If you are particularly wedded to the concept of Chakras and may be offended by my interpretations, don't click 'read more'. But don't jump to conclusions... I don't consider it to be a pile of poo by the way- judging by my un-scientific-un-statistically-significant experiment today!
I have the utmost respect for the sages around a millenia and a half ago who sought to explain the world and our nature. Who passed down scriptures in hymns and discussed theories in a Sat San [read seated debate kind of committee meeting] writing the Upanishads.
But that doesn’t mean I take their interpretations or theories verbatim. I rather like to interpret them in a 21 Century female’s viewpoint. I think that some that have survived probably they did so because they show insight. And we can use those insights translated for now.
So for example
When they said:
Your soul is reborn in a constant cycle of Sanskara
I think to my self:
Wow sounds pretty much like matter continuing to exist though in different forms to make new creatures or substances. And we may not be reborn as a whole but that was a way to explain the continuity to a culture that didn’t have particles.
When they said:
There is one constant energy that we are all made of, Brahman which is everywhere but not in a bearded god kind of way.
We don’t understand exactly what makes us conscious now either, but even if it is a chemical/electrical process in our brains, it is a reaction of energy and chemicals that are in everyone’s brain and everywhere in animals and plants too- sounds like a one constant unifying type energy thing to me.
I feel much more divided about Chakras though. Everything in Yoga fits really neatly into an 8 limbed path to enlightenment, going down said path makes you feel better even if you don’t end up enlightened and should make you a more peaceful sociable creature too. Cool. So why do we need Chakras or Kundalini forces or Siddhis to blur the issue?
They said that energy flows through the body
[read electrical signals through the nervous system]
They said there were 72000 channels that it flows through
[read they acknowledged there were lots of nerves. It is highly unlikely that this was an exact number that people sitting in a committee meeting could actually identify, would they name them all? Wouldn’t that take a decade even in just words without even discussing, testing, checking for duplicates out of the long list already there? No we can safely say that it just illustrates that they meant there are a lot of these channels]
They said there are male and female channels, Ida and Pingala
[read parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems]
They spiral up the Shusumna
[read your spinal column]
Where the spirals cross there are wheels of energy
[read major centres of our body’s systems]
You may need to unblock your chakras
[read excersise those areas for all round healthiness]
There are colours associated with each chakra
[read ways people visualised them and therefore you don’t need to learn all those but if you want to feel free to read a much more reverential article here http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-91/The-7-Chakras-for-Beginners.html]
There are also sounds and even animals that are linked to each of the chakras. [again another good way to visualise them please bear with this article until you get to the table to show you the associated animals http://www.whats-your-sign.com/chakra-animal-symbols.html]
This one talks about the glands:
So is all this a pile of poo? Not entirely, just an older way of explaining our bodies. And so I tested it today in a completely un-statistically-significant way through 2 yoga classes! We exercised and unblocked each of our chakras. I’ve had good feedback from this class. In the very least for it’s awesome all body work out!
After the good feedback, I may do another Chakra class which you’re all welcome to to decide for yourself- energy centres, nervous system or pile of poo?
Try it yourself:
Pelvic Floor – pidgeon sitting on your foot, bada konasana with isometric pelvic floor work, bridge bringing the knees together
Sacral- pressure through curling in a ball on your back, happy baby, and work through cobra and other dorsal raises
Solar Plexus – twists and Dancers bow for pressure abdominal work through Navasana and variations
Anahata heart- lotus mudra and heart opening exercises a flow pressing the hands to the heart and camel
Vishudda throat- Jaladana mudra, flows with chin down, trikonasana tiltin head with chin lock and paravritta trikonasana
3rd eye pituatry gland- Nadi Shodana, dolphin dips with head to graund, childs pose massaging forehead
Crown – paschimotanasana with crown cupped and temples massaged.
Peppered with optional vinyasas to keep the heat and exercise levels oh so high!