Chitta Shakti

Definition - What does Chitta Shakti mean?

In yoga philosophy, chitta shakti is the primordial cosmic energy that governs all mental functions. Chitta is the Sanskrit word for “memory” and refers to the subconscious mind. Shakti is associated with feminine or creative energy. Chitta shakti controls memory, thinking, intelligence, decision making, desires and planning, among other mental functions.

As one of three forms of shakti energizing the body, mind and soul, chitta shakti is asociated with the mind. Prana shakti controls the physical body and atma shakti is associated with the soul.

Yogapedia explains Chitta Shakti

In Hatha yoga, when the chitta shakti and prana shakti are in balance, the harmony of the two types of energy open the door for atma shakti. This harmony may also help the yogi to achieve a peaceful mind, an increase in confidence, a higher level of consciousness and an increase in energy. An imbalance leads to physical, mental and emotional illness.

Chitta shakti is associated with the ida nadi, the channel through which mental energy flows. The ida nadi travels the length of the spinal cord, weaving in and out of the chakras. It mirrors the pingala nadi, which is the channel for prana shakti. When ida nadi is free from blockages, chitta shakti flows freely.

Methods for balancing shakti include yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation with particular focus on the chakras. One of the most effective ways of balancing the nadis and their associated shaktis in yoga practice is through a form of pranayama called nadi shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing. With the fingers of one hand, the yogi alternately closes the nostrils while completing one cycle of breath in and out through the open nostril.

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