Chakras are centers of subtle and vital energy located in the Astral body, a body that is not physical not apparent but hold our energies, thoughts, feelings, emotions, decisions, intellect and wisdom. They are centers of awareness; consciousness and are located in correspondence with associated glands in the physical body. They lie within the Sushumna nadi (astral nerve) that runs through the spinal cord. The physical body and astral body are in close relationship with each other, so vibrations produced in the physical centers by various practices, such as asanas (yogic postures) chanting and breathing techniques also have an effect on the chakras hence stimulating and unblocking them from stored emotions, feelings and memories and allowing prana, (vital life force) to begin to flow through these centers uplifting us towards a higher awareness. Chakras are centers of transformation, are psychic centers and are active at all times, energy passes through them to create different states. They are related to the five elements, earth, water, fire air and space, which are constantly coming and going within the body.
Each chakra has a specific feeling, colour, force, function, characteristic, sense etc. There are many chakras all over our upphadi (body mind system) but we mainly focus on 7 main ones.
1. Muladhara – located right at the lower end of the spinal column.
2. Swadhisthana – located at the genital organs
3. Manipura – located at the navel corresponding to the solar plexus.
4. Anahata – at the heart.
5. Vishuddha – at the throat.
6. Ajna – between the eyebrows.
7. Sahasrara – at the crown of the head.
It is interesting to see how these chakras are also associated with blockages in the body causing certain ailments. Any ailment is caused by a block of prana, the prana can't flow as it should, so imagine the chakras as similar to a jammed roundabout, nothing is moving. This little bit of information is like looking at a prescription for what is troubling you physically, and by know which ailment is related to which chakra then how to combat the problem by stimulating a particular chakra. Certain yogic postures are related to each chakra so therefore by looking at which ailment correlates to which body blockage and which posture correlates to which chakra we can work towards healing ourselves. It is a powerful bit of knowledge as these postures start to stimulate and unblock the traffic jams at the chakras!
1. Sahasrara Chakra – blockage; Alzheimer’s disease, confusion – posture to combat, sirshasana, the headstand or rabbits pose as a softer version.
2. Ajna Chakra – blockage; learning difficulties, neurological imbalances, unable to see the signs of life - posture to combat, sirshasana or rabbits pose.
3. Vishuddha Chakra – blockage: thyroid imbalance, congested throat, difficulties communicating – posture to combat, sarvangasana, the shoulderstand.
4. Anahata Chakra – blockage; heart issues, chest pain, shortness of breath, respiratory problems, feelings of jealousy or inability to love – posture to combat, matsyasana, the fish pose.
5. Manipura Chakra – blockage; constipation, stomach ulcers, digestive problems, eye dysfunctions, feelings of resentment – posture to combat, paschimottanasana, the seated forward bend or mayurasana the peacock pose.
6. Swadhisthana Chakra – blockage; lower back pain, impotency, prostrate cancer, lack of ideas – posture to combat; padahastasana, the standing forward bend.
7. Muladhara Chakra – blockage; constipation, inability to move forward a feeling of being stuck – posture to combat, trikonasana, the triangle pose.
The Sivananda system of yoga embraces all of these poses within it and so offers a very complete system to work towards optimum health and not only a cure but also a method of prevention. How wonderful a thing!
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina
Sarve Sant Niramaya
May all be happy, May all be in peace.
AUM Shanti to all
Mangala / Nicky.