Thursday, August 2, 2012
Thoughts on the Chakras and Koshas
The chakras are the bridge to a higher level of consciousness. It is a road that leads us to the eventual end game of what we call Enlightenment. Although spiritual studies and understandings have led me to believe that Enlightenment only comes in inspired moments, a balanced view, exploration and experience of the chakras can only lead to a higher state of consistent “Enlightenment,” or balance, and that is the goal.
Each chakra comes with a variety of lessons, imbalanced and balanced expressions of the chakra. Each chakra gives a solid foundation upon which to build the next. Each chakra also expresses itself through the koshas. Let’s look at the chakras first from the pathway of the koshas.
As the chakras start at its basic need, so does this idea resonate with the koshas, which begin at the annamayakosha, or food and survival, tribal connectivity and procreation. This resonates with the first chakra in particular, represented by the color red, and resonating with basic foundational, physically and physiologically rooted concepts. The chakras also correspond to the physical position they gather in the body. The needs that the chakra expresses are supported there. In addition to this, your body’s endocrinology also resides in each chakra.
The sacral chakra, represented by orange, resides in the annamayakosha. The sacral chakra corresponds to the need to receive love and pleasure, luxury, family and relationships. It can also be the seat of addiction, housing balanced and imbalanced expressions of issues dealing with money such as hoarding, gambling, or stealing, sexuality (porn, affair energy) and wide ranging emotions.
At the level of the manomayakosha, emotions, mental states of expression are there. Also present is trauma and dysfunction emanating from the lower chakras, as a result of the imbalance being present for an extended period of time. We hope to remember in this moment that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it only changes form and is therefore stored. The chakras carry the energetic imprint of the mental and emotional states of consciousness. The energy of the 3rd and 4th chakra live here in this kosha. The 3rd chakra is responsible for discernment, discipline and boundaries, while the 4th chakra is the gateway to the higher chakras, opening up and losing the boundaries and limits, expressing the higher realms of existence through unconditional, personal and compassionate love. This to me is the eternal conflict of the chakras; however, there is that delicate interplay that needs to happen in order for the whole person to progress.
Depending on what the manomayakosha decides to do with this energy, it filters up and into the 5th and 6th chakras, or the vjnanamayakosha, the witness center. Having nestled its energy here, people have either a clear or muttled view of reality, reality being defined by experience in the lower chakras and expressed in its highest self in the higher chakras, no matter what its origin point. This is why the foundation must be strongly and solidly built, in order for bliss to occur.
The 5th chakra is the channel to a higher consciousness, and speaks for Source, Universe, God, Brahman. It is the seat of the higher plane, or even the legs on which to travel. The 6th chakra is the seer, the third eye, ajna chakra, whose aim is to light the path before it. So the 5th chakra often speaks for the 6th chakra when messages are needed to be sent. When someone feels they are receiving guidance, it is through this point that the guidance speaks and rains on the blessed.
As the 6th chakra is expressed, and the vision is spoken on and carried out into the world through the 4th and 5th chakra, bliss is achieved, in a balanced expression, in the 7th chakra. The imbalanced expression of the 7th chakra can be experienced as delusion, deception, spiritual arrogance, spiritual distortion such as cult-like mentality, obviously false perceptions parading as truth. Through repetition of karmic acts of service on the world, and there are plenty to serve, the 7th chakra can again be reinforced and beautifully expressed.
Through the practice of meditation and inner guidance, the soul can take us one step further into enlightenment, or the understanding of ideas not originally understood. Meditation opens the path, and inner guidance tells the soul how to navigate through the pieces. We are in a space to receive fabulous gifts of the Spirit with our willingness to listen and learn.
The chakra body mapping is a beautiful way to see in the physical space a picture of your soul. This guidance can make clear which areas of the chakra body are free flowing, and which ones are stagnant and in need of a shift. Core issues and challenges are addressed more fully when knowledge of the state of the chakras is present.
The yoga therapy process describes the root chakra as the embodiment within the journey, tuning our senses to the physical practice of yoga as a source of finding that embodiment, rootedness, and awareness on the physical plane. The chapter smartly discusses yoga as a system of balancing and stabilizing within specific postures (balance poses, or hip openers for direct massage of the root chakra, releasing of latent anger and limiting, long-held beliefs, for example).
Though we are more than our bodies, we can safely say that, if we look at the model of the koshas, we are able to develop our spiritual lives through this yoga practice and grow from there, as a seed grows upward from the soil. At its base, we find a coiled, latent kundalini energy that consists of Shiva (pure consciousness and transformation) and lingam, referring to latent potential. It would seem fitting to unearth this coil by massaging, moving, and uncoiling it, as a ripened vegetable would be unloosed from the earth to be made ready to consume. This makes clear that the root chakra would then be, by IYT’s definition, the basis of the journey, the foundation.