Welcome to an immersive practice over the next few sessions with the philosophy of the Granthis. This comes from the Katha & Mundaka Upanishads describing the Granthis as physical, pycho-emotional and energetic knots that prevent the Yogi from attaining Moksha or spiritual liberation.
To unblock a Granthis, the Yogi must first be aware of the knot. Yoga is the mastery of self-awareness cultivating self-knowledge and realisation. Tantra is the mastery of prana – vital energy cultivating siddhis or pranic powers to attain moksha. Knowledge without power is ineffective. Power without knowledge is dangerous. We need both to stand in our own potency fulfilling a deeper calling that draws us to Yoga practice. Yoga is then an ecstatic play of consciousness, a constant renewal of our sense of wonderment and curiosity for life, to clarify and create a rich expression of the deep purpose we cannot ignore. We begin to refine and manifest purposefully leading to lasting fulfilment, contentment and liberation. Through the power of awareness, joy, intention, knowledge, and action, the infinite field of potential that is boundless, limitless, endless that we experience as Consciousness is embodied as you.
We focus on unraveling the Granthis by the use of Yoga asana practice, pranayama, bandhas, meditation and the more Tantric practices of kriyas, mudras, and mantras. All these methods in one practice becomes a powerful way to intelligently untie the Granthis
There are three main blockages or knots within the body’s system.
- Brahma Gr?nthis – covering the lower torso – the simplistic issues of fear, guilt, shame.
- Vishnu Gr?nthis – covering the upper torso – issues that knot us up of attachment, resentment, hurt and inability to speak our truth.
- Rudra Gr?nthis – covering the mind – this knot creates a distortion, misapprehension and a vail of ignorance over how we see things.
We will in this session focus our practice on Brahma Granthis. ‘Brahma’ is GOD or the ‘creator’ — and Brahma Granthis focuses our concerns about our very foundation of existence, the struggle we have maintaining a healthy connection to our created body and the ‘knot’ of preoccupation with our survival. To survive well, we need to feel safe, loved, belonging and purposeful. Unfortunately, our bodies and minds like to play tricks on us and we see that our serenity to enjoy a good life is a daily remission to a devoted practice to reset, rebalance and untie the knots that bind us to our ignorance, attachments and fears.
Everyday we see difference and otherness, which gives rise to feeling separate and alone, as we compare and despair of what we do or don’t have – looking on instagram, which draws us into compulsive desire, greed, and insecurity. This is felt in the pelvic and lower torso. Gr?nthis contribute a dimension of understanding ourselves in addition to what the Chakras offer. Chakras are closed in waking states and open in meditative states, but what we are working with in waking states is still the Chakras, but through the lens of the Granthi. The modern depiction of the lower chakras holds concepts from the psychiatrists Jung and his psycho-spiritual development and Maslow’s hierarchy of need’s.
- Muladhara Chakra – survival, preservation, safety, trust and our foundation of health and wellbeing
- Svadishana Chakra – sensual gratification, sexual needs which unfold in our creativity and emotional fluidity
- Manipura Chakra – our ego attachment to our self-esteem, worth and limiting being defined by it
So what we find is that this Granthis demands you to look at – how satisfied by life you are? There becomes a growing feeling that, what you are experiencing is not enough and are never satisfied or content with what has already been achieved. So Brahma Granthis focuses our attention on how knotted we are with common earthly concerns such as worry about food, safe shelter, fear of death, entanglement with physical pleasures, material objects, issues of excessive selfishness, the worry about health issues and a general lack of grounding.
This base knot traps the Yogi in the power of Tamas Guna, the negativity, lethargy, hopelessness, selfishness and ignorance of being bound to fear, guilt and shame. Such negative qualities act as hindrances and stops the pranic flow of energy called kundalini ascending from the pelvic floor to the crown of the head, awakening and freeing us from the illusion of separateness and traps us in the cycle of the Kleshas – Avidya/Ignorance, Asmita/Egotism, Raga/Attachment, Dvesa/Aversion and Abinivesha/Fear. Yoga helps with the unraveling of the Knots. Prana energy travels through the body through channels called nadis. Granthis block the sushumna nadi, or central channel, which flows from the root chakra through to the crown chakra.
It is also helpful to know that the iconography of the diety to better understand this knot. The deity Brahma, is the creator. His consort is Saraswati. Her shakti holds the power of knowledge and wisdom. They come together like heat with fire, you can not separate, however offer specific qualities to the experience.
We will use her bija, AIM, to direct our attention of the mind to this knot, sharpening our buddhi, intuition, to see what arises as a result of practice. Memories, images, concepts, emotions and sensations. The bija AIM directing the shakti of Saraswati to unravel the knot of fear, guilt and shame, guiding us to trust and bathe in the light of loving awareness feeling safe, loved, belonging and freer than we started.
Do notice how you feel after practice. 15 minutes, 2 hours, 6 hours. Notice the potency of this practice and how it affects you. Enjoy.