What are Chakras and Why do They Need Balancing?
According to MindBodyGreen, every body has seven chakras, or energy centers, each representing different aspects of our lives, with corresponding connections to emotional issues. Practitioners of chakra healing or other such bodywork claim that areas of blockage in any chakra can cause problems including illness, so treatment may become necessary to regain proper energy flow to the regions. Michelle Fondin, Vedic Educator at The Chopra Center (of Deepak Chopra fame), indicates further that, “The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to mean “wheel” or “disk.” In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. The seven main chakras, which align to the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.”
How do the Chakras Work?
In short, according to an accompanying video from Yogi Cameron, the seven chakras align the three pillars of your being: body, mind and spirit. Cameron states that when your energy centers are “locked”, your internal energy builds up and throws your body/mind/spirit connection into disharmony. This disharmony can result in sluggishness, a lack of motivation or a feeling of being lost. When they are “unlocked”, or open, the energy flows effortlessly as the body, mind and spirit are in perfect connection. This brings positive energy, feelings of aliveness and a better sense of motivation. Cameron shows the basics on opening each chakra some of his teaching videos as well.
Let’s Check each Chakra:
For starters, there’s the Root chakra, (or Muladhara in Sanskrit), which is located at the base of the spine. It incorporates the bladder, colon, and first three set of vertebrae in the spine. This center represents our security, stability, groundedness or foundation in life, and from it stems issues surrounding our base survival, like having enough food, money or being independent.
Secondly, there’s the Sacral, or Svadhisthana, chakra, which sits near our sexual areas or “sacred space”, above the pubic bone in the lower abdomen slightly in and below the navel. This region specifies our creativity, connectivity to others around us and whether we can accept them or any types of new experiences. The linked emotions deal with pleasure, sexuality, and an overall sense of well-being.
Third is the Solar Plexus or Manipura (which translates to mean “Lustrous Gem”) region, which is centered slightly where the rib cage meets in the upper abdomen or stomach area, and covers from the breastbone to the navel. This energy center dictates our personal power, confidence or the ability to control our destinies, with simultaneous emotional areas of self-esteem or self-worth.
Fourth is the Heart or Ananata chakra which rests in the very center of our chest right above our hearts. As you may have guessed, this center corresponds to love, one’s capacity to love or build connections/attachments to others, and has corresponding emotional issues of love and inner peace.
Fifth comes our Throat or Vishuddha chakra, connected to our ability to communicate, verbally speak, speak our minds or highest truth, and is located in our throat region. It includes the jaw, mouth, tongue, neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands.
Sixth is the Third Eye, or Brow, or Ajna chakra, which many believe to be linked to imagination, intuition, wisdom, or even psychic abilities. This region is directly between the eyes on the forehead.
Finally we have the Crown or Sahasrara chakra, located at the utmost top of the head. Also referred to as the “thousand petal lotus”, this center links to enlightenment, our spiritual connectiveness to our higher selves and the divine, and has simultaneous emotional issues of our ability to connect to the spiritual realms, experience bliss, and acknowledge both the inner and outer beauty around us.
A Little More Detail
These chakras are then further broken into categories, as noted by The Chopra Center, with each one have a corresponding color as well. The first three chakras, they suggest, are connected and called “The Chakras of Matter” since they are located lower on the body and deal more with the physical, rather than the spiritual, world. The fourth chakra is the very middle of the seven, and unites the lower chakras of matter to the upper chakras of spirit. Then the upper three chakras are called “Chakras of Spirit” as they are located higher on the body and thus represent, and are considered closer to, the spiritual realm.
Ready to get Balanced?
If you think you might need a chakra balancing or healing session, there are numerous places to look. For starters, you can browse this section of The Chopra Center for additional information.