Everybody has heard about them. But what are they?? Are they something tangible, like organs or glands – what are they exactly? To clear this out, we will take a quick dive in Indian anatomy.
Our body is made up by the 5 elements: fire, air, space, earth and water. Doshas are combinations of elements. Every point in time there is always one dosha that dominates our existence, depending on which elements are dominant in our bodies – this can change in time. Every dosha controls a specific physical process in our body. Knowing your dominant dosha can help you stay balanced or to re-balance during seasonal changes, changes of lifestyle or diet, during stressy periods,…
The three main doshas are: VATA (=air + space), PITTA (=fire + water) and KAPHA (=water + earth)
Nadis are energy channels that run through our body. They start at the bottom of our spine, at the tailbone. There are three main nadis that run upwards through our body: sushumna, ida and pingala.
This energy channel runs from the tailbone, up through our spine straight to the crown of our head. Sushumna is the carrier of our spiritual awareness and it is through this nadi that the kundalini energy rises, when one awakens kundalini during kundalini yoga practice.
The following two nadis are originating in the same place, our rootchakra in fact, but they each run into a different direction. Ida goes to the left; Pingala goes to the right and they always meet and cross with Sushumna in one of the chakras.
Ida is the energy channel that flows left from the tailbone and ends on the left side before arriving in the sixth chakra, our third eye, which is located between our eyebrows.
Ida manages our mental processes and finds its presence in the left side of our body. Our left side is our feminine side, the lunar side. Ida is connected to our left nostril and our right brain hemisphere.
Pingala is the energy channel that flows to the right, after leaving the tailbone and it will end on the right side before arriving in the sixth chakra, our third eye.
Pingala manages our vital processes and can be found in the right side of our body. Our right side is the masculine side, our solar side. Pingala is connected to our right nostril and the left brain hemisphere.
When one of our nostrils is blocked it can be a sign that one of our energy channels has a blockage. By performing specific pranayama (breathing) exercises, one can free up the blockage in our body and the blocked nostril as well.
As explained earlier, our three energy channels cross in different places in our spine. The spots where this high intensity of energy is united, energy centers are formed. This is what we call our chakras. Chakra means literally ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’ and each of them have a specific function. One in a while, a chakra can get stuck and the energy can not flow properly any more. This can result in emotional, mental or even physical imbalances. With proper pranayama, yoga, meditation or Reiki the obstacles can be removed, so the energy can flow again and heal you from any discomforts that sere caused by the energy block.
ROOT CHAKRA – MULADHARA
The root chakra is located at the bottom of our spine, at the tailbone, where the three nadis originate. This chakra supports us in feeling grounded and safe.
SACRAL CHAKRA – SVADHISTHANA
The second chakra is located just below our navel, in our lower abdomen area. It is connected to our reproduction organs and supports our sexuality and creativity.
SOLAR PLEXUS – MANIPURA
This most powerful chakra resides above the navel, in our core. The solar plexus supports us in our strenght, it it there that our willpower and inner fire reside.
HEART CHAKRA – ANAHATA
Unnecessary to explain where this chakra is located…yes, around our heart. The heart chakra connects us to our feelings of compassion, kindness and love for ourselves, the ones around us, Mother Nature, the entire world and universe.
THROAT CHAKRA – VISHUDDHI
Another chakra which doesn’t need much explanation when it comes to its location in our body: the throat chakra. Our throat chakra is the center of our communication, the pure speech, the truth. It also supports our expression and creativity.
THIRD EYE – AJNA
The third eye is located right in between our eyebrows, the center of our inner sight, our intuition and gut feeling. The third eye sees the things our eyes cannot see. This chakra supports our clear vision, our awareness and wisdom. This is the location where the three nadi’s reunite.
CROWN CHAKRA – SAHASRARA
On the crown of our head, the place that was still open when we were born, is where our seventh and last chakra resides. This chakra stands alone, is separated from the rest and is not connected to our spine. The crown chakra is connected to the universe and the universal energy. Here we feel unity and connection with ourselves, our loved ones, with the entire world, with nature and with the entire universe. This last chakra symbolizes enlightenment.