So I love love love the idea of chakras but in the back of my mind I always had this niggling feeling of ‘Really? You believe in this hocus pocus?’. Despite my rational mind I somehow did. When I started to dig a little deeper it turns out chakras are highly based around biology and scientific studies. So it turns out (once again) that yogis thousands of years ago discovered hugely complex science by simply listening to their bodies and minds.
So What are Chakras?
‘Chakra’ literally translates as ‘wheel’ and it is a point where energy gathers in the body. Each chakra resonates at a different frequency and is related to different bodily functions and emotions. The idea of energy flow in the body is common to many traditions, most famously the system of flowing prana (Yogic beliefs) and chi (Chinese tradition).
We have 7 main chakras which should ideally lie on the spinal cord if they are properly balanced. If we look at a diagram of where the chakras lie and our main glands we see something interesting:
The chakras relate to the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) which connects the spinal and brain to the rest of the body. In particular the autonomic nervous system which controls automatic processes such as digestion, heart rate and breathing. At the points where our chakras lie we find lots of nerves leading to glands which secrete hormones. The health of our glands is so important to ensure a healthy body and mind. In fact aging is directly related to reduced hormone secretion!
We have a fundamental nerve called the vagus nerve which stimulates all these hormone productions and is responsible for switching off our ‘fight and flight’ response which leads to stress. In today’s high stress lifestyle a healthy vagus nerve is important to counteract stress and depression. It connects to the spine 3 times which is the same as the number of times the ancient kundalini wraps around the spine!
The kundalini is a likened to a snake which travels up through the chakras if there are no blockages in the energy pathway to the top of the head where we experience enlightenment. At the top of the head is our pineal gland which releases the spirit molecule DMT. DMT has been known to stimulate out-of-body experiences and psychic abilities!
Many studies have shown the vagus nerve stimulation is linked to better mental and physical health. To stimulate the vagus nerve breathing excercises (pranayama), meditation and exercise (asana) are recommended. There we have it – yoga!
Dr Korotkov is a russian optics professor who has produced a chakra measuring device! There have been over 1000 clinical studies done in Russian showing stronger and more aligned chakras in individuals after yoga has been practiced!
So here we have solid biological equivalents of nerves and glands to compare with the chakra system. It kind of makes sense now that if you do physical exercises which open the chest, the thymus gland performs better. The thymus gland is actively involved with processing emotions such as love and loss. If sadness/depression lingers the thymus gland is probably not in good working order. We can look at this as an out of balance heart chakra which for hundreds of years has been associated with love and sadness!
How to get in tune with your Chakras
Where exactly are they and what emotions are the linked with?
- Root Chakra – perineum for men, cervix for women
- Sacral Chakra – two finger widths higher than the root chakra
sexual energy, creativity
- Solar Plexus Chakra – two fingers width below the navel
power, self confidence
- Heart Chakra – heart centre
- Throat Chakra – throat
- Third Eye Chakra – between the eyebrows
- Crown Chakra – the very top of the head
Try and imagine a ball of light at the root chakra and then slowly move up to the next chakra watching the ball of light. When you get to the crown chakra imagine the ball above your head and then start back down at the root chakra. As you get more comfortable with the exercise you can ‘flow’ more smoothly between them. You may experience emotions at some chakras or blissful feelings. I personally find this a very energising type of meditation. It’s my favourite! As you become more comfortable with the excercise you can imagine the ball of light the colours of the specific chakra and you can chant it’s associated sound (eg. Lam, Ram, Aum …) look these up or message me for more details.
A Note on Science
So I used to study Physics (I quit, but that’s another story) and most of my friends are very rational thinkers, if it can’t be proven using maths and/or an experiment with proper measurements it simply doesn’t exist. Ok, I get it, I was this person too until recently. However, measurements and maths only gets us so far. There are undoubtedly things that happen to us which we cannot explain. Ever been thinking of someone you haven’t seen in months only to find them ringing you? Plus, the stuff maths and experiments tell us is true is so insanely crazy when we really think about them, then why is it crazier to believe in something we feel in our guts is right? If something as crazy as massless volumeless particles exist why can’t chakras, the soul or god exist?
R,.Joishi, Power Thoughts Meditation Club <http://www.powerthoughtsmeditationclub.com/the-chakras/> [acessed 19th October 2016].
Jakovleva E, Korotkov K., Electrophotonic Analysis in Medicine. GDV Bioelectrography research. 2013. 160 p. Amazon.com.