Is there a connection between the breath and Chakras? Firstly, a human being takes 21600 breaths (Prana) a day, per Yoga literature. However, Scientists count the number of breaths to be between 20,000 to 24,000. Secondly, scientists now affirm what Yogis have said all along. Only one of the nostrils dominates at any time of the day and after a gap of 2 hours the other nostril takes over. This means that 10,800 breaths flow easier through each dominant nostril in a day. 10800 is a revered number in eastern traditions. So, is there a truth also to the fact that these 10800 breaths are connected to the Chakras?
Chakras are energy centers in the subtle body. Their locations roughly correspond to the endocrine system in the human body. Most people who practice Yoga are aware of seven major chakras. In what way do the daily 21,600 breaths map to these chakras? For example. 50% of the breath daily breath count maps to each of the left and the right nostrils. We get some hints from the works of Siddhars, the advanced Yoga experts from the South of India. Siddhars attribute 600 breaths to the base chakra, ten times this count to each of the next three chakras and a sixth of this count to the upper three. But how do these 21600 breaths map to the Chakras in the time domain? Let us first look at the nature of the Chakras.
Chakras are centers where the Prana or the subtle energy of the body flows in a concentrated manner. They are like distribution centers. For example, the solar plexus is a bundle of nerves. Coincidentally, the third chakra is in this vicinity. In fact, the word chakra itself means a circle or a vortex. However, neither Prana nor Chakras function directly in the physical dimension. Therefore, we can understand the Vortex more as a pulsation. Yoga literature may agree with this idea. They compare the chakras in an advanced practitioner to blossomed flowers.
Assigning breath counts to Chakras
Let us consider a simple assignment starting at 6am daily? In summary, we can assign the first 600 breaths to the base chakra. And sequentially assign the next 6000 to the second and so on. Breath can feed only one chakra for an extended period of time per this scheme. This may not work for the other Chakras. Therefore, let us consider an alternate assignment. Any good scheme must not deprive any Chakra of a breath for too long a time.
Let us take 108 counts of consecutive breaths (over 7 minutes and 12 seconds). Firstly, three of these 108 breaths will belong to the base chakra. Certainly, we have to spread these three evenly within the 7-minute duration. Secondly, five of the 108 breaths will belong to the top three Chakras each. Thirdly, thirty of the 108 breaths will belong to the remaining chakras each. Finally, we will spread all these assignments uniformly within the seven minute and 12 second duration. This will give us a fair and weighted distribution of breaths among the Chakras.
We are left with the question – what happens when anger arises? Does the Chakra associated with Anger need more Prana supply? Does any strong emotion break out neat assignment scheme? Is it even realistic to map 21600 breaths to Chakras?
21600 breaths per day is an ideal count. Secondly, scientists notice the count to be in a range around this number in ordinary people. Surely, Siddhars assigned 600, 6000, 1000 breath counts to Chakras based on their own observations. However, their observation must be in the case of a person who is in harmony with nature. On the other hand, ordinary people are bound to have blocks in one or more Chakras. The goal of Yoga is to clear these energy blocks within the subtle body.
The SKY breath Meditation program offers a powerful combination of breathing techniques. These techniques help anyone, irrespective of their prior exposure to Yoga, to experience harmony in a practical sense. Sri Sri Ravishankar, the world-renowned Yoga master has a deep understanding of Chakras, Nadis and the nuances of 21,600 breaths. He designed this powerful program to benefit folk from all religious and cultural background. You can attend a free seminar about the SKY Breath Meditation program by clicking the “workshops” link below.