By Swami Nirmalananda & Vidyadevi Stillman
Chakras are not important. It’s the nadis that count, especially the central energy channel (nadi), through your spine. All the other 71,999,999 nadis radiate off from it. Secondary nadis crisscross the central sushumna nadi from side-to-side several times, creating energy whirlpools that are your primary chakras. If the energy flowing through your nadis is low or imbalanced, the whirlpools won’t whirl. Chakra means “whirling disc,” so the whirl is essential to the meaning of the word as well as to the inner function each performs.
Also depicted as a series of lotuses, your chakras depend on your nadis in order to function. Svaroopa® yoga works on your nadis, thus balancing all your chakras. Every Svaroopa® yoga class is a full nadi opening and chakra-balancing session.
The true power of the energy flowing through your nadis is significantly greater than most websites convey — more than most teachers know. Vidyadevi says, “Only a Kundalini master really knows. I can see that this is true because I’ve been studying with a Kundalini master, Swami Nirmalananda, for years. Only now am I beginning to see what she knows.”
The map of inner development shown in the chakra drawings clearly displays the inner process of spiritual development. First you uplift your focus from your lower three chakras, into and through your upper three and beyond. Beyond the six chakras, your sahasrar (crown) blossoms you into what you have always been, though you didn’t know.
You don’t lose your lower 3 chakras when your crown blossoms. Once your chakras are opened, it’s like you’re able to use both hands to play all the keys on the piano. Your heart is open while you are paying your bills, which is a first chakra issue (survival & security). You see and understand your own inner dimensions while you are arguing with a teenager, a second chakra issue (esteem & affection) mixed with a third chakra (power & control).
Even if you’re not yet enlightened, you run on the energies of your chakras. When the energy flowing through your nadis opens and balances your chakras, every interaction is inspired. Every thought is scintillating with Consciousness. Every choice is made for the betterment of others.
While many in chakra workshops are seeking improvements in their life and relationships, yogic literature says the chakras are about your inner work. They map the mystical process of spiritual growth that reliably unfolds once Kundalini is awakened. Nadis are more important than chakras because spiritual progress comes from Kundalini moving through your central nadi. Swami Nirmalananda says, “This is why I rarely teach about chakras. They’re like neon lights, drawing your attention to something, but the neon lights don’t work unless the electricity is flowing. I focus on the electricity.”
The vinyasa (sequencing) of Svaroopa® yoga uses the poses to create an inner opening from tail-to-top. This invites your next step: the unlocking of the energy at the tip of your tailbone for the inner arising of Consciousness-Itself (Kundalini). For this you need shaktipat, the awakening of Kundalini.
Kundalini rises upward, passing successively through the chakras. — Vij~nana Bhairava 29
Signs that Kundalini is awakened include heat climbing your spine, inner sensations or even spontaneous physical movements. Svaroopa® yoga comes from Swami Nirmalananda’s experience of these physical movements, clearing away imbalances and blockages from her nadis. This is where all yoga poses and breathing practices originated from.
Once you’ve received Shaktipat, you may experience certain chakras being opened in meditation, perhaps seeing a lotus, the God or Goddess residing in it, or the colors within it. You may feel subtle sensations of the inner unraveling, even tickles or thrills of bliss. You get what you need and what you are ready for.
When you cooperate with this process, it goes easier and faster. This is one of the things that makes Svaroopa® yoga unique. Each pose targets specific areas of your spine, to reliably unravel the blockages in the same way that Kundalini does. This inner opening also opens up profound mystical experiences for you.
Other styles of yoga teach practices to invoke Kundalini, while scholars study about Her in the Sanskrit texts. Yet, without Kundalini being awakened, it’s like they’re studying swimming without getting wet. Theory doesn’t take you to experience.
The most important feature of Svaroopa® yoga is that our teacher, Swami Nirmalananda, is a Shaktipat Guru. She knows Kundalini. Thousands of Svaroopis have gotten Kundalini awakening. While you get amazing physical benefits from our core opening practice, this inner awakening is the most valuable result. It opens up the mystical dimension of your own Self.