Introduction to Chakras

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Chances are that if you’ve gone to a couple of different yoga classes, picked up some literature regarding yoga, or searched online, you are somewhat familiar with the concept of chakras. These mystical energy centers are referred to in a variety of contexts and attributed an array of characteristics.

This article gives you a stepping stone into the world of information regarding chakras, hoping to help you find feet into the sea of knowledge on the topic. What are chakras? The word “Chakra” is of Sanskrit origin and means “wheel, circle”. According to Buddhist, Hindu, and other traditions, chakras are intersections of energy channels; energy centers associated with different parts of the human body. Humans are more than their physical selves. Thus, the chakras are not part of the physical body but are rather located in the subtle or energy body of the human being. When you hear that a chakra is situated somewhere in the body, consider this as shorthand for “the projection of this chakra”, or “the physical manifestation” of the energy passing through it. How many chakras are there?

According to ancient Buddhist text and traditions, there are 4 or 5 different chakras. According to the Tantric texts, they are six or seven. However, as there are a very high number of energy channels (nadi) in the body, some literature suggest 114 chakras, or even 88 000 of them. This article is going to take into consideration the most popular view in mainstream culture, and review the seven main chakras. What are the seven chakras? Each of the seven chakras is associated with different areas of life, feelings and emotions, and internal organs.

• Muladhara (Sanskrit: “root support”) or root chakra is located at the base of the spine. The root chakra is responsible for vital energy and fear and symbolizes a person’s connection with the physical world. A balanced Muladhara chakra gives a sense of calmness and confidence in the future, gives the necessary energy to implement plans.

• Svadhishthana (Sanskrit: “Abode of self”) or sacral chakra, which is believed to be located three fingers beneath the navel. It is responsible for sexuality and sensual pleasures. It embodies the brightest feelings – joy, fun, good relations with your beloved, as well as attractiveness for the opposite sex.

• Manipura (Sanskrit, “city of jewels”), is located behind the solar plexus, in the navel region along the spine. It generates the energy necessary for the fulfillment of plans and goals. This chakra is responsible for the ambition and willpower of a person, for self-confidence, as well as for discipline and self-control. Manipura is also responsible for the digestive system in the body.

• Anahata (Sanskrit: “unprotected”) or heart chakra is located in or behind the heart. Responsible for love not only to the people around you, but also to yourself. Working on the Anahata chakra helps fight the feeling of loneliness and isolation from others, gives a feeling of love for your body and a feeling of your own beauty and attractiveness. • Vishuddha (Sanskrit, “especially pure”), or throat chakra, is located at the base of the throat. This chakra is responsible for communication and self-confidence. Working on the throat chakra is also believed to help with thyroid problems, as well as pain in the neck and shoulder joints. • Ajna (Sanskrit for “command”), also called the third eye chakra, is believed to be located between the eyebrows. Thoughts and images arise in this energy center. Ajna is responsible for intuition and concentration.

• Sahasrara (Sanskrit for “thousand-petal”) or crown chakra is located at the crown of the head. In esoteric Hinduism and Western New Age systems, it is usually considered the highest spiritual center and a state of pure consciousness. Sahasrara is the connection of a person with the Universe and the divine. By activating this energy center, a person achieves enlightenment and awareness, learns the true meaning of life, and feels a connection with the world.

To open the crown chakra, you must first activate all the previous chakras – which is why it is believed that complete concentration is necessary. This practice can take years to master. What does it mean to have balanced chakras? Chakras serve to transmit the energy all around us to our being.

Afterward, the energy is spread through the energy channels (Nadi) in the entire subtle body. Therefore, it is important that all chakras are well-balanced so that energy is equally distributed. A person with open and balanced chakras dwells in well-being, emotional stability, and happiness. Their energy is aligned and balanced.

Alternatively, chakras can be blocked or open too widely, compared to the rest in the subtle body. In the first case, the incoming energy becomes insufficient, and in the second, the body is oversaturated with it. Such imbalances are believed to bring about metabolic issues and diseases. How can you balance your chakras?

The different spiritual systems offer various ways to influence the chakras. There are special types of yoga which deal with invigorating and balancing the energies within. These include Kriya Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. However, most yoga practices can help in one way or another to balance your body, increase your consciousness, and thus reach balance in your entire being.

Yogic breathing techniques (pranayama) are aimed to help balance the work of the Nadi. Additionally, each chakra has a mantra and a color, so using the specific colors or sounds during visualization and meditation practices can help you focus your consciousness to balance the energy of the chakras. Last but not least, be kind.

Bringing positive energy in your life can happen through your interaction with others and the world. Try to do the right thing, be humble and caring and good things will happen in return. The concept of chakras has grown in popularity and has entered the mainstream culture in the past years. The reason is that conscious working on the chakras is regarded as an effective and efficient spiritual practice to improve your life and well-being. We hope to have brought this practice closer to you with this article  Be kind and conscious.

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