This article continues on from the Introduction to the Practise of Asanas
The secret of ASANAS
The subtle body has seven principal energy centers and many secondary ones. When a yogi performs an asana, the specific configuration taken by the force centers (CHAKRAS) creates a connection to the corresponding subtle energies from the Universe through the process of RESONANCE.
“Resonance” comes from the Latin “resonare”, which means to resound, to vibrate. The process of resonance comprises two systems, in our case the human being and the “macrocosm” or universe, which have a common vibration frequency. The asana helps the yogi “tune in” one of the infinite spheres of energy of the macrocosm. In order to achieve this process of resonance the yogi mentally evokes the desired effect while performing the asana. The practice of asanas is at least as much a mental practice as it is a physical practice. Let’s take for example Bhujanghasana, the Cobra Pose. When a yogi performs this pose all he has to think is “pure love” and concentrate on his heart chakra. This is the secret key of Bhujanghasana, and if it is used properly it will induce resonance between the yogi’s heart chakra (anahata chakra) and the infinite macrocosmic sphere of love (maha anahata chakra), transferring virtually unlimited quantities of the love-energy to his heart.
There is a perfect correspondence between one’s own chakras, located within the microcosm of the human subtle body, and the exterior, infinite chakras of the macrocosm. Everything that exists in the macrocosm exists in us as well and something that does not exist inside of us does not exist in the macrocosm – this is the law of correspondence. However, while in the macrocosm all the subtle forces are perfectly energized with infinite power, in the microcosm they are often dormant, existing only in a state of potentiality. For example, one person may, in theory, have the possibility to experience pure infinite love, the same person may not actually experience this love because of a lack of resonance with the same types of energies from the macrocosm.
The law of correspondence associates every psychic energy with a specific form, color, sacred word and musical note. For instance, Muladhara Chakra, the force center of vitality is associated with the square, the yellow-brown color and the “LAM” sacred word.
This is the first time the correlation between asanas and force centers is revealed. This step is unprecedented in the Occident and opens the door for a deeper and more spiritual approach to asanas. In fact we can say that there is no “real” Hatha Yoga outside the practice of chakra meditation and chakra awareness.
A common man looking at a yogi practicing asana may imagine that what he sees is all there is to it. In fact, the secret of asanas is not the posture itself, but the mental concentration associated with the execution. That is why many have seen yogis performing Hatha Yoga and considered that they too would be able to do the same by mimicking their pose. Nothing can be further from the genuine practice of asanas.
Hatha Yoga is approchable by everyone, even by convinced materialists
New Hatha Yoga students are not required to have unquestioned faith, all they are required to have is openness of heart and mind and the will to give a fair chance to its system of exercises. Many new students were convinced materialists and they came to the yoga class only for health problems. However, the practice of yoga resulted in a more acute understanding of one’s own, native religion and this understanding resulted in an opening of the heart towards it. By gradually purifying the structure, starting with the physical and finishing with the mental, the Hatha Yoga exercises bring a new world of capabilities and feelings for the open minded student.
Kundalini Yoga and ASANAS
Kundalini is the name of the most fundamental energy-force in the human being. The awakening of this fundamental energy, Kundalini is experienced by a large number of yogis and “ordinary” people all over the world. This “force”, although poorly known in the Western sciences, is the main vehicle of men towards the revelation of the Supreme Self and the attainment of ultimate spiritual freedom. In most “ordinary” people the fundamental energy Kundalini is dormant. It’s location (in the dormant state) is the sacral plexus (MULADHARA CHAKRA), but when it is awakened, it raises from center to center, up the spinal chord (SUSUMNA NADI) until it reaches the crown center (SAHASRARA), accompanied by extraordinary emotions and states of consciousness. Kundalini pierces the seven force centers (CHAKRAS) and generates the state of spiritual illumination … but the experience of Kundalini is not without perils. The spontaneous or accidental awakening of Kundalini can cause a great deal of pain and even psychic problems. These sufferings are caused by the energy overcharges in the subtle body. The “impurities” of the subtle body are “burned” by Kundalini and this often is a painful process.
Of course, if the awakening of Kundalini comes after attaining a solid training in Hatha Yoga, if the chakras and nadis have been purified with asanas and pranayama (breath control exercies) then Kundalini is no longer a cause for painful experiences – but a source of extraordinary bliss and sublime feelings. Kundalini is the fastest path towards ultimate spiritual freedom and Hatha Yoga is the best way to prepare for its awakening, because both asanas and Kundalini work on the same subtle force centers (chakras) and subtle channels (nadis).
Opening the heart and finding the soul though ASANAS
The correct practice of Hatha Yoga produces a gradual awakening of the seven force centers. With the activation of the first center (muladhara), we gain a state of excellent vitality. With the activation of swadhistana chakra, we ensure the capacity for harmonious social interactions and a healthy sexual appetite. By activating manipura chakra, we amplify our will power. By opening anahata chakra (the heart chakra), we gain the capacity to love infinitely – a divine state of pure love, without having a particular object to be directed upon. Vishuddha chakra induces a state of great purity and deep spiritual intuition. Ajna chakra gives us perfect control over our subtle body and the paranormal power of clairvoyance. Finally, sahasrara is responsible for the state of union of the human being with the Absolute Transcendence, the most elevated state of consciousness.
Somewhere on this way, by balancing the feminine and masculine aspects of our personality, by opening up so that we could resonate with the benefic energies of the macrocosm, Hatha Yoga facilitates a profound transformation of our inner being. Our consciousness is expanded to the infinite, the heart is filled with bliss – this is the actual experience of many people who walked this spiritual path.