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CHAKRAS FOR BEGINNERS: Part 1
(Chakras, Nadis, the Torus Field and the Aura)
Greetings dear readers, I hope life is treating you well and I hope you are treating yourself well too. To be honest, I am daunted by the task of writing about such a vast topic. Chakras (being part of the human body) are as old as humans. Human beings have been working with and studying chakras for thousands of years. There are countless books, podcasts, videos and articles on chakras. I have been studying chakras for decades and I find I am only beginning to scratch the surface. It seems the more I learn about them, the more there is to learn.
The farther I walk along the path of life, the more I realize that we humans are much much more than we realize. We are multifaceted and multidimensional beings in the most literal way. As humans we have many layers. We have a spirit body, a mental body, an emotional body and a physical body. - and it doesn’t end there. We are physical, metaphysical and non-physical at the same time. Our bodies are physical, while our mental and emotional bodies are metaphysical and our spirit body is non-physical.
‘We are 10% physical, 10% soul and 80% source” - Kevin Snow
All of these facets meet at the juncture of our body. The interaction of all of these bodies (spirit, mental, emotional and physical) is orchestrated primarily through our chakras. Each of our chakras is quite literally a dimension. Each of these energy centers is a gateway into the deeper layers of self. Within each chakra is an unspoken invitation to become more intimate with ourselves.
Working with the chakras can help us to expand our consciousness, deepen our relationship to our body, connect with our emotions and harness the power of our mind. Developing an intimate relationship with yourself by means of exploring the chakras can literally transform the landscape of your life, and even your destiny. Chakras are much more than a trend or a passing fancy, they are a lifelong study, practice and exploration.
That being said, today’s post and the seven that will follow, will be an offering of a deeper exploration of the chakras. I am by no means an expert, I am merely a perennial student. While these posts will be geared toward a beginner’s mind; I aspire to offer something to new aspirants and well seasoned practitioners alike. May both find something of benefit. Let’s get into it shall we?
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What are Nadis?
It is important to introduce the nadis before talking about chakras. Nadis ( pronounced nah-dees) are pathways or channels through which our life force energy flows. The root word nada means to flow. The literal translation means river, or flowing river. When the flow of energy in these channels is hindered it adversely affects our physical and mental wellbeing.
“The nadis are said to be subtle channels that transmit energy through our existence, similar to how our visible veins carry blood via our circulatory system. “ (1) “Nadis are a network of pranic, mental, and spiritual flows that run through the physical body, forming a matrix. They provide energy to every cell and organ in the body through their extensive network, which transports prana in all directions.” (1)
We literally have thousands of nadis, but the three you will hear about the most are the ida, pingala and sushumna. The sushumna is the channel that runs from the root chakra to the crown chakra. It is located in the very center of your body and hence called the central channel.
“Ida Nadi is situated towards the left side and Pingala Nadi towards the right side of Sushumna Nadi. Ida and Pingala nadis spiral around the Sushumna Nadi resembling the double helix of human DNA. They cross each other at certain points along the spine, forming Chakras.”(2)
“Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadi meet at Triveni point which is situated at Ajna Chakra, midway between the eyebrows. Later Ida Nadi terminates at left nostrils whereas Pingala Nadi terminates at right nostrils.” (2)
So now you can see the importance of introducing the nadis before introducing the chakras. If you wish to delve deeper, I have left you some links directly below. This information is from an article on a website which I introduce more at length in the Resource section at the end of this post.
The Three Main Nadis: Ida, Pingala, Sushumna
Here I want to say a quick word about the distinction between prana and kundalini. I will keep it short and sweet. Prana is the life force that circulates throughout your entire body, while kundalini is a coil of energy (hence called a snake) that lies dormant at the base of the spine until awakened. As it awakens it travels up the spine via the ida, pingala and sushumna (as explained above) to the crown. Many who study and practice Kriya Yoga and Kundalini yoga, do so with the intent of awakening their kundalini out of dormancy so that it may travel up the spine. There is a lot more to this and it is quite complex. Since this is an article for beginners, I will leave it at that. If you wish to learn more about a practice called Cobra Breath (a from of Kriya yoga with intent to raise the kundalini) I have a livestream about it on my YouTube channel which you can access in the Resource section below.
What are Chakras?
“Where Nadis are the pathways of prana – life force, chakras are the distributor and purifier of the Prana.” (3) Chakras are energy centers throughout the body located at the junction points of nadis. The 7 chakras located along the spine are called the Main Chakras.
We also have Minor Chakras and Micro Chakras. Some of these micro chakras directly correlate to acupuncture points. Another word for nadis is meridians. Acupuncture points are located at specific points along the meridians (energy channels) of the body. Each organ has its own meridian.
As previously mentioned, the seven main chakras are energy centers at various junctures of the spine where nadis converge. Each energy center or chakra corresponds to specific organs, endocrine glands, and nerve bundles at each of the seven main junctions of your spinal cord (which stretches from the brain to the lower back). The Sanskrit word chakra translates to the english word wheel. Similar to a wheel, a chakra is a spinning vortex of energy and light. The seven main chakras emit energy from both the front and back of the body. That energy is circulated throughout the body and also in the electromagnetic field surrounding the body called a torus field (named after it’s toroidal shape).
The Torus and the Torus Field
The universe, planets (including Earth), stars (including the Sun), trees, plants and people - even atoms, are all surrounded by something called a toroidal field (so called toroidal for its torus shape). Even the brain and heart have their own torus fields - the latter being much larger than the former. Imagine a sphere with a vortex of empty space in the middle, like a donut or a coreless apple.
“The torus is the fundamental form of balanced energy flow found in sustainable systems at all scales. It is the primary component that enables a seamless fractal embedding of energy flow from micro-atomic to macro-galactic wherein each individual entity has its unique identity while also being connected with all else. In the words of pioneering researcher Arthur Young:
“The self in a toroidal Universe can be both separate and connected with everything else.” ( see original source here.)
Your torus is an electromagnetic field that surrounds your body. The energies, frequencies and vibrations of your chakras and your aura all circulate out from your physical body into this electromagnetic field. People whose energy is very refined due to meditation and the cultivation of their energy, chakras and subtle bodies have the ability to see auras, though they are not normally visible to the naked eye.
The toroidal field though not visible to the naked eye, is able to be measured. This has been the mission of Heartmath Institute for over 25 years. There is a lot more to be said about the torus and the electromagnetic field.
My intention here is to bring it to your attention that you have one around you and many within you as well. I have left a few links in the Resource section for further exploration. You are sure to hear more from me in the future on the torus field, so keep your eyes peeled.
Here I have provided a two minute video so that you have a visual of the torus and toroidal field. It helps to be able to visualize it. A visual aid makes it easier to imagine the toroidal field, so that one can begin to work with. If you do not wish to interrupt your reading, I have also included the same link in the Resources section at the end of the post. Torus Field video.
What is an Aura?
In simple terms, the energy of your chakras circulates through a torus shaped electromagnetic field which surrounds your body. The energy from your chakras which circulate through your torus field is called an aura. In yogic philosophy these layers are called sheaths. These layers correspond to our five bodies or “koshas” in Sanskrit. We will discuss these more in detail in the coming posts.
There is a physicist named Dan Winter who I have mentioned in other posts. He says that our goal should be to make our aura (not our ego - lol) as big as possible. He also says a good way to live is to ask yourself before making any decision ( including what you eat and drink) , “ Will this increase or diminish my aura? ”.
Many people can tend to get hung up on immortality. However, it is consciousness, not the body that we bring with us. Dan Winter says that immortality is learning to bring long term memory with you when you die. One of the best ways to do this is to build and fortify your aura. This is why recently, I wrote a post about hygiene for the Aura. You can find it here.
Note: As I mentioned, different systems name the different layers differently. The visual above is mostly to give you an image of the aura and it’s layers. I suggest that you not attach to the corresponding information in the visual as being concrete. Different systems subscribe to different perceptions, descriptions and explanations. It is best to keep your mind open and explore until you find what resonates with your perception, sense and reality. After many years, I still do not know which interpretation makes the most sense to me.
Wrapping it Up
Many people from around the world study and practice the things we have discussed here. We are all at different stages of the journey. The idea is to grow as you go. The large body of information encompassing all of these subjects has been handed down from teacher to student for millenia. Part of the way that we can engage in generosity and paying it forward is to share that information with others along the way. It is important never to attempt to teach something that is beyond your level of realization. Always remain true and humble. I am just a beginner, so I teach as a beginner.
No matter where you are on your journey, there will always be people who embarked long before you, those who have just begun, and many who have yet to take the first step. The point is to see everyone as equal and to be generous with your knowledge and wisdom - as those who have gone before you have done. May there be a blessing in what has been shared here today and may that blessing touch not only your life, but the lives of all those with whom you share a connection. And so it is!
A VIDEO PLAYLIST ABOUT THE CHAKRAS
My friend and mentor Kevin Snow and I have been working together for six years. In January we began a chakra series on my YouTube channel. We have been covering one chakra per month beginning in January (2023). So far we have covered the first five. You can find the playlist here.
AN ONLINE LIBRARY & RESOURCE CENTER
I recently found an incredible website. It is a valuable resource for learning about chakras, nadis, prana, kundalini, the aura, and the mudras, yoga poses and breathwork (pranayama) that support those systems. If anyone came to me and asked where to begin studying these things, I would send them here. Within each article are links to tools for working with whichever system the article addresses. The layout is well organized and the site is very user friendly, providing lots of tools for self cultivation that don’t cost money. You can find it here.
TORUS FIELD VIDEO (2 minutes)
COBRA BREATH (a.k.a. Kriya Kundalini Pranayam - an internal alchemy practice)
COBRA BREATH, KUNDALINI & CHAKRAS
This video is 15 minutes long. The man speaking is my Cobra Breath teacher, Jeff Boehme. This is his YouTube Channel. I will also leave a link to his Cobra Breath website.