The Chakras: Guides on the Path

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by Beth

Path within the Fog by Claude Monet

Most of us have encountered the chakras sooner or later on our yoga journey. A few of us have strong information of the origins and conventional meanings. However many people could also be questioning if the chakras have relevance to our yoga follow and the problems we cope with on daily basis.


My reply to that questioning is an unequivocal sure! Over the subsequent a number of posts I’ll share what I’ve discovered concerning the chakras as a helpful mannequin, or lens, via which to view ourselves, our lives, and our world. I’ve chosen to current a recent view as a result of I’ve discovered it to be related, useful, and useful for myself and lots of of my college students.

Up to date viewpoints must be sourced from historical past as a result of historical past offers context, and context provides us a basis on which to construct a recent view. Studying Nina’s put up Friday Q&A: Chakras That Are True to Yoga is a good first step. The subsequent step is studying to view the chakras as a useful gizmo for residing via robust occasions, and with the continued pandemic and social, environmental, political, and racial unrest, we want all of the instruments we are able to get!

The chakras are an integral a part of our vitality anatomy, which incorporates the nadis, pranavayus, and auras. This vitality anatomy just isn’t bodily, however it does intersect with and influence our bodily physique and the psychological, emotional, and religious points that exist inside us. The existence, exercise, and relevance of delicate vitality fields to our well being and well-being just isn’t a brand new concept to college students of historical knowledge traditions, however they’re solely starting to be explored by fashionable science. Listed here are two quotes that illustrate this. The primary is from Nikola Tesla, a 19th century engineer and scientist:

“If you wish to discover the secrets and techniques of the universe, assume by way of vitality, frequency and vibration.”

The subsequent is from Albert Einstein, the legendary theoretical physicist:

“Power can’t be created or destroyed, it could possibly solely be modified from one kind to a different.” 

Due to this fact, our mission, if we select to simply accept it, is to deepen our understanding of the connection between our bodily physique and our vitality anatomy (they’re truly one and the identical however we don’t must get too wonky right here) to tell, improve, and deepen our yoga follow and use that consciousness to vary our reactions and responses to life and all it brings. 

Are the chakras actual? There isn’t any laborious scientific proof. A pathologist can carry out an post-mortem to find and dissect all of our bodily elements however won’t discover or be capable of dissect the chakras. Curiously, a number of authors and lecturers have proposed a relationship between the chakras and our endocrine system. Acceptance of the chakras and the relationships that join them will rely in your openness to the truth and relevance of a philosophical and psychological mannequin that you simply can’t see, contact, scent, hear, or style (effectively, some folks declare to have the ability to ‘see’ chakras however that’s a topic for another person to sort out). 

Many alternative chakra programs exist. They fluctuate in numbers, colours, symbols, and placement. What number of? Take your decide. There are five-chakra programs, six-chakra programs, seven, 9, ten, fifteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight, and extra relying on the supply you might be researching.

For the aim of this sequence, I’ll be referring to the system that describes seven vitality facilities situated at totally different factors within the physique alongside the spinal column. These chakras, their areas, and endocrine system connections are stated to be:
  1. Muladhara (root chakra, between the perineum and the pelvic bone—adrenals) 
  2. Svadhisthana (sacral chakra, 4 fingers width beneath the navel—gonads/reproductive glands)
  3. Manipura (photo voltaic plexus chakra, within the stomach above the navel—pancreas) 
  4. Anahata (coronary heart chakra, middle of the chest—coronary heart) 
  5. Vishuddha (throat chakram neck/throat—thymus) 
  6. Ajna (third eye chakra, centered between the eyebrows—thyroid)
  7. Sahasrara (crown chakra, prime of the pinnacle—pineal) 
Anodea Judith, Ph.D., has written quite a few books on the topic. My favourite is Jap Physique, Western Thoughts. In it, she affords a helpful analogy of human beings as biocomputers. On this analogy, our physique is the {hardware}, the chakras are software program that maintain important programming (useful and unhelpful), prana (life power vitality) is what powers the complete system, and we’re the customers. Every chakra comprises a unique program for points similar to survival, sexuality, self-actualization, love and compassion, communication, instinct, and spirituality. 

One other favourite modern supply is Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., and creator of Anatomy of the Spirit. She too, describes every chakra as associated to a life lesson much like these mentioned in Judith’s ebook. The primary three are associated to shifting via the exterior world with our survival abilities, sexuality, ego, persona, and shallowness. Chakras 4, 5, six and 7 cope with our inner self-awareness, knowledge, and religious growth.

After we acknowledge an issue on any stage or in any space of our lives, we are able to use the chakras as guides to assist us perceive the who, what, when, the place, how, and why of our points, beliefs, habits, and habits earlier than we take motion to handle them. 

The artwork and science of yoga affords all kinds of practices to work with the chakras:
  • Yamas and niyamas (ethics and actions)
  • Asana 
  • Pranayama
  • Guided imagery 
  • Mudra 
  • Meditation 
  • Chanting and affirmations
Over the subsequent a number of posts, I’ll discover the chakras from root to crown with ideas for recognizing the problems and classes contained inside them after which from crown to root as we contemplate methods to answer our present actuality. My focus can be on sensible functions to our yoga follow and our lives.


Beth’s self-awareness e-newsletter is revealed six occasions a yr. It options informative, inspiring and entertaining ideas for locating readability, contentment, and resilience in a sophisticated world. For extra data and to enroll in the e-newsletter go to www.bethgibbs.com.


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