Despite its perception of being simply coffee talk for new-agey, pretentious, higher than thou folk - the Chakras can be a very useful, pragmatic tool when it comes to navigating and observing the links between your thoughts, emotions, and your body.
What is the Chakra System?
A chakra system isn’t a material thing, or a concept used in western medicine - it’s an energetic mapping of the body. Much like the equator, the chakras can be used as a tool to cultivate subtler observations between the body and internal experience.
For instance, on different sides equator you might notice subtle differences. Water drains in different directions and there are shifts in weather compared to either the northern or southern side. The equator is not an actual thing that you can go see like a mountain or the CN Tower - it’s a concept based on observations used to navigate the earth. The chakras could be said to be a similar concept based on observations used to navigate at the very least our yoga practice.
Why is the Chakra System Useful?
The chakra system is similar in that it has been used as a framework of sorts to different energies and patterns held in the body and mind. Your body is full of energy. You eat food to fuel your body. Your brain and heart contain electricity that can be measured. Your emotions will allow you to feel heat in different places (ever get red faced mad before?). A stressful thought can bring about a whole host of emotional and physical sensations. These experiences can create different energetic experiences in your body that sometimes manifest as changes in facial expression and body language as a result of muscular contraction and tension. We all experience people’s energy on a day to day basis in addition to our own (i.e. “the tension was so thick in the room you could cut it with a knife”). The Chakra system can be a tool to common patterns and subsequently help us notice more subtle shifts in our energy.
How do the Chakras Help A Yoga Practice?
Over the tradition of yoga and its migration to the west, Chakra concepts have been explored and passed along from gurus allowing students to gain insights into these subtler internal experiences to reduce tensions in both body and mind.
In my own personal practice, I’ve found the Chakra experience to be an excellent framework for experiencing a more integrated approach to yoga and meditation by providing me with a useful framework for self-observation.
Chakras as a part of a yoga practice can be an extremely useful tool for connecting how your thoughts, emotions are expressed in your body and provide a more integrated experience between your body, emotions and mind both on and off the mat.
Want to learn more? Register for Lara's workshop happening on February 3 at 2:00 PM at Queen Street West.Register Here