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The Spiritual Anatomy of Yoga - Sahasrara

“Wherever you go, you carry your light with you”

~ Yogi Ashokananda, my Beloved Teacher

Over the last few weeks, we have shared a journey of exploration through history, psychology, philosophy and science - a journey that, within the yogic tradition, culminates in the experience of liberation from falsehood.

Whilst the journey of the self towards the Self is one that requires discipline, focus and a sense of determination, it is a journey that must be undertaken with lightness and ease, and with the understanding that the journey itself is far more important than the arrival.

Sahasrara - The Crown Chakra

The Science of Yoga is far more than the physical postures we associate with the practice, or indeed any of the component parts that make up the path of yoga - it is cumulative in its application and the effects upon the breath, the body and the conscious mind are undoubtedly transformative.

It is a ‘way of liberation’ that has and continues to stand the test of time over thousands of years of human history and examination - it is for this reason I often describe yoga as ‘the eternal science’, because while the temporal stresses and strains of life change change across generations, the fundamental questions of who we are remain the same.

When examining the concept of ‘spiritual anatomy’ from within the context of yoga and its practices, it is important to examine as many of the different interpretations available as possible and to ensure that one does not take them literally - indeed, literalism is usually the lowest form of understanding that an individual can have on a subject and it is far better for the serious student of such matters to cultivate an open mind and one that veers more towards to the subtle and nuanced than the rigid and fixed.

Spiritual anatomy is not the physical anatomy - whilst different chakras and nadis channels correspond to different areas of the body, this is not to say they when we examine the physical we will find the spiritual; I have heard many, many times from those on a spiritual path that a sore throat, for example, indicates a blocked Vishuddha or Throat Chakra… perhaps it does, but equally likely is that one just has a sore throat.

The spiritual journey is primarily a journey of self-inquiry, self-understanding and self-realisation - the journey begins with the self and arrives at the Self.

There is little to do with the external and everything to do with the internal.

The deeply personal and unique journey that we make towards liberation, should this be our inclination, is not one that should be preached or exalted as the only way in which the journey should be made; each one of us is a unique piece of the cosmic expression of Life - we are different in that expression but we are all connected through the realisation of our oneness.

The seventh of the chakras is called ‘Sahasrara’ or the Crown Chakra.

Energetically found 3-4cms above the crown of the head, in anatomical correspondence with the location of coronal and sagittal sutures, the characteristic of this chakra are are follows:

Associated Colour: White (sometimes Magenta or Ultraviolet)

Governs: The human connection to the Supreme Consciousness and the experience of ‘nirvikalpa samadhi’ aka enlightenment.

Associated Element: All - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Light, Ether

Mantra: Silence

The ‘Sahasrara’ chakra is the only chakra to have the description of being external to the physical body and, in some earlier traditions, is not actually considered to be a chakra at all.

Said to open or be fully activated only when the lower six chakras are balanced and energetically aligned with the Shiva and Shakti energies having met within the ‘Ajna’ chakra, ‘Sahasrara’ is symbolically represented as a thousand-petalled lotus flower, the flowering of which represents the flowering of truth, supreme wisdom, compassion and cosmic consciousness within the yogi.

And whilst we may know that getting any lotus to flower is a task requiring skill, knowledge and understanding, there is no more beautiful sight to behold than that of its shimmering, almost iridescent bloom - for our consciousness, there is simply no more perfect symbol of its beauty.

Matt ~ The Bearded Naked Yogi

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