Apr 26, 2020
Understanding Yogic Chakras
Location : Nong Khai, Thailand
What are Chakras?
Chakras are energy centers lined up along the sushumna nadi (central energy pathway) within the human subtle-body - they are not physical organs that you can see. They represent man's ascent from ignorance at the muladhara chakra, to higher states of consciousness culminating in the sahasrara chakra, in that chronological order. There are 72,000 nadis (energy channels) within the body and the chakras are like interchanges or hubs where these energy channels converge to. If the chakras are blocked, energy is stuck and this may cause illness. Imagine a blocked artery that cannot allow the passage of blood. It could be that serious. Because chakras are passage ways, they need to be clear, healthy and unobstructed. There is no consensus on how many chakras there are in the body. Sadhguru says there are 114 - and each chakra represents a pathway to enlightenment - and Buddha's way, sati, (awareness) is only one of 114. In Kundalini Yoga, there are 7 principal chakras. However, in Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda 1, there are 10 chakras.
Pranayama and Chakras
Pranayama is essential to purify the blood. With clean blood, the chakras will rotate (function) properly. Imagine the wheels of a train. Even if only one wheel is stuck, the entire train's performance suffers badly. Same with all chakras. If one chakra is not rotating, the whole body's performance is compromised.
According to Krishnamacharya, caitanya shakti (consciousness) in the individual chakras is attained through pranayama and asana while being established in the first 2 limbs of yoga, yama ("dont-do-these" moral commandments about others and self) and niyama ("do-these" moral commandments about others and self). Once consciousness on the chakra is developed, the siddhis become apparent.
Although I am referencing Yoga Makaranda in this chakra series, the book is not comprehensive in its discussion of chakras so I researched on other sources as well:
- Yoga Makaranda - by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
- The Science of Pranayama - by Sri Swami Sivananda
- Swami Satyananda Saraswati - A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya
- chakra-anatomy.com - by Simona Sebastian
- Isha.Sadhguru - by Sadhguru
- Practical Lessons in Yoga - by Sri Swami Sivananda
Essentially, my yoga practice consists of 3 sections, with chakras falling under pranayama (instead of meditation):
- physical workout - yoga asana, cardio, calisthenics or abs
- pranayama - regulated breathing combined with breath holds (kumbhaka), hand mudra, energy locks (bandhas), chakra visualization
- meditation - Vipassana or anapana
Nearly everything I add into my practice (which in this case are chakras), are simply inserted within the above practice.
I will be reading, exercising/developing and writing about all these chakras, one at a time, unrushed. You can use these writings as a guideline into your own practice. The links will show up in the list below if the chakra has been completed.
Sadhguru - Can Chakras Be Activated With Music?
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Nong Khai Travel Information / Tips
Vientiane to Nong Khai by bus
At the Khua Din Bus Terminal, you can board the #14 bus bound for Buddha Park. It will make a stop on the Friendship Bridge border - 15 mins, B8000. Go to Laos Immigration to exit. Board the special bus to cross the Friendship Bridge, Kip 4,000 or Baht 20. It will stop at Thai Immigration. Get processed. From there, board a tuk-tuk for Nong Khai, 5kms.
Nong Khai Attractions
- Nong Khai Aquarium -
- Salakaewkoo (Wat Khaek) -
- Issan Rum Distillery -
- Wat Pho Chai -
- Lan Phaya Nak -
- Tha Sadet Market -
- Nong Khai Muay Thai Gym -
- Phrathat Bang Phuan -
Nong Khai Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Nong Khai - Chiang Khan Roadtrip June 18, 2020
- Life in Nong Khai Mar 13 - June 18, 2020
- Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020
- Exploring Nong Khai's Cafe Culture Jun 10, 2020
- Nong Khai Street Art June 4, 2020
- Sirsasana A & B May 20, 2020
- Structured Water, Water Therapy and Nauli May 1, 2020
- Visiting the Salakaewkoo (Buddha Park) in Nong Khai, Thailand Apr 23, 2020
- Fitness in Quarantine Times Apr 20, 2020
- Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
- Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
- Nong Khai with Cheng Mar 18 - Apr ???, 2020
- Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
- Giant Mekong Catfish at the Nong Khai Aquarium Mar 19, 2020
- Drawn to Nong Khai, Thailand Mar 12, 2020
Travel Tips for Thailand
How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days
This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.
- Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
b) flight booking to Thailand
c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
d) filled-in tourist visa form
e) 2 passport pictures
f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
g) passport with at least 6 months validity
- After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
- NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.
60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.
- bring the following to the Immigration Office:
a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
b) Baht 1900
c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
- submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
- when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
- when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
- when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.
Book Train Tickets in Thailand
Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com
General Travel Tips
- arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
- put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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