The Anatomy & Sensory Experiences of Chakras & Qi?

by leggi 3 min read8th Dec 2019No comments

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Epistemic status: I'm a believer these days. But always a sceptic - so please challenge me ...

Based my experiences, a simple explanation for some very old ideas.

Chakras.

"Chakra" is probably the most well-known terminology in English for a concept that appears in many traditions. I remain vague about 'many traditions' (my knowledge is insufficient to comment) and I include no definition for "chakra" but the existence of chakras is a topic that appears to split people (who have an opinion on the topic and inhabit the online world) into two camps - those that talk of chakras as if they are real phenomenon and those that say it sounds like nonsense. Is that a fair assessment?

My First Thoughts.

When I started working with my Base-Line - focusing on activating my pelvic floor and rectus abdominis muscles, section by section from pubic symphysis to chest - I found myself thinking 'red, orange, yellow, green ...' and the concept of chakras came to mind.

Research.

I would classify my starting 'knowledge' as almost zero. I've seen the typical posters (go-ogle images) but I've never been to a yoga class and don't even have another example of where I might encounter chakras.

For illustrative purposes only!!

I went looking for the original source of chakras (internet trawling rather than getting off my ass).

Reading the blurbs from a couple of 'classic' chakra books instinct/rational thought said to me this is not the right path/seems like a load of BS and most information that appears via go-ogle is an echo-chamber - energy centres, meditation, blockages, symbols, colours, petals ... It gets flaky fast.


I did however deem a couple of articles bookmark-worthy at the time:

chakra or cakra has multiple meanings.
The earliest known mention of chakras is found in the later Upanishads, including specifically the Brahma Upanishads and the Yogatattva Upanishads.

I stopped reading at the "seven basic chakras". I had neither the time or need to read.

I skimmed the Wikipedia page and a couple of other sites for information on the Upanishads. I came across: Introduction to The Upanishads (I haven't read them - text starts here).


  • Tantrik studies: Makes some interesting points on how chakras are portrayed and the modern associations with them. A few lines:
... books on the chakras based on sound comprehension of the original Sanskrit sources so far exist only in the academic world.  
There's not just one chakra system in the original tradition, there are many.
The chakra systems are prescriptive, not descriptive.

Assessment.

  • The concept of "chakras" originate in texts called The Upanishads.
  • The original texts are written in Sanskrit a long time ago.
  • "chakra" has multiple meanings.
  • There are many "chakra" systems described.
  • The chakra systems are prescriptive, not descriptive. Use the word 'imagine' before the details...

I can't read Sanskrit so all information available to me is a translation. Translations are subject to interpreter error and whim. Most information available is an echo-chamber from a couple of 'classic' translations. I haven't found a source I would consider reliable.

The modern presentation of 'chakras' appears to be both simplified and elaborated.


Qi, Prana.

Chi, Ki.

Many labels when I was searching for a definition. A feeling of vagueness, something there but not solid. An experience, a sensation?

Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy".
Prana - breath, vital force forming part of any living entity.

(I've no more words to pad this bit out...)


My Rationale on Chakras and Qi.

I believe these concepts are all trying to describe the sensory experience of conscious proprioception and the strength and power of the body when the 'main muscles of movement' are fully engaged.

Chakras, Qi etc. - words trying to guide us in how to use the body correctly.

Describing/prescribing the experience of the body functioning at optimal, dynamically balanced and aligned. Appropriate presentations for their time, not details to be memorised and regurgitated.

When the body is balanced and free of tension, the mind is quieter/calmer/clearer. Enlightenment is now the word I want to use. I feel better than I ever have - more balanced, connected, relaxed.

Something to be felt to be understood.

All you need to start doing:
Breathing with your Base-Line
The fundamental step to work on the connection between body and mind, everything stems from Base-Line.

I would be very interested to compare the original words in the Upanishads to the main muscles of movement and all associated connective tissues (bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, aponeuroses ... )

Prescriptions of chakras = mind's awareness of our anatomy = visualising shapes and attachments of the relevant anatomy. (Easy intro. to the anatomy).

Me having a 'guess' at what's what (a work in progress but the details aren't important, it's the experience that counts:

Pelvic floor muscles = "root chakra". The pelvic floor a crescent on midline. The muscles are 'petals'.

The "7 chakra system" - working up the rectus abdominis and trapezius muscles.

The panels of muscle of each rectus abdominis separated by the tendinous intersections and linea alba. Attaching to the ribs, linking to the trapezius muscles.

The trapezii six functional sections - triangles and horizontal strips. The shape of attachments to the skull via a lamina of connective tissue.

The linea alba and nuchal & supraspinous ligaments a thin line from head to tail that should align.

I imagine a strong, flexible ribbon that runs through the body from pubic symphysis of the pelvis to external occipital protuberance at the back of the skull.

The aponeuroses that sandwich the muscular tissue of each rectus femoris.

Energy.

How would I describe the sensory experience of proprioception - the awareness of the position, motion and balance of my body? (An introduction to my experiences.)

I've gone with 'sparkles' but 'energy' seems a reasonable description of what I feel and visualise about the position and condition of my body when working from Base-Line. Seeing my anatomy in lights and colours, a constant flow, a buzz ...

- - --

We are electro-chemical beings, a constant movement of ions and electrons.

{A thought experiment: Think of electrons as positive, protons as negative. Does it change your perspective at all? }

Somewhere along the line I started to think: proton-electron ~ yin-yang. Random maybe but I feel the need to include the comment here.

image text

Now with my returning full range of movement I can move my head and hips picturing this configuration. Smooth and unrestricted through a full range of movement, changing direction in any position. An easy flow of a balanced body.

Blockages In Energy.

I believe "blockages in energy" are physical restrictions on the body.

Physical restrictions reduce range of movement and affect the sensory feedback, leaving 'blank spaces' and misaligned signals on the body map in the mind. Releasing the restrictions allows the sparkles to be experienced - the 'energy' to flow.

-- - -

Focus on your Base-Line muscles.

See what you experience.

It's that simple - if you give it time and thought.

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