The chakras are considered to be the major energy centers of the physical and subtle body. Since they are the energy transducers for subtle energy, its important to understand what they are and their philosophical associations. You can find an overview of information on the chakras in the textbook “The YOGA MIND – 52 ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF YOGA PHILOSOPHY TO DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE” by: Rina Jakubowicz in the section called “Chakras”. More information can be found below and in the subsequent Lesson Topics on each of the seven chakras.

Chakra in Sanskrit means “wheel” or “circle” and is related to that fact that chakras are portrayed as spinning balls of energy (or prana) throughout the body. There are seven major chakras that have philosophical associations: Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vissudha, Anja, and Sahasrara. These are the major energy currents that flow up and down our bodies starting at the base of the spine and flow up to the head or crown. There are also smaller chakras that are located in the feet, hands, knees, finger tips, shoulders, etc. that act as extensions to our major chakras. Every area of our body is connected through these flows and paths which create energy currents through our bodies, connecting our spiritual energetic bodies to our physical bodies.

There are four paths or currents: the Path of Manifestation (downward current), the Path of Liberation (upward current), Reception (open/closed chakra that receives stimuli from the outside world), and Expression (open/closed chakra that interacts with the outside world.) The Path of Manifestation is the downward current of energy. This happens as thoughtforms enter the consciousness, and work their way down through to chakras, until it reaches the base chakra, or Muladhara. In essence, when you have and idea, you picture it in your mind, then you speak about it, act upon that idea, and then produce a result. For the Path of Liberation, the current of energy flows upward. Starting at the base chakra, Muladhara, energies work their way up to the top or crown to Sahasrara. You can think of it like the process of creating heat. We gather wood to burn, which then produces light and heat. That light then lives on in our minds storing energy until its ready to be released. These pathways cycle through our bodies in a giving and receiving pattern. We take energy in (Reception) and then, in return, we must give energy back (Expression).

Undeveloped pathways can cause blockages that must then be cleared. A poorly developed Path of Manifestation can result in poor concentration and health, whereas a poorly developed Path of Liberation can result in feelings of depression and standing still (stuck in a rut). How we receive and express our energies is based on which chakras are open and closed. Having an irregular flow of energy in the body will create irregularities in our emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

Chakras can also become blocked for many reasons. Usually it is due to childhood experiences or cultural values. This is because the chakras develop within us progressively throughout life, so they are affect by all of our experiences. A child who is reprimanded for being too loud learns to shut down chakra five for communication, a society that promotes authority and obedience above all else teaches us to shut out the second and third chakra (emotions and will power), the experience of unrequited love teaches us to close our hearts (charka four). In essence, the chakras represent our basic rights. When these rights are infringed upon throughout our life, our chakras become blocked. This can also be referred to as having a deficient or excessive chakra.

A deficient chakra can be thought of as a chakra that is closed. It’s when your chakra is in a restrictive pattern that blocks outside stimulation because you cannot take it in. So any activity that is associated with the deficient chakra is difficult to do and can result in physical manifestations like headaches (deficient sixth or seventh chakra), ulcers (deficient third chakra), or impotence (deficient second charka). An excessive chakra is the opposite. Instead of not allowing energy in, it allows in to much energy and clutters the chakra, which inhibits it from functioning properly. Everything is collected, which restricts energy movement and prevents it from being released or expressed. The excessive chakra then becomes a dominating force in your life and can manifest as addictions or personality disorders. Examples would be talking too much (excessive fifth chakra), hoarding (excessive first charka), or sexual addiction (excessive second chakra).

Keep in mind that chakras in and of themselves are philosophically connected to different aspects of your psyche. Because of this, it is also possible for a chakra to be excessive in some aspects but deficient in others. Basically being out of balance within itself. For example, your heart chakra (chakra four) can be excessive in that you always need to be surrounded by people, but it can be deficient in that you still always feel alone.

In the end, blockages in our chakras shape our personalities and create classic character traits. This is because your energies are not able to complete their cycles or paths. You never make it to Liberation or Manifestation so some chakras are over stimulated or excessive and other chakras and not stimulated enough or are deficient. In order to unblock your charkas, you must understand what each chakra is, how they relate to our basic rights, and understand the truths that need to be discovered within ourselves. Once we find our truth, and can understand how the blockage came to be, we can balance our energies and unblock our chakras. This can be done through the practice of Yoga, meditation, mantras, or Reiki. Some teachers will also utilize spiritual tools like crystals, aroma therapy, or sound therapy. The easiest way to incorporate the chakras into one of your classes however is to use them as themes for your classes and create sequences that relate to opening that chakra. You can also continue the theme into your meditation session by focusing on an energy center or reading a passage related to the energies of the chakra you want to represent.

Next we will cover each chakra individually so that you have a basic understanding of each. Keep in mind however that there is a vast array of knowledge out there on the chakras, and this course only covers a small portion of that.

Once you review the above information and the below Lesson Topics, complete the quiz below.

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