My Theme: Yoga. For those of you who don't know, I've been working on obtaining my yoga teacher's certification for the past year and am just a little over a month from graduating with my RYT200. As such, I figure there's no better way to spend this month than teaching you folks some of what I've learned.
Today I'll be sharing a little information about the Chakras and the subtle body system. Many religions/ideologies/etc discuss energy as an extension of the physical body. In the Chinese culture it's referred to as "Qi", in Korea it's called "gi", in Japan it's "ki" and in India it's "prana" which literally means breath. Despite this simple translation the principles of prana are far more intricate.
In a nutshell, prana is an energy field that your body produces which sustains it in its natural surroundings. In reiki when we do energy work we are basically adjusting prana. (i.e. trying to assist the subtle body in rebalancing in order to alleviate both physical and mental distress.)
This energy travels through the body through several channels, the primary of which lie directly in line with one's spinal column. Along this pathway are 7 core chakras (translated as "wheel"s) through which one's energy is directed. The wheel is spinning at a constant rate to allow energy to enter and exit in balance. When these wheels start spinning in an unbalanced way one's energy becomes unbalanced and dis-ease is a result.
Each of the 7 core chakras have a specific specialty- a part of one's overall emotional and spiritual identity- and they develop along the same route as one's psychological identity (think developmental theory circa Erickson and Piaget).
Yoga is one of several mechanisms through which one can re-balance their chakras (the others including reiki, meditation, nutritional and physical exercises) By identifying where one's chakral deficiencies and excesses are located you can design a practice that will enhance the deficient chakras and diminish the excessive ones, thus realigning the subtle body with the physical and emotional one.
Somewhat needless to say, this is a huge topic beyond the scope of today's post but hopefully you have at least a general idea as to what a chakra is and how it's involved in yoga.