Within the body lie 7 vital energy centers. We can’t see them; they won’t show up in an X-ray or MRI. Yet, for thousands of years, Eastern cultures have recognized their importance to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Through these centers, known as chakras, life energy flows and is processed. In Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, chakra means “wheel” or “circle.” Located vertically along the spine – starting at the tailbone up to the crown of the head – the chakras are where we receive, assimilate and transmit energy, also known as prana or chi.
Although it is thought that there are hundreds of chakras, the 7 major energy centers are most commonly studied. Each chakra is stimulated by a specific color and sounds that vibrate at similar frequencies. Below are the 7 main chakras, along with their associated colors, Sanskrit names/meanings, and major governing issues:
1. Root Chakra/Muladhara (“home of the root”) – safety, security
2. Sacral Chakra/Svadistana (“one’s own support”) – relationships, creativity
3. Navel Solar Plexus Chakra/Manipura (“filled with gems”) – willpower, personality
4. Heart Chakra/Ajna (“unstruck”) –love, compassion
5. Throat Chakra/Visuddha (“perfectly pure”) – expression, communication
6. Third Eye Chakra/Ajna (“overseer”) – intuition
7. Crown Chakra/Sahasrara (“thousand-petaled lotus”) – knowledge, divine consciousness
Each chakra has a distinct function and all are related to one another. The first 3 chakras, known as the “lower triangle,” deal with our basic physical needs: survival, sexuality, identity; the 4th chakra is the Heart Chakra, the bridge to the 3 higher chakras, known as the “upper triangle,” dealing with spiritual matters: true expression, inner wisdom, divine consciousness.
The chakras influence our health, emotions, and thoughts. Life experiences such as trauma, illness and stress can cause chakras to become imbalanced, resulting a wide array of ailments and disturbances such as chronic illness, disease, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, acting and reacting. It is not necessary to know which chakras are unbalanced, whether they are deficient or excessive or what is causing the imbalance. The chakras can be cleared, activated and rebalanced through yoga, deep breathing, meditation, crystals, essential oils, specific foods and other healing modalities. When the chakras begin to clear, you may notice a subtle shift; for instance, more energy, greater compassion, clearer thinking. In other words, you’ve embarked on a journey of profound healing.
Try Grounding Meditation as a way to balance the Root Chakra.
· Stand with feet about hip-width apart, arms by your sides or extended out in front, palms down, eyes closed or downcast.
· Exhale and gently bend the knees a few inches. Inhale and straighten the knees.
· Continue slowly bending and straightening your legs in coordination with your long, slow, deep breaths.
· Each time you bend and straighten your legs, feel yourself becoming more grounded. Surrender to the support of Mother Earth.
· Continue for 1 to 3 minutes.
· When complete, remain standing or if you prefer, slowly lower yourself to a comfortable seated position.
· Close or lower your eyes and focus on the following thought:
I am grounded and balanced. I am safe and secure.
· Promotes grounding and a sense of profound physical connection to the earth
· Calms and clears the mind
· Slows respiration and heart rate