“Sky above, earth below, peace within.” - Unknown
According to the yogic system, within the physical body is a subtler body, which forms the subtle network through which “prana” or life force energy flows. This network is comprised of 72,000 “nadis” or meridians. Meridians are energy paths through which energy flows. There are one hundred and fourteen important junction points where these meridians meet. These are referred to as chakras, which mean wheel in Sanskrit. Therefore chakras are concentrated centers of energy or wheels of life. Out of these one hundred and fourteen chakras, seven are held as the main chakra points. The degree of Chakra and Meridian activity in a person’s body is dependent on the person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. If a chakra is blocked, it hampers the flow of energy through the meridians. Each chakra is associated with different body parts, emotions, and resonates with one of seven universal principles, which are survival, creativity, personality, love, expression, insight, and thought. Each chakra also relates to a certain color, a certain element, a certain seed sound, specific minerals, food, herbs etc. The seven main chakras, which align the spine, start from the base of the spine and go on 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.
The first chakra (root) is located at the base of the spine and the seventh chakra (crown) is located on the top of your head. The other five chakras, namely, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, and third eye, are aligned in sequence along your spine, neck, and skull. Their function is to vitalize the physical body by feeding in positive energy and clearing negative energy by interaction with our body’s endocrine and lymphatic systems. Chakras are the interface between our physical, mental and emotional dimensions.
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1. The first chakra, the Root Chakra, is associated with our basic animal instincts of survival and self-preservation.
Location: base of spine, perineum
Associated body parts: coccyx, anus, large intestine, adrenal glands, back, legs, feet, bones
Basic issues: safety, survival, shelter, nourishment, self-esteem, trust, boundaries, physical health
2. The second chakra, the Sacral Chakra, is the focal point of our emotions, sexuality, and creativity.
Location: lower abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs
Associated body parts: hips, lower back, sexual organs, bladder, kidneys, stomach, bodily fluids (tears, urine, blood, menstrual fluids)
Basic issues: pleasure, sexuality, sensuality, emotions, intimacy, warmth, creativity, confidence
3. The third chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, is associated with identity and self-esteem.
Associated body parts: stomach, liver, gallbladder, spleen, adrenal glands
Basic issues: ego, self-esteem, vitality, forcefulness, perception, insight, will, discipline
4. The fourth chakra, the Heart Chakra, is located at the center of chest.
Location: center of the chest
Associated body parts: heart, lungs, diaphragm, chest, thymus, circulatory system, shoulders, arms, hands
Basic issues: love, compassion, kindness, relationships, self-acceptance, forgiveness, hope, sympathy, empathy
5. The fifth chakra, the Throat Chakra, is associated with sound and has to do with creative self-expression, speech and communication.
Location: throat, neck
Associated body parts: throat, neck, ears, jaw, mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, thyroid gland
Basic issues: communication, creativity, expression, humility, manifesting ideas
6. The sixth chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, is associated with sight and seeing, both intuitively and physically.
Location: between and above the eyes
Associated body parts: eyes, brain, pituitary and pineal glands, lymphatic and endocrine systems
Basic issues: clairvoyance, telepathy, wisdom, connection to the higher self, imagination, dreams, ideas, reasoning
7. The seventh chakra, the Crown Chakra, is known as the “thousand-petaled lotus”, the symbol of purity and spirituality.
Color: white or violet
Location: top of the head
Associated body parts: center of the head, brain
Basic issues: wisdom, intuitive knowing, spiritual development, humanitarianism, selflessness, connection to the Divine, universal higher consciousness
The chakras absorb energy generated from our thoughts, feelings and outside environment and relay this to our body. Our body is affected by the quality of the energy that passes through the chakras. For instance, if we have negative feelings, we will be filtering negative energy through our chakras and into our body. Over time this can manifest as physical illness.
Chakras are like the power stations of our body, bringing it to life, and keeping it healthy. Hence, balancing the energy flow in our chakras is valuable for maintaining optimal physical, emotional and mental health.