The Contradiction Between the Yogic Approach to Chakras and New Age Myths

The chakras have come to be a prominent subject in New Age beliefs, alternate medication, as well as yoga exercises, as has kundalini, the power which stimulates them. There is an expanding void between exactly how the chakras are seen today and how they are related to in typical yogic literary works. In today’s world using your chakras is limited to physical recovery from ailments, and not for what their original purpose is supposed to be.

Chakras have suffered the same fate as Yoga itself. The original meaning of Yoga refers to the removal of the self-destructive dual nature of the human mind. But in this age, people know yoga only as a few yogic postures to reduce weight and improve health. These yogic postures were originally meant to be used to achieve the state of Yoga and thus open your chakras. According to Hindu scriptures chakra translates to ‘wheel’ and refers to seven energy centers in the astral form, which is the spiritual life energy of a human body. But in the new age Chakras, just like Yoga, have been limited to its corporal links which have hidden their true purpose.

Confusing Chakra Yoga With Healing

In today’s age, people are concerned that imbalances or blockages of Chakras cause ailments, so it is important to rectify the impacted Chakra. The yogic path is directed at the proper functioning of chakras to facilitate the attainment of self-awareness and enlightenment. The first step towards that is self-meditation and practice of yoga mantras. External aids can only help after that.

According to the ancient scriptures, the chakras lie dormant in the normal human state. That does not necessarily mean that they cause ill effects on human health. The dormant chakras cause a lack of self-knowledge and not illness. This ignorance results in living under the false impression that the world around us is the true reality whereas a person’s true reality resides inside them. The true purpose of opening and using your chakras are not limited to improving your quality of life as you know it, but to go past the temporary human form and seek the eternal elixir of the soul. 

Chakras are usually characterized as a system connected to our spinal cord which is our inner channel or Sushumna Nadi. They start at the base of the spine and go up along it till the top of the head residing in seven distinct places. They are said to govern our bodily functions such as our metabolism, breathing, and reproduction. According to ancient yoga, these are merely the secondary functions of the chakras.

In reality, the chakras correspond to another form of human life which is not tangible in the physical sense of the matter. It exists in another plane of reality which we can normally access in our dreams or after our death. This form is always active parallel to the physical human form, and yet the connection between the two is obscure. The chakras are these connections or openings through which we can gain access to our higher form if and when we can attain an enhanced state of awareness and spiritual rebirth. 

Awaken Your Kundalini

If the chakras are to be opened to fulfill their true purpose, you need to access a more powerful form of energy than what your normal body can produce. This form of energy is called Kundalini or ‘Serpent power’, and it lies within the human body in a dormant state. Kundalini is not a form of tangible power, not can it be summoned or manipulated by bodily control. Kundalini is a form of unadulterated energy which can be mustered with concentrated self-awareness and higher consciousness. This energy is not separate from your own consciousness but can only be manifested when you can free your consciousness from the chains of regular thoughts. Only when you direct your mind in a single direction free of any otherworldly thoughts, you can direct the power of your mind to awaken your Kundalini. 

To awaken your Kundalini, you must be able to channel your life force or Prana to enter the Sushumna Nadi. This can only happen when you release your Prana from the preoccupations of the worldly thought process. That is why ancient scriptures state that you need to attain a state of Samadhi where you can move past your everyday consciousness in order to arouse your Kundalini and open your chakras. In the initial periods, this can be attempted by going into a state of trance where you lose consciousness of your physical body. Later it becomes natural to be able to achieve the state even when you are wide awake, but at that point in time, you will have a very different experience with your individuality and existence.