Years ago, before I started practicing yoga or learning about energy, I went to a chakra-balancing circle with a friend of mine that was aptly held in a hippie commune. I knew the word “chakra” and had a vague understanding of meditation. But no matter how far I stretched my thinking, I couldn’t understand how singing a certain musical note or saying a particular affirmation was going to do something nice for my pancreas, or for my lung, or for an energy system somewhere around my intestines.
At the circle, I chanted the chants and Om’ed the Om’s, but I couldn’t really get into it without knowing why? What was it about a particular sound or an affirmation that connected me to my heart centre?
A few years passed and I began my studies as a yoga teacher. During my training we went thoroughly through the chakras and a map of the energetic body. I gained incredible relief from the realisation that all these seemingly esoteric things called “chakras” were very practically connected to the physical and emotional body.
A great example of this can be found by looking at the second, or sacral, chakra. Energetically, the sacral chakra is a person’s seat of creation and ability to embrace change. Physically, it is connected to our reproductive organs. Our reproductive organs are how we create life–quite literally the region of our creation. When this area is blocked, we can feel stagnant. Creation and change require flow through ever-changing cycles, which is physicalised by a woman’s menstrual cycle, as well as a man’s hormonal cycle.
So, whether you like to have a scientific basis for energy studies, or you are happy to let your intuition guide you through your spiritual exploration, there are practical ways to easily understand and incorporate chakra knowledge into your practice.
From now until the end of the year, we’ll go through each chakra, one by one, and explain the what’s, how’s, and why’s of them. But for now, let’s just get on the same page and answer the question: What Is A Chakra??
Chakra: A Sanskrit word that translates to a wheel or a disk. There are 7 agreed upon chakras in a human body that are in positioned in a straight line from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. A chakra is thought of as a wheel, because a healthy physical and energetic body is said to have all seven chakras balanced and spinning; essentially spinning with energy.
Each chakra is connected to a bundle of nerves and a particular gland or organ, giving each centre specific physical, emotional and energetic qualities. There are many ways to examine and explore each chakra, which we will detail in the coming weeks. Understanding how this system works physically and energetically in your body can be a great tool in building and developing your self-awareness and focusing your yoga practice.
Join us next week as we explore groundedness, security, and basic needs in our Muladhara (Base) chakra.