Most of us, especially those who practise yoga or meditation, are familiar with terms such as ‘chakra’ or ‘energy’. ‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘wheel’ or ‘spinning vortex’ of energy. The energy can be collected from several different sources and levels of vibrations, including colour, that are utilised in various parts of the body. Throughout our body we have main energy centers, represented by 7 major chakras, which are connected to the main vital organs or glands that affect other body parts.
The seven main chakra centers are aligned along our spinal column. If there are disturbances on any level, our body will be showing signs of inbalance, as each chakra is not only associated with our physical health, but also controls aspects connected to our emotional, mental and belief systems. In order for us to become fully self-realised and in harmony with our physical and spiritual nature our denser lower energies need to be harmonised with the lighter energies of the upper centers.
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Location: Base of Spine; Colour: Red; Seed mantra: Lam; Symbol: Descending triangle within a square; Element: Earth
Sense: Smell; Gem: Coral; Planet: Mars
Body parts: Suprarenal glands, Prostate, Kidneys, Bladder, Spine
Spiral pair – Crown Chakra (1-7)
Characteristics: Manifestation; Survival; Grounding; Stability; Trust; Survival; Self preservation; Root support; Desire to be in the physical world
Excessive: Overly possessive, Fearful
Deficient: Homeless; Ungrounded; Victim
This chakra manifest as the seat of physical vitality and the fundamental urge to survive. It regulates those mechanism which keep the physical body alive. It is the chakra whose main aspect is innocence.
2. Sacral Chakra (Swadhishtana)
Location: Slightly below navel; Colour: Red; Seed mantra: Vam; Symbol: Upturned crescent; Element: Water
Sense: Taste; Gem: Amethyst ; Planet: Mercury
Body parts: Gonads and reproductive organs, Legs
Spiral pair – Third Eye Chakra (2-6)
Characteristics: Relationships, Sexuality, Empathy, Pleasure, Well-being, Connection, Emotions, Feelings,Change
Excessive: Manipulative, Controlling, Lustful, Addictive
Deficient: Co-dependent, Submissive, Doesn’t feel anything, Shut down
This energy is the center for creating relationships of all kinds. It is where we develop an inward sense of self and an outward awareness of others, ego, sexuality, and family, as we work with this energy. The feelings of other people are directly perceived through mastery of this chakra’s energy.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
Location: Slightly above the navel; Colour: Yellow; Seed mantra: Ram; Symbol: Descending triangle; Element: Fire
Sense: Sight; Gem: Emerald; Planet: Jupiter
Body parts: Pancreas, Stomach, Liver, Gall-bladder
Spiral pair – Throat Chakra (3-5)
Characteristics: Willpower, Joy, Motivation, Self-esteem, Transformation, Vitality, Energy, Desire to express individuality
Excessive: Egotistical, Self-absorbed, Ambitious, Self-driven, Desire to take control
Deficient: Low self esteem, Oversensitive, Feels disliked, Martyr
Located at the center of the body it is the place where physical energy is distributed. It is the center for unrefined emotions and personal power, the place that give us the sense of complete satisfaction and contentment. Our creativity is fueled by our power of will.
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Location: Center of chest; Colour: Green ; Seed mantra: Yum; Symbol: Intertwined descending and ascending triangles; Element: Air
Sense: Touch; Gem: Ruby; Planet: Venus
Body parts: Thymus, Heart, Lungs, Blood vessels (circulation)
Spiral pair: The center
Characteristics: Compassion, Love, Open-hearted, Desire for self-acceptance, Balanced emotions, Harmony, Place of integration
Excessive: Inappropriate emotional expression, Poor emotional boundaries
Deficient: Ruthless, Inability to feel emotions
The center of real, unconditional affection, spiritual growth, compassion, devotion and love. It is the bridge connecting the lower and higher energies of our being and is the place where resides our Spirit, our true Self, free and independent.
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
Location: Throat; Colour: Light blue ; Seed mantra: Hum; Symbol: Circle within a descending triangle; Element: Ether
Sense: Hearing; Gem: Sapphire; Planet: Saturn
Body parts: Thyroid gland, Throat, Trachea, Neck, Shoulders
Spiral pair – Solar Plexus Chakra (5-3)
Characteristics: Communication, Creativity, Sound, Intuition, Synthesis, Self expression, Desire to speak and hear the truth
Excessive: Wilful, Controlling, Judgmental, Hurtful
Deficient: Lacking faith, Unability to express, Silent
The center for communication, self-expression and creativity. This is where the inner voice of one’s truth is expressed. It is the chakra of diplomacy, of pure relationships with others, and of playful detachment. Speaking with a knowledge of our interconnectivity through Spirit reflects mastery of this energy.
6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
Location: Centre of forehead, brows; Colour: Indigo ; Seed mantra: Aum; Symbol: Descending triangle within a circle; Element: Light
Sense: Sixth sense, higher mind; Gem: Diamond; Planet: Sun
Body parts: Pituitary gland, Lower brain, Left Eye, Nose, Ears
Spiral pair – Sacral Chakra (6-2)
Characteristics: Knowingness, Intuition, Perception, Self Mastery, Wisdom, Imagination
Excessive: Overly intellectual, Over-analytical
Deficient: Unclear thoughts, Deluded
This chakra represents the seat of intuition and direct spiritual vision. It is where we visualise things through our “third eye” of intuitive knowledge. The opening of the third-eye corresponds with spiritual awakening. It is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion.
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Location: Top (crown) of the head; Colour: Violet ; Seed mantra: Om; Symbol: Thousand-petaled lotus; Element: Spirit
Sense: Consciousness; Gem: Pearl; Planet: Pluto
Body parts: Pineal gland, Upper brain, Right eye
Spiral pair – Root Chakra (7-1)
Charaqcteristics: Shiva, Awareness, Intelligence, Bliss, Divine Wisdom
Excessive: Cult leader, Ego maniac
Deficient: No spiritual awareness
This chakra represents the highest level of consciousness and enlightenment. It is the connective center to spirit. This center integrates all the chakras with their respective qualities. Mastering the lower vibrational aspects of our being will manifest in the full awareness that we are spiritual beings living a human existence.
The openness and flow of energy through our chakras determines our state of health and balance. Knowledge of our more subtle energy system empowers us to maintain balance and harmony on the physical, mental and spiritual level. It has been proven that toxins and other impurities, including negative thoughts, chemical enhancements in our food and other environmental factors, influence our body. These constant forms of “pollution” can cause chakra imbalances to manifest. Since traditional health care systems at this time are unable to naturally or totally alleviate symptoms or cure our problems, this means it is up to each individual to improve their health conditions. We also have to consider that we may be our own best doctor. By meditation and yoga the body seeks to balance out the energy of the chakras by purifying the lower energies and guiding them upwards.Understanding the chakra system is a vital element of our life which empowers us with a knowledge on how we can help improve our own state of health and all levels of our being.