What Are Chakras?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word, meaning “wheel of light”. Much of the original information on Chakras comes from the “Upanishads” (mystic teachings), which are difficult to date because they are believed to have been passed down orally from approximately a thousand years before being written down for the first time between 1200-900 BCE.
Traditionally, there are seven wheels that are represented in the body (some sources say nine). These are believed to be centres of activity that receive, assimilate, and express “Ki”, life force energy. The function of the chakras is to spin at great speeds and draw in this energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance. Each chakra spins as a sphere of bio energetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column. Generally, these seven wheels are stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the top or crown of the head.
Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination, yet their existence is well documented. Chakras are located at the major branching of the human nervous system. The study of Chakras is central to many different therapies and disciplines. Subtle energy is explored through practices such as aromatherapy, mantras, Reiki, hands on healing, flower essences, sound therapy, color/light therapy and crystal/gem therapy, to name a few. Acupuncture, shiatsu, tai chi and chi kung all focus on balancing the energetic meridians that are an integral part of the chakra system.
Energetic imbalances between chakras leads to a continuous feeling of dissatisfaction. When the heart chakra is agitated, people lose touch with feelings and sensations, and that breeds the sense of dissatisfaction. That leads to looking outside for fulfillment.
When people live in their heads, feelings become secondary. They are interpretations of mental images that are fed back to the individual and as memories of past experiences become the focus, the energy flow to the head chakra increases and the energy flow to the heart decreases. Without nurturing feelings of the heart, a subtle form of anxiety arises, which results in the self reaching out for any experience, sometimes detrimental to our well being.
Chakras have also been described as having colors and sounds to help identify and understand each one's purpose and direction of energetic flow throughout the body. In describing the seven major chakras, their purpose and color, start from the top.
The Seven Chakras
CROWN chakra is located at the top of your head and is a violet, white, or gold in color. Here the human being connects with the Universe. The individual experiences knowledge beyond words or intellect, creating a connection with cosmic energies and a conscious knowing.
THIRD EYE chakra is located in the middle of the forehead, between the eyes and is an indigo in color. This chakra enables the recognition of “Being/Self” and insight. It connects us to the part of creation which is beyond science and physical manifestation.
THROAT chakra is located between the inner collar-bone and is light blue or cyan in color. Here, feelings and emotions are transformed into expressions such as laughter or crying. Deals with everything related to sound on both the physical and the metaphysical level. Communicates and mediates all emotions and feelings into sound or language.
HEART chakra can be found in the middle of your chest and is green or pink in color. This is the gateway between your higher self and your earthly human experiences. Here aesthetic impulses are processed into feelings and emotions. The ability to love freely, without fear or self-consciousness is generated here. Negative feelings and emotions are neutralized. Self-acceptance starts here.
SOLAR PLEXUS (SOLAR PLEXUS) chakra is located slightly down from the Navel and is golden yellow in color. Its position in the centre of your body gives this chakra its significance. Impulses such as desire, wishes, blend with impulses coming from above. This is where the personality is formed. This is the melting-pot of spiritual and earthly aspects.
SACRAL chakra is located slightly above the genital area and is the centre for sexual energy, creativity and pure emotions. Here the male sexual drive combines with the female sexual response. Feelings and emotions flow freely through regulating the relationship between lovers and friends. It balances the free giving and receiving of feelings and emotions.
ROOT chakra is the one which links us to the physical earthly world. Located between the genital and anus, and is bright red in color. This chakra serves as the foundation to evolve and build the personality. It embraces such aspects as energy, self-expression, ambitions, desire for security and the survival of the self and species.
Balancing the chakras is not only beneficial to well-being it is also an alternative and effective way of uniting the individual Being with the Universal Soul.