Working with Chakras, what you need to know

Working with Chakras, what you need to know.

More and more yoga practitioners are working with Chakras. Chakras are energy centers of the body. They support physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Yoga allows you to activate the Chakras. Without clearing internal blockages through Kriya, Asana and Pranayama, or guidance from a Guru, working with chakras can be dangerous. 
Before engaging in any Chakra activities, it is good to understand what function they serve and why and when, according to Yoga, a chakra should be activated.

Suptā ghuruprasādena yadā jāgharti kundalī
Tadā sarvāni padmāni bhidyante ghranthayoapi cha

When the sleeping Kundalinî awakens by favour of a guru, then all the lotuses (in the chakras or centres) and all the knots are pierced through.

– Yogi Swatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika –

Chakras and their place in Yoga


Chakra is a concept from Yoga philosophy. But where does it belong and how does it relate to yoga practices? When do you start working with chakras? To understand this we first look at the beginning.

What is the purpose of yoga?
Yoga is ultimately about reaching your potential. The outcome of this can vary depending on who you ask or how it is translated from ancient sources. This can be achieving enlightenment, union with god, overcoming the ego, mastery of the mind, etc.

Achieving your potential means nothing but being the optimum, what you can be. In order to reach your potential you do have to overcome a lot of obstacles and hurdles, clean yourself up, so to speak. This applies on several levels:

  • Physical;
  • Energetic;
  • Mental;
  • Intellectual;
  • Spiritual.

The Chakras are a part of your subtle body and are thus connected to your energetic, mental and intuitive ‘body’. This means that before you start working on the Chakras, you must already be free of blockages on a physical level and already able to exercise a certain degree of mastery on an energetic, mental and intuitive level. So you begin to purify yourself from gross to fine.

External channels  

The external channels are the inputs and outputs of your body, which allow you to exchange substances with your environment. According to Ayurveda, these are 9 for men and 12 for women.

  • 2 are the eyes
  • 2 are the ears
  • 2 are the nostrils
  • 1 is the mouth
  • 1 is the anus
  • 1 is the urethra
  • 1 is the menstrual channel
  • 2 are the breast milk ducts
Since our skin, as the largest organ, also exchanges substances with the environment, you can consider it under this as well. 

To prevent blockages and infections, it is important to clean these external channels. Yoga and Ayurveda advocate doing this daily. This has the added effect of keeping all your senses and also the muscles involved in these channels functioning optimally.

Internal channels


The body has a complex infrastructure of physical channels called Srotas. Everything you eat and drink, what you inhale, as well as what you absorb by touch through your skin, passes through these channels. Your body determines whether it can be transformed into something useful and whether it can be broken down or disposed of. In some cases, substances are “temporarily” stored in the body with the intention of breaking it down later.
Ayurveda distinguishes the channels into 13 groups for men and 15 for women.

  • airways
  • food channels
  • water channels
  • plasma channels
  • blood vessels
  • muscle canals
  • fat canals
  • bone canals
  • bone marrow ducts
  • oocyte and sperm ducts
  • urinary canals
  • secretory ducts
  • sweat ducts
  • menstrual ducts
  • breast milk ducts

Because we acquire certain habits in life, we soon have too much of certain substances in the body and too little of others. This results in disturbances and blockages in the channels, which in the long run can lead to diseases. These blockages also affect the channels on a subtle level.

Want to know more about the functioning of our body according to Ayurveda and related cleansing therapies? Take one of our Ayurvedic courses in July! You will learn about the fundamental concepts of Ayurveda and participate in workshops, choosing from cooking: 7-Day Ayurveda and Vedic cooking, practical applications of local herbs: 7-Day Ayurveda and working with herbs, and learning about your Ayurvedic constitution and which Yoga Asana balances you 7-Day Ayurveda and discover which Asana suits you.

Energy channels


Energy channels, called Nadis, flow throughout the body. There are as many as thousands of these. From the three main Nadis, almost all other Nadis branch out.

  • Sushumna Nadi, in the spine, 
  • Ida Nadi, which goes over the left flank of our body, but is controlled by our right hemisphere.
  • Pingala Nadi, which goes over the right flank of our body but is controlled by our left hemisphere.

The whole system of Hatha Yoga aims to purify the Nadis. Only then can you engage in the deeper layers of Yoga. Hatha Yoga has become known for its detailed descriptions of Kriya Asana, Pranamaya and Mudra, among others, all of which release, directly or indirectly, blockages in the Nadis. 

Only when you have cleared the physical disturbances and Nadis can you work with the Chakras under the guidance of a Guru.

In August, you have the unique opportunity to join the Chakra Meditation Week with Guru Ashish L. Vyas from India. Guru Ashish L. Vyas is coming to France especially for this retreat. During this week you will prepare yourself through various Yoga techniques, learn everything you need to know about Chakras and experience Chakra Meditation under the guidance of an initiated Guru.


Mindfulness is a popular term these days; the meaning of it is putting your attention in the here and now and being able to focus on what you are doing without getting distracted. That definition is at the heart of ancient Yoga and virtually all meditation techniques. 

The Sanskrit word used in Yoga for mind is Citta. However, this means more than just “mind” or “spirit,” it is the complete control system connected to our nervous system and to prana, our life energy.

Ultimately, it is through Citta, that we are able to activate the Chakras. Since you are going to work with an energy that can work wonders in body and mind, but can also be all destructive, it is very important that you master your mind. This means, then, that in chakra meditation, you do not allow yourself to be distracted, but also that you must be pure on a mental level. By this is meant that you have cultivated positive intentions within yourself and therefore have a selfless mind. Everyone gets distracted at some point and is influenced by the ego to some extent. That is why the guidance of a Guru, who is able to direct your attention, is important.

Much of Yoga philosophy is aimed at reducing your thought currents and cultivating positivity. Most effective in this are the Yamas and Niyamas, where especially the four bhavas.

Do you want to learn about the whole basics of traditional Indian Yoga, including the deeper philosophy, Kriyas, Asanas and Pranayamas? Then sign up for the 1 month Indian Classical Yoga Teacher Training Course in France. You can also read more on the Centre Lothlorien webpage.

werken aan chakra's door middel van yoga asana

Once you are free of the mental distractions, you have purified this level and come into connection with your intuitive level, or inner knowing. It is at this level that you can access everything you have learned in this life and in past lives, without having to think about it “rationally. Although this sometimes comes up in everyday life, you can now hold this state for a long time. 



Kriyas are body cleansing therapies. Some Kriyas are aimed at cleaning up the External channels, some at cleaning up the Internal channels. All Kriyas have a beneficial effect on purifying the Nadis.



Asanas are the body postures or “Yoga” exercises. Although there are endless benefits that vary from one asana to another, a few are the main purposes.

  • They make the muscles long, firm and flexible;
  • They loosen the joints;
  • They allow each individual bone, vertebra or phalanx to move freely;
  • They counteract stress;
  • They motivate the natural functioning of body systems, including organs and channels.

All these purposes, in turn, ensure that the internal and external channels are free, dissolve blockages in the Nadis and encourage a positive Mindset.



Pranayama is about controlling the Prana, or life energy. This energy flows throughout the body and is necessary for the functioning of the body and its individual parts. By exercising control over it, you have more conscious influence over what happens in your body. The biggest control mechanism in this is the breath. Whoever controls the breath controls the mind.
Pranayama is essential in clearing the Nadis, but also plays a role in internal and external channels.



Mudras are postures, mainly of the hand and fingers that can support an asana, pranayama or a meditation in the pursuit of a specific goal. By touching certain points in your body with a specific finger, you can activate the Nadis for your purpose. Mudras are a great tool for working with the Chakras because you can directly activate the chakra. The right knowledge and methods are very important here, because again you can cause damage on a physical, energetic or mental level.



Meditation is all about shutting off all distractions so that pure concentration remains. Although meditation techniques are used today primarily as relaxation, however, the purpose is much more profound. It allows Yogis to view themselves at their deepest core and fulfill themselves in their deepest selves. It serves as a portal out of this physical world, to connect with a higher consciousness.

Indian Classical Yoga, is Yoga from the base, which allows you to work on yourself in a grounded way. Asana, Pranayama and Meditation have a fixed place in all our activities. Check our schedule of activities to see when we are in your area, or contact us to see what we can offer you.

Teachers en studenten Indian Classic Yoga die werken met chakra's


Ridding yourself of waste products and blockages is one thing, but also preventing new disruptions or blockages is quite another. It takes awareness, study and self-discipline to keep your body clean. Everything you touch or use exchanges substances with you and is a potential source of toxins. So look critically at all your actions and be mindful of what materials you use. Keep in mind that this applies to everything, including:

  • food and drink;
  • packaging;
  • plates, cutlery cups, bottles, etc.
  • pots, pans, storage containers and boxes;
  • clothing;
  • mattresses, furniture, bedding;
  • utensils;
  • cosmetics;
  • cleaning materials;
  • detergent;
  • toxic substances at work; think also of receipts;
  • radiation from electricity, WiFi, bluetooth, LED lighting, etc.

Applying and retaining all these components requires a Yoga lifestyle.

Yoga lifestyle

Learning yoga in a hermitage or in an Ashram in is a difficult task. Doing it in daily life in addition to having a family and or a job is even more challenging. The trick is to integrate little by little all parts of Yoga philosophy into your life. Yoga is not something you do every now and then for an hour on a mat, Yoga is applied in everything you do and is a way of life.

During the Indian Classical Yoga Teacher Training Course at Centre Lothlorien in France we live Yoga for 1 month. Although you will learn everything you need to establish yourself as a teacher, the goal is to learn ‘Yoga as a Way of Life‘. Experience this for a month and get tools to hold this in your daily life as well. In this article you can read what this can entail for you. Our student Yingying made a beautiful video that you can watch on Youtube: One month Indian yoga teacher training. No words can give you a better picture!

Chakra Meditation

Chakra Meditation is a method that allows you to realize things that you may not have thought possible before. For example, you can control your body temperature, your physical strength, your immunity, your resistance to external influences and you can activate your self-healing capacity. With the right preparation and guidance this is achievable for any Yoga practitioner.
In the Chakra Meditation Week with Guru Ashish L. Vyas from India. we go one step further than other retreats. With the help of Pranayama and Mudra, among others, you will start to let the life energy flow in yourself and activate your Chakras. Will you be there at Centre Lothlorien in France in August?

Do you need Personal advice?

Which Asana suits you? What is your Ayurvedic constitution? Which food and lifestyle will return your health? What do you need to change to find happiness?

Contact us for advice and private consultations