Psychic Physiology of Yoga

by April 28, 2013 0 comments

Chakras, in Hindu metaphysical tradition and other belief systems, are centres of Prāṇa, life force, or vital energy. Chakras correspond to vital points in the physical body i.e. major plexuses of arteries, veins and nerves. Texts and teachings present different numbers of chakras.

Their name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning".

The concept of chakra features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.

The following features are common:

  1. They form part of the body, along with the breath channels, or nadis, and the winds (vayus).
  2. They are located along the central channel (sushumna/avadhūtī).
  3. Two side channels cross the center channel at the location of the chakras.
  4. They possess a number of 'petals' or 'spokes'.
  5. They are generally associated with a mantra seed-syllable, and often with a variety of colours and deities.

Nāḍi (literally "river", here in the sense "tube, pipe") are the channels through which, in traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science, the energies of the subtle body are said to flow. They connect at special points of intensity called chakras.

The word "nadis" can actually be correctly pronounced as "naRdi", with R+d loosely pronounced together (the effort is made by the tip of the tongue, it curls up, pointing backwards, then springs forward to lay flat). In normal biological reference, a nadi can be translated into "nerve" in English. However, in yogic, and specifically in Kundalini Yoga reference, a nadi can be thought of as a channel (not an anatomical structure). In regard to Kundalini Yoga, there are three of these nadis: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. Ida (spoken "iRda") lies to the left of the spine, whereas pingala is to the right side of the spine, mirroring the ida. Sushumna runs along the spinal cord in the center, through the seven chakras - Mooladhaar at the base, and Sahasrar at the top (or crown)of the head. It is at the base of this sushumna where the Kundalini lies coiled in three and a half coils, in a dormant or sleeping state.

In the context of Indian classical music, Swara means a note in the octave. The seven basic swaras of the scale are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad, and are shortened to Sa, Ri (Carnatic) or Re (Hindustani), Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni and written S, R, G, M, P, D, N. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam (the word is an acronym of the consonants of the first four swaras). Sargam is the Indian equivalent to solfege, a technique for the teaching of sight-singing. The tone Sa is not associated with any particular pitch. As in Western moveable-Do solfège, Sa refers to the tonic of a piece or scale rather than to any particular pitch.

_____________ By Dr. Viney Pushkarna, PRANA Health


Writers:- Rajan Pushkarna, Viney Pushkarna, Pooja Pushkarna, Vibudhah Office

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