Understanding The Chakras
You've probably heard the word 'chakra' before - whether you're a spiritual person or not. It's become quite popular recently -especially with the rise of reiki and meditation - which is great because more and more people are discovering the importance of the chakras and their effects over our body and health.
As we're are all aware everything is made up of energy, including us. There are many different kinds of energies coursing through our bodies and these different energies have different energy sources. These energy sources are the chakras. There are seven main chakras in our body altogether and these can all be found in the spine. They align vertically from the base of the spine - the root - to the top of the head - the crown.
So what does chakra mean? Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that means 'wheel'. So what does 'wheel' have to do with our energy sources? Our life force (prana) moves around in our body, it doesn't stay still. The energy centres along our spine spin and rotate - like a wheel - inside of us allowing the different energies to link to every part of our mind, body and soul. The way that the chakras work is that they provide our body with the right amount of energy that we need to be healthy.
Sometimes, however, chakras can become off-balanced. There are many ways and reasons for this - a blocked chakra, moving at an unusual speed (too fast or too slow), an overactive chakra, an underactive chakra etc. If you're chakras are off-balance for whatever reason it could be really affect your health and well-being.
In learning and understanding the chakras, you can learn and understand your own body and become in tune with it's energies. By connecting with your body through the chakras, you can then learn to balance and re-align them in order to become healthier and happier in life.
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
The first chakra is called the root chakra and is located at the very base of the spine - by your tailbone. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Muladhara' which translated to 'root support'. The root chakra is connected to the element of earth and is represented by the colour red.
This is one of the most important chakras as it's the chakra that grounds and connects us to the Earth. This chakra is all about our security and our ability to survive in this world - both mentally and physically.
The root chakra is connected to the health of our legs, feet and back - our support system and the things that hold us up in life.
When your root chakra is balanced, you will feel a sense of security in all aspects of your life - financial, emotional etc. You will also feel grounded and at peace with your life and your accomplishments so far.
2. Sacral Chakra (Svadhishana)
The second chakra is the sacral chakra and is located by the pubic bone - just below the belly button. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Svadhishana' which translates to 'the place of the self'. The sacral chakra is connected to the element of water and is represented by the colour orange.
This chakra is all about your creative energy and who you are as a person - your identity - and represents the way you flow through life. This chakra also represents your ability to indulge in life's pleasures e.g sex.
The sacral chakra is connected to your reproductive system and lower abdomen and governs your ability to create new life.
When your sacral chakra is balanced, you will be able to indulge in pleasurable actions without feeling guilty or embarrassed by it. You will also feel fulfilled and inspired by these actions.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra and is located around the centre of your abdomen. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Manipura' which translates to 'lustrous gem'. The solar plexus chakra is connected to the element of fire and is represented by the colour yellow.
The solar plexus chakra is the home of your gut instinct and is often known as the brain of the body. It represents your personal and will power, your ability to achieve and the faith that you have in yourself.
The solar plexus chakra is connected to your digestive system and governs everything stomach related. It also governs our gut instinct.
When your solar plexus chakra is balanced, you will feel confident in your ability to make the right decisions and a sense of wisdom and personal power.
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra and is located - you guessed it! - in the centre of the chest, close to the heart. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Anahata' which translates to 'unhurt'. The heart chakra is connected to the element of air and is represented by the colour green.
This chakra is all about your ability to give and receive in a loving manner. This chakra is where feelings of love, compassion, generosity and kindness comes from. This chakra is also associated with healing.
The heart chakra is connected to the heart and chest area - representing our lungs and upper respiratory systems.
When your heart chakra is balanced, you will feel compassion and kindness for others on another level as well as the ability to love yourself and others equally.
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra and is located above the collarbone in the throat and neck area. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Vishuddha' which translates to 'very pure'. The throat chakra is connected to the element of space and is represented by the colour blue.
This chakra is all about communication - our ability to communicate with others, voice our opinions and speak our truths. The throat chakra is the way we express ourselves on an emotional level.
The throat chakra is connected to the throat and neck area - especially our vocal chords. It also looks after the thyroid gland which is essential for stability in our hormones.
When your throat chakra is balanced, you will be able to voice your thoughts and opinions with clarity and confidence. You'll have the ability to speak the truth with love and compassion for others.
6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra which is located around the forehead area between the eyebrows. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is 'Ajna' which translates to 'perception' or 'beyond wisdom'. This chakra is connected to the element of space and is represented by the colour indigo.
This chakra is the home of your intuition and perception. It allows you to open your mind to the unknown and allows you to look past material matters. This chakra allows us to envision what we can't yet see.
The third eye chakra is connected to our mind and also our eyes. It governs how we see things and how we perceive what we've seen.
When the third eye chakra is balanced, you will be able to tune into both the spiritual world and the physical world with ease. You will also have the ability to tune into your intuition perfectly.
7. Crown Chakra (Sahaswara)
The seventh chakra is the crown chakra and is located at the very top of your head - your crown. The Sanskrit word for this chakra is 'Sahaswara' which translates to 'thousand petaled'. This chakra is connected to all of the elements and is represented by the colour violet.
This chakra is all about our spiritual connection and is made up of pure conscious energy. This is what connects us to the Universe and everything around it. This chakra is also home to our personal conscious.
The crown chakra is connected to our brain, memory and intelligence - both educational and emotional. It is also connected to our spiritual awareness.
Balancing your crown chakra is no easy feat. It is thought that once you've balanced your crown chakra, you won't really be a human anymore. In doing this, you will have achieved nirvana.