The word chakra literally means ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, but in the yogic context a better translation is ‘vortex’ or ‘whirlpool’. The chakras are vortices of pranic energy at specific areas in the body which control the circulation of prana permeating the entire human structure. Each chakra is a switch which turns on or opens up patterns of behavior, thought or emotional reactions which may have been unconscious in our everyday
life. They relate to specific areas of the brain, and in most people these psychic centers lie dormant and inactive. Concentration on the chakras while performing yogic practices
stin1ulates the flow of energy through the chakras and helps to activate them. This in turn awakens the dormant areas in the brain and the corresponding faculties in the psychic and mental bodies, allowing one to experience planes of consciousness which are normally inaccessible.
The major chakras are seven in number and are located along the pathway of sushumna, an energy channel which flows through the centre of the spinal cord. Sushumna originates at the perineum and terminates at the top of the head . The chakras are connected to a network of psychic channels called nadis , which correspond to the nerves, but are more subtle in nature . The chakras are depicted symbolically as lotus flowers, each having a particular number of petals and a characteristic colour. The lotus symbolizes the three stages the aspirant must pass through in spiritual life : ignorance, aspiration and illumination . It represents spiritual growth from the lowest state of awareness to the highest state of consciousness. The petals of the lotus, inscribed with the bija mantras or seed sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet, represent the different manifestations of psychic energy connected with the chakras, and the nadis or psychic channels leading into and out of them.
- Mooladhara chakra (Root Chakra):
The lowest of the chakras is situated at the perineum in the male body and at the cervix in the female body. The word mool means ‘root’ and adhara means ‘place’. Therefore, it is known as the root centre. Mooladhara chakra is associated with the sense of smell and the anus. It is symbolized by a deep red lotus with four petals.
Why You Need to Balance Your Root Chakra?
If your base chakra is imbalanced, you are likely to face some of the following problems: Lack of energy, no motivation, fears and worries, negative self-image, digestion problems, circulation problems.
By balancing your root energy center, you will gain stability and develop a positive attitude towards life. If the first chakra is not balanced, other higher energy centers will not function properly as well.
- Swadhisthana chakra (Sacral Chakra):
Approximately two fingers’ width above mooladhara chakra, in the spine, is the concentration point for swadhisthana chakra. The literal meaning of the word swadhisthana is ‘one’s own abode’. The Sanskrit word swa means ‘self and sthan means ‘dwelling place’. This chakra is symbolized by a crimson lotus with six petals. Swadhisthana chakra is associated with seeking pleasure
and security. It is associated with the tongue and genital organs. In swadhisthana the emphasis is on overcoming fear, and on enjoyment, on pleasurable sensations and sexual interaction. When swadhisthana becomes active, it may manifest as overwhelming desires or cravings.
Why You Need to Balance Your Sacral Chakra?
In case you are experiencing some of the following problems, it indicates that your sacral chakra is out of balance: Mood swings, uncontrolled urges, the inability of creative expression, no joy in life, sexuality issues, reproductive organs health problems.
A balanced Svadhishthana enables you to feel content in your life, to be a creative and emotionally stable individual with fully functioning vital organs that ensure your overall health.
- Manipura chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra):
Situated in the spine behind the navel is manipura chakra. The word mani means ‘gem’ and pura means ‘city’. Therefore, manipura means ‘city of jewels’. It is so called because, being the fire centre, it is lustrous like a jewel and radiant with vitality and energy. This chakra is depicted as a bright yellow lotus with ten petals. The solar plexus is the centre chiefly concerned with the vital process of digestion and food metabolism. It governs the functioning of the gastric glands, the pancreas, gall bladder and so on, which produce and secrete enzymes, acids and juices necessary for the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The adrenal glands located above the kidneys are also related with manipura. They secrete adrenaline into the blood during an emergency situation. This has the effect of speeding up all the physiological processes, making the mind sharp and alert, the heart beat faster, the respiration rate more rapid and so on. The body is then prepared for a more intense level of activity than normal in what is commonly called the ‘fight o r flight’ reaction.
Why You Need to Balance Your Solar plexes Chakra?
Having some of the following problems indicate that your solar plexus chakra is out of balance: stress, uncontrolled emotions, aggression, sleeping problems or insomnia, indigestion problems, allergies
People with an active solar plexus chakra radiate self-esteem and a have a healthy attitude towards work. They are persistent and patient, which are the key features needed to overcome the daunting obstacles and challenges in life.Self-awareness, willpower,, empathy, compassion, persistence are the signs of a healthy and balanced third chakra.
- Anahata chakra (Heart Chakra):
Situated in the spine, behind the sternum, level with the heart, is anahata chakra. The word anahata literally means ‘unstruck’. All sound in the manifested universe is produced by the striking together of two objects, which sets up vibrations or sound waves. This chakra is symbolized by a blue lotus with twelve petals. On the physical level, anahata is associated with the heart and lungs, and the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Why You Need to Balance Your Heart Chakra?
If you are facing the following problems, it might be that your heart chakra is out of balance: Insensitivity, loneliness, dysfunctional relationships, heart and chest problems, low or high blood pressure, respiratory problems.
A healthy fourth chakra helps people to form relationships marked by tolerance and acceptance while both sides present capacity to maintain a healthy distance. Non-judgmental attitude towards others, healthy relationships, love for yourself, love and empathy for others, healthy cardiovascular and respiratory system, are signs of an open and healthy fourth chakra.
- Vishuddhi chakra (Throat Chakra):
Situated at the back of the neck, behind the throat pit, is vishuddhi chakra, the centre of purification. The word shuddhi means ‘purification’ and the prefix vi enhances this quality. It is symbolized by a violet lotus with sixteen petals. Vishuddhi chakra governs the ears and the vocal cords, the region of the larynx, and the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It is the centre related with communication.
Why You Need to Balance Your Throat Chakra?
Most common signs of an imbalanced throat chakra are the following: Shyness, inability to express yourself, communication problems, throat and neck issues, weight problems, dental problems.
People with balanced throat chakra have exceptional communication skills. They are capable of translating their most complex thoughts into words and express their ideas in a way that is motivational to the people around them. They are also excellent listeners who can integrate ideas and opinions of others into a constructive team-work processes. Communication skills, ability to express oneself, truthfulness, leadership skills, creative expression, having diverse interests, are the signs of a healthy and balanced fifth chakra.
- Ajna chakra – (Third Eye Chakra):
Situated in the midbrain, behind the eyebrow centre, at the top of the spine, is ajna chakra. The word ajna means ‘command’. In deeper states of meditation the disciple receives commands and guidance from the guru, and from the divine or higher self, through this chakra. Ajna chakra is depicted as a silver lotus with two petals, which represent the sun and the moon, or pingala, the positive force, and ida, the negative force. Ajna corresponds to the pineal gland, which has almost atrophied in the adult human being. On the psychic plane, this point is the bridge between the mental and psychic dimensions. Therefore, ajna chakra is responsible for supramental faculties such as clairvoyance, clairaudience and telepathy. Thought is also a very subtle form of energy. When ajna chakra is awakened, it is possible to send and receive thought transmission through this centre.
Why You Need to Balance Your Third Eye Chakra?
If your third eye chakra is imbalanced, you might notice the following symptoms and issues: anxieties and phobias, problems with concentration, depression, eyesight issues, headaches and migraines, problems with sinuses.
The signs that your third eye chakra is balanced, open and energized. Third eye chakra opens the doors of the mind to imagination, intuition and extra-sensory perception. The sixth chakra is also known as ‘the third eye’ and is associated with the sixth sense. Sharpness and agility of your mind, clearness of thoughts, strong intuition and confidence in yourself, having inner peace, emphatic and emotional perception of reality, telepathy, clairvoyance, vivid dreams, etc.
- Sahasrara chakra (Crown Chakra) :
Situated at the crown of the head is sahasrara. It is the abode of highest consciousness. The word sahasrara means ‘one thousand’ . Sahasrara is visualized as a shining lotus of a thousand petals, containing the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet twenty times over.
Why You Need to Balance Your Crown Chakra?
Crown chakra imbalance can be the cause of the following problems: Depression, lack of will, detachment from reality, headaches, mental disorders.
Signs that your crown chakra is open, healthy and balanced. An open and well-balanced crown chakra is crucial for establishing a connection with your higher self. The benefits are noticeable on many psychological and mental levels. Happiness, inner peace, trust in life, emotional stability, clarity of mind, a feeling of being guided by the universe.