Introduction to Chakras
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
The Chakra System
The 7 Chakras represent different centers of energy located along the midline of the body. Sometimes these energy centers are visualized as lotus flowers, and as they open up, their respective governing powers are released strengthening the physical, emotional and mental qualities they relate to.
The Root Chakra
The Root Chakra is located in the perineum, and it houses our primal, reproductive energies. The Muladhara relates to our impulses, instincts and all basic experiences we have as human beings in this life. Muladhara is represented by the Earth element, and grounds us within our physical expression. When this Chakra is open and unblocked, we feel safe and secure in both our homes and our lives. One could compare Muladhara with the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Within this first level we must make sure that our physiological needs are met, including food, water, and shelter. When one of these factors is not secure in our lives, we may feel an energetic blockage in our Root Chakra. This blockage can be experienced as anxiety, worry, emptiness or disconnection. When Muladhara is functioning properly one will feel invigorated and move through their daily routine with a sense of vitality. Obstacles will be easily overcome with a strong sense of individual power.
The Sacral Chakra
Located in the pelvic area, the second chakra is home to your passion and pleasure center. When your Root Chakra is healthy and satisfied, your energy moves up into the Svadhisthana in search of enjoyment and entertainment through feelings and sensations. This chakra also houses our ability to express intimacy, sensuality and connection with others. It is common to have blockage in this chakra as our society has negatively warped our view about the expression of emotions and the naturalness of sexual enjoyment.
The element of this chakra is water, and being such, is represented by the free flow of creativity and emotional expression.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra is located behind the navel and is representative of the fire element. One can think of this element as our digestive fire, the force that transforms our food intake into life sustaining energy. When Manipura is in proper balance we tend to find self-confidence, wisdom and feelings of wellbeing. When your fire or agni is suppressed the body feels lethargic, weak and ill.
The Heart Chakra
The fourth chakra, Anahata, is located in the center of our chest, not where our actual heart is, but in the same midline as the other chakras. As one can imagine, the heart chakra controls our appreciation and expression of compassion, love and beauty. When the heart chakra is free from blockages we are able to recognize the interconnectedness of life and the equality of all human beings and approach one another from a place of compassion. Most religions and spiritual paths teach that Love is the unifying force in the world, and as such, the heart chakra has the power to heal us and bring us together as one common soul. An unbalanced Anahata can lead to mistrust in your relationships, the inability to form loving bonds with others and can make one feel isolated and disconnected.
The Throat Chakra
The fifth chakra, Vishuddha, is located in the throat center and connects the lower chakras to the higher ones of the mind. This chakra is driven by the principles of expression and communication. An open and balanced throat chakra allows for easiness in the self-expression of your personal Truth. When your Vishuddha is blocked or out of balance, you may have fears of speaking, poor communicative abilities, and have the tendency to tell lies or partake freely in gossip.
The Third Eye Chakra
The sixth chakra, Ajna, is our center for intuition and foresight. The third eye chakra allows us to experience higher states of consciousness and any transcendent experiences that take us beyond the lower rational mind.
When one is connected with their Ajna chakra, they have the ability to transcend duality- the duality of a personal “I” separate from the rest of the world.
When the third eye chakra is not open to its full potential your might not trust your inner guiding voice. Perhaps you lose your sense of direction in life and feel disconnected from your purpose.
The Crown Chakra
Located on the top of the head, Sahasrara is the energy center that connects us to our Spiritual Self and to the Divine Consciousness. The crown chakra is the center containing knowledge on the Truth of all Life and it’s flowering leads to one’s enlightenment. It has been said that any individual can work to open the lower 6 chakras and unblock any stuck energy within them, although the unfolding and awakening of the crown chakra happens when the Divine Will deems you ready to fully understand the essence of the Truth.
The chakras are aligned along the Shushumna Nadi, or central energy channel of the body. The other 2 major nadis are the Ida Nadi and the Pingala Nadi.
Ida is associated with the lunar, cooling, feminine energy and connects through the left nostril. This is why we do pranayama with the left nostril when we need to calm or relax ourselves. Pingala is the solar, masculine energy channel and ends in the right nostril, carrying heating energy throughout the body.
Chakra images from www.chakra-anatomy.com