How to Purify the Chakras
Chakra means wheel. A chakra is a doorway through which we perceive reality. Our ability to see into the various dimensions of reality is reflected in the energetic ease or dis-ease found in our relationships. The disease of feeling disconnected from oneself and others is pervasive in our time.
The practices of yoga clear our vision and heal the disease of disconnect. Vision is not just physical seeing but rather total awareness, full consciousness involving all of the five senses and beyond.
To purify is to cleanse of misperception. The yogi attains clear vision by overcoming avidya or ignorance, which is a case of mistaken identity. Through purification of perception, the radiant truth of the Cosmic Self is revealed. This is referred to as Samadhi or Yoga.
How do we evolve from disease to cosmic harmony? Our present condition is a result of our past actions or karmas. To purify our present condition demands a purification of our karmas: thoughts, words and deeds. All karmas are vibratory in nature. They are sounds. A thought is a sound, a word spoken silently or out loud is sound, a physical action is sound expressed, its effect permeating into the relative atmosphere of existence. All action speaks to every aspect of created manifestation causing an altering of life itself.
The ancient purifying system of yoga includes mantra and asana, the practice of which provides practical methods for purifying our relationships with others and ourselves. Our bodies are made of our past actions (karmas). Each chakra corresponds to particular relationships we have had with others, as well as our own physical organs, nervous system, senses and body parts. Every asana provides an opportunity to access and heal karmic relationships. Chanting mantra while in a particular asana can provide the means to resolve past karmas, thus lifting avidya to reveal the truth about ourselves and others. The purification of our relationships brings about a healing of the disease of disconnect and the reestablishment of a sound body and sound mind able to embody, radiate and communicate peace and joy to all.
- Translation: Unstruck
- Bija Mantra: YAM
- Color: Green
- Element: Air
- Sense: Touch/Heart
- Organs: Thymus
- Spine: Thoracic
- Outer Body: Chest/Arms/Hands/Middle Back
- Asana: Backbends
- Key Word: Compassion
- Relationship: Others (forgive others who have hurt you)
When you have the largeness of heart to let go and forgive others, you free yourself to be able to move forward with your life. This ability to forgive can be cultivated within you by remembering that others, just like you, are only doing the best they can in any given situation. Backbends move us into our future. The ease that you have in moving into your future will be reflected in the ease you bring to backbends. Ease comes as you develop your ability to accept the limited capacity of others. Through forgiving others you open to your own limitless capacity for compassion, which will catapult you towards enlightenment: the realization of the Oneness of Being, freedom from disconnection.
Spiritual Exercise: While assuming various back bending asanas (e.g., bhujangasana, dhanurasana, urdhva dhanurasana, etc.*), go to the Karmic root of the imbalance and disconnect associated with this chakra.
Option #1: Focus on a being in your life who you feel has hurt you and forgive him or her. On the inhalation silently say, “Blessings, thankfulness and forgiveness to ___” and on the exhalation say the name of the person silently or out loud.
Option #2: As you inhale silently say, “I let go…” as you exhale silently say, “…to an open heart.” Progress into a deeper contemplation and karmic purification incorporating breath and sound by chanting the Bija mantra, YAM, silently on the inhale and exhale, or out loud on the exhale while remaining in the asana.
– Sharon Gannon
* For a more complete list of back bending asanas, see Appendix I, page 248-250, of the Jivamukti Yoga book.