What is Chakras?
Chakra is any center of subtle body believed to be a psychic energy centre in the traditions of Indian religion. The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or circle. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
Although most people have heard of seven chakras, there are actually 114 in the body. The human body is a complex energy form; in addition to the 114 chakras, it also has 72,000 “nadis,” or energy channels, along which vital energy, or “prana,” moves. When the nadis meet at different points in the body, they form a triangle. We call this triangle a chakra, which means “wheel.” We call it a wheel because it symbolizes growth, dynamism and movement, so even though it is actually a triangle, we call it a chakra. Some of these centers are very powerful, while others are not as powerful. At different levels, these energy centers produce different qualities in a human being.
These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.
Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge, but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailment.
Blocked energy in our seven chakras can often lead to illness, so it’s important to understand what each chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely.
There are seven types of chakras.
1) Root chakra–
Location- Base of the spine
It is also called as ‘Muladhara’ in Sanskrit. This chakra is for stability, security and our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless. It represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded. Dormant Kundalini is believed to be resting here.
2) Sacral Chakra–
Location- Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.
It is also called as ‘Swadhisthana’ in Sanskrit. This chakra is for Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It is for our creativity and sexual center. When this chakra is active, you enjoy the physical world in so many ways. If you look at a pleasure seeker, you will see that his life and his experience of life are just a little more intense compared with a person who is only about food and sleep.
3) Solar Plexus Chakra–
Location- Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
It is also called as ‘Manipura’ in Sanskrit. It represents our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. It is our source of personal power.
4) Heart Chakra–
Location- Center of chest just above the heart.
It is also called as ‘Anahata’ in Sanskrit. It is at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection.
5) Throat Chakra–
It is also called as ‘Vishuddha’ in Sanskrit. It is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue. It is our ability to communicate. A person can become so powerful that if he/she just sits in one place, things will happen for him/her. He/She can manifest life beyond the limitations of time and space.
6) Third Eye Chakra–
Location- Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
It is also called as ‘Ajna’ in Sanskrit. It is our ability to focus on and see the big picture. It is our center of intuition. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or hear its warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability. You become intellectually enlightened. If it opens, you have attained to a new balance and peace within you. The outside no longer disturbs you, but you are still experientially not liberated.
7) Crown Chakra–
Location- The very top of the head.
It is also called as ‘Sahasrar’ in Sanskrit. It is the highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually and the state of pure consciousness, within which there is neither object nor subject. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine. You become ecstatic beyond all reason and you will simply burst with ecstasy for no reason whatsoever.
Identifying Blocked Chakras
The goal behind all spiritual practices is to reach a place of balance between spirit, body, earth and health, universality and grounding.
Chakras can become blocked, closed, or imbalanced. When one of your chakras is closed off to the natural flow of energy through your body, your being will compensate by directing more energy to the more functional chakras.
This results in some chakras shutting down while others become hyperactive. Both pose serious repercussions to your mental and physical balance, and careful meditation is the best way to keep all of your chakras open and bring them into harmony.
One of the powerful tools used for Chakra healing are affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that have the function of strengthening and healing damaged part of ourselves. When working with affirmations, we are able to focus on various aspects, one at a time. Here are some examples of affirmations for the various Chakras:
- The Root Chakra – “I am filled with humility. I am enough as I am.”
- The Sacral Chakra – “I am radiant, beautiful and strong and enjoy a healthy and passionate life”
- The Solar Plexus – “I accept myself completely. I accept that I have strengths and I accept that I have weaknesses.”
- The Heart Chakra – “Love is the answer to everything in life, and I give and receive love unconditionally”
- The Throat Chakra – “My thoughts are positive, and I always express myself truthfully and clearly”
- The Third Eye Chakra – “I am wise, and I understand the true meaning of life’s situations”
- The Crown Chakra – “I am complete and one with the divine energy”
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