When I was trying to open my chakra I could only think about people in my life, not on the light. Am I doing this right?
—Shane janoch, United States
The astral body has seven “energy centers,” or chakras as they are called in Sanskrit, that govern various aspects of our mental and emotional states. These vortices of energy are located along our “astral” spine, which is the energy counterpart to our physical spine and brain. When we work with the chakras to reach higher consciousness our goal is to reverse the flow of energy that is downward and outward and bring it inward and upward. Your description of ‘thinking about people in your life’ suggests the energy is going outward.
According to yoga science, cosmic energy enters the body through the medulla oblongata, the negative pole of the sixth chakra, located at the base of the brain. Thence the energy moves down the spine and out through the chakras to different regions of the body. The energy flowing from the heart chakra, for example, radiates outward through the nerve channels to the physical heart, lungs, and chest, and into the arms and hands.
The spinal centers, or chakras, are found at those points where tributary streams of energy join the upward flow of Kundalini in the sushumna, or deep spine. In man’s unawakened state, when the main energy-flow is downward away from the brain, energy is drawn away from the sushumna at these chakras to perform various outward functions. Thus, in the physical body these spiritual centers correspond simply to the spinal plexuses, from which nerves branch out to provide energy to the different body parts.
There is a tremendous amount of energy locked in our bodies at the chakras, waiting to be released. When it is released, the devotee feels an overwhelming sense of joy in his spine. “You don’t realize how much power, bliss, and expansion there is in the chakras as you go deeper into them.” (Swami Kriyananda)
To give you a greater sense of this subtle reality, practice The River of Joy visualization during your next meditation:
Visualize your spine… as a mighty river flowing inside you. Feel its magnetic current rising upwards from the base of your spine to your spiritual eye and there merging into the vast Ocean of Spirit. Feel streaming into your chakras rivers of divine joy. Feel all of your chakras and your whole spine nourished by inflowing rivers of bliss. Pray: O Ocean of Bliss, I Return to Thee! (Aum: the Melody of Love)
You might find the book Chakras for Starters by Savitri Simpson, available from Crystal Clarity Publishers, helpful to understand the chakras and how to work with them.