Mindful Monday: Chakras

Good morning, mindful ones!

Well, we’ve covered the eight-limbed path of Ashtanga Yoga over the past two months!

Let’s continue our deeper study of yoga and familiarize ourselves with the chakras.

Perhaps you’ve heard the chakras mentioned but were never certain exactly what they are…

Well, it is scientifically proven that cosmic energy is in a constant flow around us, within us and through us. But with our unrefined consciousness, we are oblivious to this stream of energy. Therefore we are unable to access it consciously.

Through yogic study, we know that the human body consists of numerous nadis or energy channels that reside in the deeper koshas or sheaths of the body. The main nadis, ida and pingala, run along the spinal column in a curved path and cross one another several times. At the points of intersection they come into contact with the divine energy of the sushumna nadi forming strong energy centers known as chakras.

The sushumna (most gracious) nadi is the body’s great river, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, passing through each of the seven chakras in its course. … In subtle body terms, the sushumna nadi is the path to enlightenment.

Chakra is most often described as a spinning wheel or disc. These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flows are restricted.

The drain of a bathtub is often used to illustrate how the chakras work. When the plug is removed from a bathtub full of water, the water is sucked into the drainpipe, and the rotating water forms a vortex. This is how a chakra functions. In the same way as water being sucked into a drainpipe forms a whirlpool, cosmic energy is drawn into the chakras in a circular motion and guided towards the next point of intersection. This cosmic radiation influences and guides our feelings, thoughts and qualities according to our spiritual and karmic susceptibility. It’s important to keep the drain pipe clean and clear, lest the bathtub gets clogged.

Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge than keeping your bathtub drain clean; but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area through meditation and mindfulness practices will help bring the others back into balance.

Take for example, a woman who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well.

There are seven main chakras that we will cover throughout the next several weeks.

Have a great week, friends!