In the eight fold path of yoga meditation is the eighth step (Smith, 11). Once here
a Yogi must become more aware and more sensitive to what is within themselves
(“Meditation”). “A Yogi must first lose themselves here to find peace with themselves”
(Smith, 11). The armor that a person has built around themselves throughout their lives
must be lost and they have to see themselves clearly (Smith, 19).
Meditation begins with concentration (“Meditation”). In concentration meditation a
Yogi must focus all their energy onto one thing. “Such as an object (a candle flame), a
sensation (something felt while walking), or an emotion (love)” (“Chakras and
Meditation”). At first it might be hard to keep mind focused on one object. A person
must train themselves to concentrate. Narrow the mind on to one category of objects.
Then focus onto one of the objects. When the mind begins to wonder, go to another
object in the category. When it becomes easy to focus on one object for a long time then a
Yogi is ready to move on to concentrate on one single object (Lidell, 94).
Chakra meditation falls under concentration meditation. There are seven major
chakras along the spin. They start at the base of the spine and go up to the top of the head.
The seven major chakras are connected by three major nadies. Sushumna, the middle
nadi, has neutral characteristics. Nearest your left hand is the ida nadi. It has yin
characteristics. The third nearest your right hand is pingala nadi. It has yang qualities
(“Chakras and Meditation”). Through these nadis the chakras are connected and energy
passes from one to another.
Each chakra is said to be an energy transformer (“Chakras and Meditation”).
When a chakra is activated or meditated on, it releases a unique type of energy. This
energy is measurable and immeasurable. The measurable energy is electromagnetic energy
and light photons. The immeasurable energy is called prana. “Prana is the vital, essential
energy of the universe” (Smith, 231-233). The chakras are the centers in the body were
this energy is activated and stored (Smith, 231-233).

For the chakras to be activated properly it depends on the sitting position. During
meditation a Yogi should sit Indian style, with their legs crossed. One heel should be in
front of the pelvis bone and the other in front of the first heel. The knees spread as far
apart as possible and rested on the floor. This sitting position will provide a stable base.
The neck and spine will be straight. Breathing will also be easier because the chest cavity is
open. This will also help with concentrating and will promote clearer thinking (Smith,
224-225).
Chakra meditation is very simple and easy to do. A yogi simply concentrates on
each chakra starting with the root chakra traveling up the shushumna and activating the
next higher chakra (“Chakra and Meditation”). It may take weeks or months to move from
one chakra to the next. It is a very long process.
The seven main chakras are muladhara, swadishthana, manipura, anahata,
vishuddha, ajnal and sahasrara. “The chakras are located along the ethereal counterpart of
the spinal cord and cannot be seen through normal vision” (Smith, 231-233). To bring the
body to a state of rest a Yogi must focus their attention to the processes of breathing, the
heartbeat, and the flow of electromagnetic energy. Then the prana will begin to move up
the Sushumna awakening the higher chakras.
This awakening must start with the first chakra muladhara. This is the root or base
chakra. It is located at the base of the spine (“Chakras and Meditation”). Each chakra is
thought of as a lotus flower that has a color and a number of petals. This chakra is a
yellow lotus with four petals. The main element of this chakra is the earth and survival
(Lidell, 71). This chakra deals with the survival of one’s self. The Yogi should think of
physical survival mainly, food, shelter, and the need for self preservation.
When meditating one should be totally away from the rest of the world. At this
level everything is solid and concrete. At this level viewing is that “...each person is an
individual who must look out for himself" (Smith, 233). At this level of reality a Yogi must
achieve success on the material plain. It\'s not possible to go any further until food, clothing,
shelter and transportation have all been taken care of (Smith, 233). After all of this has
been achieved on can move onto the next chakra, swadishthana.
Swadishthana is the second