Understand the system of energy flow in our body
According to Yogic sciences, each of us is a composition of five bodies that are more precisely known as ‘koshas’ which mean ‘sheaths’ or ‘layers’. This article on the web explains the five ‘koshas’ and their significance : https://www.doyou.com/understanding-the-koshas-the-5-layers-of-self/
The second layer – Pranamaya Kosha is the ‘Energy System’. It is the system responsible for seamless regulation of our life-force called Prana or simply ‘energy’. Pranamaya Kosha is also referred to as ‘emotional body’ or ‘etheric body’ or ‘etheric sheath’.
There are three main components of our ‘Energy system’:
- Prana or the ‘life force’ or consciousness is aligned with our breathing. Usually when we refer to ‘energy flow’ we mean the flow of prana
- Nadis or channels through which the prana flows
- Chakras or the ‘energy-centers’
Before we understood how the nervous system worked, Yogis knew about energy flows within the body through channels called Nadis. Nadis, like nerves and tissues, are not visible to the naked eye. They are subtle energy lines running throughout the entire body. There are around 72,000 Nadis in the body which transport prana to all parts of the body. However only three play a particularly important role: Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. These three Nadis run through the body between the base of the spine and the crown of the skull.
Ida starts in the left side of the body and passes through the left nostril. Pingala begins on the right side of the body and passes through the right nostril. Ida runs the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Pingala runs the Sympathetic Nervous System. Ida impacts the right hemisphere of the brain. Pingala impacts the left hemisphere of the brain. Sushumna is the central channel that runs along the spinal cord and runs the Central Nervous System. Between these prime channels, they impact our fight-or-flight system, rest-and-digest system, our rational / analytical abilities and our creativity and intuition.
The points where these three nadis intersect are called ‘Chakras’ or ‘energy-centers’. Each of these chakras are ‘energy reservoirs’. The flow of energy across these centers is influenced by our emotions – as each of these centers are aligned to the major endocrine glands in our body.
Continuous and free flow of prana results in a healthy body and mind. When these chakras are inappropriately activated, prana does not flow smoothly which in turn results in illness or incomplete use of our potential. More details of the chakras and energy system are available on the web. Here is a relevant page: https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/7-chakras-explored-for-beginners
Each chakra is associated with a specific set of emotions and mental state. Each chakra corresponds to the functions of a specific set of organs in our body. The energies in the lower three chakras operate at lower frequencies. Hence negative emotions of greed, anger, hatred, resentment, lust, insecurity influence these chakras. The higher chakras resonate at higher frequencies and hence positive emotions of love, compassion, creation and self-expression activate the higher chakras – heart chakra, throat chakra and third-eye chakra.
Meditation enhances the flow of energy
Meditation on the breath balances the movement of energies through the three key nadis and the chakras or ‘energy centers’. As we continue to ‘be with the breath’, any energy blocks at the different chakras get cleared and energy or prana starts moving up the spine. We become aware of the circulation of the energy through the nadis – as sensations. Prolonged and deep meditation practice clears all energy blockages and allows prana to flow efficiently
The seventh chakra – called the Crown chakra or Sahasrara – is unique as it is the only one that resides outside our physical body. Crown chakra is associated with the element of ‘cosmic energy’. Cosmic energy is the energy of the universe and is the life force that is existent everywhere. It is present in the cosmos, between the galaxies, the molecules and in the space. It is essential to maintain the order in life and expand our consciousness.
Cosmic energy is received by being with one’s own self and living in the present moment. Though cosmic energy is available everywhere, our ability to absorb is impacted by our thoughts and feelings. During meditation, when the mind is empty of thoughts, our energy-system becomes a sponge for the cosmic energy and we are able to absorb lot of cosmic energy through the crown chakra / sahasrara – which in turn increases the flow of positive energy in our body.
Our body normally receives cosmic energy when we are in deep sleep. In the current world, when we are unable to get to that state of deep sleep, we absorb more cosmic energy during mediation.
There are places and times that allow easy absorption of cosmic energy. Places that are abundant in greenery and pristine with natural elements are catalysts for receiving cosmic energy. Silent sacred or ‘holy’ places also enable us to reach a ‘no-thought’ state faster and absorb more cosmic energy.
Full moon days are very conducive for the absorption of cosmic energy. Group meditation and meditation under pyramid-shaped structures also enhance the ability for us to receive cosmic energy.
Cosmic Energy and Meditation
There is abundant cosmic energy in the cosmos. This energy can be channelized by using chakras, breathing exercises or energy healing. However, the best and simplest way to acquire this positive energy is through meditation.
- Our analytical mind usually acts as the barrier for cosmic energy. Meditation helps our mind to be calm and focused to receive this cosmic energy.
- When the mind is empty of thoughts, we receive a vast amount of cosmic energy.
- In most individuals, the chakras may be partially closed most of the time due to mental distractions such as stress, anxiety, fear, negative emotions and worries. The flow of cosmic energy clears these blockages and ensures healthy body and mind.
- By focusing on breathing during meditation, cosmic energy gets directly channelled into our nadis. This allows healing of blocked channels or chakras and the associated physical conditions.