Opening the Chakras
Chakra meditations that use mudras and sounds to open chakras.
These chakra meditations use mudras, which are special hand positions, to open chakras. The mudras have the power to send more energy to particular chakras.
To enhance the effect, sounds are chanted. These sounds are from Sanskrit letters. When chanted, they cause a resonation in your body that you can feel at the chakra they are meant for.
For pronounciation, keep in mind that:
the "A" is pronounced as in "ah,"
the "M" is pronounced as "mng."
Do a meditation for 7 - 10 breaths. Chant the sound several times each breath (for example three times).
Check out these recommendations on working with your chakras.
Open the Root Chakra
Let the tips of your thumb and index finger touch.
Concentrate on the Root chakra at the spot in between the genitals and the anus.
Chant the sound LAM.
Additional techniques to open the Root chakra
Open the Sacral Chakra
Put your hands in your lap, palms up, on top of each other. Left hand underneath, its palm touching the back of the fingers of the right hand. The tips of the thumbs touch gently.
Concentrate on the Sacral chakra at the sacral bone (on the lower back).
Chant the sound VAM.
Open the Navel Chakra
Put your hands before your stomach, slightly below your solar plexus. Let the fingers join at the tops, all pointing away from you. Cross the thumbs. It is important to straighten the fingers.
Concentrate on the Navel chakra located on the spine, a bit above the level of the navel.
Chant the sound RAM.
Open the Heart Chakra
Sit cross-legged. Let the tips of your index finger and thumb touch. Put your left hand on your left knee and your right hand in front of the lower part of your breast bone (so a bit above the solar plexus).
Concentrate on the Heart chakra at the spine, level with the heart.
Chant the sound YAM (as this mudra is particularly powerful, this may not be needed).
Open the Throat Chakra
Cross your fingers on the inside of your hands, without the thumbs. Let the thumbs touch at the tops, and pull them slightly up.
Concentrate on the Throat chakra at the base of the throat.
Chant the sound HAM.
Open the Third Eye Chakra
Put your hands before the lower part of your breast. The middle fingers are straight and touch at the tops, pointing forward. The other fingers are bended and touch at the upper two phalanges. The thumbs point towards you and touch at the tops.
Concentrate on the Third Eye chakra slightly above the point between the eyebrows.
Chant the sound OM or AUM.
Open the Crown Chakra
Put your hands before your stomach. Let the ring fingers point up, touching at their tops. Cross the rest of your fingers, with the left thumb underneath the right.
Concentrate on the Crown chakra at the top of your head.
Chant the sound NG.
Warning: don't open the Crown chakra while you don't have a strong Root chakra.
A Chakra Purification Meditation
The chakra cleansing exercise accomplishes pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana all at once being an excellent preparation before meditation or other practices of laya yoga. It helps us focus within toward awareness of the energy body, based on the classic seven chakras and their seed (bija) syllables. Each chakra has thus a corresponding vibratory sound energy which helps us get in touch with that region. According to classic hatha yoga there are seven chakras and their sounds are approximately:
Lam for the muladhara (earth) chakra located in the perineum area. Yellow in Color
Vam for the swadhistana (water) chakra located in the prostate/ovaries area. White in Color
Ram for the manipura chakra (fire) located above the navel. Red in Color.
Yam for the Heart chakra (anahat) associated with the element of air. Blue in Color
Ham for the vishudda (throat chakra) associated with ether (akasha). Swirling Dark Grey
Aum for the third eye
AH for the Crown (various schools use different sounds for the crown chakra, here AH is a special mantra specifically chosen for its benign effects.
The first five seed syllables are said with a nasal "hngh" type ending more than a mmm type ending as in lamngh, vamngh, ramngh, yamngh, and hamngh. In the Nepalese and Tibetan tradition it is often pronounced la, va, ra, ya, ha.
We can increase the detail in regard to colors, number of lotus petals, letters on the lotus petals, sounds of the lotus petals turning, etc. to aid further detailed concentrations, but this process of differentiation can be endless. It can be even counter-productive as these details are not the chakras themselves, but rather simply symbolic representations of corresponding characteristics that "may" help point out as a temporary aid in which to access the actual awareness of these vibrating energy vortexes in which more or less detail may or may not be of help.
For those who are a bit unfocused, then the need for more details may help their over active mental situation in which case there exist many more detailed chakra meditations utilizing such detail. However in this chakra purification meditation we do not trouble ourselves with such details, but rather use the sounds as an aid to focus in on the pre-existing energy patterns that are singing at each chakra -- bring our awareness and listening to "it", more than projecting a sound unto it.
We start simply by sitting in a comfortable position with the spine resting on the upright sacrum, - grounding the tailbone to the earth, and extending the spine and torso (in mulabandha) so that the occiput extends toward the sky and the chin is slightly drawn in (a soft jalandhara bandha). It might help to halfway to close the eyes gazing inside and upward touching the tongue lightly to the roof of mouth while the eyes look up softly into the ajna chakra..
The Practice Proper
We then visualize a brilliant bright light at the base of the spine. As we breathe in we visualize this brilliant bright light entering the chakra and purifying it. As we exhale we visualize the chakra opening (like the petals of a lotus blossom) and say the seed syllable (once or up to sixteen times). Then we again visualize a brilliant bright light at the base of the spine and as we inhale, visualizing this light raising up to the next chakra purifying it. Again as we exhale, we visualize the chakra opening like the petals of a lotus blossom as we vibrate the seed syllable for that chakra out loud. Eventually we work up to the crown kinesthetically feeling the vibratory nature of these energies. With the awareness focused within to this energy flow we sit in silent awareness connecting the root with the crown (sambhavi mudra).
For example, inhale a brilliant bright light from the base of the spine into the MULADHARA chakra. As we exhale we visualize the chakra opening like a lotus flower while saying LAM as many times as you like (classically up to 16 times).
On the next inhale we visualize a brilliant bright light moving up from the base of the spine to the SWADHISTHANA chakra (below the navel) and as we exhale we vibrate aloud the sound, VAM, anywhere as many times as you like (classically up to 16 times) as we visualize the chakra opening like the petals of a lotus flower.
Likewise from the base of the spine we visualize a brilliant bright light and as we inhale it moves upward purifying the MANIPURA chakra (above the navel) and as we exhale the seed syllable RAM vibrating aloud as we visualize the chakra opening.
Then visualizing again a brilliant bright light at the base of the spine we inhale it up to the heart center (ANAHAT CHAKRA) and as we exhale say the bija mantra YAM as many times as we are drawn to (usually one to sixteen times) as the chakra opens.
Then visualizing a brilliant bright light at the base of the spine, inhaling it up the spine as a white light into the throat chakra (VISHUDDA) and as we exhale say HAM as we visualize the petals of the chakra opening.
On the next inhale we breathe up a brilliant white light from the grounded tailbone connecting into the third eye (AJNA chakra) and as the petals open as we exhale saying a long AUM only once..
Then we visualize a brilliant bright white light at the base of the spine and as we inhale visualize it rising to to the crown chakra (SAHASRARA) and as we resonate out loud a long AHHHH deep within the brain and upward we visualize the chakra opening so that our energy is as an open self supporting balanced conduit between the earth and the sky extended in an effortless self supported equipoise.
At this point in the meditation we can engage in other practices for self healing, such as doing energy healing work by finding pre-existing energy blocks and working through them, or begin a silent meditation, or simply be finished for the time being.
For example we can repeat the visualization over again to see if there is an improved effect. Especially if we noticed an energy blockage in a specific area the first time, we can simply breathe back into the chakra below and above it, resonate the seed syllables over again, and then on an additional breath, breathe into the specific energy center in question. This can be repeated until some sort of openness or flow is achieved. Feel free to experiment with resonant combinations of the chakras, for example, the ajna chakra and swadhistana chakra have a specific resonance, the vishuddi (throat) and manipura (fire chakra), the earth (muladhara) and sky sahasrara), etc. It is especially the the root and crown chakras (earth and sky) which are the two most critical to connect while the others may just fall into place on their own inbetween.
So in the above practice we have also accomplished asana (posture), pranayama (lengthening the energy), pratyhara (focusing the awareness within), and dharana (focusing the mind) allowing us to be much better prepared to sit in meditation as the energy is already flowing easier because pratyhara and dharana has already become accomplished.
An Advanced Chakra Meditation
This ends the simple chakra purification exercise which accomplishes pratyhara and focuses (dharana) our energy and mind inside freeing us from external disturbance and vagaries (vritti) and thus acting as a catalyst both toward self empowerment, self healing, and effective meditation.
The first practice (given above) is both absolutely safe and purifying as well as energizing. An advanced practice may be undertaken after one has practiced pranayama with kumbhaka (retention) and the three bandhas (mula, uddiyana, and jalandhara bandhas) with an even more powerful effect.
The advanced practice is performed as above, but the main difference occurs with the synchronistic use of retention (kumbhaka), the bandhas, and more elaborate visualization thusly. At the end of each inhale, having brought the light and breath into the chakra and before the beginning of the exhale one holds the breath inside (internal kumbhaka) while at the same time performing the three bandhas as a continuous wave starting at the bottom and working upward. While the breath is held inside, the chakra region can be visualized in more detail if desired. A simple and easy addition in this regard is to visualize the chakra region as pulsating in a vibratory wavelike motion adding appropriate color associations to the energy or adding even greater elaboration if one desires. Then, one slowly exhales, before there is any discomfort vibrating the seed syllable as in the above purification practice, paying attention to the subtle quality and tone of the exhalation.
One may do this advanced practice feeling both the front and the back of the body vibrating. For some the colors are valuable, for others the sound, for others the breath, and for others it is simply the feeling -- the awareness of opening and being filled with light.
The above is the classic hatha yoga practice, but there are many schools. The most controversial is the sound at the crown chakra, but ah is the most common. The second most common is the high pitched sound, ahieee. There are also schools which use different sounds at each chakra. Many Western schools give the colors for the chakras like the spectrum starting with red at the root, orange at the swadhistana, yellow at the navel, green at the heart, blue at the throat, purple at the ajna, and white at the crown. As a simple purification white should be used for all the chakras. As an additional practice the different colors, syllables for the various petals, associated deities, and symbols may be used. Feel free to experiment to ascertain what works best for yourself. To get a powerful effect, the practice can be very simple as in the first part.
Chakra Location Seed Syllable Prana Organ Element
Muladhara Base of the spine Lam apana vayu smell earth
Swadhisthana Below Navel Vam vyana vayu taste water
Manipura Above Navel Ram samana vayu seeing fire
Anahata Heart Yam prana vayu feeling air
Vishuddha Throat Ham udana vayu hearing/speech ether (akasha)
Ajna Third Eye Aum
Sahasrara Crown Ah
The Ten and the Many
Lastly, it must be mentioned that the seven chakra system is classical, but your actual practice does not have to be limited by the classical thought of centuries long past. In the very ancient literature and traditions, there were three chakras or lokas, then later there was five, then six, then seven. In some tantric systems there are 9, 10, 12, and more. One theory is that the vibratory nature of the universe, the galaxy, and hence the earth is accelerating and becoming more refined and diversified as such new energy centers have emerged within the hologram of man.
I use ten chakras. Please notice that this experientially works best for me at this time, making no universal claims on its application, but simply will share it here. One may locate the center of the chakras by making FIVE FINGER WIDTH spacing starting from the pubic bone upward. The center of the swadhisthana then would be located in the center of the first palm. The second palm will center around teh navel region (manipura chakra), then higher up five more finger widths the palm will be under the sternum, its center on top of the spleen, liver, gallbladder, stomach complex. Here we can place an additional chakra and call it the spleen or nabhi chakra with the seed syllable hoh. Five more finger widths to the heart (anahata). Then five more locating the thymus center halfway between the throat and heart chakra at the thymus whose seed syllable is sham). These two chakras Spleen and Thymus) work in resonance (like the throat and navel, ajna and swadhisthana, muladhara and sahasrara). The last additional chakra is the Talu chakra located at the brain stem directly behind the occiput. Its seed syllable is also aum (like the ajna)
Thus we have ten
1. muladhara lam
2. swadhistana vam
3. manipura ram
4. nabhi/spleen hoh
5. anahat yam
6. thymus sham
7. vishudda ham
8. talu aum
9. ajna aum
10. sahasrara ah
For more on a 12 chakra system see the addendum at the Chakra Healing page at Rainbow body
The Seven Microcosmic Chakras of the Neck
The neck has an "S" shaped curve very similar to the spine and an analogue can be found at each cervical vertebra. This additional chakra practice for the seven vertebra of the neck and as a microcosm for the rest of the spine can be done alone or integrated with the above practices is an excellent 7 step exercise for those with blockages in vishudda chakra, neck, or throat problems.
EARTH -- lam between the 7th and 6th
WATER -- vam between the 6th and 5th
FIRE -- ram between the 5th and 4th
AIR -- yam between the 4th and 3rd
akasha -- ham between the 3rd and 2nd
aum between the 2nd and 1st
aum again between 1st and then entering into the talu chakra
(note that sometimes the name of the chakra behind the occiput at the brain stem is called "talu", while in other literature, "talu", refers to the region at the cerebellum.
One can continue to break down the energetic points of the body and give them names and sounds which symbolize their energetic resonance, harmony, activation, and stabilization. Commonly there exist recognition of the chakras at the cupped arches at both feet, at the heels, knees, and both hip joints, the cupped arch at the palms of the hand, the wrists, the elbows, and at both shoulder joints (gleno humeral joints). In addition many tantric systems recognize at least one chakra below the body belonging to the earth proper and at least in space above the head belonging to the sky region proper. These two follows around the human body where ever it goes as long as it is alive. It is through this body that Shiva's love is communicated to Shakti, and how Shakti's love toward Shiva is expressed in a balanced mutual timeless non-dual synchronicity
The Chakra System
Chakra is a s Sanskrit word which means circle of energy or wheel of energy, or spinning vortex of energy. As mentioned there are many chakra systems, and the reader is again reminded that the various systems as written and described in colors, sounds, diagrams, and words, are merely symbolic representations i.e., they should not be confused with the actual inner reality which must be experienced as an active operational intelligent energy dynamic pattern which correspond to emotional, psychological, belief system, and spiritual interactive dynamics as well as physical vectors (versus a representational abstraction, objectification, or separate fact apart from our subjective experience).
With that introduction in mind, the reader is again reminded that the chakra system is not to be viewed outside of the sacred/spiritual realm of creator/creation, shiva/shakti, yang/yin, father sky/mother earth, etc. Any such objectification/abstraction will only further alienate us and produce counterproductive results -- it will impose a limited dysfunctional filter veil. So we are reminded that in the sacred Now, as in the beginning, exists the Everlasting -- Beginningless Source Seed and in this Great Integrity -- in completion and wholeness - in continuity both the source stillness and the flow exist as One. From this stillness everything is seen as the river's movement -- all things are on fire.
In prime momentum two were created -- the source of polarity, voltage, and duality --the source of DNA. This two became the apparent distinction of heaven and earth, yang and yin, father/mother, spirit/nature, siva/shakti, creator/creation, consciousness/being, crown chakra/earth chakra, kether/malkuth, ein soph and shekinah, pingala/ida, and the like while in Integrity they are contained in the whole as one dynamic relationship -- in the Reality of Eternal Beginningless Now. They are linked by Yggdrasil, the tree in the center of the earth, the axis mundi, Mt. Meru, the sushumna (where the kundalini flows), the healing staff (caduceus), Ouroboros, Tiamet, Nidhogg (the Midgard serpent), etc. In yoga it is this sushumna (central column) which unites heaven and earth --which is the channel of this loving, healing, and evolutionary intercourse and dialogue. The authentic sushumna is rainbow hued, non-flat planed. and multi-dimensional -- it is the channel where the activated kundalini goddess flows.
Hence in this context the two most important poles in the human body are the crown and earth chakras (top and bottom) which are linked by the sushumna . These are the two polar opposites which have further representations left/right and front/back. In truth we must learn to operate outside of three dimensional (space/time) from the non-lineal fourth dimension (called turiya in yoga which is also called samadhi).
As we discern the two prime chakras we also observe the two polar strands of dna. In our healing chakra work let us keep in mind the intracellular dna intertwined as it were in a spiral snakelike dance as it is in all of life (symbolized by ida and pingala). As man's "self" awareness and consciousness developed the awareness of the two became the more refined and differentiated. The two polar forces and chakras, became the three (the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva and hence the three granthis of yoga were delineated). Further evolution provided further delineation and articulations. Then the five, the seven the nine and the twelve became entertained and as such the chakra systems also developed. WE IN OUR DAILY LIFE AND HEALING WORK ARE NO SEPARATE FROM THIS PROCESS OF CO-EVOLUTION. IN FACT WHEN WE EXTRACT OUR SELVES FROM THIS PROCESS WE WITHER, DRY UP, STARVE, AND EVENTUALLY DIE.
A major problem that arose was that man became bogged down into unbalanced centrifugation into the periphery forgetting his core and essential nature. He lost his center and his soul. That is called corruption (or sin) but it is simply the forgetfulness of the great Integrity.
Man has become lost in his artifacts -- his contrived and artificial symbolic illusions/delusions brought about by limited conceptual belief systems and habituated and institutionalized false identifications. Another problem was that man tried to reestablish his lost center through doctrine which also became a left brain dominant limitation and bondage and through his attempt to conquer fear through dominance over nature which corresponds to his left brain/intellectual dominant stance over the right brain (feeling/receptive) sensitivities. These two conspire together as a misplaced momentum -- a pathologic energetic vector which at best is neurotic -- which creates the glue in modern man to limit and enslave him unless he finds the courage/inspiration to liberate himself. Hence although we will discuss chakra healing here, ultimately any "healing cure" has to be seen essentially as a process of spiritual awakening.
Working with the energy of the chakras then include not only working with the dna, cells, tissues, glands, nerves, muscles, glands, organs, bones, skin, blood, and interactive systems, but also the interconnected emotional, psychological, core belief system, and spiritual evolutionary processes of the individual's inner and outer ecology. All of these relationships can be accessed through chakra work.
Classically medieval hatha yoga ended with a seven psychophysical chakra system. Kashmir tantra often has nine or more chakras. Earlier Indian tantra often gives only five although later seven or nine are common. The most common system uses seven major chakras while others offer a myriad number of minor chakras. We will use the classic seven as examples in these pages, however I would like to make it clear that in my own experience, I believe that seven is an anachronism in the twenty-first century. What I would like to suggest for further consideration elsewhere that what is now attempting to evolve and become actualized/activated in human existence are twelve chakras and alongside that twelve energetic dimensions/permutations of DNA. (See a brief explanation in the addendum)
Specifics in Relationship to Healing at the First Three Chakras
The earth chakra being that particular center associated when spirit touches nature, consciousness touches form, or heaven mingles with earth is the point of differentiation itself -- the point of immanence and rich diversity-- it is the fertile earth while spirit is the undifferentiated seed. The earth chakra is the doorway to abundance -- every "thing" -- all of existence and creation in its rich diversity and yet it is in constant transformation (change) being temporal and evolving. At the other pole, the crown center is the nothingness or formless realm which contains the seed (potential) of everything. Hence in the sense of simple polar balancing the crown and the root chakra (and all in-between) work can be undertaken simultaneously. In other words all the work can be accomplished between these two poles while and the flow between them is not to be taken lightly but rather attended to.
The lower three chakras have a specific energetic that corresponds more with the physical body than the upper three (the heart being at the feeling center) although we will risk repetition in saying again that the chakra system is wholistic.
In the above sense the earth chakra is fulfillment, richness, and abundance when energy is flowing between it, the earth below, and the crown above. When the energy is deficient most likely we can investigate the possibilities of abundance problems (scarcity consciousness), insecurity problems, self doubt, issues of lack of self acceptance, safety issues, fear of death, fear of living (which includes fear of death), protection issues, lack of trust, feelings of alienation, cynicism, despair, nihilism, and in severe cases paranoia and catatonia.
Where it can't go down we feel disconnected, lonely, estranged, and mistrustful and when it can't flow upward we fear change, inhibit our evolutionary organic nature, creativity and integration. Lack of downward flow is associated with constipation and holding and can manifest in the foot, leg, knee, hemorrhoids, sciatica, hip, thigh, SI joint pain and similar problems while lack of upward flow may manifest in lack of vigor (sexual, metabolic, passionate, creative, or mental), vertigo, lethargy, collapse, etc. Too much downward flow may manifest as diarrhea, profuse menstruation, wobbly legs, and illnesses brought about by excessive tamas. The way we walk and move the tailbone and sacrum (or its lack) is related to the earth chakra. Excessive stimulation of the earth chakra (rare) without an outlet (having a blockage) to the second, third, and fourth chakras can manifest in over hyperactivity at any of the chakras.
The earth chakra (muladhara) is the most important chakra in hatha yoga, It is where the kundalini lies dormant and it is where the prana and apana are to be balanced for the energy (kundalini) to flow in the central column (sushumna) . This should not be interpreted as just some mystical gibberish, but yet the words certainly are symbolic of a very powerful energetic. Again once flow is reached in the sushumna it is neither left nor right, nor up nor down -- flow is in both directions simultaneously. Again the muladhara and sahasrara chakras are the two most important energetic centers while the sushumna is the most important psychic nerve (that connects them) directly. Physically this area is associated with the perineum, tailbone, glands of Luska, and pelvic diaphragm.
This short introduction to chakra healing will never do justice to the earth chakra or kundalini, but the beginning practitioner should know that it to be greatly respected and can be gone to (in conjunction with the crown by placing the right hand on the skull and left on the tailbone region to balance energy or move energy through the entire system. This area is often congested so elongating smoothing and softening passes with the hands up and down over this area can often be of value. The muladhara is the integrative physical center of the body and its support center.
Similarly the second chakra (water chakra) called the swadhistana chakra can suffer from deficiency or blocked flow through it, or functional flow. When it is deficient in energy there is deficiency in the sexual, generative, procreative, and creative urges. This is a motive force chakra where innate evolutionary energies are expressed and generative and regenerative energies are stored and expressed. In illness where these flows are damned up or restricted. Here resides our connection with fluid flow, the sea, change, shape shifting, seminal and creative ideas, imagination, creative inspiration, instinct, and spontaneity.
When sexual disturbances exist many people mistakenly suggest that there is too much energy flowing in the chakra, but what really is happening is that the energy is congested, dammed up/blocked, stepped on, abused, inhibited from flowing either below or above, and hence it "appears" to want to come "out" and be discharged (or there is fear and shame associated in its expression). Because of inhibitory influences of unnatural belief systems, social mores, self censure, guilt, alien religions, and other artificial and non-body positive external influences a conflict between natural and spontaneous creative/procreative expression becomes reinforced establishing a body/mind discordance, tension, conflict, and war which is an energetic source of much mental disturbances, social crime, violence, and physical dis-ease.
In the healthy body/mind the energy at the water chakra should be constantly streaming here without fear of attracting sexual negative notice from others (or guilt). If the center is dead, intuitive and instinctual senses are diminished. Women and men who have "sex appeal" often have vital first three chakras, but also in order to avoid sexual attention or condemnation many women and men turn off this center in order to avoid the attention of others often in fear or shame. This is a particularly common and strong, yet not widely recognized dynamic.
In most cases where there is a tendency toward paranoia and alienation accompanied by tightness in the pelvis and sacrum, the energy is blocked going downward from the swadhistana, while in cases of lack of metabolic process, will power, or ability to manage one's own affairs the energy is blocked going upward (into the manipura chakra). If the energy is blocked in both directions at the same time, there almost always exists a deficiency where a one way blockage can create a distorted shunt manifesting in what may appear as an over stimulation.
Since sex is a powerful issue in modern life, many clients (those who are numbed out or constricted in the swadhistana area will be embarrassed to allow energy to flow here and will resist energetic streaming. If such occurs the therapist may try streaming the energy between the muladhara (pelvic diaphragm floor) THROUGH the swadhistana to the manipura (at the lumbar region and above so that the energy does not get stuck in the sexual region. Once the client realizes that the energy can be energized but not locked into that area (obsessed) but made to flow through it without congestion then further cooperation in release of this area will be more easily accomplished. This liberated energy can be used for healing in the swadhistana, muladhara, or brought to the manipura chakra above for further balance and catalyzation of flow . This area thus must be honored with sensitivity and gentleness while the therapist must be capable of thoroughly moving through any personal sexual feelings that may become stimulated.
Strongly associated with not only the gonads, prostate/ovaries, and bladder; this center resonates in a simple harmonic order with the pituitary (ajna chakra or third eye) just as the muladhara has a special resonance with the sahasrara. Although this is the water chakra (usually white in color), the kidneys and adrenals being higher up are usually associated with the next center, the manipura chakra which is characterized by the fire element.
The Fire Chakra (Manipura Chakra)
Here too manipura which is the integrative energy center of the body has a special primary resonance, this time with the throat chakra (vishuddi). This is the center for individual strength, vitality, self empowerment, ability to get things done, will power, concentration, action (fire), metabolism, and the like. If the linear pathway is blocked/congested (up or down) then excess fire or depleted dysfunction may similarly occur.
In this sense it is the center of physical well being, personal physical strength, and self confidence it being the place where the fuel is burned to drive the physical engines of the neuro-physiological organism. Here in the manipura chakra the added fire, heat, or energy required to cook the broth, heat the cauldron, distill the elixir, and/or bubble over into the air (heart) chakra (called the anahata chakra in Sanskrit).The first three chakras concern the physical body the most and their interaction is closely related in many psychophysical processes. Likewise the interaction of the manipura (fire chakra) with the anahata (air chakra) is also closely related as more air increases the fire and heat on one hand (as in various pranayamas such as ujjayi or bhastrika breathing; while on the other hand more fire allows the steam to rise and fill the heart chakra.
There are many other body/mind chakra related harmonic resonances and dynamics that exist between the "standard" chakra designations as well as simple adjacent interactions. Rarely will distorted/diseased, congested, or depleted dynamics can occur in any of the chakras (seemingly as independent manifestations. Corresponding compensations can occur in may system sympathetically and can be modulated simultaneously. Organs can be felt by energetically feeling beneath the skin while they can be adjusted and vectored energetically without physical pressure. Don't be afraid to continue to explore new techniques and specific details of sensing, energizing, drawing out, balancing, purifying, etc. when you feel that calling.
Briefly the root chakra is the physical center -- fulcrum, and support of the body-- the root of beingness. The water chakra is the integrative creative, sensate, and instinctual center,. the fire chakra (navel) is the energetic/regenerative dynamo. The heart chakra is the integrative emotional and feeling center, the throat chakra is the integrative communication center, third eye is intuitive center of awareness and consciousness, while the crown chakra is the eternal spiritual center which partially lies outside of the body linking us with the ineffable, unbegun, never-ending, unformed, non-differentiated, formless, and timeless..
The upper chakras relate more to the more subtle forces of emotions, mental states, psychology, and belief systems while the lower centers are more primitive, vital, and physical. All of these relationships must be experienced as an interdependent ecology -- as a whole while memorization will be counterproductive.
Adhi and Vyadhi -- The Five Kosha System
Besides the chakra system of healing, ancient yoga also offers the five koshas (sheaths) energetic model which consists of the interdependent dynamics between the most gross and coarse physical body (which is the manifestation of the others) called the annamaya kosha and four others. The second sheath which encloses the physical and permeates it the pranamaya (energy) sheath. The next body is the mental/emotional sheath called the manomaya kosha. The fourth sheath is the vijnanamaya kosha (the belief system or wisdom body) while the fifth sheath is the anandamaya kosha which is literally called the bliss body, the realm of unconditioned eternal spirit which knows no pain or limit.
This ancient five kosha system provides an effective relationship of workable pathways between body/mind, emotional, energetic, psycho-neuro-physiological, and belief system inter-relationships and of the processes of disease and of healing.
Here adhis (mental/emotional disturbances in the manomaya kosha or astral sheath) cause corresponding disturbances at the physical level (annamaya kosha) called vyadhi. This is modulated through the intermediary of the pranamaya kosha (or energy body) causing disturbances in the prana. The good news is that we can directly work with the body and/or pranamaya kosha to effect healing in the manomaya kosha and vice versa work on the manomaya kosha to effect positive healing changes in the pranamaya and annamaya koshas. It is believed that a lasting cure is only possible when the causal disturbance is completely remedied.
Here adhis are considered causal and primary which in turn cause physical ailments (vyadhi). Thus when the adhis are destroyed the vyadhis are no longer generated or manifest. In addition there exist two kinds of adhis. One is ordinary or samaya (caused by the mind or emotions) and the other one is called, sara, which is intrinsic to a more causal spiritual malaise that can be successfully treated only through processes that affect the life style, belief system, self identification process, or in general our energetic relationship that we cling to as "s(S)elf" in relationship to "R®Reality" i.e., through modalities which reach into the vijnanamaya and ananda maya koshas. In either case, physical disease is caused by disturbances/corruption and/or obstruction of the nadis (psychic nerves) and energy patterns which have become disrupted, distorted, and patterned into corruptive patterns causing degeneration, dissipation, dis-ease, pain, suffering, stasis, and death. Therapy is aimed at removing the source of the disturbances, opening up these blocked pathways, and rechanneling and repatterning the energy flow.
Hence when using the principles of the five koshas in energy healing work, we can integrate asking questions of the client in regards to ascertaining any relationship between the physical area and any emotional feelings thus associated with it such as fear, anger, grief, abandonment, mistrust, overwhelm, etc. Often early childhood trauma, inhibition, or situations of dissociation due to over stimulation can not be accessed verbally, but rather only kinesthetically and energetically. Once the memory and trauma that is being contracted around) comes into conscious awareness through touch, both emotional and physical peace can be made accomplished. Dialogue should be invited but not forced (unless you are very experienced and know where you are going). It is often good to invite the client to participate in other ways with the process such as breathing golden or rainbow light into the area, visualize a scent like an essential oil (that may be specially attuned energetically as a remediator of that particular disease process), to visualize a color, a past event, or even a contrived theater stage for example if an injury/trauma is associated with unresolved issues with other people. .There are many such possibilities that may be effective depending on the situation.
Both Practical and Spontaneous
The methods are just possibilities, but it is our own activated energy body and awareness which must be allowed to intelligently guide the healing process as it knows how to facilitate "flow" at a deeper nonverbal and trans conceptual depth far better than any preconceived set of techniques. Children constantly are in motion moving the energy intuitively all the time. They move with their whole body directing subtle energy throughout their system (keeping pathways open) with their hands, feet, and inwardly directed intelligent movements. As such they are a source of wisdom and healing.
Our task also is to help the energy to move, to remove the energy dams, the stasis and stagnation, to irrigate the inner rivers and channels, to melt down the hard contractedness, to open up clogged areas and pathways, to remove irritation and overwhelm, and to allow the energy to flow. This way we purify, activate, connect, and integrate establishing synchronistic harmony between heaven and earth, spirit and nature, mind and body, left and right, front and back, above and below, and so forth.
There are many ways of moving the energy. In chakra work for instance we can work above and below a hard, tight, obstructed, dammed up, cold, or hot spot/area to move the energy through -- placing hands above or below, to the left and right, in front and in back, and in the fourth dimension/all directions bringing in energy from the Source to soften, relax, energize, open up, stimulate or cool, gold or blue, etc.
Another practical way is simply to sense any stasis, tightening, hardness, blockage, stress, contraction, tension, fear, pain, confusion, and so forth in tissue group or organ and then to soften, lengthen, and extend the physical allowing it to pulsate, flow, move, and energetically realign.
Another way as in Jin Shin Do we first sense the energy flows in the body and observe any distortions in the field, voltages, imbalances, tilts, torsion, in relationship to the acupuncture meridians and their unique access points which connect their characteristic energetic relationship. With the establishing of balance in mind we chose two usually distant but "key" points -- directing or sending energy to one (with the sending hand or finger(s)) to the distant point where the receiving or sensing hand or finger(s) is placed. Sometimes this is accompanied with actual physical pressure on the points (like in acupressure) and at other times it is merely energetic.
In Reiki all the major and minor chakras and organs (most of the body) are covered sequentially (usually from the head down) simply by placing our hands on the client and going to Infinite Source for intervention. Here "more complex" is not necessarily better . However with polarity, craniosacral, visceral manipulation, pranic healing, Jin Shin Do, and Huna we often work more with specific intention and intervention techniques often moved to simultaneously work on two chakras at once to effect balance and flow. Human touch itself (between two people) can have beneficial results in and by itself and there exist much scientific validation to confirm that. Similarly some groups work more effectively as a team of two or more people on one client at a time. Similarly this work can also be done on oneself as well as from the dream body or from a distance.
Saucha, Asteya, and Santosha (Purification, Integrity, and Pacification)
Another similar body/mind approach to energetic healing can be gleaned from yoga's life style guides of yams/niyams and in particular saucha (purity) and asteya (truthfulness and integrity). Patanjali said in Pada II. 40 and 41saucha svanga-jugupsa parair asamsargah 41. sattvasuddhi-saumanasyaikagryendriya-jayatma-darsana-yo gyatvani ca
Through the practice of physical purity, attachments to toxins and corruptive forces disappear naturally. Also through internal and external purity (saucha) both of the body, psychic environment, and of removing the occlusions of consciousness, there is achieved balance, cheerfulness, one- pointedness, harmony of the senses, and yogic vision. Here one is no longer attracted by corruptive influences because one has established (and is happily rooted within) an inner energetic freedom. Purity (saucha) is one of the niyams. It can be interpreted many ways.
Some yogis take it to mean keeping the inside of the body clean (annamaya kosha) and healthy, the nadis open (pranamaya kosha) and energy unobstructed, while the body is affected by being less burdened, open, and light. Another inner application of saucha is keeping the mental thoughts (manomaya kosha) free from kleshas, samskaras, and vrttis. Yet another application of saucha may be applied to our belief systems whether or not they may be tainted, and thus be a source of taint, impurity, and affliction to our consciousness (until purified). In this sense transformation and rebirth is an action of purification.
Yet another manifestation of saucha is in our motivations and actions. But since actions follow thought and consciousness (or lack thereof) it seems that the purification of consciousness is more causal to this process. So on a physical level, not poisoning the body or burdening it with afflictions that it can not digest, assimilate, or eliminate easily will unburden not only the digestive system, but the elimination and immune systems thus creating more available energy for the process of evolutionary circuitry and higher consciousness to unfold. In one sense poor food habits (and inability to digest, assimilate, and eliminate food) is an energy drain and sedation of the kundalini, taking energy away from the "other" super-psychic activities or spiritual projects unless we were already very open in this direction and were not negatively affected by dietary choices. The key however is the development of our innate wisdom, instinct, or intuition to know which of the food options are best for our own unique constellation of body/mind at the moment achieving synergistic balance, well being, and synchronicity. This is where the rest of the yoga practice acts synergistically with diet -- and in turn, diet with the overall integrity which is the yogic process. Here also is where the hatha yoga kriyas or sat karmas (external cleansing activities) can also help as well as reduce irritation, thus creating more peacefulness (santosha) and being adjunctive to the allied processes of aparigraha, tapas, pranayama, pratyhara. concentration, meditation, and isvara pranidhana. On a mental level, meditation is the best practice of saucha. As we study the yam/niyams we will see the mutually synergistic inter-relationships between ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha, saucha, santosha, tapas, swadhyaya, and isvara pranidhana disclosing the underlying all inclusive integrative wholistic principle.
42. santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah
By establishing a connection with the energetics of fulfillment while being at peace with one self in the present moment (santosha), then communion with a boundless joy (sukha) manifests. Santosha becomes a new non-conflicting and non-stressed way of wellness and thriving which becomes natural and when it is disrupted, absent, or made discontinuous we naturally awake to apply a balancing and centering remedy .
To sum up, in energy and chakra work, intent is causal, so work only when you are able to focus on, merge, and stay in tune with the Source and Central Axis of Love (the axis mundi or tree at the center of life) which forms the core of the healing power -- a state of being that we can intimately "know and feel" increasingly not with the mind but in the heart of hearts (Hridyam) which is inside the deepest core of the sushumna nadi (don't take my word on this last one but rather check it out by increasing your meditation practice). Here the healing energy comes from the infinite timeless Source as we act merely as a finely tuned earthly vehicle/channel (resonating between spirit and nature crown and root). Any negative situation can be transformed through sufficient and sincere cultivation and generation of the bodhicitta -- the sincere intention to liberate of all beings from suffering without exception.
The above are only some "possibilities" -- what is needed is an open mind and heart and ALL the rest follows (flows) from that. .
Addendum One: The Twelve Chakra Systems
1) The muladhara/earth chakra (as above) from the lower sacrum, tailbone, cauda equina, posterior perineum etc. The earth chakra governs the giving back the transmuted solids back to the earth. It also is the portal from which we are able to freely give to and receive from the earth -- governing our stance and relationship to nature, creation, diversity, and embodied life itself. Located posterior and lateral to the swadisthana chakra.
2) The swadisthana/water chakra (as above) from the anterior perineum, uro-genital diaphragm, pubis effecting the organs of intercourse (vagina/penis) as well as how well communicate and inter-relate with the diverse forms of creation-- all our relations. Swadisthana governs the final process of giving back the transmuted water back to the water systems of earth and sky through the urethra, bladder, and urethral tubing. Its location is anterior and medial to the muladhara chakra.
3) The lower tan tien (Chinese name) located between the two anterior superior iliac spines (below the navel and above the pubis. This governs the generational/procreative/co-creational functions either projecting them outward and downward through the lower two chakras or providing for the generation and self empowerment of the sacred fetus. This involves the ovaries/prostate.
4) The classical manipura (also called nabhi) chakra. The fire chakra (described above) at the navel which is involved in assimilation of food and information. It is associated with the umbilical cord, the small intestine, nourishment, digestive fire and metabolism.
5) The pancreas, liver spleen, stomach chakra located just underneath the sternum which is involved in breaking down of physical food, digestion, filtering, regulation, as well as intellectual discernment. Here the adrenals, kidneys, the vagus nerve, as well as the neuro-endocrine system are also involved.
6) The classical anahata or heart chakra (air). It is our feeling center -- This is more than the culmination of the five senses as feeling, but more so, accessing this center allows us to access the very essence of the process of our sentience -- thus it is the chakra of direct experience and beingness. Modern science tells us that the heart center radiates stronger and more refined electromagnetic fields than the brain as well as producing a storehouse of neuro-endocrine substances. (See also the Institute of Heartmath Research Papers and Neurobiology and Yoga:From the gods of the Amygdala to the God of the Heart by Antonio T. de Nicolas.
7) The thymus center located above the heart chakra and below the vishudda (throat chakra). This is our natural self regulating protective system which in modern times can be very strained or even overwhelmed.
8) The classic throat or vishudda chakra (ether or akasha) that regulates communication and co-creative abilities of interaction in the world -- the manifestation of the creative urge through integrating mind and body. This is located in the lower throat near the thyroid.
9) The back brain center at the upper part of the neck and throat including the jaw region, the occiput, atlas/atlas, back brain, brain stem, and the like. This is the top connection point between the autonomic and central nervous system that is involved with self regulation, balance, and harmony. It is a key point in craniosacral therapy. One might say that its "center" is behind the occipital condyles.
10) The Talu chakra behind the third eye governing the midbrain, basal ganglion, and amygdala. It is home to our emotional circuitry which governs wellness.
11) The classical third eye (ajna chakra) governing awareness, concentration, and individual consciousness associated with the pituitary and the two anterior lobes of cerebral cortex.
12) The classical sahasrara or crown chakra associated with our formless non-dual imperishable nature -- pure spirit and consciousness -- existing beyond physical embodiment so it is most closely associated with the energetic vortex above the brahmarandhra (hole of Brahma or the aperture at the top of the head) but which also encompasses the head (often "seen" or observed as an aura). When activated it is a large chakra described as the thousand petaled lotus and s such it is Brahma's pillow.
Likewise the "S" shaped seven cervical vertebrae can also be seen as an analogue of the spine while each vertebra space is given a corresponding sound and and element. See this discussion at the Chakra Purification Meditation at Rainbow body
The above is by no means an exhaustive discussion of the chakra theories, but further such discussion may be counterproductive. Briefly then, it is the Hridayam, which is also often called the heart chakra,, but which must be discerned from that of the anahat chakra. The Hridayam is the Heart of Hearts -- the holographic center of the Universe -- of all of creation. It is that unified central place of eternal stillness from which the entire creation revolves and as such it is of course associated with the sushumna which allows access to the sahasrara. This is our true and authentic home. Om
End of Addendum
Dr Darius H Umrigar MD ( AM )