The yoga practise is about integrating and creating union in the duality of the opposite aspects of life. Yoga is a path of investigation made of physical and internal practice aimed to open the mind and the body for a conscious awareness of the human existence.
The investigation regarding the profound reality of human nature belongs to the ancient civilizations. In Ancient Greece, on the temple of the oracle of Delphi was written the phrase “know yourself “.
Yoga is about to know “the self” and the reality, which we belong to.
What we call “reality” is composed by three natures:
a) The physical body and the mind connected to the needs of gross body also called physical body. (Annamaya and Pranamaya kosha)
b) The Energy body or subtle body, mind and subtle sensations. (Manomaya kosha)
c) The causal or spiritual body, the consciousness that is expressed mainly as intelligence and wisdom (Vijnanamaya kosha)
These three aspects of reality coexist among them and operate on different levels of our body-spirit system, these levels are called Koshas.
The kosha are not separated from each other on the contrary, they are part of the same system as they are supplied with by the Prana (vital energy).
Prana, by Sanskrit word prana (Devanāgarī), literally means “life” and in the second instance is intended as a “breath” and “spirit” or life force, also known in traditional Chinese medicine as “Chi”.
The vital energy flows through the body through energy channels that are called nadis. The word Nadi comes from the Sanskrit and means tube, channel or vein, these energy channels are numerous, (there are more than 72,000), but there are three main: Sumshumna, Ida and Pingala nadi.
Prana passes through Nadi, seen as vital energy or breath, to supply all parts of the body. Sumshumna is the main nadi; it begins its journey to the base of the spine and ends at the top of the head.
The other two Nadis start from the base of the spine, and they go up to the top of
the head, but instead of proceeding in a straight line, they follow a spiral path, crossing for 6 times before re-joining to Sumshumna.
Whenever these nadis intersect, they create a chakra, and when they end their journey on top of the head, they generate the 7th chakra.
Some theories consider the nadi related to the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine such as Acupuncture and Japanese Shiatsu. In traditional Chinese medicine the channels that conduct energy throughout the body are called “meridians.”
These conduits form a network. If the network is interrupted or obstructed energy blocks occur, which do not allow the body to function properly. if the energy ,”Prana” or “Chi”, does not flow properly, the organs cannot perform their function, creating an imbalance. On the contrary, when the meridians are opened, the energy flows freely, bringing balance to the entire body.
Chakras are the “control centre” of the vital energy. The word “chakra”, translated from Sanskrit means “wheel”, “circle” “vortex.”
Each chakra of the human body is an energy center, located in one of the seven points across the spine, from the base, the tailbone, up to the top of the head. Wherever the meridians provide energy to the bodies, the chakras are in charge to elaborate it . Each chakra provides energy to specific organs, and each chakra corresponds to a different aspect of our emotional and rational personality.
The purpose of yoga practice is to awaken the invisible energy that lies along the body and at the base of the spine, and get this energy up, along each chakra, restoring and balancing the body. Every chakra represents the highest levels of our human and spiritual nature.
Through the practice of asanas (postures) the energy flow is stimulated through the movement of the physical body (Annamaya kosha) and the breath, by channelling the energy of the body and mind into a single stream.
When the breath, body and mind are in union, we experience a state of calm and concentration in order to allow more space to ourselves, to perceive who we are, what we want.
This is the moment when we totally bring attention to the present moment, on how we feel, observing the natural changing of the “feel” and hence being.
And it is so, that the body and mind are prepared to the practice of meditation, and concentration moves to feel the subtle sensations, to understand the highest level of kosha (Anandamaya kosha), which is the spirit, the soul, ” the authentic nature of human life “.
Through the energy system of the body / mind, we understand the analysis, the integration and the differentiation of energy levels and how they can affect the health of the body and the balance of the mind, this is the ultimate aim and the reason for practicing and studying yoga.
Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women by Donna Eden & David Feinstein, Ph.D. (Tarcher/Penguin Putnam, 2008).
A Manuel of Acupuncture” Journal of Chinese Medicine, Peter Deadman and Mazin Al-Khafaji with Kevin Baker, 2007.
Comparisons of Diagnostic Methods in Western & Eastern Medicine: A Correlation Between KI Energy And Environmental Conditions. Hiroshi Motoyama , 1999.0