Sander Yoga Therapy

& Tai Chi

powerful occupations.








































































Deep Occupational Therapy for mood and movement.

reasoned and uncluttered.


The Chakras-an anatomy.


Chakras are the psychological/energetic/emotional centers of the body.

One of the finest models for goal attainment.

Do specific areas of the body actually relate to emotions? You decide.

Have you ever felt the loss of love in the heart area?

Have you ever felt anxiety in the pit of your stomach (center of will)?


Chakras hold our personal programming, some functional, and some dysfunctional. 

Imbalances are manifested as the result of viewing encounters (real or imagined) primarily through the filter of individual chakras. The power/influence of individual chakras must be integrated/balanced throughout the entire system.


Chakras (chuk ruz) can be activated or balanced through thought/attention, touch, breathing exercises, vibration, yogic postures, and other methods of modulation.


Movement through the chakras


When we speak of personal or societal development as the movement from base needs to higher spirituality, the direction is upwards through the chakras. In this manner, move from the lower chakras with their focus on physical needs and desires, then through areas representing volition or will, love, communication, intuition, and finally Self-realization. We can also use chakras as a guide in a downward movement, creating in a more solid form that which enters at the higher chakras (as a spiritual inspiration). Work to manifest our inspiration, first with the guidance of discernment. Then adding focused study, proceed to reassess and assure congruence and synchronization of the plan with the heart. With sufficient self-esteem/trust in self, increase our will to succeed. While we fan the fuel of physical desire, the final pieces come together on the physical plane. 

When we speak of precise movement up or down the chakral system, realize work is being done/sustained at all chakras, at all times to varying degrees. Work for balance, using the chakras to understand ourselves, to give attention to all areas, and to focus more or less on some of them as we feel it is necessary. The downward model addresses the need for thinkers to get something done on the physical plane. It is seen as appropriate in a world where many of us live in the head, and are less than properly aware of our body, environment, or the present. Traditionally, the upward movement represents growth in spiritual understanding.  



Approximate Locations of the Chakras


Chakras relate to but do not wholly correspond to nerve plexuses or endocrine glands. Learn to feel their presence but don’t worry about exact locations. Relate this information to your own body. A yoga pose is included for each chakra. Feel free to add others as you sense an understanding of the material. 



1. Root Chakra-I need 

            Mooladhara (moo lahd hah rah) chakra-survival, security, basic needs

Tighten and release the pelvic floor. This chakra is located near the base of the spine (coccyx).

This is the seat of our most basic natural desires/requirements; it deals with food and elimination, and self-sufficiency. Struggling at this level, one expresses anger, greed and hatred. It is located at the sight of an ancient endocrine gland structure that looks like a knot. This knot represents the physical world: body, material goods, etc. This chakra is the foundation of the Physical Body Sheath or Kosha.

From below (working upwards) we can break through this knot as we begin to realize that goals can express needs that are beyond the immediate concerns of food and shelter, and (working downwards) we know that we must reach the flesh and blood of physical life to do what needs to be done on earth.

Chakra bija mantra-Lam (lahm), Color-Red

Key word-Grounding, Major block-fear. Cobblers Pose


                                              2. Sacral Chakra-I want

            Swadhisthana (svah dish tah nah) chakra-desires

Contract and release the lower abdomen. This chakra is located near the pubic bone just above the sex organs.

This chakra is related to potential. It is related to pleasures, sexual and otherwise. The energy that is naturally released from this area (and the root chakra) is primarily self-serving.

Working in an upward direction, there will be no further progress unless one realizes that all desires will not and should not be met in this lifetime. However, the energy from these inherent drives (cravings) can be used to fuel self-actualization (by moving energy up through the chakras). This chakra is the foundation of the Pranic Energy Sheath/Kosha.

Chakra bija mantra-Vam (vahm), Color-Orange

Key words-Creative potential, pleasure. Major block-guilt. Fish Pose


                                              3. Solar Plexus Chakra-I can

           Manipura (money poor’ ah) chakra-“City of Jewels”-will power

Contract the area just above the navel, the manipura chakra is near. It is the center of will and ambition and radiates power throughout your entire body. Manipura joins Swadhisthana as a foundation of the Pranic Energy Sheath/Kosha.

Personal goals at this level are geared to the greater good and not just to the fulfillment of base needs. This chakra deals with self-esteem.

Chakra bija mantra-Ram (rahm), Color-Yellow, Key words-Personal Power, enjoyment. Major block-shame, fear of success. Boat pose.


                                             4. Heart Chakra-I love

          Anahata (uh nuh’ hut uh) chakra-compassion and optimism.

Feel the rise and fall of the chest while breathing. This area is near your heart chakra.

Anahata means “unstruck”, a timeless rhythm from birth to death. It is related to the cardiac plexus, and supports all creative endeavors through harmony and spirituality. It also deals with trust. The “knot” that must be untangled here from below (as you direct energy upwards) is emotional encumbrances; to clear the knot from above (as you are working downwards) you allow spiritual love to infuse normal daily living. This added support/emotion helps bring your energetic gifts to fruition. One must work with the power of faith. It is the foundation for the Mental Sheath.

Chakra bija mantra-Yam (yahm), Color-Green

Key words: Harmony, unshakable willpower. Major block is grief. Camel pose.


                               5. Throat Chakra-I learn and tell   

Vishuddhi (vish’ ood’ dhuh) chakra-communication

Feel the throat while performing the “ah” sound. This is near your throat chakra.

It is related to the cervical plexus behind the throat. The work and effect here is mastering communication especially as a receiver of information. The throat chakra supports and facilitates learning and expression. Vishuddhi and Anja chakras are the foundation for the Wisdom Sheath.

Vishuddhi chakra is the level of full acceptance of whatever comes your way. You know all circumstances lead to growth. At this level, one can truly work with passion for the process of living.

Chakra bija mantra-Ham (hahm), Color-Blue

Key words: Truth, honesty. Major block-sharing falsehoods. Chin Lock


                             6. Brow Chakra-I carefully evaluate and feel

Anja (ah jyah) chakra-intuition (flaming lamp)

Focus on a point between the eyes, the sixth chakra is near.

            The ability to monitor your actions, thoughts, words and deeds is primary at this level. Anja is related to the pineal gland, and the medulla oblongata.

A “knot” on top of the spinal cord represents a preoccupation with the intuitive powers activated through this chakra. Energy will not flow freely until the aspirant relinquishes attachment/pride to the powers of intuition.

Contemplation or attention to this area is related to increased concentration, discrimination, and self-monitoring, as well as strong willpower. Anja and Vishuddha form the foundation of the Wisdom Sheath.

Chakra bija mantra-Om (ohm), Color: Indigo

Key word: Insight, Major block-inability to see the truth. Downward Dog Pose.


            An aside: Anja chakra is the point where three major energy channels meet: Ida, pingala, and sushumma-the central channel. Ida and pingala cross at each major chakra. Ida (left side/nostril) corresponds to the right (intuitive) side of brain, and (left nostril) lunar breathing for a calming effect. Pingala (right side/nostril) corresponds to the left (logical) side of the brain, and (right nostril) solar breathing to increase energy. When there is an even flow of air between the 2 nostrils representing ida and pingala, energy flow increases in the central channel-sushumna.

Although the passage of air/prana through ida and pingala varies throughout the day, when the flow of air is even, it facilitates hemispheric symmetry (use of both sides of the brain evenly) and allows access to all of the complementary informational and mental processes available. This balance increases the realization of physical and spiritual truths.



                   The Self-realization Sheath-I am

Sahasrara (sah us srar’ uh) Chakra-full immersion

This chakra is related to the pituitary gland, and located near the top of the skull.

It is the foundation of the anandamaya kosha.

Bliss. One. Dissolution of the self-centered ego.

Color-Violet, Key word: Consciousness,

Major block-attachment to ego, inability to understand unity of all. Corpse Pose, Nadi Shodhana


Kosha System


Layers that cover our true Self, but when balanced reveal It.

Taitirya Upanishads, 1,000 BC. An early path to wholeness.

To maintain balance, consider:


Annamaya Kosha (Physical Sheath)-the body, exercise, nutrition, rest.

Pranamaya Kosha (Vital Sheath)-natural breathing, activating senses, art, music, natural world

Manomaya Kosha (Mental Sheath)-directed breathing, positive self-talk

Vijnanamaya Kosha (Wisdom Sheath)-meditation, service, the connection between all things.

Anandamaya Kosha (Sheath of Bliss)-memory of wholeness regained, sustained meaningful activity. 



We should realize that the information in all lists that purport to itemize wellness/philosophical tenets needs to overlap, and to have loose boundaries to be closer to the truth.


Health, happiness and whole things,


Gerry Sander