Chakras are the energy centers in our body located along the spinal cord through which energy flows. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. So, a chakra is similar to a whirling, vortex-like, powerhouse of energy. There are seven major chakras in our body and many more minor ones. The seven chakras are connected to different glands and organs in the body and they regulate the flow of energy throughout the body. These energy centers are clusters of nerves bunched together, which can be activated and recharged through regular meditation. Each chakra has an associated color, yantra (a geometrical diagram used for meditation in tantric worship) and mantra (a word, syllable or sound repeated to aid concentration during meditation).
The cosmic energy, called as the Kundalini, lies in a dormant state like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine at the lower-most chakra. During meditation, the idea is to raise this Kundalini energy all the way to the top-most chakra, penetrating all the chakras en route. As and when the Kundalini energy penetrates a specific chakra, the person feels, hears and sees (with the eyes closed) the qualities attributed to that particular chakra. With practice, one can raise the Kundalini energy and recharge all the chakras, which brings harmony, prosperity, health and bliss in life.
Chakras may become blocked due to stress or emotional imbalance or physical problems. When the energy’s free-flow is obstructed, physical ailments and emotional imbalance occur. Beginning from the base of the spine, we look at the seven major energy centers in our body.
1. The Root – Mooladhaara
The Mooladhaara chakra is associated with red color and is located at the perineum, base of the spine. It is the chakra closest to the earth and its function is concerned with earthly grounding and physical survival. It stands for our inherited beliefs through our formative years. Mooladhaara chakra is associated with the legs, feet, bones, large intestine and adrenal glands. It also controls the reflex mechanism of the body. Blockage in this energy center may manifest as paranoia, fear, procrastination and defensiveness.
2. The Sacral Or Spleen – Swadhishtana
The Swadhishtana chakra is associated with the color orange and it is located at the half way point between the Mooladhaara chakra and the navel. The organs associated with this chakra are lower abdomen, kidneys, bladder, circulatory system and the reproductive organs and glands. Swadhishtana chakra is concerned with emotion and it represents desire, pleasure, sexuality, procreation and creativity. Blockage of this energy center may result in emotional problems, compulsive or obsessive behavior and sexual guilt.
3. The Solar Plexus – Manipura
The Manipura chakra is related to yellow color and is located a few inches above the navel in the solar plexus region of the abdomen. It is associated with fire, energy, and charge. This chakra concerns with the digestive system, muscles, pancreas and adrenal glands. It is considered as the seat of emotional life. Emotions such as personal power, laughter, joy and anger are associated with this energy center. It also stores the energy of our sensitivity, ambition and ability to achieve. Clogging of this chakra may show up as anger, frustration, lack of direction or a sense of victimization.
4. The Heart – Anahatha
The Anahatha chakra is represented with the color green. It is located in the heart region. It is the center of love, compassion, harmony and peace. The organs associated with this chakra are the lungs, heart, arms, hands and the thymus and lymph glands. Blockage in this chakra manifests itself as immune system disorders, lung and heart problems, or may even emotionally manifest as inhumanity, lack of compassion or unprincipled behavior.
5. The Throat – Vishuddhi
The Vishuddhi chakra is depicted as blue or turquoise in color and is located in the throat area. It is the chakra of communication, creativity, self-expression and judgment. Vishuddhi chakra is associated with the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, thyroid and parathyroid glands. It is closely related to the senses of inner and outer hearing, the synthesizing of ideas, healing, transformation and purification. Since this chakra is located between the head and the heart, it maintains the integrity between what we think and what we feel. When blockage occurs in this chakra, it results in creative blocks, dishonesty or general problems in effective communication.
6. The Third Eye – Aagnaachakra
The Aagnaachakra is also called as the brow chakra as it is located between the eyebrows. The color associated with this chakra is indigo. Aagnaachakra is used for contemplation and to question the spiritual nature of our life. It is also related to the power of question, perception, and knowledge. Inner vision, intuition and wisdom are other qualities attributed to this chakra. Dreams from this life and memories of previous lifetimes are said to be contained in this chakra. If energy in this chakra is blocked, it may manifest as problems such as lack of foresight, mental instability, poor memory and even depression.
7. The Crown – Sahasrara
The Sahasrara chakra is the top-most chakra in the human body. This chakra is represented by a lotus flower with a thousand petals. The color associated with this chakra is violet. The Sahasrara is situated at the top of your head called the cranium. No sound is associated with this chakra as one experiences cosmic silence when energy reaches this chakra. It signifies the transcendence from sound to silence, and from form to formlessness. Its functions are associated with the cerebral cortex, central nervous system and the pituitary gland. This chakra is said to contain information, understanding, acceptance and bliss. Our personal spiritual experience and our connection with God happens here. Hence, it is called as the chakra of divine purpose and personal destiny. Blockage of energy in this chakra causes psychological problems and emotional imbalance.
As a beginner, reading about the various energy centers in the body is useful. But, for true understanding of the chakras and its purposes, one must close the eyes and meditate. Meditating regularly make us mentally and physically fit, and also improves our financial and professional lives. The chakras are not visible organs that can be observed under a microscope, as they will only appear as a tangled mass of nerves. When we close our external eyes, our third eye opens to reveal a whole new world.