Can yogic asana really balance chakras?
Perhaps, but here’s a thought—you don’t have to believe in such philosophies as yoga, energy bodies or third eyes to benefit from what chakras have to offer.
There’s another way of thinking about chakras which can help even the staunchest atheist or the uncommitted agnostic benefit greatly from what they represent.
Here’s the crux — we could think of chakras more as a bunch of psychological archetypes rather than metaphysical structures. From that point of view, chakras are a set of beliefs that we hold about some fundamental aspects of our being. These aspects can be broken down into the following archetypal belief structures:
- Will power
- Relationship with self
- Relationship with other
- Mental capacity
Over time—perhaps empirically or divinely—it doesn’t really matter which — some very astute masters worked out that if as human beings, we can harbor healthy and balanced beliefs about ourselves in these archetypal areas, we’d be much freer in who we are—and less likely to suffer from internal angst.
When free in that sense, we find ourselves better placed in the world to focus on the process of creating experiences without tarnished outcomes. In general, the tarnished outcomes of our experiences always depend on how we see ourselves, what we believe about the world and so on. In other words, they tend to be related to one of or a combination of the list above.
Therefore, to achieve a healthy balance in these belief pillars (chakras) leaves us without anxiety and at complete ease, instead of dis-ease; whose cause is an identity struggle.
Balanced chakras or healthy beliefs leaves us free to express creative ideas in the world in an unbiased and pure manner—much in the same way as a prism combines the spectrum of light, giving out pure white light—which in a sense is balanced and complete light.
It might help us to view the chakra system then as a guiding structure around which we can assess our various beliefs about who and what we are.
You can’t drive a car until you have passed a driving test, and to pass the test you must demonstrate that you have understood the rules of the road—or you risk causing crashes. In the case of creative experience, a ‘crash’ would be undesired creations which are influenced by poor knowledge of our individual psychological highway code.
Here comes the metaphysical bit
Alight here if you’re not that way inclined, but remember, you can still benefit from what chakras represent purely by considering them as signposts to self-analysis and self-improvement.
For those of us who are inclined to believe in more metaphysical ideas, we’ll be no strangers to the idea that fundamentally, we are not our bodies. We are the idea of life expressed as livingness. We are expressions of what it means to be, hence we’ve called ourselves human beings, that is, we are being to be. Our bodies are effects which attempt to express the experience of to be.
Because of our non-physical identity, no problem—for wanting a better word—can be fully resolved at the effect (or physical) end. Therefore, asana (yogic postures) alone cannot be expected to balance our chakras—only a change in the core beliefs we hold.
You’ll notice that asana is usually in conjunction with pranayama (breath work) and meditation. This is something very different from doing purely asana. It reaches a deeper non-physical aspect—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves because we’ll cover this in another blog.
For now, it is enough to understand that the masters of old observed all aspects of mind and came up with certain groupings of beliefs. These belief groupings or chakras, when in balance, free our being to focus fully on creating and experiencing—rather than a pre-occupation with the identity crises which mistakes the body for the self.
So, for us spiritual folk also, we can view chakras as signposts to self-analysis and self-realization. Whether or not we fully comprehend chakras as energetic bodily centers shouldn’t stop us from benefiting from their efficacy.
The purpose of this article is not to change your mind. It’s to encourage you to contemplate the big ideas you’ve come across on your spiritual journey—so that you can debate them and find your own meaning in them. I cover more subjects in my new book The Pocket Book of Little Big Things. Subjects like God, energy, sex and death are discussed much in the same approach to encourage your own inner contemplation.
But before you go there’s something else you should know
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