Know Your Chakras
This blog is aimed at serving an introductory outline to the 7 Chakras present in our subtle body (unseen & untouched body). Upcoming blogs in the near future will delve into other significant aspects of Chakras which is a vast subject in itself. This blog is a precursor to what will follow.
A few commonly asked questions are answered before you read further.
What is a Chakra?
‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word for ‘Wheel’. Chakras are invisible, spinning, spherical energy centres present in the subtle body along the spine. They are from the bottom of the spine and end at the crown of your head in a straight line.
How many Chakras are there?
The human body comprises of 7 Chakras that work collectively to create life force energy or ‘Prana’.
The 7 Chakras are as follow:
Muladhara Chakra (The Root Chakra)
Swadhishtana Chakra (The Sacral Chakra)
Muladhara Chakra (The Solar Plexus Chakra)
Anahata Chakra (The Heart Chakra)
Vishuddhi Chakra (The Throat Chakra)
Ajna Chakra (The Third Eye Chakra) and
Sahasrara Chakra (The Crown Chakra)
The first 5 Chakras are connected with the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Space. The last 2 chakras are associated with inner wisdom & cosmic energy. Each chakra is represented by a colour of the rainbow.
What is the significance of each chakra?
Each Chakra corresponds to a very specific area of the body. In a perfectly healthy person, the body, mind & spirit benefits from balanced Chakras. When there is an imbalance of any of these Chakras we feel the exact opposite based on the Chakra/s that are out of balance in our body.
The 7 Major Chakras in Nutshell
Muladhara (Root) Chakra
It is the 1st chakra located at the bottom of the tailbone – in the perineum for men and in the cervix for women. Your energy (Prana) advances from here. This chakra connects all your physical energy & grounds you. The root chakra is responsible for your survival instincts including eating, sleeping & a sense of security. A balanced root chakra means knowing your basic needs are met. You feel strong, confident & protected.
Swadishtana (Sacral) Chakra –
This is the 2nd chakra located in your pelvic area (a few inches below the belly button). The sacral chakra is connected to, birthing life, pleasure & sensuality. Much of our self-esteem is affected by this chakra. A well balanced sacral chakra also means releasing negative self-talk & tuning into what you’re most passionate about. It celebrates creativity to the fullest.
Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
The 3rd chakra sits in your stomach and is located at the navel. Accomplishments & gut feelings are the best associated with this chakra. It is indicative of your power & self-worth. When you refer to gut feelings and think of accomplishments, you’re talking solar plexus energy. When we question our self-worth, it usually centres on this point. It stabilizes emotions. It boosts confidence & is the powerhouse of the body resulting in positive transformations.
Anahata (Heart Chakra)
Your 4th chakra is located in the chest, in and around the heart space. It is the home of human emotions. We’ve all experienced sadness & grief before – whether it’s trust issues or the inability to forgive, this is a call to tune into your heart centre. The heart chakra denotes your ability to give and receive love, heal past wounds & foster healthy, happy relationships.
Vishuddhi (Throat Chakra) – You’ll find your 5th chakra right in the middle of your throat. Your throat chakra is your truth & voice. It is the root of communication and self-expression. When you struggle with your throat chakra, your voice can feel stifled and you may have trouble asserting yourself. Working on your throat chakra helps to activate confidence, self-expression & attract abundance. It helps you become a better listener & communicate your emotions in a pleasing manner.
Ajna (Third Eye) – The 6th chakra is between the eyebrows–extending to your brain’s pineal gland. It controls the rest of the chakra functions. Predominantly it is associated with your intuition or sixth sense. A prominent meeting point between the ‘Ida’ & ‘Pingala’ Nadis (energy channels); this chakra opens your mind and enhances your perspectives. The third eye helps you receive and trust your inner wisdom while making life-changing decisions.
Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
Finally, the 7th chakra is located at the very top of your head, resting on your crown. The crown chakra is your gateway to the higher power or unconditional love which is the highest of all frequencies. This chakra is connected to everything beyond the ego & is a source of enlightenment. That said, work on the crown chakra begins through the lower chakras. When the lower chakras are open, the channels to your upper chakras and spirit are seamless.
Now you have a general overview of the 7 chakras including the role they all play as well as their distinct properties. Regular asana practises together with meditation & pranayama can help balance & keep the chakras open; while boosting overall health & well being.
This encourages the energy to freely flow through your body & allows you to intuitively choose your yoga practice according to your needs in order to find balance & harmony. As suggested in the earlier blog on ’18 Best Yoga Books’ I urge you to read a fascinating book on chakras titled ‘Wheels of Life’ by Anodea Judith.