Perhaps you have heard of chakras in your practice and are not quite sure exactly what they entail. This week I will go over the chakras, today starting with what they are and may mean to your practice. Be warned, this is a very complex study and I am just scratching the surface, I highly recommend do further study or messaging me to discuss more in depth. I find the chakras to be extremely important and during the beginning of my dabbles in practicing yoga I met an amazing yogi who introduced a phenomenal book on everything I needed to know to become absolutely infatuated with the chakra system. The book is called Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System (Llewellyn’s New Age Series) , I have no affiliation with this book other than an amazing review if you are interested. So, what are the chakras and what do they mean for your yoga practice?
You can find the earliest mentions of the chakras in the Vedas, by the Aryan culture. If you google charka definition this is what you will see:
(in Indian thought) each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.
Blah. and in all honestly there seems to be A LOT of interpretation so, here’s a few of my favorite, easy to grasp ideas on them.
“A center for the reception, assimilation, and expression of life-force energies.”
“A disc-like vortex of energies made from the intersection of different planes.”
“Any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy”
“Seven energy centers of the body”
Sooooooo……? Ok, essentially associated with the chakras you will hear the number seven, energies within the body, spinning wheels, and rainbow-like colors. Each color, number, wheel is associated with a chakra, which we will explore further throughout the week. What does that mean for us today?
The chakras are believed to reflect the consciousness aspect that are essential to life and are our organizing centers. There are believed to be seven wheel-like energy sources found within everyone’s core. Each one is thought to be located near or on the seven major nerve ganglia in the spinal column. Each chakra then pertains to where it emanates. The chakras in the lower levels therefore are our foundations, starting with instinct, the higher you climb each chakra builds on the last taking us up to transcendence in the crown chakra.
That being said, if each chakra builds on the chakra around it, if there is a “block” within a chakra it could also effect another. We ultimately want our chakra systems balanced and open, as the energy flows from our root chakra to our crown chakra and back down. What this means for our yoga practice is that, a blocked chakra could have great effect on different aspects of your practice. Insert Kundalini yoga – a practice focused both meditative and physical, thought to awaken the energy force connecting the chakras.
Tomorrow I will go deeper into the chakras beginning with chakra one, our root chakra.
Please note, much of the information here I received from what I learned reading the Wheels of Life, and I highly recommend this book for a deeper understanding in the chakra system. Anodea Judith is an amazing writer, with many other texts I find just as inspiring.