Topic 4 | Chankramanam

Chankramanam is a simple technique which is very useful for those people who are doing intense and prolonged practice of kriya yoga. It is a method of loosening up the body while maintaining one-pointedness of mind. If you experience extreme stiffness and discomfort during your practice we suggest you try it.

Definition

The Sanskrit word chankramanam means wandering, ‘roaming about’. Within both the Sanskrit word and its English translation there is an inference of effortlessness, of roaming here and there without specific intentions and plans, and this is the essence of the practice.

In yogic terminology there are two very meaningful words: bahir mukhi and antar mukhi. Bahir mukhi means ‘facing outwards’ and it refers to the state of extroversion where one is predominantly concerned with outer activities. In a wider sense, however, it also implies absorption in one’s thought processes. According to yoga, even thoughts are external to the inner being. Therefore, bahir mukhi refers to both the state of extroversion and introversion. This is the mundane level of awareness of day to day life.

Antar mukhi means ‘facing inwards’ and refers to the path that leads to higher states of consciousness. It is the sushumna path of awareness where one is poised midway between extroversion and introversion and yet beyond both. It refers to the path of transcendence. The aim of chankramanam is to tread this path.

Chankramanam is a walking sadhana (practice) without effort and without distraction by either the inner thoughts or the external environment. It can be defined as walking japa. It is intended to induce and maintain a state of antar mukhi while moving the body.

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