The seven chakras and their significance | The Isha Blog

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The seven chakras and their significance | The Isha Blog.

I guess it’s because of the Yoga media hype that so many have heard the word chakras.  This media has given a heightened mystical twist about the chakras and so many students, especially those new to the practice are so fast to ask about how they can know and experience their chakras.   These are the same students who do not regularly show up for classes, are easily distracted and make excuses, fall ill over and over again.  It is so amazing that the media can trick us into believing that we can “own” and master a phenomenon, which does not exist on the physical plane.  Why would someone think they can access such an advanced stage of awareness when they have not yet decided to engage themselves regularly on the physical plane?  To access experiences that grow cumulatively we must invest and dedicate ourselves on a regular basis.  Just like the steam from boiling water evaporates leaving cooler temperatures when the fire dies down, our energies lose their vibration in a similar way.   Only when we seek an authentic hatha yoga with the support and guidance of an experienced teacher will we be able to access the more subtle aspects of awareness.  But hey, with so many distractions that we can easily become engaged in and possibly addicted to…who needs awareness…especially at the cost of having to divide our time or worse divert our time away from our distractions.   Mediocrity is the norm nowadays and with it comes lower vitality until it ebbs away and morphs into illnesses from anxiety, nervous disorders, disease in various forms.  The easy solution for many becomes medication that may give acceptable results along with toxic buildup.  Why is it so hard to choose to make time to create ease, wellness and pleasantness for ourselves? Why is it so easy to ask the hard questions rather than sit and apply the easy practices that create Joy?  Witness the silly monkey brain, jumping all around, never staying still for long.  Witness the carrot and stick behavior we take part in: we can follow our job description in  a routine fashion for days, months, years because it brings the pay check and benefits.  In other areas of our lives we cannot easily follow regimes, why?  Bottom line….doing the Isha Kriya is easy….practicing hatha yoga is easy…..knowing your chakras is hard….but the only way to get there is to make a commitment to staying on the path with your daily practices.   Let’s start where it is easy and possible to gain mastery.  Maybe you may experience the powers from the chakras, maybe not, but you will surely know pleasantness if you stay with your practices.  When we choose to become conscious we choose reality and I choose to keep on the path with my practices.  I wish that you too may choose to stay on your path with your practices daily….OM

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28 responses »

  1. I think it’s very significant that this passage notes that many of the characteristics and parts of yoga have been adopted into the Western World as being fad. With that being said, that is how I know about most of what I do about yoga. I learn things from westernized yoga classes, that are eye opening, yet feel like something is missing. Seeing what Sadhguru has to say about the seven chakras gives me a new and legitimate understanding of yet another dimension of yoga. I feel like all of Sadhguru’s talks have helped me in some way, shape or form.

  2. “Mediocrity is the norm…” One time when I was at a vegan retreat camp when I was little, I remember taking a yoga class. At the beginning of the session the woman teaching the class went through all the different chakras of the body, and explained to us all the various health benefits we could receive when we began to tap into these chakras. However, the point I remember her most strongly trying to get across was that it takes determination, motivation, and a lot of practice. Many people turn to yoga as a quick way to escape. They think perhaps if they can use it as some antibiotic, quick fix, then everything will be perfect. But, as they soon realize, that isn’t the way it works. I was practicing yoga for years before ever even taking your class, but one of the great things about the class was that it reminded me that we are continuously expanding. It is silly of people to think that they can just give it their all in one session and be done. You don’t skip one dessert if you want to lose weight. You don’t go to the gym for five hours once if you want to gain muscle. The world is filled with promises of indulgence nowadays. We are surrounded by taunts of ease, and few people realize the satisfaction that comes with working. It characterizes us and gives us not only a better connection with our physical self, but a more stable mindset.
    This is also what I’ve found when doing the Isha Kriya. I think Sadhguru is inspiring in that he takes his time and lives through his words and actions. He doesn’t rush for the easiest solution, he waits and breathes and experiences. It’s truly mind-expanding when you can sit back and truly consider what it is you want, because the truth is it isn’t power or glory or ease, it ‘s just a chance to live. And through every conscious breath I’ve taken I feel alive.

  3. Sadhguru talks about the seven fundamental chakras and how they have a physical existence along with a spiritual dimension. He also mentions the importance of our awareness on our chakras, he says that the more awareness we bring to our chakras the more dominant we are in those chakras.

  4. After reading about the seven chakras, it makes perfect sense that in order to reach such spiritual levels, hard work, patience and commitment would be required. However, our society has become so obsessed with efficiency and how we can maximize our time. I recently read a study in which people were asked what they would do if they had an extra hour in a day. Most people gave responses along the lines of doing more work, rather than spending time with family or even sleeping! I think this shows how obsessed we are with working and getting things done. We look for the easy way out. We have been trained to do this with GPS navigation systems that give us the most efficient directions, electronic calendars (on iPhones, etc.) to map out every second of our day, and so on…everything is on the go. Thus, it makes sense that people would look for “shortcuts” to align these chakras, by going to yogis or chiropractors who promise a quick fix. If there is anything I have learned over the course of this semester, it is that yoga requires patience and dedication – it is about the journey, and I look forward to continuing my yoga practice beyond this semester.

  5. “Chakra” means “a wheel” or “a circle” that embodies movement from one direction to another.

    Learning about ones Chakras has definitely become popular. I never knew of a Chakra until I reached college and everyone I knew were describing to me how in-tune they were with one of their seven Chakras. Now that I’m in yoga, learning and reading from the beginning about the root of yoga, I must agree that society has made something so personal into a fashion statement. Without completely indulging time and effort, society remains unaware diving head first into their so-called spirituality. Expecting to discover peace within themselves after a day of yoga or a week of attending a chiropractor. After watching a video featuring Sadhguru, I’ve learned that there is actually 114 Chakras, 112 being inside the body and 2 outside energies. Out of the 114, the 7 that are popular within the media are considered the fundamental Chakras. After reading about the 7 I understand the energies more and more, but have yet to identify with the one that relates to me most.

  6. I really enjoyed this as one of our final readings. I actually hadn’t heard the word chakras before reading this post, or if I had it never registered. I feel as though I have felt all of the seven of the chakras described in the post at one point or another (to a certain degree). Currently I feel as though I am entering an age of enlightenment, perhaps my energies are becoming dominant in agna. The description of sahasrar reminded me of when I was younger. I used to spontaneously burst out into this uncontrollable laughter for absolutely no reason, way too often. I’ve gotten that under “control” but I still feel the urge every now and then.

  7. There are 114 chakras within the body, and chakra means wheel, or circle because they embody movement from one dimension to another, even though a chakra is actually a triangle, which i found to be very interesting. And the reading goes into the seven fundamental chakras which all on their own are very profound. And the fact that they have more then one dimension to them, for example the physical and spiritual dimensions. I really connected to the example they gave about craving food and sleep and that one can become completely free from wanting either which is something I need to slowly learn. Because, I feel like I put too much emphasis on getting my full rest and being sure that I eat my full meals because being a biology major I need to make sure I’m fully rested and fed before I can study for long stretches of time…however I feel like I may put too much emphasis on something I can teach my body to not depend on so much. I also found it very interesting that in yoga “falling upward” is fundamental to achieving the right energies.
    The Isha Kriya has become apart of my daily schedule, and I do it as soon as I wake up in the morning and right before I go to sleep. In general I’ve felt a lot more balanced this semester, even my mother made a comment about how I seem a lot more stable, which is a great feeling. I just need to make sure i’m consistent when the semester ends.

  8. What I am getting from this article is that chakras are building blocks to reaching the ultimate ecstasy of sahasrar. Sahasrar seems to be when life and the world around you is nothing but exciting, positive and nothing can bring you down. To reach sahasrar you have to first realize all of the chakras in your body, the most fundamental ones carry the most significant differences, such as achieving intellectual realization. This is the final chakra that is realized and after this people feel more peaceful and stable in their lives. For someone to reach sahasrar after this they either have to jump into it fully or never reach it. The person can not half jump in or partially commit to the jump, they must decide to give all of themselves to be able to achieve sahasrar. There must be full trust and confidence in the yoga teacher and no doubts to the process. Without all of this many will remain in the peace and stability stage. Its unexplainable how someone can jump into a spiritual process. There is no physical jump happening, such as when someone decides to jump out of a plane and skydive, to do this someone must have trust in the instructor as well, but once the jump is over it is over. With sahasrar once you jump you have that feeling of ecstasy and it will remain as long as you continue the practice. To achieve this height in ones body, they must be committed to the practice, doing it everyday and really feeling the effects of it on the body. Its amazing how by practicing yoga you can reach such ecstasy in life. I would love to be able to do this for myself. Step by step the body gets better, life and experiences can only get better by practicing yoga.

    Alexa D

  9. There are 114 major Chakras in our bodies. Chakra means wheel or circle which is interesting and makes sense because a circle is smooth and keeps going around and around and it “embodies movement from one dimension to another”. My energies are totally dominant in muladhara because food and sleep are the most dominant factors in my life. I would love to be free from food and sleep dominating my life. I am going to try to bring awareness so I can be free of this.

    • Best wishes, any time you align your goals and energies and stay focused you will achieve easily. (# 3 & 5 assignments are missing, when completed you will have finished this portion of your course work) OM

  10. This video was very useful to anyone taking yoga. I know when ever you hear anything about yoga you always hear an instructor say “this will help you align your chakras.” Which sounds great but like myself, have no idea what a chakra is. This yoga class is the first I’ve ever taken and to be honest I forgot about the whole lining of the chakras. I feel like when you go into not just yoga but anything with and open mind you’re more willing to be changed in a positive way because you don’t have false expectations. This week I practiced Isha Kriya about 5 times this week. I practice a lot on the train because it’s about an hour each way. I always find myself stressing about not having enough time to get everything done and it just frustrates me. So when I am feeling stressed of overwhelmed I will just breathe. Something so simple but really does help a lot especially now with the semester winding down.

  11. Don’t run before you can walk. Like everything, yoga takes time to master. You need to feel comfortable and at ease before you begin experiencing these “mystical” feelings. And that brings the word patience to the table, which I think is a very important trait in yoga.

  12. Prior to reading the ishafoundation blog, I was under the impression that there were only 7 chakras. I was aware of these and their approximate meanings, but would not claim to know anything more about them beyond what anyone could pick up from a basic chart, much less be able to connect with them without a long, steady dedication to yogic practice. I found the excerpted article to be an interesting read.

    It was also interesting to read about this collective ignorance from a more seasoned perspective. I can agree that society has perhaps cheapened the meaning of the chakras by giving the impression that they are easily accessible. In this modern era of conveniences such as texting, google, fast food, and cosmetic surgery (& the list goes on…), instant gratification has tainted the perceptions of the general populace. I can see how it could be insulting for a yoga teacher to be asked by a new student how to access the chakras. If it were that easy, the practice of yoga would be irrelevant. Patience is a virtue, and surely the only way to truly understand and ultimately access the chakras is to master other physical aspects of yoga practice first, which takes effort and dedication. There is no shortcut to higher consciousness.

    “Mediocrity is the norm nowadays and with it comes lower vitality until it ebbs away and morphs into illnesses from anxiety, nervous disorders, disease in various forms.” While this sentence is harsh, I agree with it and like it.

  13. I had heard the word chakras before in the show Avatar the Last Airbender, so I have always been very interested in it. I’m not sure how correct the information was in that cartoon but I’m glad I have finally learned what the actual chakras are. I liked the part where he said “n terms of language, the roof is higher, and the foundation is lower” but the roof is not superior to the foundation. I think my energies are most dominant in svadhishthana because I have much more interest in the physical world as compared to a more internal world. I also think my energies are probably dominant in anahata as an artist. But I am probably thinking too literally. I really love this idea of “falling upward” and becoming ecstatic. It sounds like a beautiful place to be.

  14. I think this is an appropriate reading as one of our last assignments, reminding us that yoga isn’t something you should go into as a quick fix for all of your problems, but something you should go into with dedication in mind. I’ve heard of the word “chakras” before but never really understood what it meant. I usually heard of it from people who didn’t even practice yoga, but were part of the fad that’s begun in many countries such as America. While it’s a good thing that terminology such as this word has spread, it’s better if people understand the true meaning of it. I knew when I started yoga that I wasn’t going to be an expert on anything we learned, but it has helped me in so many ways, especially with my lower back problems. I would realize whenever I missed a class, that I would have trouble keeping up in the next class I went to. Dedication is important because it helps stay in routine with these kind of things. Though I won’t have an official yoga class to attend next semester, I do plan on practicing much of our routine at home whenever I can to continue bettering myself and my body.

  15. I appreciated Yogi Sadhguru’s analogy of low/high chakras and the foundation/roof of a building. Yogi Sadhguru acknowledges the power of language over perception. It is in these simple misunderstandings that I find the most exploring can be done. The idea that sahasrar is more desirable than muladhara because of a dichotomy in language (high vs. low) is fascinating to me. I think it speaks a lot about human nature. There seems to be a running obsession with ascension– can be found cross culturally in myths, stories, etc. I read the previous post, “An Explanation about the Celebration of Navaratri by Sadhguru,” and I think that a valuable tip in that post can be applied to approaching the chakras as well. I think placing our hands in earth each day will help to alleviate the stress, the desire to ascend, it will quite literally ground us into exploring our foundations. I know personally I am in no state of maturity to “find” my chakras. I’m not even sure that I have a whole desire to. Currently I am in a rather curious state. During class I find myself being able to deepen my breath, to stretch with ease, and this is so curious to me. I am in awe to what my body can seem to do. When I initially started the practice of Isha Kriya I was hesitant. I knew that my attention was short, my patience thin. All these things I “knew,” how strange it was one day I found myself completing the whole of Isha Kriya without once stopping, without once thinking of a tv show! Little by little I gained more confidence. Currently I practice Isha Kriya every morning. I used to rely on cigarettes and coffee to get me through the morning but that is no longer the case. I have not smoked a cigarette in two months and I have coffee twice a week instead of seven. It is not that I use Isha Kriya in place of these things. Isha Kriya became a way for me to realize the state of my breath. When I was smoking my breath was ragged barely palpable. It is gaining strength. Isha Kriya allows me to access the state of my body and from that I can make life style improvements.

  16. I have been taking yoga classes, on and off, for many years but I never thought of chakras. The only thing I knew was that it had to do with the flow of energy and imagined that we created blockages that could be opened by massages. But, basically, if somebody had low energy, s/he would not get much more of it, I thought. How interesting to learn that this tremendous energy that we all have can be moved from a spot upwards! There is so much wisdom in the teachings surrounding yoga, and it is good to learn more than how to get in and out of the pastures – although regularly practicing them is exactly what is recommended for good energy and health.

  17. I am in the habit now to practice Isha Kriya in the mornings rather than before going to bed as I did earlier, after shower before breakfast. First I do just a few pastures, three or four, and then pranayama exercises, and then a short meditation, maximum ten minutes. It is a short time but, still, I feel the benefit of it, the calming effect and sometimes when I feel anxious at night because of the load of work that I have for school now, I can’t wait for the morning to do my Isha Kriya practice.

  18. Thank you for a great semester, I know I wasn’t the most consistent student but from my perspective I learned so much just from doing the practice regularly and listening to your teachings. I agree that our world is rather lost it seems, we are all rushing down the path of instant gratification with no apparent intention of slowing down. I feel it is the job of us, the ones who are open to being consciously awake, to help awaken others, if we don’t spread the word then there can no longer be any spiritual evolution because the masses have started to backpedal. We must try to set everyone we meet on a righteous path, one that leads to love, stability and bliss.

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