According to many schools of Eastern philosophy, on the most basic level our bodies are made of energy. This energy structures itself into our physicality, emotions and thoughts… but before this, it structures itself into meridians and chakras. In other words, chakras are centres of energy that lie along our energy channels. Each holds a very specific vibration and purpose. Beautifully, we can work with these energy centres – to bring awareness and healing to the corresponding aspects our lives.
The Chakra System
In Sanksrit, the word chakra translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘disk.’ In the primary chakra system, we have seven of these energetic wheels. They can be found running along the spine – from its base, to the crown of the head. While chakras can’t be perceived by the human eye, they can be felt, seen and sensed with our intuition or clairvoyance. For an idea, try visualise a spinning vortex of energy. The flowing force that keeps the chakras functioning is our prana, chi or life force. When a chakra fails to channel prana effectively, we say that it’s out of alignment. It’s here that we experience an imbalance within our system.
The Seven Chakras
We’re going to more explore each chakra, in an upcoming blog series (stay tuned!). In the meantime, here’s an overview.
Chakra One: Root
The lower chakras are the Chakras of Matter. They deal with core matters like security, physicality and survival. The first Chakra is the Root or Muladhara Chakra. Ruled by the earth-element, it’s located at the base of the spine. This chakra governs our security, stability and core needs. When it’s open and healthy, we feel safe and grounded.
Chakra Two: Sacral
The Sacral or Svadisthana Chakra is located at the centre of the lower belly. Moving from the root chakra (earth), to sacral (water), this chakra governs our capacity to move from survival, towards pleasure. As such, this chakra is the centre of personal desire and sensuality.
Chakra Three: Solar Plexus
Located at the diaphragm, the Sanskrit name for this Chakra is Manipura. As the centre of personal power, this chakra directly relates to confidence, authenticity, self-esteem and choice. The core theme of the Solar plexus chakra is willpower and it is ruled by the fire-element.
Chakra Four: Heart
As the centre-point of the seven chakras, the heart (or Anahata) chakra unites the lower chakras of matter, with the upper chakras of spirit. It serves as a bridge between our body, emotions, mind and spirit. Ruled by the air-element, this chakra governs Love.
Chakra Five: Throat
Located at the base of the throat is the Vishuddha chakra. This chakra is ruled by the light element – and relates to the discovery of your individual truth. It also rules the seeking and sharing of truth, communication and our sense of personal integrity.
Chakra Six: Third Eye
Located at the lower centre of your forehead the Sanskrit name here is Ajna. This means ‘beyond wisdom,’ or ‘to perceive.’ This chakra is the seat of intuition. When this chakra is open, we’re allowed to see and understand both our inner and outer worlds.
Chakra Seven: Crown
Located at the crown of the head, the Sanskrit name for this Chakra is Saraswarara. The final chakra, it is considered the centre of consciousness and our bridge to the cosmos. This chakra is associated our highest potential, integration, the present moment, the divine, and so on.
Working with the Chakras
We can experience our chakras through meditation, visualisation, Reiki, sound healing or yoga. Some people will be able to feel sensations as they hover their hands over the centres in the body. Others can visualise swirling energy in their mind’s eye. Most often, we’ll feel emotional and mental shifts that correlate with the chakras. A powerful way to enter this world is through a combination of yoga, colour/sound therapy, or chakra journaling. Then, simply choose which method works best for you! The Sevenfold Journey by Anodea Judith is an amazing place to start.
We have a series of articles on each of the chakras soon to come! For more inner exploration, why not pop in for a visit? Our silent retreats can give you exactly that…