People trained in this Indian art of healing consider every illness to be an imbalance within the human body. Healing can take place when the natural balance has been restored. They recognize that the conscious mind creates the disease and that consciousness is an energy that manifests itself in the five basic principles, or elements. If there is too much or too little of any one element, an imbalance occurs (disease). This is restored through corresponding measures. The Chinese also have their Five Element Theory (see Appendix C). However, it takes expert knowledge to reconcile these two systems with each other. Working out the mutual characteristics and the differences would go beyond the scope of this book.
exploring the mudra concept
The classification of the chakras with the fingers is not the same in all schools of yoga. The most prevalent classification is shown on the hand illustrated here. But there are also yoga masters who classify the little finger with the root chakra, the ring finger with the sacral chakra, the middle finger with the solar plexus chakra, the index finger with the heart chakra, and the thumb with the throat chakra. It should be noted that only the five chakras found along the spinal column are assigned to the individual fingers. You will find more information about the chakras in Appendix B.
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