This section for Chakra Yoga provides short essays which explain yoga practice and the underlying philosophy. All the sub headings are in sequential order and can read like a book. My main area of teaching is chakra yoga because it provides such a rich depth from which I can be so creative in class and because it also provides a wonderful structure of gradual development for all yoga practitioners. It leads through the very basics of yoga in developing mindfulness and correct breathing in posture work and into the science of energy and wisdom within each practice. Chakra Yoga is the ultimate detox and path to greater health and enlightenment.
Yoga theory states that cosmic prana is the source of all life forms and manifestations in the universe, and so everything is prana. This cosmic prana takes form and becomes differentiated in human beings through seven sacred energy centres called Chakras. We are like a rainbow of seven colours, all comprising the totality of who we are on this earth plane. Each Chakra has a unique personality of its own and represents a different aspect and function of our mind body system. All possible phenomena can be related to one of the Chakras. Here in these short essays I try to explain the psycho / physical relationship and how we can use this knowledge to self heal and develop.
The relevance of Chakra Yoga to our daily life
The wisdom of yoga allows us to manipulate prana and the quality and function of chakras by doing the various postures and practices which stimulate them. Working with chakras not only increases our mental and physical energy, our physical health and the positive aspects of our personality but also has deep significance in terms of providing greater understanding of mind body connections and the more subtle relationships between energy, will and consciousness.
The process of awakening is a natural one if we are living naturally, but its well known that a good yoga practice will accelerate this unfolding and evolutionary process.
Chakras are basically the matrix of human experience, form and function. In this realm of existence the seven chakras comprise the totality of being, where any kind of manifestation can be related to its governing chakra. The recurring physical problems we experience and the various negative attitudes that we carry are the ‘issues in our tissues’ so to speak. The part of the body affected, or the aspect of our psyche which is blocked or underdeveloped is actually related to one of the chakras. So through knowledge of the chakra system, what their functional instincts are and their qualities, we are given highly effective tools in our yoga practice to bring about a fundamental healing from within and total transformation of our lives.
So awakening the chakras is important because our consciousness will change, if we truly want it to, and this will have a significant impact upon our daily life experiences. Our Yoga practice invites change and we must be willing and ready for it, because a learning process will be triggered which facilitates the higher conscious potential of that governing chakra. We will be challenged to outgrow old patterns of thinking and behaving and sometimes its difficult when childhood fears are triggered. You need vigilance here and when this happens we need to remind ourselves of our contract to heal and that the healing reaction and process is temporary and although not that pleasant right now its very very necessary. We really need some backbone to walk this spiritual path, as the process of unbecoming is amazing for sure but challenging.
The process of unbecoming can also very pleasant as we taste the this new confidence and sense of inspired freedom. the inspiration and the joy in being freed from selfish tendencies. But sometimes it is not so pleasant in releasing all that held us back, our pain, our childhood conditioning, our damaged instincts and negative thought patters. Learning to open up and face them, to reveal them is a beautiful but painful process and every conscious human being, healer and every teacher goes through it. We need to become as children and open our hearts and every moment in every day is a chance to dissolve the ego barriers you have created between yourself and another person. This is the real work of a daily Yoga practice and the rest is all preparation for it, the awakening of spiritual consciousness and opening the doors of our heart in loving communion with the divine to all living things.
The full scope of Chakra Yoga is immense because their influence relates to all possible phenomena in the physical world, the body and the invisible inner world of the mind and all hidden forces in the universe. In these short essays I have tried to identify the main functions of each chakra and the essential relationship they have to our body and mind. The subject goes way beyond what I have written, but in teaching this to a yoga class I have concentrated my approach here on the practical aspects of working on the energy of body and mind and transforming it with awareness and purpose.
The main areas of focus that I have found important are; understanding what parts of the body they govern for our asana practice, the functional instinct and the elemental nature of each chakra and how this can be used as a focal points for the imagination to strengthen those attributes within ourselves. There are many books which go into more detail on the symbolic meaning of chakras and the more subtle areas of relatedness, but in this yoga class and in these short essays I have kept to that which can be immediately applied to our life and daily yoga practice and for sure in leading us towards greater health and enlightenment.