What are Chakras?
In the language of the Vedic tradition, Chakra literally means wheel. The seers of ancient India perceived the chakras, found in various areas along one's body, as energy nodes. Some visualized these focal points to be swirling wheels of energy where matter and consciousness mesh. The energy, called prana, is our life force that gives us health and well-being. Others characterized the chakras as having funnel-like shapes and associated them with the form of the Sacred Lotus. That is why most images of the chakras contain a lotus petal design surrounding the inner most symbols.
There are seven major chakras located along the center of the body where the energy flow appears to converge. These seven "wheels" mirror both the physical and spiritual state of the person. Focusing on these convergence points as a means to balance mind, body and spirit became a very important part in the daily practices of these Vedic folk. In time, the original concept of the chakras spread across India, Nepal, Tibet and beyond.
Over the centuries, practitioners within these regions continued to pass their knowledge onto students while devising various methods and systems such as mediation, yoga and Ayurvedic medicine as a means to strengthen one's prana. Although their belief systems included unique aspects of different cultures, the basic understanding of the chakras remained similar. Students, both past and present, have learned how to nourish, unblock and maintain positive energy flow. Mental, physical and spiritual health remain optimal when the chakras are kept balanced and open. To better understand, a detailed look at each of the chakras, their locations and purpose is necessary:
The first chakra is the Muladhara or Root Chakra. The word Muladhara means “foundation”. This chakra is located at the base of our spinal column or at the genitals. This chakra is associated with the element of earth. It controls our “fight or flight” response; it links us to our body, our foundation. The colors of this chakra are red and black.
Some signs that may indicate your root chakra is out of balance are:
- Chronic lack of energy
- Exhaustion after even mild exercise
- Stiffness and painful movement in hips, legs and feet
- Feeling uncomfortable with your body
The second chakra is Svadistana or the Sacral Chakra. Svadistana means “sweetness.” It is located just below the belly button and is associated with the element of water. This chakra rules our sense of movement and balance. This is where our chi or life energy is located. This is how we experience the energy of our outer world. The color associated with Sacral Charka is orange.
Signs that the Sacral Chakra is out of balance are:
- Lower back pain
- Irregular or painful menstruation
- Fluid balance in the body
- Fertility issues
The third chakra is Manipura or the Solar Plexus Chakra. Manipura means “city of gems.” It is located between the end of the rib cage and the top of the belly button. This chakra is associated with the element of fire. This is our emotional center; it is where our “gut feelings” or intuition is held. The colors associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra are gold and yellow.
Signs that the Solar Plexus Chakra may be out of balance are:
- Memory struggles
- Issues with digestion, the immune system, gallbladder, liver
The fourth chakra is the Anahata or the Heart Chakra. Anahata means “unstuck.” It is located in the center of the chest. The Heart Chakra is associated with the element of air. This chakra allows us to embrace the outside world without losing ourselves and becoming too immersed in it; keeping us emotionally balanced. The colors associated with the Heart Charka are green and pink.
Signs that the Heart Chakra may be out of balance ar:
- Issues with the lungs, heart or respiratory system
- Feeling emotionally unbalanced
- Not accepting yourself for who you are
The fifth chakra is Vishuddha or the Throat Chakra. It is located at the center of the throat. This is our communication center, where we speak our truth and express our creativity. This chakra helps us to express what we know and feel. The color associated with the Throat Chakra is blue.
Signs that the Throat Chakra may be out of balance are:
- Sore throat
- Stress and tension
- Tight neck and shoulders
The sixth chakra is Ajña or the Brow Chakra. Ajña means “command.” This chakra is located in the center of the forehead, our third eye. It is at this chakra that we begin to make sense of and interpret the world around us. The colors associated with this chakra are deep indigo blue and purple.
Signs that the Brow Chakra may be out of balance are:
- Physical eye troubles
- Inability to focus
- Inability to determine what is important from what is not
The seventh chakra is Sahasrara or the Crown Chakra. Sahasrara means “thousand fold,” which refers to the thousand petal lotus with is the epitome of the human condition in Hindu belief. This chakra is located just above the top of the head. It is said that this chakra unites us with the universe. This is our spiritual connection and our higher self. The colors associated with the Crown Chakra are purple, white, clear or golden.
Signs that our Crown Chakra may be out of balance are:
- Being overly attached to someone or something
- Detachment or avoidance of people and responsibilities
- Exceptionally clumsy
- Lack of physical balance
Of course, we only touched upon the most basic elements in this introduction. For thousands of years, countless individuals have cultivated and contributed to our understanding. The most key element to gasp is that the chakras represent various nexus points of life energy where our physical forms merge with consciousness. These areas of unity affect every aspect of our health and well-being. By seeking and finding a balance of the chakras, one can better manage the stresses and challenges in their lives.
If you would like to schedule a chakra balancing or simply desire more information, please contact Mary today.