What is a chakra anyway?

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“Here in this body are the sacred rivers, here are the sun and moon, as well as all the pilgrimage places. I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.” Saraha Doha

Welcome to the first Chakradance blog post! Please sign up, if you haven’t done so already, so you can always receive the latest posts, articles and news about Chakradance.

But to begin at the beginning, as the name suggests Chakradance is a dance meditation journey through the chakras.

Chakras are one of those things in life that you may hear about, read about, and maybe like me, even take some time to think about. But then when someone asks you to explain what they are… Um… Well, I say, “They’re centres that energy flows through.”

And then people look at me blankly.

Okay, so let’s start at the beginning…

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There’s many traditions that stem from the ancient Vedic texts of India that include the chakra system.

Although saying “the chakra system” is not entirely accurate as the many traditional and modern systems do vary somewhat.

They do however agree that essentially chakras are energy centres which make up part of your energy or subtle body.

And what, you may ask, is the subtle body? The subtle body is a field of energy which overlays our physical body. A field that contains our life force or spirit.

The word chakra comes from a Sanskrit – ancient Indian language – word which can mean either spinning wheel, circle or vortex. From this word we intuit that chakras are a spiralling dynamic force.

Energy flows through the subtle body and indeed the physical body through nadis or channels. The sushumna is the central channel which is like the spinal cord of the subtle body, with lesser channels, ida and pingala spiralling around it, and thousands of smaller nadis, extending to all areas of the body. The nadis are kind of like the central nervous system of the subtle body.

The chakras are energetic centres along these main channels where the nadis converge, and were traditionally visualised as wheels or lotus flowers.

The chakras were traditionally used as focal points for meditation to activate the energy body and remove any blockages to allow the greatest flow of energy. Ideally energy should flow up and down unimpeded, connecting our subtle body with the energy of the earth and with the divine source energy.

So why do we need to get our energy body moving?

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The energy we are talking about here is prana, or life force energy. The benefits to a healthy flow of prana are said to include physical health and vitality, balanced emotions, releasing of old issues and trauma, heightened intuition, and a direct contact with the divine source energy.

By far the best way to learn what a chakra is, is to experience it yourself. After all that’s what the Tantric texts suggest, that rather than seeing the chakras as a particular description or definition, we should experience the chakras by meditating on them and their correspondences, like colour, element, sound, area of the physical body, and deities.

And this is exactly what Chakradance does…

Chakradance invites you on a journey of self-discovery to uncover the beauty and wisdom of your own subtle energy body. The best part is, you can do a Chakradance class without knowing any of this information, and without worrying about it.

It’s really not about information so much as experience. In Chakradance you experience an effortless connection – through music and movement – with your chakras. Chakradance founder, Natalie Southgate describes Chakradance as a “dance practice for the soul.”

And I must say, it’s also rather blissful. People tend to leave the class uplifted with the feeling that they have tapped into something truly special, their own unique energy.

So go on, let your prana flow!