Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates to disc, or wheel. It is believed to have originated in India, and is first referenced in ancient Vedic texts. The Vedic texts are linked to both yoga and Ayurveda.
Our chakras are spinning wheels of energy. The chakra system is the energy system of our body. The chakras reside in our spiritual body which shares space with our physical body. The chakras support our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
The chakra system interacts constantly with energy from the world around us including other beings, our food, drink and even our thoughts. This input has a direct effect on how each individual chakra functions. The function of each chakra has an impact on the whole system.
Balanced chakras ensure that we are running at peak possible performance. Imbalanced in any of the chakras can manifest in the physical and emotional body in predictable ways.
How the Chakra system works
The chakra system is influenced by, and influences, the flow of of energy through the body. Think of this energy like an electrical circuit, energy comes in and out. In our bodies we typically draw energy in from our left, or receptive, side. As it moves inward, it also moves upward. Then it moves downward and outward.
When our chakra system is balanced, the energy moves smoothly, in and out, up and down. We are in alignment, our body and mind are at ease. We are one with the Universe.
Any action that has an effect on the smoothly spinning wheels of our energy system reinforce the balance, or create an imbalance. When I visualize this it looks like a hubcap that has separated from its wheel, rolling for awhile but eventually becoming wobbly and coming to a stop. This imbalance can manifest as a physical, mental or emotional dis-ease.
A balanced Chakra system requires regular maintenance. There are many ways to keep this system running smoothly. An imbalance is not necessarily permanent.
Chakras are influenced by all of our senses. Let’s explore some of the options for keeping them balanced.
Each chakra responds to, and corresponds with, a particular color. Using color can be as simple as the color we choose to wear on a given day, or placing small construction paper squares in our line of sight as we go about our day. Color can also be implemented into our food choices.
Sounds can balance the chakras as each one responds to a particular musical key and a seed sound. The most familiar of those sounds is the the sound of OM. Mantras are a string of sounds that have meaning, but also resonate with the chakra system.
Most creation stories tell us that we are birthed from Mother Earth. As we are part of her, the gemstones and minerals that She holds can also provide balance. They can be held near, or worn on, the body. They can also be placed in our environment to support balance and healing.
Scent can bring balance, from incense and essential oils to the fragrance of living plants and flowers. Foods, including her herbs and spices that we use to season them, can nourish and support balance with their scent and their structure.
As the concept of chakras is also linked to the practice of yoga, movement practices and yoga postures, or asana, can offer balance and support.
The 7 Major Chakras
There are tens of thousands of chakras in the energetic body. Many of them are small and are considered of minor significance. Keep in mind that this is a system so everything is significant. Those of more significance are located in the hands, the feet, and the shoulders. A series of seven chakras aligned with the mid-line of the physical body from crown to tail are of major significance.
The seven major chakras and their locations are:
- Crown Chakra: at the top, or crown, or the head
- Third Eye, or Brow, Chakra: between our eyebrows
- Throat Chakra: at our throat near the notch in our collarbone
- Heart Chakra: in the center of the chest near our physical heart
- Solar Plexus Chakra: Below our rib cage near the diaphragm line
- Sacral Chakra: in the lower abdomen below the navel
- Root Chakra: at the base of the spine near the perineum.
Learn more and register for the Summer Chakra Reset here.