Chances are you have your comfy and cozy postures during your yoga practice. Conversely, you probably also have those that pose more of a challenge. True enough, the root of that challenge might be physical. You might feel too tight to get into certain stretches, or feel that you cannot breathe in the rhythm or pattern you are being instructed. In that case, props can help as well as being kind to yourself and allowing your body to progressively adjust and adapt. However, another cause of the difficulty you might experience could come from a chakra (energy center) stand point.
We are all comprised of seven chakras (from lowest point on the physical body to highest): root, creative, navel, heart, throat, intuitive (third eye), and crown. Each correlates to different properties within the body—both physical and energetic. Depending on the posture, and its target area in the body, an imbalance in the related chakra might be more at the core of your difficulty than your muscles and joints. For example:
-If you are having trouble achieving Ustrasana (camel pose), or any sort of back bends, it could be that your back or hips are tight, or it might be that your root (first) chakra (which has to do with your sense of grounding and security) is out of alignment causing you to mistrust that fact that you will be supported.
-Postures like stretch pose and leg lifts might not seem doable because of misalignments in your navel (third) center (the area from which your power, fire and drive originate). Separately, navel center postures can have a tendency of bringing with them heat and anger during a yoga kriya. This ties back in with the fire of your power. Do not let this deter you from the postures. Get through that fire and come out on the other side.
-A posture requiring you to open up and expose your heart (fourth) chakra (the seat of both giving and receiving of love, kindness, and forgiveness) might be uncomfortable because a block in this area is not allowing you to feel that it is open, or capable, of being exposed and unguarded.
-A weak voice while chanting, or reciting mantras, can come from an obstructed throat (fifth) chakra and a lack of confidence in expressing yourself with your voice.
-Trouble during meditation can come from a block at your intuitive (sixth) chakra. Blocks here would make it difficult to “let go and let it flow” and would disrupt the sensation of your connection to Universal energy and higher consciousness.
Learning to look at the energetic associations in points on the body and in postures can help shed a whole new light on your yoga practice. You might begin tying in the unseen parts of yourself that are benefitting, or asking for your help, simply by observing your body and its capabilities during a yoga set.