Clear the nadis and chacras with pranayama
At pranic level, in their initial stage the practises of pranayama clear up the nadis, energy pathways in the body.
The scriptures say there are over 72.000 nadis or pathways of prana in the pranic body and six main chacras. However, on the average individual, these pathways are blocked and the chacras release energy only partially. In other words, we do not utilise our full potential in terms of energy, mind and consciousness.
Negative conditions we experience, whether physical or mental, are the cause as well as the consequence of the blockages. The state of our nadis and chacras are defined by our samskaras, conditionings carried in seed form, as well as purusharta (self effort) and anurgraha (grace). With the practise of pranayama, these pathways of energy are gradually freed so that prana moves through them smoothly.
The pranic body is fuelled by the chacras. These centers are also called psychic centres, which are subtle, high powered, vortices of energy in the body. The chacras have been discovered by yogis, rishis and sages of various traditions in India and throughout the world, not by physical dissection of the body, but by psychic introspection.
I think this is super fascinating, from spiritual point of view. However, nowadays we can also read texts from scientific point of view. If you want to read more about this, I can recommend you the book ‘ Theories of the chacras’ – bridge to higher conciousness by Dr Hiroshi Motoyama. In this book you can find a detailed analysis of the chakras and nervous systems from scientific point of view.
The six main chacras located among the spinal column are: mooladhara, swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddhi and ajna. In a following article I might dive deeper in the chacra’s. For now I just describe a list of chacras with their location.
Mooladhara / Root chacra
Location: Base of spine, between anus and genitals.
Swadhisthana Chakra/Gondas, ovaries
Location: Slightly below the belly button
Manipura Chakra/ Spleen & Pancreas
Location: one hand-span above the belly button
Anahata Chakra/ Thymus Gland
Location: centre of the chest (in the area of the cardiac plexus).
Vishudda Chakra / Thyroid Gland
Location: base of throat, above where it joins the chest
AjnaChakra /Pituitary Gland
Location: exact center of forehead
Sahasrara / Pineal Gland
Location: whole top of head above the hair
What do yogic texts say about the nadis and what are proper techniques to clean them? Tomorrow I”ll dive into this topic!
Prana and pranayama, Swami Niranjananda Saraswati, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India
Four chapters on freedom, Swami Satyananada saraswati, Yoga publications Trust, Munger, Bihar India
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swami Muktbodhananda, Yoga publications Trust Munger, Bihar, India
Picture chacras: www.spiralup.ca