“In the text it says that Yoga is a connection of knowledge that removes impurities and ignorance. My answer was wrong, but I learned that Yoga does maybe help lungs, spine and heart but focuses mostly on removing bad qualities – Roshan Patel, Culture 4 student, Plymouth Balvihar” answering the question ‘What is the difference between your understanding of the term Yoga with that defined in the books’
The literal meaning of the word Chakra is ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, but in yogic context a better translation of the Sanskrit word is ‘vortex’ or ‘whirlpool’. The chakras are vortices of psychic energy and they are visualized and experienced as circular movements of energy (Kundalini Tantra, Swami Satyananda Saraswati).
The Chakras are various in the human body but there are seven main chakras. Each of the chakra has a color, an element (air, water, etc), shape, quality, sound associated with it. Each Chakra has a quality associated with it. For example, the heart chakra – Anahata (ana-hatha) – denotes good feelings such as love and compassion. If you feel ‘dry’ or cold any time, it is time to open up this chakra. Certain asanas do this very thing – try the ‘Windmill’ for example. So also Chakra breathing. With continuous practice of Heart chakra breathing you will recollect what it is to be loving and be loved.
[From a May 2006 newsletter Evolution article that I wrote]