Hearing the word chakra is becoming a lot more frequent, but still, most people have no idea what the chakras are. People are talking about clearing the chakras, aligning the chakras, and even opening and balancing the chakras. But what does any of this even mean?
The word chakra in Sanskrit means "wheels" or "disk," Although written in different terms, it first represented power and influence within the Hindu Vedas. However, through discovery, we have noticed that other cultures and religions began to adopt this word and referred to the chakras as the centers of the body's energy travels.
What are these "wheels"? There are seven major chakras within the body, technically, there are more, but for the sake of beginning, we will focus on the first seven chakras. We can consider each chakra an energy transformer or an energy vortex. The energy that travels through the body and these vortexes is called pranic energy. This pranic energy travels through psychic channels within the body called Nadis. The ancient texts says that there are over 72,000 nadis in the psychic body. These nadis flow energy throughout the entire body passing through each chakra along the pathway of Sushumna. The Sushumna pathway runs up and down the spinal column holding all of the chakras. If there are blockages or negative stagnant energy in these vortexes, we might experience physical, emotional, and even spiritual ailments.
When discussing pranic energy and how it flows through the body, I want to bring your attention to your breath. Prana in Sanskirt means vital force behind life, living energy, an energy which can move by itself. Without your breath, there is no life. If prana stops, then life stops also. The flow of prana is everything. If you suffer from depression, you have no energy in the body, and there is a blockage. If you are excited, you have more energy flowing through the body; there are no blockages. The breath is what gives cells life and movement. The view is that this energy does not just fill the lungs but instead fills your entire body with each inhale and exhale. When there is a problem with the prana, then it can make or cause sickness.
In my opinion, self-care should start with understanding your chakras and your pranic energy. Each chakra governs specific organs and areas of the body in addition to the emotional feelings we may be experiencing, such as depression and anxiety. Self-care is about getting to know and understanding our bodies, how they work and how we can keep them operating at their highest vibration. When there are blockages or our chakras are not balanced, we experience imbalances within the body.
Connecting to our breath and stimulating the energy flow through each chakra can help activate and cultivate our healing. It is like we are turning the volume up on our body, and we can feel where we should be turning our attention while on our healing journey. Once we know where we are focusing our healing, we can clear, align, balance, and open each chakra easily, leading to a happier, healthier life full of more positive energy.
The Main Chakra system is divided into two subcategories: Physical Chakras and Spiritual Chakras. The physical chakras are the first 4 (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart), and the spiritual chakras are the last 4 (heart, throat, third eye, crown). It is easier to work the spiritual chakra because you can experience instant gratification by visually seeing things or feeling lighter in the sky. The physical chakras require a bit more work, but I believe they are more critical in assisting the spiritual work.
Let's take a quick peek at the seven chakras, their Sanskrit names, locations, and color representation.
The Major Chakra System
- The first chakra is known as the Root Chakra or Muladhara in Sanskrit. It is located at the base of the spine, our sit bone, represented by the color red.
- The second chakra is known as the Sacral Chakra or Svadhisthana in Sanskrit. It is located in the area of the reproductive organs, represented by the color orange.
- The third chakra is known as the Solar Plexus or Manipura in Sanskrit. It is located near the naval, represented by the color yellow.
- The fourth chakra is known as the Heart Chakra or Anahata in Sanskrit. It is located in the heart space, represented by the color green.
- The fifth chakra is known as the Throat Chakra or Vishuddha in Sanskrit. It is located in the throat, represented by the color blue.
- The sixth chakra is known as the Third Eye or Ajna in Sanskrit. It is located in the middle of the brow line, represented by the color purple.
- The seventh chakra is known as the Crown Chakra or Sahasrara in Sanskrit. It is located a little above the crown of the head, represented by the color white or violet.
Stay tuned as we dive deeper into each chakra.