Well, it is not an exotic animal, that’s for sure. In fact, the word chakra derives from the Sanskrit word for “wheel”, though in the yogic context a better translation is “vortex” or “whirlpool” because they rotate within themselves…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s see…
In Hindu and tantric/yogic traditions Chakras are energy points in the subtle body. If you’ve ever been to a Yoga class, you are probably familiar with some of them: the Solar Plexus Chakra or the Brow or Third Eye Chakra, for instance. It was in a Yoga class that I heard about these energy centres for the first time, back in the year 1999, when not many people were doing Yoga in Buenos Aires, let alone knew what a Chakra was. I just assumed they were something to do with the asanas. Many years, and books later, I know better.
This energy centres are located at the physical counterparts of the major plexus of arteries, veins and nerves. They are part of the subtle body and as such are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels, called nadiis.
Nadiis are channels in the subtle body through which the life force (prana), or vital energy moves. Various scriptural texts and teachings present a different number of chakras, but there are 7 chakras that are considered to be the most important ones.
This 7 chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the spine to the top of the head. In various traditions chakras are associated with multiple physiological functions, an aspect of consciousness, and other distinguishing characteristics.
The chakras are thought to vitalize the physical body and to be associated with interactions of a physical, emotional and mental nature. Their function is to spin and draw in the energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance.
7 Chakras overview
Each of the 7 chakras is represented by a lotus flower with different amount of petals, they identify with colour and sound.
1. Root Chakra – Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded. It connects us with the Earth power.
- Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
- Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.
- Physical issues: If unbalanced one may exhibit sluggishness, tiredness, weight problems, skin, bone, teeth and back problems.
2. Sacral Chakra – Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It connects us with our creativity and sexual power.
- Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in.
- Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.
- Physical issues: If unbalanced it may show in the form of back problems, problems with reproductive organs, spleen and urinary system.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra – Our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives. It’s the centre of our self-esteem and will power.
- Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
- Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.
- Physical issues: When out of balance, you may see physical signs of arthritis, diabetes, digestive disorders, ulcers, problems with stomach, liver, colon and intestine, anorexia or bulimia, pancreatitis, gallstones and allergies.
4. Heart Chakra – Our ability to love. It connects us to Universal Love and compassion.
- Location: Centre of chest just above heart.
- Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.
- Physical issues: It governs the heart, lungs, breast, thymus and arms, asthma, allergy and immune system.
5. Throat Chakra – Our ability to communicate.
- Location: Throat.
- Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.
- Physical issues: It governs the throat, mouth, ears, thyroid gland, arms, and hands.
6. Third Eye Chakra or Brow Chakra– Our ability to focus on and see the big picture. It connects us to our intuition.
- Location: Forehead between the eyes.
- Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.
- Physical issues: When unbalanced can show in the physical forms of poor vision, sinus and nose problems, headaches, seizures, learning disability and neurological problems.
7. Crown Chakra – The highest Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
- Location: The crown of our head.
- Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.
- Physical issues: Physical symptoms of being out of balance, migraine, amnesia, coma, and sensitivity to Light and Sound.
In the following months I’ll be posting on different ways to balance your chakras using sound, colour and different natural techniques. To begin with, you can try this series of Tibetan singing bowl meditations that will restore balance to these energy centres.