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: Root Place
- Bija Mantra: LAM
- Color: Red
- Element: Earth
- Sense: Smell / Nose
- Organs: Adrenals
- Spine: Coccyx
- Outer Body: Feet, Legs
- Asana: Standing Poses
- Key Word: Stability
- Relationship: mother, father, family, environment, home, workplace, boss, job, career, money
Our spiritual evolution begins with acknowledging our physicality through devotion to the great Goddess: Mother Nature. If we cannot be at peace with our environment, our parents, and family and feel contentment with our bodies, our home and our job, we won’t be able to evolve. We purify our foundation by seeing all of life as sacred. We start by establishing a good connection to the earth through standing. We make our footprint a sacred connection. The word ‘Dharma” is derived from the Sanskrit root “dri” meaning to hold up, to sustain or to fix in place. The word “Vinyasa” is made up of “vi”, to order and “nyasa”, to consciously place. Vinyasa means to consciously order placement in time and space.
The practice of vinyasa allows us to place our bodies in a special way, on purpose like we really mean it. Our connection to the earth – our asana, our seat – must be based in steadiness and joy, not only for our selves in a small limited sense, but for our greater self, our larger family: the whole world and all beings.
Spiritual Exercise: While assuming various standing poses (e.g., tadasana, adho mukha svanasana, trikonasana, virabradrasana I,II, II, etc.*), go to the Karmic root of the imbalance and disconnection associated with this level of perception. To do this, focus on a person in your life associated with this chakra. On the inhalation silently say, “Blessings, thankfulness and love to..” and on the exhalation say the name of that being silently or out loud. Progress into a deeper contemplation and karmic purification incorporating breath and sound by chanting the Bija mantra, LAM, silently while inhaling and exhaling, or out loud while exhaling, all the while remaining steady in the asana.
– Sharon Gannon
* For a more complete list of standing poses, see Appendix I, page 246, of the Jivamukti Yoga book.