YOGA & SWADYAYA
SUMMARY OF INTEGRAL CHAKRA PSYCHOLOGY (Swadyaya)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Manthan Yoga Foundation and the editor of this document insist and caution that “Integral Chakra Psychology” should NEVER BE APPLIED to other people without at least completing the Integral Chakra Psychology Level course. 1,2,3 and 4” while having fulfilled the necessary requirements and duties. In addition, as a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT to be in possession of a Yoga Teacher Diploma TTC 500 or Ayush Level 3 is absolutely essential.
This is a complete summary of Swadyaya (chakra psychology). The editor tried to condense all what he considers really important in order to create a good picture of the topic, including a case study.
Widely unknown in the west, chakra psychology has as much potential as the counselees have within them. The idea is to allow each patient to empower her/himself to be able to exploit all their own potentials at best in the least time, ruling out potential risks.
What supports this statement? Western Psychology mainly initiated by Sigmund Freud has a history of roughly 120 years as prior Indian colonization we look back to over 5000 years of yogic philosophy, knowledge and skills. To be more in touch with this proportion, we could compare a student “studying” a science for 120 days (4 months) versus a professional with 5000 days (almost 14 years) of experience not surprisingly being rather proficient in it than the student. Unfortunately, as way to often eastern science is not given the credit it deserves, in particular when it comes to comparison to the west.
In the editors’ opinion, people suffering of C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or the so called DENSOS (Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified) can be helped a much better.
We all have our habits that we acquired throughout life, many of them are counterproductive. So let’s learn to change them for something more positive as we often suffer. Swadyaya, or in other words chakra psychology shows us the way how we can reach this target in an efficient and fast way, and while doing it with the least effort and avoiding as good as possible getting hurt or obstructed.
In western or classical psychology, it is a professional counselor who “guides” the counselee through the therapy. Swadyaya, if used appropriately, provides something like a map that allows the person to find her/his way through life. No need to mention that it would be much cheaper, easily accessible to masses learning to use and later rely on a map rather than having an expensive personal guide. In addition, not every guide is competent in every region, as counsellors are mainly competent in the field that they have studied; in a similar way that the best guide in Mumbai would probably not find his own way through Tokyo, unless he has studied that city thoroughly or he has got a map that helps him. If the person who is supposed to be guided is able to read and interpret a map, at least for the latter case a guide might become obsolete; the same is the case for someone knowing about Chakra Psychology. And for people with C-PTSD this particularly true, as their biggest struggle is to trust others and that includes their counsellors and therapists. Furthermore, there are many people who don't want to share one or more secrets with anybody or are simply too shy to ask for help.
So how does chakra yoga work? In our body there are according to the sages 72’000 energy centers, the so called chakras. But there are 7 main chakras that are the most important ones as they define major parts of our psychological energy. These and their psychological connection are the one that interest us:
Muladhara: connected to our security and survival
Swadisthan: connected to our comfort or comfort zone
Manipur: connected to power and influence
Anahat: connected to love and affection
Visshudhi: connected to self-confidence and expression
Ajnya: connected to intellect and intelligence
Brahmasastra: connected to higher reality or power we attribute to what isn’t within ourselves
(Please view the graphic display at the bottom of this page)
It is most important to know und to be understood that all these chakras, in a way similar to everything in our life and a society are interconnected. With the example of a guide versus a map it can easily be explained: To buy an item, let’s say medicine you need to know where and how to get, to buy it: The way to the pharmacy, which path or road and means of transport to use. A guide would for sure be able to bring you there, but that’d rather expensive, inconvenient and not even permanently available, wouldn’t it? That’s why we have maps or in our days’ navigation apps in our smart phones or tablets where you find motorways, larger & smaller roads, paths, railway lines, restricted or dangerous areas, hotels, shelters and many more useful things. It even provides information about things that aren’t just useful, but simply there for pleasure (relating to the Swadhistan Chakra) such as sightseeing spots, museums, movie theaters, etc.
Chakra Psychology, in a similar way would also provide information for the best possible path, the one through life. It can indicate the fastest, most comfortable, enjoyable & suitable road towards your goals in life. But most importantly for patients it helps to recognize obstacles, dangers, problem zones. First preventing to get in or lost in all these negative thoughts and situations that may obstruct them on their path, but also to find a way out if already entangled. And way too often having no “map”, no clue how to go through life we’re hitting our heads against one or many brick walls, sometimes for a lifetime.
How do the Chakras work?
The chakras can be balanced, under- or over active. Ideally they are balanced, which of course isn’t always the case. Usually if underactive, we’re struggling using the potential of that particular chakra and often in other chakras as well. If overactive, the chakra dominates, also over other aspects in life or better over other chakras affecting them in a negative way. It is a much more easy to understand this in praktice.
Chakras explained one by one:
Please note that this is a condensed explanation of larger topic; here chakras are explained very briefly. The chart above indicates the location of each chakra in the human body. Please note the location reflects somatic diseases connected to a defunct psychological state.
Muladhara Chakra - Root chakra (security, survival, relations, career, school):
It’s the psychological energy that we have for our survival; the chakra resides between our genitals and anus. Somewhat at the base of our body, reason why its’s also called the base chakra.
People whose security wasn’t or isn’t guaranteed in life or suffer(ed) from deprivation usually have an underactive Muladhara chakra: they often were or are exposed to abuse, neglect, violence, poverty, etc
They will ultimately be very anxious; be scared of abuse even there’s no threat. They horde, to guarantee their security, chose any, even the worse job or environment; always go for the cheapest bargain; never treat themselves. Such an unbalanced Muladhara chakra can easily affect all other chakras negatively.
IMPORTANT: In the Muladhara chakra lies the so call Kundalini energy: it’s what empowers us and has a tremendous impact on all other chakras. If Muladhara chakra is not activated there will be a lack of energy and motivation and as a result, such people usually struggle in relations, have addictions, often poor financial situation and other issues that aggravate their condition.
People whose security was or is guaranteed in an excessive way (too much of wealth or care) usually suffer from an overactive Muladhara chakra: money and other excesses without sense of responsibility, sense of privilege and entitlement, arrogance, not valuing material good or relations, have poor risk assessment.
Overactive Muladhara will affect their Visshuddhi chakra as ultimately there’ll be a too high self-confidence and lack of responsibility, empathy, etc living in the illusion that no matter what they do, they’ll be safe anyway.
IT IS THE CHAKRA THAT IS MOST RELEVEANT FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE ABUSED AND MISSTREATED!
Swadhistana – Sacral chakra (well-being and pleasure):
Swadhistana is the chakra that motivates us because it’s the one that’s connected to our wellbeing; for that reason, all other chakras are directly influenced by it: we avoid to suffer, want to enjoy pleasure. Underactive, the person cannot enjoy and the psychological priorities do not really contribute to the well-being: for example, if a drug addict uses drugs to make him feel better, but ultimately the drugs destroy the body and mind making everything worse. Overactive Swadhistana chakra leads to indulgency. If Swadhistana is balanced, there is a right balance between Dherma (duty) and pleasure.
Manipur – Solar Plexus chakra (power and influence):
An underactive Manipur chakra leads to submission and usually people who have a low Manipur also have a low Visshudhi chakra (self-confidence and expression) as well; it’s not rare that they are affected by abuse earlier in their lives.
An overactive Manipur leads to abuse of others and addiction of power: Often people who got used to and are given a lot power, sometimes since they are children are affected by it. But it happens that people who experienced abuse or neglect earlier in their lives have an over active Manipur chakra. Then they react to it by overcompensating, projecting their flaws and negative feelings onto others using and abusing power. This often happens with parents towards their children.
Anahat - Heart chakra (love & affection):
People affected by an underactive Anahat chakra were and are usually exposed to abandonment, rejection, criticism, violence, severe punishment, etc; many were orphans, people with too many siblings, with busy or irresponsible parents, etc.
An overactive Anahat chakra is due to abundance of love, being pampered, overprotected. The reaction often is a dependency on love, permanently scared of not getting or losing it.
As a response of the lack of love, but also because not expecting love and affection, such people try to please others, feel overly responsible, insecure getting love, have suppressed feelings, focus on others and not at all on themselves. It becomes a vicious circle where they invest all in others and usually get nothing in return.
Visshuddhi - Throat chakra (expression and self-confidence)
Related to Asmita (Identity), Visshuddhi chakra relates directly to the way and manner we identify ourselves. This identity is influenced by others, in either a positive or negative way. Then there remains the opinion we have of ourselves and whether we are fit for life or if we aren’t. An underactive Visshuddi chakra is usually triggered by limited finances, appreciation, severe punishment, control. The result is low self-esteem, continuous self-criticism, unable to listen to one’s own intuition, reclusion, avoidance, over-cautiousness. *
But also being overprotected, pampered (self-esteem becomes conditional: loved only if accepted, encouraged, supported) can lead to this undesirable condition.
An overactive Visshuddhi chakra can be triggered by abundance of experiences, exposure, much success, power, resources, praise
* However, deprivation and a fight back reaction by projecting all flaws onto others can also lead to an overactive Visshuddhi. By doing so these people sort of make themselves over confident, hence as already mentioned they have an overactive Visshiddhi chakra.
People like this become brash, arrogant, aggressive, inconsiderate, opinionated, dominating.
In both cases, under or overactive, the expressions, whether verbal or non-verbal, are in tune of their Visshudhi chakra.
Ajnya – Third Eye chakra (Intellect and intelligence)
This is a chakra that is usually influenced by other chakras; please read the case studies for better understanding. It’s usually (an) other chakra(s) that is (are) out of balance impacting Ajnya.
The main problem is that the intellect (Ajnya) sort of becomes a slave of these unbalanced chakras.
However, in some cases it can occur that Ajnya chakra is overactive and the person might have too high intellectual standards compared to average individuals. They get frustrated at them as their intellect doesn’t match their own. This is bad for relationships and causes frustration.
Brahmasastra – Crown chakra (higher reality or power we attribute)
In life we need to attribute power, temporarily or over longer periods of time, to others and authorities for matters that aren’t within the reach of our influence. We just can’t do everything by ourselves. That can be for tangible (other people, organizations, etc) or intangible (god, spirituality, etc) subjects. People who give power to someone else with her/his limited potentials or a higher reality with supposedly unlimited potentials need faith, trust and often to follow blindly. It is also because humans need a reference, or a leader to sort of “anker” themselves.
Therefore, an underactive Brahmasastra chakra lacks faith, an overactive has blind faith. Both are bad as lack of faith ends up in anxiety, blind faith is often unreasonable (childish) as it gives away full power and control.
This file has been created to make people unfamiliar with the topic to understand Swadyaya without making it long and complicated.
Please let me know where clarification is necessary and please indicate what or why you do or you don’t understand. It would contribute to make this project work better and actually help victims like Carol.
Thank you very much
With kindest regards
UNION PROJECT, The Yoga Institute / Manthan Foundation
Mumbai, November 2nd 2019