Everyone has chakras. Although we can’t see them and science cannot prove their existence; Buddhist, Jain and Hindu teachings show us how they work. When they are out of balance, we can very clearly identify the physical and emotional effects of this. Chakras are the focal points of energy within our bodies. They exist from the top of our heads down to the base of our spines and everywhere in between. A charge runs up and down this power line and is a source of energy for all parts of our body. Almost like electricity. When this flow of energy becomes blocked, we experience physical and emotional symptoms and imbalances. Understanding how our chakras work and the functions of the main 7 chakras can help us to identify the cause of a blockage and allow us to work on ways to restore the energy balance.
History of chakras
Chakra is a Sanskrit word for ‘wheel’. This is because chakras move energy around the body in a clockwise spinning motion. Chakra literally means ‘wheel of spinning energy’ in Hindi. Chakras have been studied in Eastern philosophy for thousands of years and evidence of this is apparent in a variety of cultures. They play a part in Ayurveda and Yogic history, as well traditional Chinese medicine and the concept of ‘qi’. The study of chakras is believed to have commenced in India in 1500-500 BC in an ancient text called ‘The Vedas’.
The 7 main chakras
7 – The Crown: Beginning at the top of the head, the Crown is believed to be the chakra most connected to spirituality. It is violet in colour and rules the nervous system, pituitary gland and cerebral cortex. Blockages in this chakra are likely to manifest as psychological problems.
6 – The Third Eye: The 6th chakra is indigo in colour and located in the centre of the forehead at eye level or slightly above. The third eye is associated with intuition, wisdom, hopes and dreams. It is this chakra which rules the ability to perceive and question. If a blockage occurs in the 6th chakra it is likely to be indicated by selective memory, depression and lack of foresight.
5 – The Throat: The 5th chakra is coloured light blue or turquoise. The Throat controls energy for the neck, arms, shoulder, hands and thyroid. Emotionally it is associated with creativity, judgement and communication. It is the chakra of transformation and purification. Creative blocks and problems with communication may indicate a blockage here.
4 – The Heart: The Heart chakra is green and associated with love and compassion, peace and harmony. Some believe that the soul is housed in the heart chakra. Physically, it provides energy for the lungs and heart and blockages can be identified by immune dysfunction, heart and lung problems. Jealousy and loneliness may be emotional symptoms of a blockage in the 4th chakra. It is believed that we fall in love through the heart chakra.
3 – Solar Plexus: The yellow solar plexus chakra is located above the navel. It is associated with the pancreas, adrenals and digestive system. It is also the centre of our emotions and can produce feelings of intense happiness or anger. Anger indicates a blockage as does frustration and a fear of rejection.
2 – The Sacral: The Sacral chakra is located between the base of the spine and the naval and is orange in colour. It is associated with the lower abdomen, bladder, circulatory system, kidneys and our reproductive organs. Emotionally it is associated with pleasure and sexuality as well as procreation. Blockage is manifested in emotional problems, sexual and reproductive issues and sometimes obsessive behaviour.
1 – Base or Root chakra. The Base chakra is red. It is the closest to Earth and represents grounding or survival. It is associated with the parts of our body closest to the ground such as legs, feet and large intestine. It houses our fight or flight response. Fear, paranoia and defensiveness are emotionally associated with the base chakra and arthritic pain and constipation are often seen as physical manifestations of a blockage here.
How to achieve energy balance
Everybody’s chakras will contain different amounts of energy and levels of activity. You are seeking to achieve the best balance for you. Most people will be able to identify a blockage in one or more of their chakras according to these descriptions. This is usually because when one channel of energy is blocked, others will be come over or under-active to compensate. Energy flow through your chakras can be disrupted by stress or physical problems. Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing is key to maintaining balance. Activities such as meditation and yoga are ideal for keeping your body and mind strong and realigning the energy when it becomes unbalanced. Reciting positive mantras is also a good way of achieving good energy balance, by guiding your brain away from ingrained negative thoughts.