Many of you, I’m sure, have heard some people say, “My chakras are misaligned” or “his third eye chakra is not open” and other similar commentary about the chakras from those ‘in the know’ (personal note: don’t be fooled, yoga schools and ‘spiritual’ enterprises can be as judgmental as any religious institution).
The chakras are energy wheels in our bodies – unseen, indiscernible by modern technology (I think) because the chakras are in our subtle body, or sukshma sarira. The understanding is that whatever takes place in one of our bodies (whether physical / gross body, subtle body or causal body – the three shariras) may have an effect – whether immediate or longer term – in the other bodies / shariras.
So important and compelling is the idea of the chakras that it is now a part of many healing modalities – aside from yoga and meditation. The chakras are at home in Ayurvedic medicine and also reiki healing. They also belong to both Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
When a certain wheel of energy is not churning its energy appropriately, they say that this chakra is “unbalanced” or “closed”. This affects the kundalini (simply put, the rise of energy along the seven main chakras from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
Hatha yoga and tantra.
Hatha yoga – the physical discipline of yoga (as opposed to the ‘gentle yoga’ form of yoga classes currently using this label in gyms and yoga studios) – is linked to tantra, a philosophical school of India that celebrates our material self and world (to summarise in a very simple way).
Our material self is made of flesh, bones, fat and water, but all this is more than that – molecules and atoms – and even deeper than that – energy. Energy in our material self and world somehow intelligently organises itself into specific functions and patterns that together builds a reality around us – of us and the world around us.
Whatever is manifest – as I learnt at Manasa Yoga School – is manifested by intention, attention and action. So anything that is made manifest needed to have had the intention, attention and action done to make that object manifest.
The chakras are wheels of energy within us that help with this action.
There are said to be over a hundred (or hundreds?) of chakras in our subtle body, but often we focus on the main seven that run along our spine – from the base all the way to the crown of our head.
Each of these chakras have their own capacity and sometimes can explain why you are the way you are and connecting with this chakra may help you overcome challenges you may have been facing all your life.
The use of chakras to help with healing has been present in Ayurveda – the Indian science of healing – for thousands of years. In Ayurveda, it is believed that your ailments can be healed when you balance your chakras.
The balancing of the chakras gets energy to flow in and out of the body so that affected areas can be revived, or you will develop strength enough to fight an ailment (please do more research on your own on how Ayurveda utilises chakras to help heal).
Because chakra is linked to Buddhism, it was exported out of the South Asian subcontinent to the far east, mainly (from my understanding) in Zen Buddhism, which is closely linked to reiki.
For me, utilising chakras in both designing physical yoga classes or programmes for clients, as well as in reiki to heal (even for animals) has been more than helpful. Using them as a focal point in pendulum healing (of which I am doing more and more of with animals) is also incredibly invaluable to me as an energy healer.
Characteristics of the chakras.
The chakras are usually symbolised by a lotus, with each chakra having different numbers of petals. They also have a certain colour linked to them, and a certain sound (more accurately, vibration). Each chakra also has its own element (e.g. earth, water, fire etc) linked to them.
When healing or focus on the chakras are prescribed, usually the healer will suggest to focus on a specific colour, element or to chant a certain sound. In yoga, specific poses help to rejuvenate certain chakras, and it also helps if the teacher guides the students to connect with the capacity of the element in question (e.g. earthiness of the body, spaciousness of the body etc.).
There really isn’t anything mystical or esoteric about the chakras, in my own humble opinion. The sciences from the Indian subcontinent were around way before modern medicine existed (likewise, Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Whether or not using these disciplines in leu of modern medicine is a question I will allow you to answer on your own, but definitely as a complementary healing method, I would highly recommend them.
I would also highly recommend exploring the chakras if you seek better emotional and spiritual health, or if you have persistent physical ailments that modern medicine can’t seem to keep away.
Stay tuned to learn more of each of the seven main chakras in the weeks and months ahead.
Work with me if you would like to explore the chakras (see below on options – reiki not listed but also available), or contact me if you have questions or just want to say hello!
Work with me!
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