If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. – Eckhart Tolle
a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
A philosophical tradition from the Middle Ages practised throughout Asia including India and China. Alchemy aims to purify, mature and perfect. In history, some prevalent intentions of alchemy were to transmute base metals like lead into noble metals like gold. And of course, we cannot forget the creation of the elixir of immortality too!
In today’s post, I am sharing with you some of the traditional practices we undertake to create chakra alchemy. First I will touch on each of the chakras, then will move onto the energy channels of the body and, finally, I will share with you some practices you can use to purify and unify.
Let’s begin with the chakras. Each of us has seven chakras or ‘energy centres’, starting from the bottom of our spine and ending just above our head.
It might help you to think of your chakras as points within the electrical system of your body. They allow energy to flow and can be blocked when things are out of alignment, physically, energetically, emotionally and spiritually.
Your first chakra is the Root or Muladhara chakra. It is located at the base of your spine and represents our basic needs (food, money), stability and security. A clear muladhara chakra will have us feeling safe and without fear.
The second chakra is the Sacral or Svadhisthana chakra. It is located in our lower abdomen, between your pubic bone and navel centre. Svadhisthana chakra represents our creativity, pleasure and sexuality. An open sacral chakra will invite abundance, connection and well-being.
The third chakra is the Solar Plexus or Manipura chakra. Manipura chakra is located in our upper abdomen, between the navel centre and the breastbone. This chakra is a source of our power. It represents self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem. A clear solar plexus chakra will fill us with power from within.
The fourth chakra is the Heart or Anahata chakra, located in the centre of our chest. As the middle chakra, it unites the three lower chakras with the three upper chakras. Our heart chakra is concerned with our ability to give and receive love. It represents joy and inner peace. It is a source of love and connection.
The fifth chakra is the Throat or Vissudha chakra and represents communication. It is located in the throat and can affect our ability to express ourselves or speak our truth. When our throat chakra is clear we can say what we mean and do what we say, we are living authentically, and our thoughts, words and actions are congruent.
The sixth chakra is the Third Eye or Ajna chakra and is located in the middle of our forehead, between our eyes. Ajna chakra represents our ability to see clearly and focus. An open third eye chakra will allow us to see the big picture, hone our intuition and see beyond our emotions.
The seventh chakra is our Crown or Sahasrara chakra. It can also be translated as the “thousand petal lotus” chakra. It is located just above our head and represents enlightenment and spiritual connection to our highest selves and our higher power. An open crown chakra invites divine wisdom, intelligence and original thought.
In yoga we call the energy channels of our bodies ‘nadis’, but you might recognise the term ‘meridians’ from Chinese medicine. They’re the same thing!
We have three main energy lines:
- Feminine energy line
- Left nostril
- Right Hemisphere of Brain
- Left side of Body
- Masculine energy line
- Right nostril
- Left Hemisphere of Brain
- Right side of Body
- Central energy line, most important
The Shiva Shakti dance
Shiva and Shakti were initially one form of Consciousness and Energy that split itself to become the two poles of duality that created the universe and all things in it.
In their united state Shiva and Shakti are indistinguishable and are called various things in different spiritual traditions, ‘The Nameless’ in Taoist, ‘Brahman’ in Yoga, ‘The Absolute’ in Buddhism.
When Shiva and Shakti split is when dualism is born, it manifests in many forms:
So what is Non Dualism? It is when both the object and the seer are the same. It is union. It is affinity. It is the coming together.
Shiva and Shakti divide themselves into various forms of consciousness and energy that keep our bodies alive and our minds active.
These derivatives of Shiva-prana and Kundalini-shakti manifest as the life force that the yogis call prana, and the ancient Taoists called chi.
Kundalini-shakti resides at the first and second chakra, and Shiva-prana resides at the sixth chakra.
So how can we put this knowledge into practice? I have a handful of powerful practices to unify, purify and perform chakra alchemy to share with you.
Dharana and Dhyana Chakra Meditation
Dharana is the principle of concentration and Dhyana is meditation (when you become one with your point of concentration). Practice these principles by focussing on a particular chakra. You can visualise a spinning wheel or colour, or perhaps a pulsing light where that chakra resides. Visualise a brightening and intensifying of the colour or glow, eventually merging with your point of concentration.
Sight – Nyasa, Light
Sound – Nada
Touch – Energy
As you now know, Sushumna Nadi is our central energy channel. To purify this channel, you may start with nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) to overcome any dominance between ida and pingala nadis. Once you have done this, it may be time to begin merging these two streams into one single, central flow of breath.
Nyasa is the methodical movement of prana and shakti up and down the chakras. You can use bija mantras to bring your focus to each of your chakras. The mantras are (from Root Chakra upwards) Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Aum and Silent Aum)
Nada yoga is the union with self through music/sound. The sounds used may be a buzzing, flute, tiny bells, resonating bell, waves or a combination of all.