WE ARE ENERGY
When you understand that everything in the universe (including ourselves) is made up of energy and it is vibrating at a certain frequency, this can be quite transformational in terms of how your perception of the world changes. Not least because we know that – to quote Einstein – “energy cannot be created or destroyed it can only be changed from one form to another”.
Modern science also tells us that what we perceive with the human senses is merely a fraction of what actually exists, and we also know that perception differs greatly depending on our individual experiences, learnings, cultures and influences.
Ayurveda and Yogic science (similar, in some ways, to the principles of modern day psychology) sees the human as beyond a limited physical being of biochemical processes or social circumstances, furthermore it does not see the mind as merely a function of the brain. Yogic science takes this concept on a deeper level, in that it recognises that we are (unlike other animals on earth) aware of our consciousness and sees the human soul as pure awareness, consciousness.
This therefore suggests that we have a different purpose in terms of life and evolution than other animals on the planet. These realisations form the basis of yogic science, deep spiritual enquiry, philosophical questioning and help lead us to deeper insight into our existence and purpose in life. Therefore, it is essential that we consider ourselves beyond just the physical in order to truly understand ourselves and heal holistically. Everything is energy including ourselves, we are a soul first and foremost; spiritual beings, having a human (physical) experience on this earth.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration” ~ (Nikola Tesla)
Through yogic science we understand that there are 72,000 energy pathways or “nadis” throughout our bodies. These pathways connect and across over at many different points, but we identify some of the key ones as our main energy centres – referred to as chakras. “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word, literally meaning wheel, and more accurately likened to a spinning vortex of energy. There are 114 chakras within our energy bodies, 108 of which are significant and important. But there are 7 or 8 major ones which are usually generally and widely known and referred to.
The 7 major chakras* within the body – that run along our spine, are our main energy centres where many of these nadis meet.
Central to and connecting these (and from where all the nadis emanate) is the “shushumna nadi” (physical location is aligned with the spinal cord) through which the pingala (male energy – right side – relating to the sun) and ida (female energy – left side – relating to the moon) nadis spiral around in a double helix shape. Understanding these and how we can control open, expand and move energy through these pathways is of great importance if we are to evolve spiritually.
Of the 108 significant chakras – 54 are on the left side of the body and 54 on the right – relating to the ida and pingala nadi’s respectively.
Our chakras, and nadis can help us to understand “dis-ease” and imbalance in our bodies and heal holistically on all levels – physical, mentally and emotionally. In yogic practices, as well as in Reiki, Metaphysical Anatomy and other systems of energy channelling and therapy we are working and focussing on these energy centres and channels to help the balance and flow of energy to promote overall health, wellness, and balance. Indeed this is the aim of Tantra yoga to connect the movement of physical body with breath with prana / life force energy, enhance our understanding and awareness of this energy and enable it to flow freely as it should through our nadi’s and chakras.
The Seven Chakras and the areas of the body and energies to which they correlate:-
The Yogic approach explains that we are made up of 3 bodies; the physical, astral and causal. Within these three bodies are 5 “Koshas” – “sheaths” or “bodies” covering the Atman or Self / Soul – all of which are interrelated. The outer most is the physical body and the inner most the bliss body. When taking a holistic approach it is helpful to understand these layers, how they relate to one another and to treat and honour each as sacred through our own daily practices and self-care.
Ayurveda aims and strives to achieve “sattva guna” – balance purity and truth via meditation yoga and dietary principles. In achieving this balance, it in turn benefits “Annamaya (physical body) kosha”, which once fully nourished brings more sattva (harmony) to the next covering until all koshas (layers) are functioning to the highest potential possible. Attaining this is to live in a state of “perfect bliss and harmony”.
The Five Koshas – Layers to the Self
Annamaya Kosha: The outer layer is that of the physical body – muscles, bones, skin, and organs. Anna literally means food, which is what sustains this level. Practices which nurture and honour our physical body, such as eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, keeping fit and healthy, yoga asana, natural skin care routine keep us connected and are healing factors of this kosha.
Pranamaya Kosha: The next layer is the vital life force/energy body. It is concerned with the breath and the flow of energy through the body. Keeping our energy fields clean and protected, awareness of our own energy, regular pranayama practice and right exercise helps in our connection, balance and nourishment of this layer.
Manomaya Kosha: The next layer is the mind, mental or emotional body. It is related with thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness, relaxation techniques, connection with nature, meditation practice, right sensory impressions and accurate information are beneficial and things to think about in terms of nourishment and healing relating to this kosha.
Vijnanamaya Kosha: is the knowledge or wisdom body. This kosha is comprised of your wisdom, intuition, and perception. Living harmoniously with yourself and your environment, regular meditation and connecting with our intuition, discernment, true knowledge, wisdom are the keys and healing factors to this layer.
Anandamaya Kosha: The innermost is the bliss body. It represents unending joy, love, peace, and complete happiness, and is attained through connection with the Divine. Right relationships, inspiration and devotion are healing factors of this kosha.
Like other elements of the subtle body (such as the chakras), the koshas are not meant to be interpreted literally. Instead, they provide an additional lens through which to view our experiences in the human body. When life is in balance these layers are seamlessly blended. When out of balance, we must identify the kosha that is troubled and take on practices to help it heal and realign into harmony with the others. Exploring and integrating each layer brings us closer to a state of bliss.
I can assist you in connecting with and understanding your own energy, chakras and connecting with your spiritual self within better, by sharing simple practices, tools and techniques for deeper connection, awareness and balancing.
Finding balance is the key to creating an extraordinary life!
This article was published in Focus On Health & Wellbeing Magazine.