'Tuning your seven levels of vital energy'

 

The ancient Chakra System of Yoga Philosophy


Why choose the Chakra System for coaching?


There are many approaches to coaching, many different schools and techniques, and which one works best for you really depends on your nature, your personal preferences and previous experiences. Looking at it from the coach's perspective, there are also many avenue, and you have to pick the one that suits you best. I have benefited from classical coaching training at one of Europe's better management training institutes to work as an executive coach, but soon discovered that to become the effective coach I wanted to be I needed to return to my roots - which lay in India. I travelled to Indian as a young man to study sitar, yoga, and
 
An Indian miniature from 1899 showing the seven chakras

 
philosophy. It was there that I first learned about the Chakra System: the seven invisible and intangible energy centres that Indians have identified thousands of years ago, and have worked with effectively.

Chakras: the world's oldest language

for speaking about our inner lives

The Chakra System, developed by Indian Tantric philosophers thousands of years ago, helps us to understand our energy use by looking at seven distinct levels. This differentiation is very helpful, because when we want to understand something complex, it helps to identify different aspects, that you can look at one by one, while never forgetting the whole of which they form a part. This also gives you a language to speak about subtle, and often hard to define subjects - such as elements of your personality, behavioral patterns, emotional or rational preferences.
     Over the thousands of years that humans have tried to make sense of themselves, many such 'languages' have been developed. We speak about people's inner lives in terms of the elements: fire, water, earth, air and ether. Or in terms of metals, from gold and silver to iron and lead. Or in terms of flowers, crystals, animals.... Of all these symbolic languages, the chakra system is by far the oldest. It was mentioned in literature 2500 years ago, and has been in continuous use all these years. It is also by far the best described. There exists a vast literature on the subject. For a coach it is a great advantage to have such an inexhaustible source of knowledge.
     Another reason to prefer the chakra system, is that more and more people have become familiar with it, at least with the fundamentals, as they are introduced to it through yoga. This is a great practical advantage for the coaching practice.


Seven levels of energy

The seven levels of energy that the Chakra System differentiates are linked to energy nodes in the body, located in a line roughly following the spine. They have no material existence, and do not show up in CAT or MRI scans. To many people this would mean that they simply do not exist. However, for our coaching practice belief or disbelief in their existence makes no difference: they are used only as symbols that help us to talk about the various ways in which you use your vital energy. They are also helpful in meditation: by visualizing these nodes of energy, you can increase your awareness of different aspects of your personality, and stimulate their positive development.

The chakras are called either by their common English name or the Sanskrit name. Clicking on the chakra icons leads you to the pages explaining their individual function and meaning.

Crown Chakra or Sahasrara

Located above the crown of the head. It stands for cosmic union, universal consciousness.

Third Eye Chakra or Ajna

Located above the bridge of the nose. Represents introspection, insight, intelligence.

Throat Chakra or Vishudda

Located at the throat. Its domain is communication.

Heart Chakra or Anahata

Located at the level of the heart. Stands for love, purity, courage.

Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura

Located at the solar plexus, near the spinal column. Represents our power, will, respect.

Sacral Chakra or Svadisthana

Located in the lower abdomen. Rules the domain of sexuality and creativity.

Root Chakra or Muladhara

Located between sex organs and anus. Stands for survival and gain, our most fundamental energy.


©Peter ten Hoopen, 2017. All rights reserved.