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YOGA & SWADYAYA

SUMMARY OF INTEGRAL CHAKRA PSYCHOLOGY (Swadyaya)

7 Chakras.jpg

This is a complete summary of the Integral Chakra Psychology that has been developed by the Manthan foundation in Mumbai, India based on the principals of Swadyaya. 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 to provide a better pictures of interconnections in between of the chakras. 

 

Widely unknown in the west, chakra psychology has as much potential as the counselees have within themselves. The idea is to allow each individual, but in particular traumatized people to empower her/himself to be able to exploit all their own potentials at best in the least time, ruling out potential risks. Using these skills they can realize their potentials already within a very short time frame, and medium/long term protect themselves from getting re-traumatized and perhaps even completely eradicate many old and persistent trauma patterns. More information in appendix 1:

 

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 the more modern Integral 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. Furthermore, this method doesn’t require lots of financial resources and time. Most people who have suffered from trauma do not have money, time and even the strength to continue a long lasting therapy.

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, a bird’s eye view that allows the person to find her/his way through life and it’s challenges. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The "Yoga Psychology Foundation / The Yoga Institute -Mumbai" and the editor of this document strongly recommends that you MUST NOT apply the "integral chakra psychology" to other people unless you have successfully completed the course and passed the necessary requirements and assignments to complete the "Integral Chakra Psychology Level 4" certificate as well as a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT of a TTC 500 or Ayush Level 3 Yoga Teacher Course

So how does chakra yoga work? This process has nothing to do with Yoga postures (asanas) or breathing exercices (pranayamas). It’s a method that makes our thoughts and mind more flexible. However, asanas and pranayamas are being used to support the process.
In our body there are according to the sages 100 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: 

    1. Muladhara: connected to our security and survival
    2. Swadisthan: connected to our comfort or comfort zone
    3. Manipur: connected to power and influence
    4. Anahat: connected to love and affection
    5. Visshudhi: connected to self-confidence and expression
    6. Ajnya: connected to intellect and intelligence
    7. Brahmasastra: connected to higher reality or power we attribute to what isn’t within ourselves 

 

It is most important to know and to be understood that all these chakras, in a way similar to everything in our life and a society are interconnected. 


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 under-active, we’re struggling using the potential of that particular chakra and because of their interconnection,  often in other chakras are affected as well. If overactive, the chakra dominates, also over other aspects in life or better over other chakras affecting them in a negative way, usually this leads to a condition where things in life are getting out of control. 
By explaining the chakras one by one, it’s difficult to explain the interconnection between of each one of them. Therefore, explaining the chakras and their connection to each other’s in case studies provides a better picture. 
Swadyaya and the Integral Chakra Psychology uses the interconnection of each chakra to it’s advantage. Agnya chakra allows us introspection and through this we can create leverage in a positive way on other chakras. The chakras that are impacted in a positive manner will become more balanced, hence affecting  other chakras that they are connected to and so forth.

Chakras explained one by one:

Please note that this is a condensed explanation of larger topic; here chakras are explained very briefly and there will be examples (case studies- brief as well) which might be the easiest and probably best way to explain the interconnection in between of chakras. The chart below 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 under-active 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 will 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 RELEVANT FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE ABUSED AND MISTREATED!


Swadhistana – Sacral chakra (well-being and pleasure):

Swadhistana is the chakra that motivates us because it’s the one that’s connected to our well being; for that reason, all other chakras are directly influenced by it: we avoid to suffer, want to enjoy pleasure. Under-active, 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 indulgence. If Swadhistana is balanced, there is a right balance between Dherma (duty) and pleasure.

Manipur – Solar Plexus chakra (power and influence):

An under-active 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 under-active 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.
The above mentioned pattern is typical for individuals that are submitted by one or many narcissists, where the latter exploits the prior one like a vampire.

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 under-active 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, 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. Swadyaya and the Integral Chakra Psychology prevents the above mentioned and makes our intellect, rational and logical thinking the master over all the other chakras. A balanced mind that contributes to balance us a whole.
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 for themselves and others.

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 “anchor” themselves.
Therefore, an under-active 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. 

Case studies:

It’s called case studies as 3 different individuals with different backgrounds are involved. However, the 3 people relate to the person called Carol suffering from C-PTSD. Please note that if each situation is related to a particular chakra and to the person that is concerned in the particular paragraph ; the relevant chakra is noted in brackets: e.g. (Visshuddhi)  This will be followed by  examples using Integral Chakra Psychology effectively.

1. From an underprivileged background, Carol has been sexually, physically and verbally abused in her childhood over a long period of time by her father. Symptoms of C-PTSD are the result of this severe and over a long period of time abusive treatment. Her mother was not a loving person, indifferent to what her dad did to her. Other people instead of helping her, most of time took the opportunity to also abuse her verbally projecting their own flaws onto Carol because she’s the person with whom it’s easiest to do so. A sense of security couldn’t develop (low Muladhara). The result is a submissive behavior and she feels overwhelmed by authority figures (low Manipur) such as her boss Robert and life partner George, who both abuse her verbally and financially. Staying in her job and with George constantly re-traumatizes her, stripping her finances, therefore more and more her sense of safety/security all over again. Similar to her childhood, not expecting to get love (low Anahat) and not knowing about chakra psychology she tries to please the wrong people; then the parents, now George. But also her boss to make sure not getting bullied (low Swadhistana & Manipur). Being abused verbally and made responsible for her and everybody else misery, she has extremely low self-confidence, expresses her fear to fail verbally and in her gestures (low Visshuddi). All her intellectual abilities (Ajnya) are bound to find a way to survive (merely focused on Muladhara) and getting some affection (Anahat). By doing so, she does wrong choices, for example trying to appease her boss or partner to get more comfort (Swadhistana) or in other words less discomfort and pain. Rather than building up a good life for herself with good people. Carol has lost faith, in other people as well as in a higher reality (Brahmasastra).

2. Carols boss Robert is a pervert narcissist who has an inflated ego, craves for attention and admiration, needs to put down others to make himself feel better. He grew up in a family where he’s been given everything (high Muladhara), likes to live a comfortable life on the expense of others (high Swadhistana) and abuses his manager position (high Manipur) in the company that he’s got through his connections coming from a wealthy background and enjoying a good scholar education (high Muladhara). Unable to love other people and being a nice person, he’s picking on Carol as he deep down knows that she’s a nice human being, much better than him. He’s craving for real love, but tied to too many conditions due to his need for admiration, he’s not really confident and happy about his intimate relations (high Anahat). His inflated ego makes him an arrogant, aggressive, and permanently angry person; and that’s exactly the way he expresses himself (high Visshuddhi). His intellect (Ajnya) is focused on making his own life better and more comfortable (high Swadhistana), if necessary putting down people (high Manipur) like Carol because it’s so easy to do with her. Meanwhile he’s flattering the CEO and department chief who he actually can’t stand because he holds the position that Robert always wanted. Robert had not many short comings in his life as scholar background, career and financial situation were excellent (contributing to the high Muladhara & Manipura). Mostly things went smoothly, which gives him an irrational faith that this will keep on going this way for ever (high Brahmasastra). Robert is unhappy, always on the edge, angry and recently was hospitalized because of a heart attack. Even he doesn’t really want, for health reasons he knows he needs to change his life.

3. George, Carols partner comes from a middle class family background. He’s got a stable job with a slightly over average income. That job he likes and enjoys (has both a stable Muladhara and Swadhistana, the latter at least when he’s doing his job). It is the same for his influence (Manipur) towards his colleagues, where he behaves as a good fellow and friend. However, at home George behaves in a different way. He’s not confident with affection because his parents weren’t affective to him (low Anahat). That makes him feel like a looser in front of Carol and little confident about himself (low Visshuddi). So he projects (high Manipur) the problem onto Carol blaming her not being affective. That’s of course because Carol is so easy to abuse. In the process he makes her responsible for all sort of stuff he doesn’t like to take responsibility for. He accuses her to spend too much money which is an utter lie. He asks her to pay for all common expenses even though he earns much more and just keeps his money for himself for savings or to spend with his friends. For a reason mentioned a bit further he makes sure that Carol won’t become too independent (high Manipur). In his job he’s confident, but not over-confident; he behaves normal and therefore has a balanced Visshuddhi. Same for his intellect (Ajnya) that he uses in a creative way. But at home his thoughts and mental capabilities (Ajnya) are often focused on not losing face or to control Carol (high Manipur). George comes from a religious background and believes in god (Brahmasastra); but he uses it to submit Carol imposing religious rules as an excuse to keep the upper hand, in other words power (high Manipur). His family expects him to marry Carol. That puts him under pressure as even though he’s happy with his dominant position, he’s always scared that she might run away from him (low Visshuddhi).

The following is an example how these different characters can use Chakra Psychology for their advantage. As this project focuses on people suffering from C-PTSD, the prime focus is on Carol. However, there’s also a short explanation for Robert and George in order to show that Chakra Psychology can be used for different kind of individuals.
It’s the way out of the dilemma for Carol, Robert & George. Please try to be aware that thanks to their new knowledge all of them are increasingly becoming aware of their own condition and can, thanks to Chakra Psychology, take more appropriate action.

1. Carol hasn’t neither time nor money for medical care helping her depression as her partner rips her off and her boss Robert makes her work extremely long hour, yet not paying her properly. She has been referred to study chakra yoga as it’s a method that doesn’t cost much and promises quick result with a minimum of time investment.
Carol becomes aware of what is mentioned above by learning the theory of Swadyaya; she starts to believe that everybody, even herself, has potentials. She realizes that her biggest weaknesses are connected to the traumas that have threatened her security and survival (Muladhara) and have a direct impact on her self-confidence (Visshuddhi). Just the fact to know about this reduces tremendously her lack of self-confidence and boosts her Visshuddhi. It’s a relief for her Swadisthana chakra as she feels so much better, gains a little bit of hope and more faith (Brahmasastra).
Carol also realizes that she’ll never get affection or love from George as long as she complies to everything- hopefully one day he’ll give her something. Taking a bold decision, she now completely stops paying common expenses which starts to help improving her a financial situation. With a better financial security (improved Muladhara) she forces George to fight to get money out of her. But as she already knows he’ll try to use power and aggressiveness (his high Manipur) is making her steadfast and therefore she resists to keep on paying. In the argue George has started, she even threatens to leave him as a friend offers her to stay at her place meanwhile; now the fact he used his religious family background to put her under pressure turns against him. This forces George to do something about his problem with affection (his Anahat chakra). In the end to make sure she doesn’t leave he tries to be nicer, more affectionate as he hasn’t got the choice. This is good for the both and makes them happier. Finally, Carol gets some love from him that helps her to balance her Anahat chakra. Being a very smart person, she finally uses her intellect (Ajnya) not only to survive or desperately to get love. She uses her intellect focusing on her Manipur chakra in order to not be overpowered by George; this ultimately gives her more security (balances Muladhara), makes her feel better (Swadhistana) and gives her confidence (Visshuddhi). Her better financial situation, finally more commitment to her from George also allows her give an ultimatum to Robert threatening that she will quit the job. Too proud, Robert doesn’t want to change his attitude. Carol being self-confident (better Visshuddhi) engages herself to find a new job and finally applies for other positions. She gets hired by a new company where she hopes to be less abused and quits her old job.


2. The fact that Carol left has puts Robert under tremendous pressure. The CEO and Department chief having blind faith (high Brahmasastra) in him have asked him to do a very important task. But Robert is not as smart he pretends, lazy, all talk-no action and is unable to do that kind of job. To not lose face seven weeks ago he just delegated all to Carol, of course expecting to take the credit for it though. Unfortunately for him Carol wrote down the 300 hours of overtime that she can claim when resining according to her work contact. For that reason, with Carol released from her duties the day she resigned, Robert finds himself stranded with that project he’s totally unfamiliar with. Robert survives a heart attack and is on leave for a while; back to work in order to prevent getting fired, he calls Carol asking to come back. As Carol is now a quite balanced person and comfortable in her new job, she refuses. However, being a nice person, she refers him that book about chakra psychology.
Robert, losing his job, his faith (Brahmasastra) and self-confidence (Visshuddhi) got a huge blow. At least he’s got time to read that Chakra Yoga book. Even though narcissists are reluctant to change he starts to read, mainly because of his doctors’ advice to become humbler, calmer and more composed freaks him out (low Muladhara). It is good for fighting his power hunger (Manipur becoming less over-active) and in the end also for his well-being (Swadhistana). His mind (Ajnya) focusses for the first time in his life on his security (Muladhara) as he fears another heart attack, but also more health issues due to his overweight and unhealthy lifestyle. After months he loses weight, is much less grumpy and more satisfied (balanced Swadhistana). He even writes a kind letter to Carol (more balanced Visshuddhi & Anahat) to thank her for referring him that book.

3. George has been very stressed since Carol has changed, in particular in regards of the threat that she’ll leave him she never has suspended. The roles of power are now almost reversed and George tries to please to Carol (low Manipur). He now even pays all expenses as he feels miserable for the way he behaved towards her (low Swadhistana) as he gets to taste his own medicine; of course knowing about Chakra Psychology only Carol is aware of this. As a real, loving and balanced relationship has started between them, where both try to be affectionate to each other’s, Carol reveals the secrete of Swadyaya to George. He now can address his fears regarding his family, is a loving man to Carol because she has given him this opportunity to fix his psychological issues with her. Chakra Psychology made him understand that Carol had psychological issues because she suffered massive abuse, but also that through his behavior he made not just everything worse for her, but for both of them. Having this understanding how we function and because he wants repair what he’s done wrong to her, they finally married making his whole family and themselves happy; they are having a happy life.

These case studies are best case scenarios and of course such blessings are not achievable for each case, every time. But it can be assumed that without the knowledge of chakra psychology Carol would have remained in her misery, George ending up in a very complicated and unhappy marriage with her. Robert might have got his position as department chief, remaining a bully and an unhealthy, tense, arrogant and unhappy person, jealous of everyone he thinks might be doing better than him. All 3 cases reveal the possible potential of chakra psychology.
Please note that the project before all concentrates on people like Carol who are affected by C-PTSD or DENSOS (Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified).

Additional note:

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
Christopher

UNION PROJECT, The Yoga Institute / Manthan Foundation
Neuchatel, 16.04.2023
 
Appendix 1: Swadyaya in comparison to western psychology

Western Psychology mainly initiated by Sigmund Freud has a history of roughly 130 years as prior Indian colonization we look back to over 5000 years of yogic philosophy, knowledge and skills. During the British colonization practice of traditional Indian medical practices were prohibited and severely punished. 
To be more in touch with this proportion, we could compare a student “studying” a science for 130 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, often and not seldom for financial reasons eastern science is not given the credit it deserves, in particular when it comes to comparison to the west.


Appendix 2: Swadyaya requires much less resources than western methods

Swadyaya is a kind of map, a bird’s eye view to visualize our life that we can create and use for our particular circumstances. No need to mention that it would be much cheaper, accessible to masses learning to use and later rely on a “map” rather than having an “expensive personal guide”. In addition, as not every tourist guide is competent in every region, counselors are mainly competent in the field of expertise 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, a guide might become obsolete; the same applies to a large extent with Integral Chakra Psychology. And for people with C-PTSD this particularly true, as their biggest struggle is to trust others and that includes their counselors and therapists. Furthermore, Swadyaya allows if needed to keep information confidential  and 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.

Appendix 3: How does Swadyaya work and what’s the role of the therapist?

Swadyaya teaches us how we can plot a map that helps us on our path through life. It’s an easy undertaking and often it’s quite enjoyable and rewarding. With the example of a guide versus a map is perhaps the best way to explain it: 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 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 and many more useful things. Swadyaya or Integral 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, it helps to recognize obstacles, dangers or problem zones. First preventing to get in or lost in all these negative thoughts and situations that may obstruct us on our path, but also to find a way out if we are  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.

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