Back to the journal

Awakening the Chakras

Awakening the Chakras
By Dr Oliver Rivers

A lot has been said and written about the Chakras, the term the great yogis created in order to describe the 7 energy centres they were able to witness, circles (the meaning of the term “chakra”) or better- whirlpools/vortexes of energy along the spine, from the perineum to the top of our head.
The yogis taught that in our second body (one of the five bodies or “koshas”), the energy body they called Pranamaya Kosha, there are 72,000 energy channels that they termed “Nadis” (which means “flow” or “current”) that are the blueprints of our (physical) nervous system.
The most important nadis which the pranic forces (“life force”) flow through are the three nadis that run along the spine, the Ida, Pingala and the main nadi- the Sushumna that all the nadis in the entire pranic body are subordinate to.
The Sushumna starts to flow from the base of our spine (at the Perineum) and terminates at the top of our head. Ida and Pingala form a criss-cross pathway which links finally to the Sushumna in the area of what is called “the third eye”, into a Triveni- i.e. the confluence of three rivers (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) join together in a powerful stream of energy towards the top of the head.
The areas along the spine, where the three main nadis criss- cross (and the forehead area where they allegedly join into one steam), are seven in number and are described as strong energy fields or centres in our body. They are the Chakras.
The 7 chakras along the spine are located at major branchings of the human nervous system.
The central role of the chakras in this model is the raising of Kundalini, which is the unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force that, according to the ancient esoteric texts, lies coiled at the base of the spine as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism.
When the Kundalini awakens, it pierces the energy fields/chakras along the spine, causing various levels of realisation and empowerment, until reaching the top chakra at the crown of the head, resulting in union with the Divine.
The methods on how to raise kundalini were a highly kept secret in ancient monastries that practised occultism.
Only in the recent century some of the yogic methods have been published, suggesting preparatory practices that purify the energy channels (nadis) and increase the prana in the body such as the six cleansing techniques (kriyas), various yogic body postures (asanas), special breathing techniques (pranayama) and specific meditations and visualizations practices.
In the “Awakening the Chakras- a breaking through” we translate the yogic knowledge of Chakras and Kundalini not only in laid-back terms, but also according to western psychological theories of self-development and self-fulfilment, and in a practical manner adjusted to our modern-western life.
Moreover, although the many millions of words and colors that have been used all over the world to explain and describe the 7 chakras, to my knowledge, no one yet has thoroughly explained how the seven chakras actually present an incredible, mind boggling- facinating spiritual map of how to overcome- breakthrough- the EGO- which is the concept or mental image that keeps us, according to the old scripts, delusined and in suffering. We hold on to a terrible misconception of what life- our lives- are about- which keeps us unhappy, striving & never arriving, forever unfullfilled.
You see, most of our humanity harbours most of its energy around the 3 base chakras (Mooladhara, Swadhisthana and Manipura) that are located in the area of the pelvis, lower back and stomach. Only a few of us have been able to breakthrough to the forth chakra Anahatha, the unstruck sound of the heart (and from there climb to the upper chakras, the Vishuddhi, Ajna and Sahasrara: throat, forehead and the top of our head).
The old scripts actually reveal that once you break through the illusion, once you have passed the gatekeeper- the Kundalini won’t return anymore to its Swayambhu Linga (a smoke-colored triangled nest) under/in and around the Mooladhara, but stay awaken and alert at the heart chakra, Anahatha.
In the “Awakening the chakras- a break through” we discuss the chakras’ spiritual map in depth and invite the participants to experience the process of ‘awakening’ the chakras and going through the unforgettable, irreversible process of breaking through the illusion, the disfunction we call EGO.
“A dish of wellbeing” workshops are facilitated in three formats:

  • 2 day workshop
  • 5 day workshop
  • 7 day residential retreat


The 2 day workshop offers a wonderful introduction to the chakras and the process of breaking through the chakras to a spiritual- happy and fullfilled- life.
In our 2 days workshop we will experience interesting individual, pair and group exercises and discussions. Additionally, we will discuss key principles that address general wellbeing.
The 5 day workshop gives a much more extensive experience of the journey of awakening the chakras and the break through process. We dedicate more time to the theories, as well as many more introspective exercise into each one of the chakras and the way it plays in your life (active, over-or-under active), and the ways of balancing the chakras and enabling the arise of Kundalini.                                                                                                                      However, the 7 day retreat offers “the real thing”, a thorough, incredibly eye-opening process of experiencing the chakras and going through- step by the step- the awakening process. More strategies and techniques are covered in depth, as well as a greater and deeper experience of individual and group process. We focus more on the practical process of awakening the chakras, physically- psychologically and spiritually.
We conduct our “Awakening the chakras” retreats in different resorts all through Australia, and at the end of 2012 we will return to run workshops also overseas.
We introduce gentle Hatha yoga practice and meditative Sivanada style in particular. The yoga sessions we teach in this workshop consist of simple Hatha postures with varying levels of complexity according to the level of the individuals in the group (whether beginners and/or experienced practitioners). In order to know more about the yoga style we instruct, please read further the full description of the Sivananda’s wellbeing philosophy in “Yoga, meditation and green salad on the side- a dish of wellbeing” at and .  In addition, in the 7 day retreat we combine special yoga exercises for awakening the chakras, meditation and visualisation techniques, Yoga Nidra sessions (guided creative imagery in a sleep-like state of deep relaxation) and more.
We present the journey of awakening the chakras also as a psychological process of “in-dividuation”, a reconnection with one’s-‘Self’ (core) and transcendence beyond our destructive Ego. We invite you to look into your soul- your search for a meaning, your moments of joy-love-and happiness, your dreams, your hopes and the residual pain you experience day by day.
We look at the journey of awakening the chakras also as a spiritual process of emergence of light and high awareness in the ‘world of the ten-thousand things’ (a Tao-Te-Ching expression), matrix, that we live in.
We take advantage of the fact that you stay with us for 7 days and nights (no work, kids, life obligations), and, thus, we offer ample challenges and…lots of fun. The 7 day retreat invites you to connect with others in a safe and nourishing space where you can relax into discovering your way of awakening your spirituality.
New Year is simply a very powerful time, a window of time to observe what has been happening, to integrate and find completion with past experiences, tap into your inspiration and inner sense of purpose (our internal GPS) for the coming year.
Take a “timeout”, make this special intermediate time phase into a meaningful experience.
Come join us for New Year: looking back, visioning forward, learning, laughing, loving, sharing, creating, dancing and embracing the present moment.
This will be a deeply nourishing and inspiring 2 days and a perfect way to start the New Year!


About us

Sunray workshops facilitators Dr Oliver & Sarah Rivers are a down to earth couple who live in the real world and present the complex philosophical and practical material in layback terms and with humor, engaging with their audience, teaching how- and motivating to- take a giant leap in order to for the people themselves create a turning point towards a better life & uncover their full potential.


Sunray workshops facilitator Dr Oliver Rivers presents the complex philosophical and practical material in laid-back terms and with humor, engaging with his audience, teaching how- and motivating to- take a giant leap in order to for the people themselves to create a turning point towards a better life & uncover their full potential.
Oliver has 17 years experience in professional counselling and psychotherapy, working both in Australia and overseas, in hospitals, medical centers and private practice, with individuals and groups.
Oliver has advanced clinical experience, having worked in institutions specialising in treating Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, trauma and sexually abused patients. He has extensive experience working with adults from diverse cultural backgrounds, with a wide range of issues including identity issues, relationship issues, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. His research interests include the capacity for psychological change, spiritual awareness and self-development.
Influenced also by his extensive studies of Yoga and Buddhism in the Himalayas in India, as a practitioner and a certified yoga teacher, Oliver combines Eastern philosophies and yogic techniques in his experiential workshops.  
Hence, Oliver’s great variety of approaches and techniques help people of all ages to overcome fears and emotional barriers that inhibit growth and self-development, and, therefore, allows individuals to uncover their full potential.


Sarah is a qualified trainer with 12 years experience training and facilitating workshops and courses both in Australia and overseas. 
Sarah’s extensive studies of Eastern and Western nutrition and the effects of nutrition on both physical and mental health conditions, has influenced her to dedicate her life to helping others to change dietary patterns to promote their wellbeing and longevity. 
Sarah is a meditation teacher and facilitates meditation classes and courses to assist people of all ages to understand the many benefits of meditation on the mind, body and soul, as well as how to meditate and incorporate meditation into everyday life. 
Sarah is a movement and Intuitive-Dance facilitator, combining her prior training in gymnastics, ballet and modern dance. Intuitive-Dance is an invigorating and powerful meditative dance, designed to create peace of mind and promote physical health. Sarah’s Intuitive-Dance workshops are designed to promote body-awareness and spiritual insight, decrease stress and connect with the joy within. 
Sarah’s work assists her clients in their journey towards healing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition, body-work and meditation.



You may want to upgrade your browser.

You're using an old version of Internet Explorer to browse FindYoga right now. FindYoga will work better for you if you upgrade or switch to another browser.

Learn more