The chakras refer to seven main energy centers along the spinal column through which the pranic life force powers our body. Chakras are conceived as wheels when they are whirling freely. Restricted chakras diminish our energy and may cause physical, mental and emotional suffering. This article will describe some of the benefits and effects of the chakra system.
The first chakra is the root chakra and lies near the tip of the tailbone. Yogis visualize this chakra as a red lotus with two petals. Its seed syllable is the mantra “Vam.” The chakra is concerned with survival issues such as shelter, health, and solidity. When this chakra is out of balance you feel unsteady or insecure. Try walking barefoot outside, physically grounding yourself to the energy of the earth; or swim in the ocean, or a hot spring, lake or river to fortify the Muladhara chakra. Eat nutritious food like kale, beans, and brown rice. Its keyword is life.
The second chakra is the Svadhisthana and symbolizes order and relationship. It exists near the lower abdomen and reflects testes and ovaries. The seed syllable is Lam. Its color is orange. This chakra is concerned with connection to others, happiness, passion and achievement. When it is out of balance you feel a dearth of the good life. This chakra needs you to love yourself and articulate your dreams. Consider what your life would be like if you won the lottery. What 20 things would you like to do before you die? Write these down and dream up the perfect life. Without identifying your dreams there is little chance you will achieve them.
The third chakra is Manipura. Its keynote is wisdom and it relates to the solar plexus and the adrenal glands. The mantra is Ram. Its color is gold. When this chakra is out of balance you may feel low self-esteem. Or perhaps you bluster aggressively to hide a lack of confidence. Balance this chakra by slowing down to notice how you are feeling. Relax your body and mind. Find time for peace and quiet. Reflect on your ethics and values and consider what kind of person you want to be in the world.
The fourth chakra is the Anahata, linked with the heart and thymus gland. Its color is green and its mantra is Yam. If this chakra is out of balance you feel unloved and unable to forgive. Balance this chakra by recollecting those in your life who blessed your path. Think of those who supported you, believed in you and challenged you. Generate feelings of love that their effort and care for you inspired. Renew Anahata chakra as you ponder whose list you will be on.
The fifth chakra, Vishuddha, resides at the thyroid gland in the throat and modulates the power of communication. Its color is blue and the mantra is Ham. If it is out of balance you may feel like you are not pursuing your dream. Are you speaking your truth? It is time to have some fun. Consider what is on the bucket list and go do it. Inspire yourself to play a little more and generate the experiences that will feed your conversations.
The sixth chakra is Ajna and corresponds to the third eye and pituitary gland. Its seed sound is Om and it is the color purple. This chakra is a storehouse of pranic life force and mediates our ability to extend our view beyond our individual life. We embrace an ethic of connectedness to the web of life and extend ourselves for the benefit of all beings. If Ajna chakra is out of balance you may need to venture out of the safe haven of your comfortable life and learn something new. A new perspective builds the vision of who you are.
The last chakra is the thousand petal lotus at the crown of the skull. It is called Sahasrara. Its seed syllable is silence. Its color is violet. This chakra marries the ascent of pranic life force with consciousness, invoking both understanding and will. When this chakra is vivified your inner stillness elicits bliss consciousness. If it is out of balance you may feel ennui about your place on the planet. Fortify this chakra by bringing all the other chakras into balance and then trust the universe.
This abbreviated communication with your chakras is intended to allow a connection to the energy of the body at the point where you are lying flat or sitting up, holding your spine straight. Visualize each one as a star where it rests, speak th name, picture in your mind the color, sound the mantra and breathe into the region. After that, see the star glow and then move your attention to the subsequent chakra in line. When you have completed it, you will find the sensation of being filled with light.
By Nancy Ivey
Yoga the Technology of Ecstasy. 1989, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, CA (Print)