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: Her Favorite Standing Place
- Bija Mantra: VAM
- Color: Orange
- Element: Water
- Sense: Taste/Tongue
- Organs: Testicles/Prostate/Ovaries/Womb
- Spine: Sacrum
- Outer Body: Below Navel/Hips/Pelvis
- Asana: Forward Bends/Hip Openers
- Key Word: Creativity
- Relationship: Romantic, Sexual, Creative, Business Partners
We can purify our creative and sexual relationships by letting go of anger, blame and resentment. To do this, we must see that the way others treat us is coming from how we have treated others in our past. Only then we will develop the humility we need to become larger than the victim mentality that keeps us in a constrictive, negative identity of smallness. Forward bending gives us the opportunity to move into our past for reflection and healing through the letting go of resentful feelings we may be holding against past sexual or creative partners. In regards to art, inspiration for sacred art comes from the Divine Muse, the Goddess Saraswati. If you wish to co-create with the Divine, take every opportunity to direct the spotlight toward the Divine and away from “your” accomplishments and small personality.
Spiritual Exercise: While assuming various forward bending poses (e.g., paschimottanasana, janu sirsasana, baddha konasana, etc.*), go to the Karmic root of the imbalance and disconnect associated with this level of perception. To do this, focus on a person in your life with whom you have had a romantic, sexual or creative partnership of any kind, and where you feel there are unresolved issues. 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, VAM, silently on the inhale and exhale, or out loud on the exhale while remaining steady in the asana.
Svadhistana Chakra – The Seat of Creativity
Some believe being creative is doing something that has not been done before. Some believe being creative is expressing that which is the individual self. Some believe being creative is being able to change the way things are. Then there are others who believe being creative comes naturally and effortlessly, from being conscious and from being compassionate.
The more conscious we become of where our energy is, through the practice of asana and meditation, the more we work to move our energy upwards. The more we move our energy upwards by honoring the relationships in our lives, the more we discover that which is honorable, noble, vast, infinite, unconditional, and compassionate in us.
In honoring the relationships in our lives, we can’t help but act from that place in us which is vast, noble, infinite, and compassionate. Once we are unconditional in our relationship with others, what wouldn’t we do for another? What sweet, precious, holy thing would we not do or create for another?
Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras tells us (YS III:55), as the yogi’s consciousness awakens, he or she becomes conscious of the needs of all beings. Taking clear action towards their needs, the yogi then reaches the light of the soul. All actions that flow from consciousness and compassion inevitably come to be poetic, graceful, harmonious, monumental, colorful, and innovative. All actions inevitably and effortlessly come to be creative.
– Sharon Gannon
* For a more complete list of forward bending asanas, see Appendix I, page 247, of the Jivamukti Yoga book.