Chakra Hypothesis

I have been doing yoga with Shri Yoga Center founder Shri Sabnis for several years. If you ask him, he will tell you  I’m not a very successful student, but a loyal one though. During every yoga session, there is always a Chakra Invocation (aka Unlocking) exercise towards the end. I have been doing it faithfully for several years, once or twice a week. But more than the exercise, I have been trying to understand the science behind Chakras, the logical aspect of it. 

In my opinion, Yoga or Chakras are not part of any religious rituals, they are not. Yoga and Chakras were invented by someone of Hindu faith and of Indian culture, which does not necessarily mean it is a religious exercise. It is a mind and body exercise, even though some people have added a spiritual element to it but it is not necessary, It’s a personal choice.

Often I feel, like in many ancient Indian rituals, foods, medicines, etc. they are explained like mythological stories, without much logical or scientific explanation to back it up. After reading a few books and articles, I still don’t understand all the symbolic expressions that people have attached to Chakras, they may have a reason but I am not convinced of everything that is said and written about Chakras, their color, and symbolic shape associations. I feel they are created to make it sound more legitimate. Hence I came up with a simpler and more practical explanation for my better understanding. 

Chakras are like lymph nodes in a human body which are part of an internal security network to protect different parts of the body. Think of a police headquarter that maintains security within the city via local police stations, and each police station acts as a local security center. All of them are connected through a hierarchical management system. Similarly, Chakras are energy centers that are virtually connected with each other using their Bluetooth network called Nadis, and our mind is their headquarter. Each Chakra energizes/vitalizes its local region. Interestingly, the Chakra system is designed only for the critical organs in the upper body. The limbs are not considered critical organs. 

My hypothesis is that while lymph nodes and blood supply systems maintain the physical well-being of our organs, Chakras provide a network of a virtual energy system that keeps the vitality of all organs in check and enhances them when invoked properly. Just like the arteries and veins have to be kept clean and healthy with diet and physical exercises, the Nadis of this virtual energy system are cleaned by doing Chakra Yoga through mental exercises. 

Chakras (aka Energy Centers) are given names, regions of the body, and different sounds to invoke them. There are many other rituals associated with Chakras that people prescribe and believe in, depending on who you talk to. Hundreds of books are written by many experts on this topic. But there is no clear evidence if any of those rituals really create additional benefits but people do it because that’s how it is written. I have not found any reliable scientific study to prove the usefulness or health benefits of Chakras. I will probably give you the same answer as any yogi will give you and that is, it cannot be proven, only experienced. 

The way I practice Chakras, includes a unique chanting word for each chakra (Lum, Vum, Rum, Yum, Hum, Ksham), touching a specific finger for each chakra, and the process of imagining and carrying the energy up to the brain. Focusing on each region is important for chakra invocation. Different words for each chakra are mainly to differentiate them verbally. The humming words are created to focus and quiet our minds from external distractions. I don’t think it will be less effective if we do not use the exact same sounds for each chakra. We can use a simple Om sound to drown out external distractions. The effect of touching a specific finger for each chakra is still baffling to me. I don’t think it has any effect but I have nothing to prove it otherwise either. 

I have always believed in the power of our brain, the more we can control it, the more effective and powerful it becomes. So the objective of Chakra exercises is to use a laser-like energy flow between energy centers and our brain. While these energy centers are imaginary but for consistency and ease’s sake, they are imagined to be in the proximity of their controlling region along the spinal cord.   

In a nutshell, there are 7 chakras, 5 of them are associated with 5 elements of this universe based on Hindu philosophy, the other 2 are associated with our mind.  

  1. Muladhara (Root) Chakra is at the bottom end of your body that controls your excretion system that is why it is associated with the earth element. 
  2. Swadhishthan (Sacral) Chakra – just above Muladhara, which is our water purifying system, managing our bladder and kidney, and reproductive organs ovaries and testicles, etc., hence associated with the water element.
  3. Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra is associated with our digestive system, stomach, intestine, all glands, etc.. Since the food is digested (burned) with the help of acids and enzymes, it is associated with the fire element.
  4. Anahata (Heart) Chakra is for the heart and lungs connected to the air element.
  5. Vishuddhi (Throat) Chakra is associated with the upper respiratory system, vocal chord, thyroid glands, neck, etc.   Since our voice is the product of this region, our voice creates sound waves in the space hence it is associated with the space element.
  6. Ajna (third eye) Chakra is associated with the front lobe of our brain Cerebellum, vision, sense of smell, hearing, and sinuses, etc. It is associated with our insight (third eye), perceptions, etc.
  7. Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra is our headquarter, this is where resides our wisdom, universal consciousness, and self-knowledge. This is our identity. 

So the question still is if these chakras can be traced and directly linked to a proven method of improvement. As I said earlier, I have no proof or evidence to show that it has improved anything. Had I not done yoga and chakras, would I have been different intellectually or physically? How do we prove that? So it’s impossible to figure out if they make any difference. There is no nuclear dye test that can show if my intelligence and body functions are better because of unlocking/invoking chakras. But someday we might be able to have a piece of scientific equipment to measure our progress with chakra invocation. 

Then why do I do yoga and chakras? 

  1. First and foremost, I am a very skeptical and curious person which translates to when I am skeptical, I am curious to prove it legit or illegitimate. 
  2. Secondly, I see no harm in doing it, there are no negative side-effects, and who doesn’t want to have a shot at improving their life, improving themselves mentally and physically. If it works, I only gain and if it doesn’t work, I get to claim and argue that this is all BS. 
  3. Thirdly, I have felt my health is better in general because I have not gotten sick in the last few years, not even cold or flu, my sinus issues are greatly reduced or eliminated, however, without any clear evidence of a link to Yoga and Chakra invocation.
  4. I do feel sensations in my head when I do chakras. I can feel some activity in the head while doing chakras. So if nothing else, hopefully, there is more blood supply because of a higher level of activity. 
  5. Lastly, I cannot say with surety that this is all for big money and a fad. There are millions of others who claim to have better health because of yoga and chakras, I have hardly ever seen any yoga chakra practitioner with many health complications. 

So I give both thumbs up to yoga and chakra exercises because it has the possibility of only positive gains.

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