Everything in life is cyclical. Our bodies operate on a series of cycles. Our planet exists through a series of cycles... scale right up to the universe as we know it and again we see a series of cyclical motions.
Eternal recurrence is a concept that describes the universe as a self contained energy that will continue to recur and recur in a self-similar form infinitely.
In yoga we talk about the wheel of karma or the residual energies that determine how our next cycle will take form. It isn't so much that we can accumulate good and/or bad karma and as such are subsequently rewarded and/or punished in the next cycle, but that we all have a certain amount of karma to clear, certain lessons to be learned, and certain obstacles to overcome and that until those energetic prints are changed we will be destinated to re-live them in a self-similar way, potentially infinitely. However, once we are able to change that print then our course changes, our next cycle, our next orbit operates around a different axis.
Of course a cycle doesn't have to be a lifetime. Is there someone who pushes past you at the bus stop week after week? Until you make some adjustment to the exchange it will always continue to happen. These rules apply to all your interactions.
... so you are maybe thinking, well this article is about wheel? And it is!
Before karma is karma, it rests dormant as samskara in the root chakra. A samskara is most simply described as a potential karma. An unconscious habit. Something that if left unattended may become a self-sustaining pattern; or an eternal recurrence.
Part of our yoga practice is to bring these unconscious samskaras, into our conscious awareness, such that we can move the energy from our lower, more base chakras upto the higher chakras, removing that limiting imprint and allowing us to move forwards through the cycles of our life.
Any posture that begins to take us to our edges will begin to reveal these samskaras, we see our impatience, our irritabilityWe see our pride and our fears. And perhaps we also begin to see how those same things show up in our daily life, and how by challenging them on the mat, we change our capacity of it.
One of the many benefits of wheel, or Chakrasana is its ability to break through the knots that bind energy in the lower chakras, granthi bhedena. Granthis are formed from the accumulation of many of these behaviours and cluster in particular points through the spinal column (more about this in an another post to come!)
Chakrasana creates a bridge between each of the chakras, that allows energy to flow uninterrupted through them all, whilst the strength of that flow pierces, or unties the various blockages. Chakrasana most powerfully opens our heart centre, which opens us up to the capacity to transform from a place of love and compassion, ensuring that our new cycle originates from a place of authenticity and embodiment.