So many of life’s problems come from too much or too little of something. We spend our lives searching for balance and the right path. But we can choose among so many paths and in the end, each of us is simply looking for one that will help alleviate suffering and maybe create a little enlightenment.
For many many lives we have been in chaos. The chaos is very ancient. It is thick and dense. But we can allow ourselves to go through the darkness of the soul, balanced, disciplined alert.
We tend to live these fast-paced lives, full of complex and challenges met through the veil of enormous emotional wounds that compromise our aliveness. To heal these wounds, many of us have been working so hard on ourselves, undergoing the journey to liberate the soul and find our true purpose.
The chakra system is a map for that journey of individuation and awakening. This a framework to wholeness and transformation, providing tools for contemplating our strengths and weaknesses.
With this map in hand, our journey into the body, the psyche and the spiritual quest becomes more direct and more profound.
Yoga practices are magical practices. Magic happens when there is a shift in perception—what you thought was real drops away to reveal a more expanded enlightened reality.
The chakras are a set of portals between the inner and outer worlds, taking us through a transformation of consciousness across a vital bridge connecting spirit and matter, Heaven and Earth, mind and body. If we want to transform the outer world, the process must begin within ourselves. And if we want to transform our inner world, we must understand the outer forces that have shaped it. Nothing is separated. When these realms connect, we become aligned spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. As we transform ourselves, we transform the world. This is a journey through the many dimensions of the Self.
The chakras represent multiple doorways into reality.
— David Life
WHEELS THAT HEAL
The chakra system was referred to in the ancient literature of the Vedas, the later Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, in India, more than four thousand years ago.
The word chakra literally translates as "wheel" or "disk". A wheel rolls, turns, and by means of cyclic or circular movement, takes one on a journey in space and time. A chakra is a center of organization that receives, assimilates and expresses life force energy. There are seven of these wheels in a column of energy that begins at the base of the spine and reaches to the crown of the head.
Consciousness is the traveler. Kundalini is a Sanskrit term meaning “coiled snake” and refers to this consciousness. The spiritual evolution of the individual soul, the jiva, occurs when consciousness travels through the doors of perception, which are the chakras.
Yoga philosophy teaches us that the serpent goddess, Kundalini, represents the evolutionary life force within each person. She awakens from sleep and dances her way through each chakra, reestablishing the rainbow bridge between matter and consciousness. This ever-evolving journey always moves upward, toward the enlightened state.
‘Because we carry in our bodies our unresolved karmas, sometimes negative emotions can arise during the asana practice. Emotions such as fear, jealousy, anger, vengeance, cynicism, doubt and lack of faith are the results of karmas or actions we have done in our past that were not guided by love. These dark emotions are obstacles that cloud our vision and can stop us from feeling connected to our eternal true nature. We can address those troubling emotions through love and start to shift our perception away from disconnection and toward stability and joy—in other words towards sthira and sukham.’
Childhood traumas and present traumas, cultural conditioning, limited belief systems, restrictive and repetitive behaviors, physical and emotional injuries, all contribute to chakra blockages. When these aspects persist, they can become chronic patterns, anchored in the body and psyche as defense structures, creating holding patterns in our musculature that restrict the free flow of energy.
This body armor affects our posture, our breath, metabolism, our emotional landscape, our perceptions and interpretations. But it also affects our relationships, our work and our creativity. Even if a blockage may seem insignificant at a time, the degree gains severity over time. What begins as a small fear can grow into a full-blown phobia and your freedom can become severely limited.
Just as the traumas, difficulties or emotions affect our breathing, heart rate, and metabolism, the activities in the various chakras influence our organs, body shape, thoughts and actions. By using techniques such as yoga, breathing, meditation and visualization, we can influence our chakras, our health and our lives.
We have the opportunity to see life in all its dimensions, from the depths to the heights. They exist together, the dark and the difficult are needed as much as the light and easy. Allowing any pain, sorrow or difficulty just to be there, accepting its facility. It will bring a tremendous transformation and metamorphosis.
The chakras are doors of perception into new dimensions of reality. The bija mantras are the passwords or keys that open the doors to each one of these chakras. All of the yoga practices are purification practices that help us lighten our baggage so our travel is smoother. The body being the karmic storehouse for all of our past actions, the system of asana has been designed to help purify it.
Each chakra is linked to a color, an element, a sense, a basic right, a relationship, a demon, issues, healing practices and affirmations. Each chakra has many shades.
While using this system to examine a person individually, it is important to remember that this isn’t a rigid dogma and that everyone must be approached as a whole, unique being using intelligence and compassion.
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
This journey is a colorful one. The seven colors of the rainbow represent an alternative to our black-and-white consciousness, offering us a world of multiple opportunities.
Level one — Muladhara
Level two — Swadhisthana
Level three — Manipura
Level four — Anahata
Level five — Vishuddha
Level six — Ajna
Level seven — Sahasrara
Kundalini lies dormant at the root center, the base of the spine. This is where the first chakra, Muladhara is situated. This is the foundation for the entire system, the anchor for the Rainbow Bridge. The anchoring of the temple of the body digs deep into the earth providing firm soil, for its sanskrit name mula meaning “root support”. The priority here is physical preservation and all the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, safety, money. It is about the necessary grounding in the material world and your instinct to survive.
Once the basic needs and responsibilities are taken care of, consciousness evolves toward the sexual and creative expression, which is what the second level, Swadhisthana chakra, is concerned with. We encounter the watery realm of emotions and sexuality, cultivating feelings and movements, focusing on pleasure. This creative expression can be in the form of art and/or procreation.
After connecting to the natural flow of emotions and the creative experience, then comes the identification with ego and the quest for power, which is the concern of the third chakra, Manipura. A healthy third chakra exhibits energetic vitality. There is enjoyment and enthusiasm about life. Our sense of personal power gives us hope that we can make things viable for ourselves.
We find ourselves then at the midpoint of the journey. When consciousness resides in the heart, or the Anahata chakra, the soul begins to perceive the interconnectedness of being. from that sacred center, the heart of the system, we enter the mystery of Love. Compassion fuels consciousness at this level of awareness.
Consciousness continues its ascent upward and it moves into the Vishuddha, the throat chakra, the place of purity, where the poisons of negative emotions are neutralized. Our attention moves to vibrations as the subtle, rhythmic pulsations that move through all things. Higher wisdom, wisdom of harmony and alignment with the Divine Self are expressed. The voice is pure and sweet and speaks the Truth.
From this place of eloquence, consciousness evolves to the Ajna chakra, or third-eye center. In this place of clear perception, duality is transcended and Oneness is perceived. Our sight gives us guidance. We can see where we have been, where we are now and where we are going.
The Divine Self is seen everywhere in all beings and things. From this perception of Oneness, consciousness ascends to the final level, Sahasrara or the crown chakra. This is the thousand-petaled lotus, the ultimate reality of continuous ecstatic unfoldment. This is the vast and indispensable key to the ultimate mystery. The lover and the beloved meet in Love.
Words by Eva Lucie Daniela.