Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 73 - More on Chakras
Date: Thu Jan 8, 2004 0:46pm
Q: As a Healer I have always understood that the Chakras should be in balance and that Yoga is one way to help bring about a balance in these energy centres. I have, however, recently found a supposition that only the Base, Sacral and Solar Plexus chakras should be open and that the Heart, Throat, Brow and Crown chakras should be closed. This seems rather strange to me and I would appreciate some feedback on this matter.
A: If you go to lesson #47, “Pranayama Q&A — Chakras?” you will find a review of the approach taken in these lessons in relation to chakras. It is not a direct supervision of chakras, but allowing them to come into function naturally as pure bliss consciousness and ecstatic experiences come up in practices, particularly in meditation and spinal breathing.
Having said that, all of the practices act either directly or globally on the chakras, but not with attention on the inner mechanics of them. Because of the approach being practices-oriented rather than chakra supervision-oriented, there has not been much consideration on which chakra should open and which should not. The one exception is the crown, which can lead to problems if opened prematurely, as discussed in the recent lesson on kundalini symptoms and remedies. There are many unpleasant stories out there on this. Gopi Krishna’s book, “Kundalini – Evolutionary Energy in Man,” many years ago is one example. It is a good book on how to get enlightened the hard way. So, the crown is one that we don’t want to open too soon.
The supposition you mention about opening the bottom chakras and not the top ones does not seem to be consistent with a balancing of feminine and masculine energies in the body, and not conducive to enlightenment if that is the goal. It certainly leaves out both meditation and spinal breathing, which both have global effects on all the chakras, and the sushumna (spinal nerve) in particular going between the root and the third eye. It also leaves out sambhavi at the third eye, and a boatload of further measures we will be covering here working in the upper body and head. The supposition implies stimulating only the bottom half of the sushumna and chakras, and relying on the energy finding its way upward by itself, with no provision for a downward flow to marry the upward flow. This seems to be a Shakti-only approach. It would certainly avoid the problems at the crown mentioned above. But it avoids, or at least greatly delays, the activation of the entire sushumna. It seems a one-sided approach. Then again it must be working for someone, or why would it be written down? Unless, or course, it is just a theory. Experience is the final arbiter of all theories.
We may be talking about two different things here. These lessons are about facilitating the enlightenment process in the human being, and there are many proactive methods being presented for use in every corner of the body, mind and heart. “Chakra balancing” and different approaches to that may be concerned mainly with restoring health, not going great guns into an enlightenment transformation, which is a much more ambitious course to take. Either way, it seems that balancing feminine and masculine energies would be essential, not to mention bringing up pure bliss consciousness everywhere from within with meditation, which is a prerequisite for both good health and enlightenment.
The goal in these lessons is to avoid theoretical approaches to yoga as much as possible. The approach is experience-based, and therefore, hopefully, practical. In that sense, what you see here is what you get. That is the scientific approach, or, at least, as close to scientific as we can get when dealing with the subjective side of ourselves.
In healing, you are no doubt dealing with experience as well, which may be why you wondered about the supposition about opening lower chakras only. It seems to not make much sense to either one of us.
Click here for descriptions of the seven main chakras in relation to the AYP system.
The guru is in you.