal system. The endocrine system targeted is that of the adrenal glands. On the neurological level we’ll work with the mudra of fearlessness, Abhaya Mudra. On an emotional level we are making sure that we remain grounded and secure.  Mooladhara has its own bandha or energy lock: the Moolabandha. By drawing up the pelvic floor after complete exhalation and releasing when we need to inhale again, we stimulate the energy flow into the lower parts of our body.


Mooladhara chakra in a nutshell:


Element: Earth
Sound: Lam
Colour: Red

When Balanced: We can have feelings of anxiety, greed, fear and/or a sense we don’t belong or are not good enough.
When Unbalanced: We feel secure, safe, stable and supported. We know there is enough to go around and we also have a sense of belonging.

Asana: Grounding practice with standing poses.

Virabhadrasana 1,2,3


:  Abhaya Mudra – mudra of fearlessness