In order to explore Chakras one must have an introduction to what chakras are and why they should be explored. A brief description of the seven main Chakras, tools to help you discover your dominant chakra, along with a short discussion on how to work towards opening and balancing chakras with the benefits of doing so will hopefully get you started on the path to further exploration.
Spokes of a Wheel
Ancient Sanskrit describes chakras as ‘wheels’ and each wheel has a specific number of ‘spokes’. These wheels spin in an endless rotation of power or energy. Based on the foundations that within man exists seven different vibratory levels of subtle energy, each chakra acts as a receiver. This subtle energy resides at the base of the spine in the ‘Root’ chakra and ascends to the ‘Crown’ chakra. It has also been said that each chakra represents a different level of consciousness. Thus, when subtle energy and consciousness unite at the crown chakra it is said that duality will transcend.
7 Main Energy Centres
Although it is said that there are many energy centres (chakras) within the human body, seven are considered to be of most importance. For one to achieve and maintain a good physical, mental and emotional state these seven centres of energy must be in balance. In order for balance all chakras must be open and allow for a free-flow of subtle energy. Learning the characteristics of each chakra can help you to begin your journey towards restoring and maintaining this necessary balance.
Muladhara (Root) Chakra
Energy: grounding, security, trust, family & survival
Location: at the level of the pelvic area
Element & Colour Association: Earth & Red
Muladhara energy is the force that empowers cells for growth. It is also the source for thoughts of the self, possessions, power and survival.
Svadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra
Energy: passions, sexuality, emotions & creativity
Location: just beneath the navel
Element & Colour Association: Water & Orange
Svadhisthana is the energy of cohesion. It coordinates the instincts (hunger, thirst, sex, sleep, etc). It is the force that attracts and pulls people together and is the social energy on which society is based.
Manipura (Navel) Chakra
Energy: will-power, ambition, externalised energy & digestion
Location: at the level of the navel
Element & Colour Association: Fire & Yellow
Manipura coordinates ambition, ego, will power, dynamism and transformation. It motivates change, action, creativity and spontaneity.
Anahata (Heart) Chakra
Energy: giving and receiving love
Location: at the level of the heart
Element & Colour Association: Air & Green
Anahata corresponds with the subtle energies of creation. It gives love, affection, selflessness, and higher aesthetic and intellectual feelings. It also inspires compassion and the urge to reach out and help or heal others.
Vishuddha (Throat) Chakra
Energy: truth, communication & vibration
Location: at the level of the throat
Element & Colour Association: Ether & Blue
Vishuddha is the centre of ones truth that governs our ability to communicate what we feel. It also stimulates thought process and intellect to come to life.
Ajna (Third Eye) Chakra
Energy: clairvoyance, spiritual intuition & telepathic powers
Location: in the middle of the forehead at the eyebrow centre
Element & Colour Association: Light & Purple
Ajna attunes with the mind-energies and corresponds with the Universal Mind. It gives deep insight and mental power; telepathy, hypnosis, etc. It is the command centre where we make decisions and govern our thoughts, actions and feelings.
Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra
Energy: ultimate knowledge, the Absolute, Universal Consciousness
Location: at the crown of the head
Element & Colour Association: Cosmic Energy & Violet
Sahasrara is considered an autonomous centre which synthesizes all other energy centres. It corresponds to the absolute and ones connection to the formless energy. It is the seat of supreme consciousness.
Chakra balancing is the process of restoring a harmonious flow of energy across the chakra system. The effect of well balanced chakras often translates into a feeling of well-being, relaxation, centredness, increased vitality and embodiment of oneself.
Because the chakras work together to create a whole system, it is essential to first take steps to open each one individually before attempting to balance. There are several methods used for opening and balancing the chakras. Short quizzes are available to help you determine which of your chakras may need opening or even which of your chakras is dominant.
Take the dominant chakra quiz here.
Find out more about opening and balancing chakras here.
As you continue to learn about the chakra system you will come to find that…
Chakra balancing techniques fall into in three categories: Those centred on a physical process or activity, a meditative or introspective practice, and the transmission of energy from another person or on your own.
Many yoga practices are focused on stimulating and subliming energy to and throughout these seven essential energy centres. Hatha yoga asana, for example, aims to work specific chakras when coming into each posture throughout the practice.
Explore these and other techniques of chakra awareness and stimulation by attending a yoga class near you. Be sure to ask your yoga teacher for further insight and guidance.