What Is a Chakra?
The Sanskrit wordChakra literally translates to wheel or disk.
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, calledPrana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
The Importance of the Main Chakras in the Body
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.
The Chakras of Matter
The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.
: Muladhara Chakra First Chakra
Muladhara means root support.
TheMuladhara is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs.
Location is the Perineum
It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon.
Corresponds to our Adrenal Glands, legs, feet, bones, large intestine
When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.
Element is Earth
Color is Red
Sound Is Lam
: Svadhisthana Second Chakra
Svadhisthana means sweetness.
TheSvadhisthana chakra is our creativity and sexual center.
Location is the Sacrum – above the pubic bone and below the navel – encompasses the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs
Corresponds to our Reproductive Centers: Gonads and Ovaries, womb, genitals, kidneys, low back
Corresponds to our emotions, sexuality, and self-gratification.
It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement.
Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Element is Water
Color is Orange
Sound is Vam
: Manipura Third Chakra
Manipura means Lustrous Gem
This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus.
It’s the area from the navel to the breastbone.
Corresponds to Pancreas, adrenals, digestive system, liver, gall bladder
It represents energy, ego, power, will, risk, digestion, motivation and action.
It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism.
When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
The Element is Fire.
Color is Yellow
Sound is Ram
The Fourth Chakra: Anahata Chakra – The Connection Between Matter and Spirit
Anahata means Unstruck
Located at the heart center, the fourth chakra,anahata 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.
Corresponds to Thymus, lungs, heart, circulatory system, arms, hands
The heart chakra is our source of love and connection.
When we work through our physical chakras, or the first three, we can open the spiritual chakras more fully.
Corresponds to love, relationship, balance, breath, nurturing, and balance.
It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.
A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
The Element is Air.
Color is Green
Sound is Yam
The Chakras of Spirit
: Vishudda Fifth Chakra
Vishudda means Purification.
Located in the area of the throat.
This 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, ears, shoulders, neck
It corresponds to sound, vibration, communication, self-expression, being heard.
Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Element is Sound – Ethe
Color is Bright Blue
Sound is Ham
: Ajna Chakra Sixth Chakra
Aina means Command Center
TheAjna chakra is located in between the eyebrows.
It corresponds to the Pinneal Gland, Central Nervous System, Cerebral Cortex,
It relates tolight, vision, sight, perception, visualization, insight, dreaming.
This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center.
It opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels.
We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings.
Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability.
When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us “see the big picture.”
Element is Light
Color is Indigo
Sound is Om
: Sahasrara Seventh Chakra
Sahasrarameans Thousand Fold
Located at the top of the Head
It is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine.
It relates to consciousness as pure awareness.
It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing.
When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Element is Thought
Color is Violet,White
Sound – none
Clue to Aligning the Chakras
Awareness to which of your chakras are out of balance is key to aligning them.
Our bodies are in constant flux between balance and imbalance.
Unless you have an apparent problem in one area of the body, imbalances can be difficult to detect.
That being said, it’s good to bring awareness to your body/mind and start to learn its signals and clues.
For example, frequent constipation can indicate a blockage in the first chakra.
A recurring sore throat leaves clues to a blocked fifth chakra.
Frequent headaches around the area of the forehead may mean your sixth chakra is blocked.
Jo Kirsch ©2015