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: Pure (“Poison Removing”)
- Bija Mantra: HAM
- Color: Blue
- Element: Ether
- Sense: Hearing
- Organs: Thyroid/Vocal Organs/Ears/Skin
- Spine: Cervical
- Outer Body: Throat/Neck
- Asana: Shoulderstand/Plough/Fish
- Key Word: Communication
- Relationship: Yourself (see yourself as a holy being)
Purification of this chakra stimulates the secretion of the elixir soma. Once soma is tasted, we can say what we mean and mean what we say. One’s voice reflects the condition of one’s mind. The inner condition of the mind determines how we see ourselves, our place in the world around us; it defines the roles we play in one another’s lives. Sweet speech, which is uplifting and wise, comes through the voice of those who master the ability to allow the breath (Holy Spirit) to activate their vocal organs. One’s strength and ease of speaking shows the degree of connectedness to the innermost aspect of Self, the eternal Atman. Deep listening is another essential skill that develops with the purification of Vishuddha chakra. Through hearing, knowing arises; through knowing, being results.
Spiritual Exercise: While assuming poses that purify the Vishuddha chakra (i.e., salamba sarvangasana, halasana and matsyasana*), go to the Karmic root of the imbalance and disconnect associated with this level of perception. To do this, focus on yourself. See yourself as a holy being, one who is worthy and able to express elevated qualities that would help to uplift others. Let go of feelings of shyness, nervousness and self-consciousness.
Option #1: As you inhale silently say, “Make me an instrument…” Then exhale and silently say “for Thy will.” Inhale again silently saying, “Not my will” Exhale silently saying “but Thy will be done.”
Option #2: While in salamba sarvangasana, practicing khechari-mudra, visualize a bright sun in your navel. As you inhale, breathe the sun into your throat. Hold it in the throat until it becomes cool; then exhale the coolness into the moon center of the Ajna chakra. Repeat the cycle. Progress into a deeper contemplation and karmic purification incorporating breath and sound by chanting the Bija mantra, HAM, silently on the inhale and exhale, or out-loud on the exhale while remaining in the asana.
* For a more complete list of Vishuddha purifying poses, look under “Inversions,” Appendix I, page 251, of the Jivamukti Yoga book.