What is a Chakra?[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Chakra -by Shweta Thakur-
Chakra means wheel or any circular arrangement.It also indicates movement which is essential to transform pshycophysical energy into spiritual energy.Chakras cannot be fully described from the materialistic standpoint.Just like painting cannot be described by the kind of curves,lines,colors though its forms the basic structure similarly chakras cannot be described physiologically or by neurochemistry. But chakras are not imaginary centres,they are subtle centres which can be activated by various techniques.
Chakras are active at all times whether we are conscious of them or not. The energy influenced by five elements earth,water,fire,air and akasha (void/space)constantly move through these chakras producing different physic states. These elements are constantly moving inside the body as we breathe in and produce different temperaments.With training it is possible to observe oneself and see energy moving through these psychic centres.
Following are the seven major chakras associated with the areas of the body and elements as shown:-
- Muladhara chakra:-base of spine and associated with element earth.
- Swadhishtana chakra:- genitals and associated with element water.
- Manipura chakra: navel and associated with the element fire.
- Anahata chakra:Heart and associated with element air.
- Vishuddha chakra:throat and associated with void(space).
- Ajna chakra:point between the eyebrows and associated with the combination of the essence of all elements in the purest form.
- Sahasara chakra: At the crown of the head,transcending all elemental influence.
Each of this chakra is associated with a specific colour and seed sounds( bija mantra).The logical reasoning behind this association is that one of the twin hemisphere of the brain is verbal and the other is visual.The visual hemisphere works with the images of these chakras which can also be the deities linked with each chakra.So by concentration on the images of these deities can generate consciousness related to the chakra.
The verbal hemisphere is engaged with the seed sounds(mantras) and by the repetition of these mantras the deity present in the sounds of mantras come alive and aspirant can experience his presence.
As energy passes through these chakras starting from the base to the head one begins to feel spiritually awakened and starts experiencing liberation from the ever changing world of illusion(maya).
Chakra -by Shikma Jacoby-
The Chakras are energy centers, they are special spots in our spiritual body were 3 types of energy meet.
In a way the spiritual body acts exactly like the physical one, it has veins, arteries, blood, bones, organs, skin and cells. I see the chakras as the organs of the spiritual body. They are sensitive and powerful centers all connected to one another and each one of them is in charge of the existence of the spiritual body and is a center within itself that has its own unique spiritual energy.
For me both bodies are connected, non separated, and therefore if the spiritual body is not well the physical one will soon follow. There is nothing that happens to us emotionally/spiritually that will not have an effect on the physical body and I think that is why it is believed that each chakra is located in a specific area of the body and directly influences the same area in the physical body.
The 3 spiritual forces that are meeting and forming the chakras are believed to be the way for us to reach the highest level of existence. When the chakras are ‘open’ those strong energies slowly rising up our body and can climb higher and higher till they reach the highest point.
I believe that things are not as literal, I think that the chakras are used as a metaphor for something that might be too hard for us to comprehend in an abstract way.
I believe that we carry energy with us, negative and positive, and that everything that happens to us in our life is loading a type of energy on us, good or bad. I think that the chakras are the main places were we store those energies as they are connected to the most important parts of our physical body. I think that to clean and clear those energies might be the hardest thing a person can do as it is not only 7 spots that we are cleaning it is every part of our physical and spiritual existence.
I think that to reach the highest level of existence is to go back to the moment you were born, as I believe that we are born clean- that all our physical and spiritual channels are wide open and clear and that every moment that passes after that the energies in our bodies are being stained and loaded. To ‘open the chakras’ and the path to the highest level of existence is like being born again but in a stronger more beautiful way as you are being born again when you are aware of your rebirth.
Chakra -by Charlotta Lidstrom-
Chakra means wheal in Sanskrit. The chakras are like wheals of prana, energy, in the body located where the nadis, ida and pingala meet, crossing each other, and the nadi shushumna. The chakras are aligned along the spine. All the chakras are horizontal, except the first and the last one, they are connected with each other.
There are seven chakras are:
- Muladhara, located at the same place as mula bandha, between the genitals and anus. This is where the three main nadis are born. The colour of Muhla dara is red.
- Swadhistana is located three fingers below the navel, the colour of Swadhistana is orange.
- Manipura is located at the solar plexus, same place as uddiyana bandha, and its colour is yellow.
- Anahata is located at the heart and its colour is green.
- Vishuddi is located at the throat, same place as jalandhara bandha, and its colour is blue.
- Ajna is located at the forehead, the third eye, this is where the three main nadis meet for the last time, and the colour of Ajna chakra is indigo blue.
- The last chakra is located at the crown of the head, it is called Sahasara and has the colour purple.
The chakras need to be in balance to function properly. They have their physical representation in the endocrine nervous system, every chakra is represented by a gland. If a chakra is not balanced it affects the physical health of the organs represented by the chakra, as well as the persons mental health.
One can think of the chakras like wheals spinning at different speeds. A chakra can be lazy, happy (balanced) or overactive. There are several ways to balance a chakra. For example: chromo therapy, crystal healing, aromatherapy.
Chakra -by Andrea Brady-
According to yoga philosophy, a chakra is one of the seven centres of spiritual energy in the human body. Chakras are centres of distribution of energy throughout the body. There are seven major centres which govern a multitude of lesser centres throughout the body. Five of the major centres are located along the spine and two in the head. The chakras are not within the dense physical body. They exist in the etheric matter and in the aura, outside the physical body.
Each of the major chakras is associated with a gland and major nerve plexus and governs the area of the physical body in which it is found. By influencing the endocrine system and its hormones, the chakras affect the functioning and structure of the tissues of the body, including the organs. The chakras are also associated with various aspects of our experience on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheels of light”. This is descriptive of the appearance of the chakras which are like vortexes of energy which spin. Each chakra is structured uniquely to receive and transmit the particular qualities of energy which are necessary for the area of functioning governed by the chakra.
The seven major chakras are:
- The “root” or “base” chakra the first being Muladahra related to the Earth, physical identity and self preservation.
- The second is sacral chakra is also known as svadistana relating to water, emotional identity and self gratification.
- The third is Manipura, meaning Fire, ego identity orientated toward self gratification.
- The fourth is Anahata relating to air, social identity self acceptance located at the heart centre.
- The fifth chakra also known as Visshudda relating to sound, creatitvity and self expression also known as the throat chakra.
- Number six is the crow chakra also known as Ajna, associated with light, archetypal identity and self reflection.
- The final chakra is the crown chakra, Sahasara this is related thought, universal identity and self knowledge.
The three lower chakras are often described as being related to our functioning as a human being on the “earth plane”. They are controlled by the energies of the planetary physical plane. The chakras above the diaphragm are controlled by the energies of what is called the “cosmic plane”. The upper three chakras, in particular, are involved with the processing of “spiritual” energies. The heart, lying in the middle, is thought to be the connector or transformer which bridges “above and below” or “heaven and earth”. As we progress spiritually, the upper chakras are awakened, producing the expansion and development of the spiritual layers of the aura. The energies of upper and lower chakras are also brought into relationship, transforming each other. The whole chakra system and aura are actually in a state of evolution.
The chakras are commonly described as having the colours of the rainbow, beginning with red at the root and ending with indigo at the 6th (ajna or brow) chakra. The crown chakra is usually thought to be mostly white light, although some describe it as a light violet hue. There are other systems which describe the chakras as having different colours. The rainbow colours are actually the colours of the chakras at the 2nd, or emotional layer, of the energy field. Since those colours are the brightest, it may be that they dominate in the overall colour perceived in a chakra. Also, at this point in time in human evolution, the emotional energy body is very active and this also may account for the popularity of this particular colour scheme.
The appearance and structure of the chakras from person to person will vary considerably, depending on:
- The particular energies which constitute that person’s makeup — there are variations in the basic energetic “constitution” of individuals (ray energies).
- The point in “evolution” of the person’s chakra system. Chakras can be in various states of “awakening”.
- The overall health of the energy field. Energy field disturbances can be seen as distortions of the chakras.
- The current life issues and transitions occurring at a particular time — the chakras can be in a considerable state of flux.
The chakra system is a tool for self awareness, diagnosis and healing the soul’s journey. It can be a used as a map for the journey of self healing and our quest to find our life’s purpose. Using this map, the journey can be more direct, more profound and more deliberate. This system maps onto the body through the human nervous system, maps onto psyche through developmental stages of childhood, maps onto the spiritual quest through the states of consciousnesses, and transforms the culture through planes of external reality. The chakras are truly a set of portals between the inner and outer worlds.
It is thought if the outer world is to be transformed, the process must begin within. The value of the chakra system is that e become aligned, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. The chakra system describes the energetic structure through which we organise our life force. By understanding this internal arrangement, we can understand our defences and needs and learn how to restore balance.
Chakra – by Ben Aldridge-
There are seven primary chakras which lie along a linear path down the body from the crown chakra at the top of the spine, to the root chakra at the base, at the crossing points of the nadis. They have no physical structure, but are part of the body’s subtle energy system.
Chakra is the sanskrit word for “wheel”, and each of them is said to spin at a different frequency – if the chakras are spinning effectively (in their balanced or “happy” state), they can perform their job, bringing prana to the physical and subtle bodies and removing stale energy from the system, keeping you in good physical and energetic shape. However it’s often the case that the chakras aren’t spinning as they should be – they can also be overactive or lazy. These dysfunctional chakras cause imbalances in the subtle energetic body and cause problems, sometimes even manifesting as physical illnesses. As the chakras work together as a system, when one isn’t functioning properly, it may affect other chakras as well.
The chakras, from bottom to top, are:
- Muladhara chakra, located behind the pubic bone – this chakra is our grounding energy centre.
- Svadhistana chakra, below the navel and towards the diaphragm – this chakra is the centre of our emotions, sexuality and desires.
- Manipura chakra, located at the solar plexus – this deals with our vitality, our will, our sense of personal power.
- Anahata chakra, the heart chakra – this chakra is associated with love and compassion.
- Visshuda chakra, at the throat – this chakra is the centre for communication and creativity.
- Ajna chakra, at the third eye – this chakra is associated with intuition and dreams.
- Sahasrara chakra, at the top of the head – this is our spiritual gateway.
Each of the chakras can be developed and worked on using techniques such as physical exercises, therapy, visualisation and mantras.
Chakra -by Danielle Toomey-
Chakra is known as the ‘spiritual energy centre’ & there are seven primary Chakras that flow through our body. They are located in specific places of the body, have their own structure, function, number, colour and appearance. Five of these are known as the “root” or “base” chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra and throat chakra and are located along the spine and two in the head called the brow chakra and crown chakra. These exist in our aura, outside the body.
Each chakra is linked to a gland and major nerve and looks after their specific body area. The chakras can affect the function and structure of the tissues of the body, including the organs, as well as our physical health, mental state, spiritual and emotional well being. By removing blockages within our chakras we are able to eliminate blockages within our lives and discover our true self.
The first Chakra- Root/Base Chakra (Muladhara) is Red in colour & located at the base of the spine. It can be referred to as our animal instinct which lies within all of us and urges us to survive. People who have less energy through this chakra often feel insecure, on edge and life can be a struggle. When energy flows freely through the charka it allows us to release and let go, feeling more stable and grounded and connected to earth. It’s the first of the Charkras that tells us to walk bare feet and to really appreciate nature’s beauty.
The Second Chakra – Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) is orange in colour, located just above the base of the spine around the sex organs. When this chakra is blocked it brings about a deep sense of insecurity within our own sexuality and with an over active Sacral chakra people tend to focus too much energy on sex. A well balance sacral chakra can enjoy a healthy sex life, proper flow of energy through the reproductive organs, and has the ability to express creative energy from within. This chakra aids Muladhara with survival and adds desire to reproduce.
The Third Chakra- solar plexus chakra (Manipura), yellow or gold in colour, located in the belly associated with the ‘core’ and the digestive system. An unbalanced or stressed 3rd Chakra can lead to indigestion and a well balanced one adds to strong digestion and strong core stability. This is the Root of personal power and is constantly challenging people at work, in relationships or within themselves. An under active 3rd chakra can lead to powerlessness and an over active can be over powering to others, typically very selfish. Being the power chakra this helps to regulate the flow of energy to the other Chakras. A balanced chakra gives us the ability to influence and change our surroundings leading us to improved sense of self and self esteem, which increases our ability in the long run to help others.
The Fourth Chakra- Heart Chakra (Anahata), colour is green and potentially pink, located between the shoulder blades just above the heart. The heart chakra plays an important role in balancing the chakra systems. To achieve a proper balance and flow of energy through the higher and lower chakras, that energy must be equally integrated across the heart Chakra. By maintaining well balanced charka’s we are able to find & eliminate blockages as our life evolves. This chakra tends to be an area, as humans, we require most healing as everyone at some stage in their life will get hurt by a loving relationship. It is within the heart chakra that the healing takes place. A well balanced 4th chakra allows you to love, give freely, and the ability to heal ourselves and others. If we can listen to and operate our heart chakra it will help to achieve our purpose.
Fifth – throat chakra – (Vishuddha) blue in colour, located in the throat near the adam’s apple and is linked to creativity and the centre of communication. A well balanced 5th chakra enables us to speak the truth and voice our intentions, giving us the confidence to express ourselves & help facilitate the creativity brought from the 2nd chakra. This then improves relationships with others, unlike an overactive chakra which tends to express themselves constantly at inappropriate times and an out of balanced chakra can be uncommunicative.
Sixth Chakra- (Ajna), colour electric blue and deep purple, located directly between the eyebrow centre on the forehead, commonly known as the minds ‘Third eye’.
Lack of energy flowing in this chakra may lead to challenges for people to project their thoughts and they may experience difficulties with their sense of intuition.
With an overactive Third Eye, people may be referred to as slightly erratic in nature and focus too much of their attention within their own mind. A well balance chakra can access their intuition at a much higher level and connect with their conscious mind.
Seventh Chakra- Sahasrara- colour light purple or violet, located at the crown of the head. In a baby it’s known as the ‘soft spot’. This is the centre connected to our souls, and all souls. The 7th Chakra represents a location for great spiritual potential, but this is not the main focus of yoga as there must be a balance. If the 7th chakra is blocked it prevents the flow of divine light to flow through our body. Those with an overactive crown chakra, unbalanced across the heart center may be mentally erratic and unstable at times. Having a well balanced chakra you are able to connect with your soul and have the ability to realise your souls purpose.
Chakra -by Rebecca Minor-
Chakras are part of the subtle energy system within the human body. In Sanskrit the word Chakra means wheel, each wheel helping to control the spiritual energy in each person. The chakras are located vertically within the body starting at the base of the spine travelling up to the top of the head. Each chakra is said to be linked to the endocrine and nervous system and influences our organs. Chakras also work with our mental, physical and emotional feelings.
Each chakra has many characteristics including an element, a colour, a link to one of the senses, a gland, body parts, various disorders, diseases and more. There are seven primary Chakras in the body:
- Muladhara: located in the perineum area is known as the base or root chakra. Muladhara relates to the colour red, and is linked to self-awareness;
- Swadhisthana: located around the last bone in spinal cord and is known as the sacral chakra. This chakra relates to the colour orange and is linked to self-respect.
- Manipura: located in the naval area it is known as the solar plexus chakra. The manipur chakra relates to the colour yellow and is linked to self-worth;
- Anahata: located in the heart area and is known as the heart chakra. This chakra relates to the colour green and is linked to self-love;
- Vishuddhi: located in the throat and neck area and is known as the throat chakra. Vishuddhia relates to the colour blue and is linked to self-expression;
- Ajna : located at the third eye between the eyebrows. The Ajna chakra is related to the colour ingigo and is linked to self- responsibility; and
- Sahasrara; located at the top of the head and is known as the crown chakra. This chakra relates to the colour violet and is linked to self-knowing.
It is important to look after our chakras because if they are not functioning correctly it can affect our daily lives and result in a number of outcomes such as illness. There are various activities that can be carried out to help regulate the 7 primary chakras of the body. One way is to use meditation and mudras. A mudras is a specific position of the body, mainly hands and fingers, to help influence the energy of each chakra. Each chakra has its own mudras symbol or position and its own chanting sound. Other ways include physical activities, using gems and crystals, various forms of art, eating particular foods and using suitable affirmations. It is important to understand the activeness of the chakra – lazy, happy or super active – to ensure the correct healing method is used.
Healthy chakra’s help to create a healthy mind and body.
Chakra -by Rachael Waring-
Chakras are the subtle energy centres of the body aligned along sushumna nadi. They are storage units for energy forces or centres of consciousness. The chakras have corresponding centres in the spinal cord and the nerve plexuses in the gross physical body. As the physical centres and the chakras (astral centres) have such a close relationship the vibrations produced in the physical centres can affect the astral centres and vice versa. One of the many aims of yoga is to balance the chakras through stimulation of the physical centres in order to enable the kundalini energy to flow up along sushumna nadi unchecked by blockages in the chakras, to reach the crown chakra where the kundalini or Shakti energy is united with the Siva energy and enlightenment can occur.
In Indian Philosophy there are seven main chakras, each corresponding with a particular colour, bija mantra, cognitive function, emotional function and specific organ or organs.
- Muladhara : located lightly inside the perineum between the scrotum and anus in the male body and on the posterior side of the cervix in the female body, corresponds to the sacral plexus, this is the root chakra, the seat of kundalini shakti, it is linked to the excretory, urinary, sexual and reproductive organs and the base animal instincts. Its colour representation is a deep crimson and its bija mantra is “lam”, it’s element earth.
- Swadhistana; located at the base of the spinal column, very close to muladhara chakra. Swadhistana chakra corresponds to the reproductive and urinary systems in the gross physical body, and it is the home of the unconscious, the storehouse of mental impressions or samskaras. Its colour representation is a deep orange, it’s bija manta “vam” and its element water.
- Manipura: located at the navel, literal translation of the name is “city of gems”, it is the centre of dynamism, willpower and achievement. Manipura chakra corresponds to the solar plexus which controls the digestive fire and heat regulation in the body. Its colour representation is yellow, its element is fire and its bija mantra is “ram”.
- Anahata; located at the centre of the chest it is known as the heart centre although it is not located on heart itself, and whilst it corresponds to the cardiac plexus of nerves, the nature of anahata chakra goes far beyond the physiological dimension. It is linked to purity and cosmic love, it is also linked to the part of the brain in which resides creativity, music, art, dance etc. It is held to be either smoke blue coloured, green coloured or some tantric texts believe it to be crimson, the element of anahata is air, and its bija mantra is “yam”.
- Vishudda; located at the base of the throat, corresponds to the laryngeal/cervical plexus in the physical body. It is linked to clear communication, a state of openness and an ability to flow with life accepting what happens as necessary. Its colour is blue or purple, its element ether and its bija “ham”.
- Ajna: between the eyebrows, the seat of the mind and storehouse of all karmas, it is here that yogis consciously put prana at death. The colour is pure white or electric blue, its element is Avyakta, the primordial cloud of undifferentiated energy and matter and its bija is OM.
- Sahasrara: the crown chakra is not strictly speaking a chakra, it is beyond the chakras, the chakras act as switches for the pawer which resides in sahasrara. It is the union of consciousness and prana, the ultimate aim of yoga. The yogi who achieves such attains superconscious state, Samadhi, supreme bliss. It corresponds to the pineal gland of the physical body.
Chakras exist on the spiritual plane and are therefore not visible to the untrained eye on the physical level. However machines invented out by a Japanese scientist Dr Hiroshi Motoyama are able to measure the vital energy of the body, and one such machine has been used to record the impulses that emanate from the psychic centres in the spine corresponding with the posited locations of the chakras.
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