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Love your chakras

A deeper understanding of the Chakra system. By Paula Mayura

The Chakra system originated in India over 4.000 years ago and is described as far back as the ancient texts of the Vedas and mentioned in many other philosophical and yogic cornerstones such as The Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The concept was brought to the West by Arthur Avalon in his book The Serpent Power.
Most people have heard of the word ‘Chakra’ and many yogis know where they are in relation to the body and are familiar with the symbology and mysticism that shrouds them - but do we really understand the immensity of their potential as portals through which we can connect the inner and outer worlds?
If we accept that we are Mind, Body and Soul creatures, and that the purpose of yoga is to unite these three aspects of the whole in balance and harmony and ultimately to unite our individual consciousness with divine consciousness (which is the meaning of ‘yoga’), then the subtle body energy plays a vital role. It is easy to accept that we are Mind and Body because we feel our body when we are in pain, tired, hungry, in ecstasy or stub our toe. We can also believe the Mind Body link as we experience how our thoughts and emotions instantly and dramatically change what we experience in our body. For example, if we listen to a beautiful soothing meditation, we relax, our breathing slows and moves down into our belly, our pulse slows and our whole nervous system is lulled into a state of ease. If we change that information and think of a stressful situation and immerse ourselves in that scenario for a few minutes, the body reacts! Our pulse quickens, the breath moves up into our chest, maybe our palms sweat, and we become anxious. We may not have even moved from our mat. That is how powerful our thoughts are and how interconnected they are with the body.

The subtle body

So then, what about the Soul, something less tangible that may require a little blind faith initially to explore? Let us think of an example of an invisible energetic power that cannot be denied – electricity. We cannot see it but we know when we plug a kettle in or turn on a light switch that the ‘effects’ of the current make things get hot or light up. We have similar invisible conduits carrying subtle energy currents through our bodies, commonly known in reflexology and acupuncture as meridian lines and the efficiency of these healing mediums are widely accepted. We cannot ‘take out’ somebody’s meridian lines and look at their length, colour or texture, but does that mean they don’t exist? No. Just as we see leaves move on a tree from the wind, we can see changes happening in our bodies and our lives when we work with this subtle body energy.
So we have a physical body and there is the subtle body. In our physical body, we have the nervous system through which currents flow carrying messages from the brain around the body. Within the subtle body lies a network of ethereal nerves called Nadis and these act as linking conduits between the Chakras and carry subtle energy around the body. In yogic terminology we call this subtle body energy Prana and it pervades the whole universe. Prana is in both animate and inanimate objects; it is in the space in-between us and is drawn into our body via the breath. The systems of our bodies are not separate from each other, they interrelate. For example, the points at which the Nadis and Chakras cross relate to very definite nerve centres within the physical body such as at the solar plexus. Our endocrine system also has glands connected with each Chakra.

Paula Mayura on the
famous pier in her home
town of Southend-on-Sea
Paula Mayura on the famous pier in her home town of Southend-on-Sea

Energy centres

Chakras are energy centres in the subtle body. They are best described in visual terms as spirals through which multidimensional, ethereal and astral energies can be transferred into the dense mass of the human body. These higher vibrational forces are able to enter and affect the human consciousness via the Chakras, as they serve rather like transformers. These transformers are able to translate these higher frequencies and put them into biological manifestations via our endocrine and nervous systems.
We know that, physically, this crossover of supposedly separate bodily systems occurs, such as when we breathe in oxygen and it transfers from our respiratory system via tiny capillaries in the lungs and moves into our circulatory system, hence we oxygenate our blood. An obvious test would be to rub garlic on the soles of your feet and observe that you can begin to taste it in your mouth! So why should we find it challenging to accept that whatever we do physically affects our subtle body energy and its carriers and transformers, the Nadis and Chakras? Working with subtle body energy has the potential to transform physical illness, bring about balance and harmony in the entire organism and lead us from dis-ease (disease) to ease.
We see the outer world in the light of our inner experience and if we want to change what we see we must begin those changes from within. Likewise, to change our inner world we must understand how our experience of the outer world has affected us and formed our inner viewpoint. These are intrinsically linked and constantly at the effect of each other and it is the Chakra system that ties them together, makes sense of the macrocosm microcosm universe and gives us a map with which to navigate.
Have you ever wondered why, when you are feeling good inside that the world seems to go your way? It almost smiles at you! Whereas another day you may have eaten the same breakfast and put on the same favourite clothes but feel uncomfortable in yourself, irritable and everything is a struggle like things are going against you? Essentially nothing has changed except our perception from our inner world and what we emanate out to the outer world.

 

When we are in harmony as an organism, that harmony reflects to the world around us and draws that energy back to us. I call this having ‘spiritual buoyancy’…but how do we develop this?
There are exercises and techniques designed to open particular parts of the body including physical asanas (yoga poses) meditation, mantra, visualisation and adopting yoga philosophy in our daily lives, all of which help to influence change in the chakras.

Prana Flow

So then, what about the Soul, something less tangible that may require a little blind faith initially to explore? Let us think of an example of an invisible energetic power that cannot be denied – electricity. We cannot see it but we know when we plug a kettle in or turn on a light switch that the ‘effects’ of the current make things get hot or light up. We have similar invisible conduits carrying subtle energy currents through our bodies, commonly known in reflexology and acupuncture as meridian lines and the efficiency of these healing mediums are widely accepted. We cannot ‘take out’ somebody’s meridian lines and look at their length, colour or texture, but does that mean they don’t exist? No. Just as we see leaves move on a tree from the wind, we can see changes happening in our bodies and our lives when we work with this subtle body energy.
So we have a physical body and there is the subtle body. In our physical body, we have the nervous system through which currents flow carrying messages from the brain around the body. Within the subtle body lies a network of ethereal nerves called Nadis and these act as linking conduits between the Chakras and carry subtle energy around the body. In yogic terminology we call this subtle body energy Prana and it pervades the whole universe. Prana is in both animate and inanimate objects; it is in the space in-between us and is drawn into our body via the breath. The systems of our bodies are not separate from each other, they interrelate. For example, the points at which the Nadis and Chakras cross relate to very definite nerve centres within the physical body such as at the solar plexus. Our endocrine system also has glands connected with each Chakra.

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