A Beginners Guide to Chakras

Chakras are energy centers that can be found throughout the body.  According to Yogic sciences, 114 of these energy centers exist in the human body.  Of these 114, there are 7 that are the most prominent and well known.  These are the 7 that we will discuss today.  Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates to “wheel” and is often described as a spinning disk.  These wheels represent energetic action, movement, and growth. The human body is a complex form of energy in which the Chakras assist in producing different qualities in a human being.

Fundamentally, working with the chakra system can be described as a journey from the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine, to the crown chakra, which located at the top of the head. This path of movement along the spine from the root to the crown represents the energy, movement, and growth of an individual.  People can move along the path in various ways, and several yogic practices can encourage this movement.

The first of the chakras is the Root Chakra which is called Mooladhara in Sanskrit. It is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the color red.  Moola means source, and adhar means foundation. It represents the basic foundation of one’s life. We need the energy of this Chakra in order to survive.  If energy rests in this Chakra, food, self-preservation, and sleep will be the defining factors in ones’ life.

The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra which is called Swadhisthana in Sanskrit. It is located below the navel and is associated with the color orange.  When energy moves into this chakra, individuals tend to seek out pleasure, new experiences, and excitement in the present moment.  Creativity will flow and life will be lived with a bit more intensity when this chakra is active.

The third chakra is the Solar Plexus Chakra which is called Manipura in Sanskrit.  It is located above the navel and is associated with the color yellow.  When this chakra is active a person is inclined to take action in their lives.  It also lends the quality of knowing one’s personal power. Many tasks can be accomplished due to the rising intensity of energy when this chakra is active.

The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra which is called Anahata in Sanskrit.  It is located at the heart space and is associated with the color green.  When energy moves into this space, an individual is able to move through the world in a state of balance.  The way they live, create, and act is done with a sense of unity and compassion.  Anahata literally means to be un-struck.  If you want to make a sound, you have to strike two objects together. The un-struck sound is called Anahata and it acts as a transition between the lower chakras and the higher chakras, between the desire to survive and the desire to liberate one’s self.

The fifth chakra is the Throat Chakra which is called Vishuddhi in Sanskrit.  It is located in the area of your throat and is associated with the color blue.  If energies move here a person will become a powerful communicator.  They will easily be able to share their thoughts and ideas with others.

The sixth chakra is the Third Eye Chakra which is called Ajna in Sanskrit.  It is located between your eyebrows and is associated with the color indigo.  When energy moves into this chakra an individual is said to be intellectually enlightened. When this chakra is balanced a person will be undisturbed by their external environment and live with peace and balance.

The seventh chakra is the Crown Chakra which is called Sahasrara in Sanskrit.  It is located at the crown of your head and is associated with the color violet.  When energy moves into this chakra a person will move from peace to absolute bliss.   It is in this state that a person experiences an intense unity with all things.

The chakras work independently of one another but are also interconnected.  Yogis have long worked with these Chakras in a systematic manner in order to consciously improve the flow of prana (life force energy) in and around their own form.  Achieving control over this energy allows yogis to renounce worldly attachments and free themselves from the bonds of mortal life.  In more recent times the focus has shifted to maintaining free flowing prana in order to support the practitioners’ overall health and wellness.

When things are quiet and you turn inward, try bringing your attention to these areas in your own body. Consider the ways in which you are interacting with the world.   How might these experiences and interactions reflect the energy in your own chakra system?  What can you do to maintain what is working well?  What can you do to improve the areas that are not functioning optimally?

When we take the time to cultivate self-awareness and are open to addressing the ways in which we can gain more harmony and balance – we create a more unified and compassionate world for all.  We create YOGA.