by Anodea Judith: Everything in life has a core: every blade of grass, every tree trunk, every leaf on the tree, every cell, and every person…
Even concepts have a core, as do homes, planets, and stars. The core is what everything, living and non-living, has in common. For this reason, I think of the core as the divine center from which everything originates, the source of all creation. The core is God/Goddess, or whatever name you prefer for the Divine.
I like to think of CORE as standing for Consciousness Organized in Relation to Energy. Your consciousness developed as you encountered both positive and negative experiences in your life. If you’re reading these words, then you survived those experiences. But you survived because you learned to deal with them in some way. You probably closed down some aspects of yourself, while ramping up other traits. You moved toward or away from things; either compensating or avoiding, or some combination of both. In this way, you formed the shape of your core by how you dealt with life. This happens, first in your energy body, then in the structures and tissues of your physical body, then in your behaviors, which are further reinforced by experience.
If the chakras represent the seven chambers of the Inner Temple, then accessing your deepest core is the master key that unlocks these chambers. By core, I don’t mean the mid-torso muscle strength that has become the focus in exercise classes these days. Instead I am referring to the vertical channel running between your crown and your base through the deepest center of you, called your Sushumna, or central axis. When your chakras are aligned, the core is an open and expanding tube of prana, in which energy flows easily both upward and downward, through all the chakras, into the body and in exchange with the world. Think of the Sushumna as a pranic tube that distills the subtle energy from its coarsest form to its finest. It is also your most direct connection between heaven and earth, and your deepest access to source.
The chakras can be thought of as energetic “pouches” in the pranic tube for storing energy that moves up and down the core. In addition to receiving, assimilating, and transmitting energy, they also store energy at a particular level for use in your life, much the way the stomach stores food to digest slowly and release energy. If you get a nice feeling in your heart from sharing love with someone, it’s beneficial to be able to keep that energy there when you feel lonely or scared. Expanding your chambers allows you to store more energy in your chakras.
To access your core is to access the Divine within. But that divine is bigger, deeper, and higher than most of us can allow within our core. In fact, with the restrictions most of us have, it is even difficult to withstand the full force of divine prana, should we be lucky enough to experience it. For that reason we need open the chakras. If the body is the vehicle, and chakras are the map, the core is the master key that unlocks everything.
Excerpted with permission from Chakra Yoga, by Anodea Judith. Find out about upcoming programs with Anodea.