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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Aligning and Clearing the Chakras

While at the yoga conference in Colorado I had the pleasure of attending a class taught by Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute in Oakland, California. One of the things he taught us, which made an impression on me,  was how to breathe in the sound of a mantra for aligning and clearing the chakras.

As you probably know there are seven chakras in the body that correspond closely to the seven major nerve plexus along the spine. To do this exercise there needs to be a chanter and someone doing the breathing. The teacher does the chanting (mantra) and the breather receives it. The mantra should be short and done six times for each chakra. An example of a mantra is below:

Om namahi
Om namahi om
Om namahi om om
Om namahi om
Om namahi

The student or the one receiving the mantra should sit with the spine straight, shoulders relaxed and the eyes closed. The idea is to listen to the mantra as you inhale and imagine the energy of the mantra coming into the head, down the spine and to the designated chakra. The chakra becomes energized and aligned by the sound of the mantra.

When the chanter chants, the student slowly inhales. The inhalation should take about four seconds; the time it takes to sing the mantra. At the end of the inhalation the breath is held for 3-4 seconds to allow the energy of the mantra to swirl around and become integrated the chakra. And then the breath is slowly released. Exhalation is done in silence and should take about five seconds. As the breath is relaeased the energy goes up the astral tube of the body (sushumna) and out the top of the head.

The six sounds of the mantra are done for each chakra, beginning with the base chakra. For example, to begin the series of chants, the chanter would sing "Om namahi" as the student inhales slowly down to the first (base) chakra - hold the breath for 3-4 seconds - slowly breath out and up sushumna. The chanter would then sing "Om namahi om" as the student inhales again down to the first chakra. So, the breathing is down six times for each chakra, inhaling with the mantra and exhaling in silence.

I have added a video for those of you who would like to try this exercise.


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