What Chakras Are: Living a Balanced Life
You might be wondering what chakras are, and question their importance in your life, health, well-being and yoga. Chakra [chuhk-ruh], translated from ancient Sanskrit, means “wheel of light” and in sum, represents the seven energy centers that exist in each of us. While the concept seems mystical and even a bit vague, the good news is you can be in control of more aspects of your life than you ever imagined if you just got to know them better. Consider this a cheat sheet to the relationship you have with yourself.
Let’s take a deeper look: in his book Theories of the Chakras, Hiroshi Motoyama explains chakras as the “intermediaries between the physical body and consciousness.” Put another way, chakras are a part of the energy anatomy of the body in which energy flows through. They are responsible for our beliefs, feelings, desires, aspirations, sexuality, and even the well-being of our health.
If one or more chakras receive too little or too much energy, it can impact you tremendously. Examples include anxiety, trouble communicating, creative blocks and even physical ailments such as headaches or sore throats. However, if your chakras are aligned and in balance, you’ll find yourself at the intersection of happy and content – the ideal state of “being.”
Chakras: The Three Groups
Chakras can be divided into three groups; the physiological, located in the lower region of the body and are mainly concerned with your physical existence; the personal, found in the torso area; and the spiritual, which are located in the upper body and head. Below is a graphic explaining their location followed by an in-depth look at each individual chakra
Located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area, this chakra embodies the very basic foundations of your life. It facilitates your feeling of being grounded. This represents emotional and survival issues, such as financial independence, money and food.
Red in color, this chakra is similar to your lowest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in which the basic necessities of life – food and sleep – are predominant factors.
Splenic or Sacral Chakra
Located about two inches below the navel area in your lower abdomen, this orange-colored chakra personifies your connections and your unique ability to accept others as well as explore new experiences. Emotionally, this chakra represents your sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality.
If energy moves into your Splenic Chakra, it reveals that you are a pleasure seeker, and out to enjoy the physical world, choosing to appreciate it more intensely than someone who is only focused on food and sleep.
Navel or Solar Plexus Chakra
Located in the region of the upper abdomen and stomach, this chakra has to do with your ability to be confident and in control of your life. It represents emotional topics such as self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem and is yellow in color. When energy moves into your Solar Plexus Chakra, it reveals that you are a go-getter.
Located in the center of your chest right above the heart, this chakra represents your ability to love. Represented by the color green, the Heart Chakra centers on positive emotional issues, such as love, joy and inner peace.
The Sanskrit word for this chakra – “Anahata” – literally means the “un-struck” and it represents a transition between your lower and higher chakras, between instincts of survival and liberation. While your lower three chakras are focused on your physical existence, your Heart Chakra is between both the survival and the enlightenment chakras and represented by the color green.
If your energies move into the heart chakra, you can be a highly creative and compassionate individual, living life intensely, but not necessarily living a life full of action.
Located at the base of your throat, this blueish chakra represents your ability to communicate and express yourself of feelings and such platonic ideals as truth.
The Sanskrit for this chakra – “Vishuddhi” – literally means, “filter” and if your energies move into Vishuddhi, you will become very powerful. However, this power is not easily quantifiable in a standard political and/or administrative way; rather you can be powerful in a multitude of expected and unexpected ways.
Third Eye Chakra
Located on your forehead above and between the eyes, your Third Eye or Brow Chakra represents your ability to focus on and see the “bigger picture.” Your Third Eye Chakra focuses on intuition, imagination, and wisdom, as well as the all-important ability to think and make decisions.
If your energies move into the Third Eye Chakra, you become intellectually enlightened and reach a new balance and inner peace.
Located at the very top of your head, this is the pinnacle; the highest chakra of all and it represents your ability to fully connect to the world in a spiritual way. This is concerned with inner and outer beauty, as well as your connection to spirituality and is violet in color. If your energies move into your Crown Chakra, you become ecstatic beyond all reason.
Understanding the world of chakras is an effective first step in harnessing your hidden but innate life-changing energies. Channel energy to your chakras through yoga, meditation and mindful breathing, and you’ll become more and more in tune and balanced with yourself.