Chakras - Energy Centres explained
Chakras are energy centres which absorb life force, in other words prana, from the universe and distribute it through the nadis, energy channels to the nervous system, endocrine glans and circulatory systems of the body.
“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "wheel." These centres were named as such because of the circular shape to the spinning energy centres which exist in our subtle etheric body, the non-material energetic counterpart to our physical body. There are seven main chakras and they are located along the spine extending out the front and back of the body. Each chakra has a number of specific qualities that correspond to the refinement of energy from the base-level material-self identity, located at the first chakras, up to the higher vibration spirit-level awareness of being at our crown. These energetic centres represent our highest level of integration split, prism like, into a spectrum of colours. Our opportunity in studying them is to learn how to master each chakra’s essence and unite them all into a unified field of brilliance.
The chakras are formed at the junction of three connected energy shafts that ascend the spine, one on each side of the central channel, the Shushumna. The two lesser channels of energy -- the Pingala on the right and Ida on the left -- run parallel to the spinal cord. Chakras both take up and collect prana (life force energy) and transform and pass on energy. Our material bodies could not exist without them for they serve as gateways for the flow of energy and life into our physical bodies.
The first three chakras are called the lower triangle, chakras 5, 6 & 7 are known as upper triangle. The 4th chakra, the heart chakra is the balance between them, where the shift happens from “me” to “we”, from individual to universal.
The lower triangle chakras focus on the elimination and are balanced by the upper triangle chakras which accumulate, create and refine. So, like the tree, if the root system is functioning properly, then the leaves begin to grow and flourish. By opening and balancing the chakras, it is possible to connect to the larger source of energy from which we come and to which we return. The first 5 chakras are associated with elements, earth, water, fire, air & ether. Upper chakras correspond to the subtle realm. Each chakra resonates to a different frequency and different spectrum of light. That’s why all chakras are associated with a different colour. Red light has a slower vibration and relates to 1st chakra, then comes the orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
The colour of the chakra is red and element earth. Located at the base of the spine and it’s a centre of our regeneration and creativity. It stores our vital force, stimulating all the cells in every part of the body. It is concerned with the basic security, survival and existence. It represents our image of self, of our presence on earth and is full of all our experiences, particularly those of our childhood. The colour for the chakra is red and element earth. The first chakra functions are very important in our modern life. Surrounded by pollution and chemicals it is essential for our survival to eliminate those toxins through the 1st chakra, the anus and large intestines. If the first chakra is unbalanced or blocked, it can manifest as addiction, distrust, fear, insecurity, selfishness, low self-esteem and constipation. When this chakra is balanced, it can manifest is valuing oneself, being centred, secure, loyal, grounded, stable and eliminating regularly.
Heal & Balance: Eat nourishing root vegetables, proteins like red meat, eggs and nuts, and fill up on red foods like pomegranate, cherries and tomatoes. You might also like to throw on your hiking boots and get back in touch with nature.
Yoga poses: Mountain pose and the warrior series are helpful for strengthening the root chakra
Colour of this chakra is orange and element water. It’s located halfway between pubic bone and the navel and is the centre of our emotional nature, our desire body. It is the seed of our subconscious and it’s closely linked to the root chakra. Our past life traumas as well as our negative experiences from birth to the early 20’s are stored there. When this chakra is blocked, all repressed negative emotions such as anger, guilt, shame, resentment, jealousy, which are stored there, create hurtful behaviours affecting our health through the liver, pancreas, spleen and all glands regulating our metabolism, digestion and our immunity. The pituitary gland that is situated at the 6th chakra is connected to the second chakra and when they stimulate each other in positive way you can use the sexuality to experience the spirit, where the finite and infinite have intercourse, body and mind. The combination of creativity and passion found in the second chakra, is one of the reasons we ….. The attitude we have towards money is linked to second chakra. When balanced, money flows in our life easily. When this chakra is blocked or unbalanced, it can manifest as sexual perversion, shallow relationships, shame of the body or sexuality, impotence, frigidity, urinary problems, lower back pain. When it is unblocked and balanced, it can manifest as genuine intimacy, mature relationships, creativity, passion for life, willingness to share, patience, positive relaxed attitude to sexual functions.
Heal & Balance: Eat rich sources of healthy fats like fish, nuts, seeds and coconut. Orange foods will also help to balance your sacral chakra. Think oranges, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin and mandarins. Spend time in or around a body of water.
Yoga poses: Any poses that open up the hips will nourish your sacral chakra. Try pigeon, frog or wide legged child pose.
Navel/Solar Plexus chakra
The wheel of the spiritual warrior. Third chakra has fire as its element and colour yellow. And with it comes choice, action, vitality and will. In this chakra explore personal power, it is to empower oneself or it is to have power over others, that depends if the chakra is balanced or not. The person centred in this chakra needs to achieve something and make their way in the world. They will utilise their own will to manipulate or inspire others in order to do so. It is located in the area between navel point and solar plexus. The organs and glands connected to it are liver, gallbladder, spleen, digestive organs, pancreas and adrenals. When this chakra is balanced, it can manifest as will power, commitment, self-esteem, identity, strength for inner balance, inspiration, good health, leadership skills. When the chakra is blocked or unbalanced, it can manifest as anger, greed, shame, despair, obstacles everywhere, not enough strength and spontaneity. Conforming in order to be recognised, problems with digestion, liver, gallbladder and the pancreas.
Heal & Balance: Grains, legumes and spices are all nourishing for the solar plexus chakra. But if yours is overactive, avoiding hot and spicy foods is probably a wise idea, we don’t want to stoke the fire. Also enjoy yellow foods like bananas, pineapple, corn, chamomile and lemons. If your solar plexus in under-active heat building activities like hot yoga, walking in the sunshine or having a nourishing infrared sauna will help heal and nourish it. However, if it’s overactive (perhaps you need to turn the ego down a notch) stick to activities that are cooling like swimming in the ocean.
Yoga poses: Anything that works the core. Think plank to strengthen, bow pose to stimulate blood flow to the organs and boat pose to feel the burn. Ensure you counteract each heat stimulating pose with a nourishing and cooling pose like savasana.
“How I care about myself” love and compassion, awakening from me to we, from finite to infinite. The colour of the chakra is green and element air. The heart chakra is located at the centre of the chest. It is the seed of source of caring, intuition, compassion and unconditional love. This is where the opening of the higher consciousness takes place. When this chakra is blocked, unbalanced, it can manifest as attachment, dependant on love and affection from others. Questioning the existence of love, fear of rejection, passive aggression, loneliness, grief, lung and heart problems. When the centre is blocked, the rib cage is out of placement, then the diaphragm isn’t active and you lose at least 1/3 of your life force. When the centre is unbalanced, you will give to those who don’t deserve it and share with those who don’t want it. When this chakra in unblocked, balanced, it can manifest as humility, unconditional love for all, seeing god in all, harmonious relationships, acceptance that all is as it should be, compassion, kindness and forgiveness.
Heal & Balance: Getting out in the fresh air and immersing yourself in nature is vital when healing the heart chakra. Practicing deep belly breaths is also very nourishing. Fill up on all of the greens. Think green fruit & veggies, green superfoods and lots of luscious fresh herbs.
Yoga poses: Backbends are the ultimate heart opener. Think bridge, camel, wheel and upward facing dog.
Colour of this chakra is lite blue and element ether. It’s located at the top of the breast bone and it’s a centre of expression and creativity, love and abilities. How I express myself, power of the word, communication and speaking the truth. It influences the thyroid gland which affects the balance of the entire nervous system, metabolism, muscular control and body temperature. The throat chakra must be cleared in order to express your potential once the heart chakra is open. When blocked, unbalanced, it can manifest as shyness, frustration at inability to express yourself, voice, throat, neck and thyroid problems, insecurity, fear of other people’s opinions and judgements, lethargy and speaking too bluntly. When balanced, it can manifest as always voice of the truth, honouring the word, authenticity, knowledge and ability to communicate effectively. Inspiring, teaching and embodying gods will.
Heal & Balance: Immerse yourself in the blues of nature. Spend time under a bright blue sky or immerse yourself in the depths of a blue ocean. Fill up on bLue foods like blueberries and blackberries. A smoothie made with blueberries and coconut water is very healing for the throat chakra.
Yoga poses: Yoga poses to open and balance your throat chakra include fish pose, which helps relieve upper respiratory congestion and stretches the muscles and glands in the throat, thyroid and thymus. Camel pose, which stretches the front body and when done in full stretches and stimulates the throat. Plow pose is also great for the throat chakra and differs from the other two by opening up the back of the throat rather than the front body.
The Visionary. This chakra is located at the middle of the forehead, just above the space in between the eyes. It is the centre of vision and perception. The pituitary gland, master gland, is located here. It is here you reach integrity and integration of personality. It is from here where you get the sense of intuition, the direction you want to take in life. It is here where major channels of energies come together, the positive the sun and the negative, the moon energies. It is the eye, that goes beyond the second eye. The second eye gives you dimension in the normal 3D world and the 3rd eye gives you depth and dimension in the subtle worlds. The colour of the chakra is indigo. Person centred in this chakra sees things differently, having insight and intuition and finding clarity wherever they focus. When this chakra is balanced it can manifest as developed intuition, clairvoyance, visualising, fantasising, concentration and determination, self-initiation, power of projection and understanding your purpose. When this chakra is unbalanced, it can manifest as confusion, depression, rejection of spirituality and over intellectualising.
Heal & Balance: Sitting out in the sunlight with your third eye facing towards the light for short periods of time can help rejuvenate the third-eye chakra. Foods that heal the third eye include cacao, purple foods like eggplant, cabbage, kale and purple sweet potato and omega-3 rich foods like salmon, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds which are perfect for boosting brain power.
Yoga poses: Yoga poses that assist in healing this chakra are child’s pose, because the forward bend puts pressure on and stimulates the third eye, and eagle pose because it’s a strong balancing pose and requires focus and concentration which helps stimulate the third eye.
It’s located at the top of the head. It is the seed of the soul, the centre of perceptions, all dimensions and all forms of being, ‘we are one’. The gland connected to this chakra is pineal gland and the colour is violet. Seventh chakra is associated with the cosmic sound, like the sound of the gong. If you listen to the gong carefully, as it cascaded into crescendo, all the nerves are stretched to their limit. Pressure of the sound gives a chance for the body mind and spirit to merge and become one with the infinite. You have the choice to let go and surrender or to contract and pull out of the experience. This chakra has the key characteristic of surrender, the humility that fills you as you bow before infinity. It’s one of the reasons, that so many traditions use the act of bowing. The top of the head, the seventh chakra, is brought all the way to the earth so the blood circulation and prana becomes focus of the seventh chakra and the person is giving a new purpose of openness and strength, experience of divine. So that you flow spontaneously and in rhythm with the universe. When blocked, it can manifest as fear of death, grief, doubt and denial of the spiritual existence. When unblocked, it can manifest as the experience of all as one, bliss, unity, enlightenment, relationship with the unknown.
Heal & Balance: Meditation is the fastest way to heal an imbalanced crown chakra. Take a minute to connect to yourself and your spirituality. The crown doesn’t have specific foods associated with it, rather filling up on nourishing and healing foods in general can only positively impact this chakra.
Yoga poses: Inversions and restorative poses can nurture the crown chakra in their own ways. Inversions like headstand stand encourage blood and oxygen towards the head which helps open, balance and soothe the crown chakra. Restorative poses like seated forward fold encourage introspection and reflection which is also soothing for this chakra.