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Chakras 101: What Are Chakras? A Basic Introduction

Chakras 101: What Are Chakras? A Basic Introduction

 

The Sanskrit word “chakra” translates as “wheel” and refers to energy centers living within us.

It is believed that when the chakras are clear, you can awaken spiritual energies and move toward enlightenment.  There are seven main chakras (pronounced “shock-ra”) and numerous minor ones in the human body.

Similar to how your body functions automatically, your chakra centers also operate automatically.   Our chakras are interdependent on each other for harmony and balance.

These energy patterns are in certain specific locations on the body, five along the spine, and two on the head, each correlates with its own distinct color, location, and function.  When one part of a chakra center is out of sync it may eventually affect its other parts and possibly its neighboring chakra.

Chakras are connected to our being on several different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  When a chakra center is out of balance it can mean that it’s over-active or under-active, or possibly congested or blocked.  If this happens it is usually felt on a mental, emotional or physical level.

There are many functions of chakras:

⚙ Physically

Each chakra is associated with a particular part of the body and gland.  When the chakras are balanced and energy is flowing freely, a sense of physical well-being is achieved.

⚙ Mentally

When the physical body is in a state of well being, the mind is at ease.  When chakras are balanced and energy is flowing freely, a state of mental clarity is attained.

⚙ Spiritually

When the chakras are balanced and energy is flowing freely, we feel more connected to not only ourselves but to all.

There are many things that can cause blocked chakras.

This can happen through an emotional upset, such as conflict, loss, or accident.

Fear, anxiety, and stress are common causes of chakra malfunction.

When blocks accumulate in the field, a disruption in the flow of energy through the chakras result, it is these blocks that disrupt the harmony in the field and eventually are the cause of disease, as well as, emotional and mental disorders in the physical body.

Medical science has proven that toxins and other impurities, which include negative thoughts, chemical enhancements in our food and other poor environmental factors, influence our body.

Constant forms of “pollution” can cause chakra imbalances to manifest, which may eventually affect us on a physical level. If there is a disturbance on any level, this shows in a chakra’s vitality level, and each of the seven main chakras has its own innate intelligence and function.

It is up to each individual to improve their health conditions, because of our innate wisdom, we should consider that we may be our own best health advocate by just tuning in to our intuition.

Understanding the chakra system is more about how you can help improve your own state of health and all levels of your being.

Meditation, deep breathing, movement, and exercise are ways we can all clear our blocked chakras.

Deep focused breathing and exercise are great because they both help to remove stagnated blood, oxygen, and waste, and in turn, help aid nutrients to flow unobstructed to get where they need to be once we start moving around.

Below I explain a bit what each chakra represents along with some type of yoga and/or exercise movement that may help get the energy back in order.

Please remember before you begin to practice yoga, check with your doctor, as some suggested poses can be challenging for the body, it is best to practice with a qualified yoga teacher.

The seven main chakras and the master organ that each one governs are as follows:

1. ROOT CHAKRA

The red base chakra, located at the base of your spine, represents survival and security issues.

It’s the chakra closest to the earth and represents grounding.

When this chakra is open we feel secure, balanced and stable. This chakra is where we sense fear which controls our sense of survival, or our fight or flight response.

Physically, it influences the suprarenal glands as well as the legs, feet, kidneys, bladder, and spine.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

We can become absent-minded, may feel very tired, have a difficult time with our finances and day to day necessities, be overly cautious, afraid of change, and feeling cold from poor circulation.

⚙ When it is over-energized

You may feel aggressive, oversexed, reckless, very impulsive or belligerent.

To stimulate your root chakra with exercise try exercises that require movement with the lower part of your body such as dancing, squatting, running, walking, yoga with a focus on the legs “rooting” into the earth.

Yoga balancing poses are also a great way to get “grounded” and connect to this chakra.

2. SACRAL (or Spleen Chakra)

The orange sacral chakra, located on the spine about three to four inches above the base chakra, represents creativity and sexuality.

It is associated with sexuality, emotions, creativity and the ability to sense things on a psychic level.

When it is open, your feelings flow freely and are expressed without you being over emotional.

Physically, it is linked to the reproductive system and the gonads (endocrine gland), bladder, bowel, and lower intestine.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

You may not feel very sexual, have pelvic pain, have reproductive disorders, feel unemotional, and anti-social, and have decreased energy, depression, and nervousness.

You may have a form of lower back pain and sciatica, constipation, and have trouble with your kidneys and bladder.

⚙ When it is overactive

You can feel lustful, selfish, arrogant, overly emotional and overburdened by too many vibes & impressions received from others; you can also be very sexual.

To stimulate this chakra, try working with movement in your hips and lower pelvis.  Pelvic circles and yoga twisting poses, Wide-angled Seated Forward Bend and Reclined Bound Angle Pose help to move energy to this area.

This chakra is associated with the element of water. Drinking lots of water and taking an Epsom salt bath is also helpful.

3. SOLAR PLEXUS

The yellow solar plexus chakra located at the spine just above the naval represents control and power issues.

This chakra is associated with the intellect and thinking process, our personal power, anger, strength, and ability to take action.

It’s about being able to assert yourself, feeling in control and having good self-esteem.  It is the seat of your emotional living.  This is an important psychic center, and where we experience “gut feelings” about someone or something.  It is where emotional baggage often gets stored.

Physically it is linked to the digestive system (pancreas, stomach, upper intestines, liver, and gallbladder).  It helps the body assimilate nutrients.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

It can mean a mental slump, feeling isolated, tend to be passive, inactive and indecisive allowing life to pass while they do nothing.

⚙ When it is overactive

It can cause someone to be domineering, reactive to life circumstances, with emotional outbursts and usually stressed out.  Digestion problems, mental overload, and a general feeling of disharmony are also common ailments.

The third chakra is the center of your self-esteem.

Try to remember that every time you judge or criticize yourself, you deplete this chakra and weaken your willpower.  Self-love, self-acceptance, and acknowledgment of your own worth are the building blocks of the third chakra.

To support this chakra work on the core body to strengthen your abdominal muscles such as Boat Pose and yoga twisting poses.

4. HEART

The green heart chakra, located on the spine, in the center of the chest, represents love.

This chakra is associated with our ability to give and receive love, to feel compassion, and to connect to others.

It is the center of the chakras and can balance the activities of the seven energy centers.

Physically it is linked to the circulatory system, thymus gland, and immune system.

When it is open, you are compassionate and friendly.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

You may feel distant to others, have low self-esteem, feel insecure, jealous, and may have a “poor me” attitude.

⚙ When it is overactive

You may give too much of oneself almost in a smothering way for selfish reasons.

There are many yoga poses that can help open and strengthen the heart chakra such as bridge pose, wheel, cobra, warrior I, bow pose …basically any pose that lifts your heart center open, pulling the shoulders back.

These types of poses are excellent for improving and strengthening the heart and lungs as well.

5. THROAT

The blue throat chakra, located on the spine in the throat area, represents communication, sound, speech, writing, and thought expression, the right side of brain, speech, and hearing.

Physically it is linked to the throat, vocal cords, esophagus, mouth, teeth, respiratory system, thyroid, and parathyroid glands.

When this chakra is open, you can express yourself clearly and you may even do this through creativity.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

This may cause communication problems, an inability to express your feelings and ideas, not speaking the truth.

⚙ When it is overactive

The throat chakra may result in speaking too much, criticizing, domineering words, hyperactive attitude, over-reacting, and stubborn beliefs.

Some yoga poses to practice with the clearing of this chakra include Shoulder Stand and Camel; you can also allow this chakra to voice itself through the simplicity of sound: humming, singing or chanting can help you clear this chakra.

6. THIRD EYE (or Brow Chakra)

The indigo third eye chakra, located in the middle of the forehead, represents divine vision.  

This chakra is the center of our psychic power and our higher intuition.  Our inner vision is contained here; good intuition, wisdom, and perception.   

In order for this chakra to work at its best, the heart chakra must be strong and balanced.  

Physically, this chakra is linked to the nervous system, ears, nose, skull, brain, pineal gland, and the pituitary gland.  

⚙ When this chakra is weak

You may not be able to think for yourself, you may have self-doubt, be rigid in your way of thinking, be forgetful, not able to trust your instincts, and get headaches. 

⚙ When it is overactive

You may be oversensitive, spaced out, and live in a fantasy world. 

Meditation is a great way of clearing this chakra, you can do this sitting or you can even do this lying down in Savasana while breathing deep focusing on the space between your eyebrows, trying to “clear your head” while listening to your inner voice letting go of any distractions and negativity.

7. CROWN

The purple crown chakra, located at the top of the head, slightly to the back represents divine knowledge.

This is our center of enlightenment, truth, and oneness.

Physically, this chakra is linked to the pineal gland, brain stem, top of the spinal cord, pain center and nerves.

If this chakra is open, you are aware of the world and yourself, you are unprejudiced.

⚙ When this chakra is weak

This can cause a feeling of disconnection with the flow of life, being uninspired, and feeling misunderstood.

⚙ When it is overactive

This may cause a disconnection with the here and now being impractical, not connected with reality.

Savasana and sitting in lotus pose with eyes closed are both excellent to be in when clearing this chakra.  Set intentions and give gratitude while you are here.

As you can see, each of the seven major chakras has its own character and corresponds to a unique aspect of our being.

As explained, a defect in the energy flow through any given chakra will result in a shortcoming in the energy provided to certain areas of the physical body, as well as injury in the entire energy field’s ability to process energy—affecting all levels of the being.

Holistically speaking, our body contains hundreds of chakras that are the key to the operation of our individual self.

These “spinning wheels” draw-in information from our surroundings.  Interesting enough, our chakras receive the health of our environment, including the people we are in contact with and this can be one way of looking at why other people’s moods can have an effect on us.

In closing, the benefit of learning about your chakras is for you to understand on a “whole” (body, mind and spirit working together) that when all of your seven chakras are communicating equally and working together in harmony, you will have little or no energy disorders.

Your mind alone cannot nurture your whole being, just like a perfect food diet cannot solve all your problems.  It is important to understand that “all of you” has to be understood in order to keep your body, mind and spirit synchronized.

Take the time to listen to your intuitive thoughts and reconnect with your spiritual self.

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