The word Chakra (pronounced “sha-kra”) is the Sanskrit for wheel or disk which is normally used in Indian Yoga to describe the seven major energy centres through which energy flows in and out of the body. Yogic tradition maintains that the chakras are the repository of our life force, or Prana. The idea of a powerful life force is found throughout Eastern religion and philsophy – the Chinese call this force Ch’i, and the Japanese call it Ki.
Although there are said to be hundreds of minor chakras in the human body in addition to the seven major chakras, they are not physical. They are aspects of consciousness in the same way that the auras are aspects of consciousness. However each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands in the body, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Each chakra can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.
Each of the seven major Chakras correlates to levels of consciousness, archetypal elements, developmental stages of life, colors, sounds, body functions, crystal healing gems, herbs and fragrances, to name a few. Clearly chakras are central to many Holsitic theories of wellness and healing, being concerned as they are with herbal, colour, sound and gemstone healing, mantras and aromatherapy!
Each Chakras is said to vibrate at its own frequency, which is also connected to the musical scale (see below). There are two common schools of thought concerning the particular resonances of the chakras. The first is that they resonate to the musical notes C, D,E,F,G,A and B as you go up through the 7 chakras from the base to the top. The second is that everyone has an individual chakra resonance.
Each frequency governs certain properties – the understanding of and “tuning into” these frequencies may empower us to deal with the specific life challenges of that energy center or chakra and as a consequence to live more whole, meaningful and fulfilling lives. However as with other energy centres, the chakras can become misaligned or over or under active.
The seven major Chakras are sited along the spinal column, between the base of the spine and the top of the head. The chakras located on the lower part of our body are our instinctual side, the highest ones our mental side.
First ( Root) Chakra
The Root chakra is about being physically there and feeling at home in situations. If it is open, you feel grounded, stable and secure. You don’t unnecessarily distrust people. You feel present in the here and now and connected to your physical body. You feel you have sufficient territory. If you tend to be fearful or nervous, your Root chakra is probably under-active. You’d easily feel unwelcome. If this chakra is over-active, you may be very materialistic and greedy. You’re probably obsessed with being secure and resist change.
Second (Sacral) Chakra
The Sacral chakra is about feeling and sexuality. When it is open, your feelings flow freely, and are expressed without you being over-emotional. You are open to intimacy and you can be passionate and lively. You have no problems dealing with your sexuality. If you tend to be stiff and unemotional or have a “poker face,” the Sacral chakra is under-active. You’re not very open to people. If this chakra is over-active, you tend to be emotional all the time. You’ll feel emotionally attached to people and you can be very sexual.
Third ( Navel) Chakra
The Navel chakra is about asserting yourself in a group. When it is open, you feel in control and you have sufficient self esteem. When the Navel chakra is under-active, you tend to be passive and indecisive. You’re probably timid and don’t get what you want. If this chakra is over-active, you are domineering and probably even aggressive.
Fourth (Heart) Chakra
The Heart chakra is about love, kindness and affection. When it is open, you are compassionate and friendly, and you work at harmonious relationships. When your Heart chakra is under-active, you are cold and distant. If this chakra is over-active, you are suffocating people with your love and your love probably has quite selfish reasons.
Fifth (Throat) Chakra
The Throat chakra is about self-expression and talking. When it is open, you have no problems expressing yourself, and you might be doing so as an artist. When this chakra is under-active, you tend not to speak much, and you probably are introverted and shy. Not speaking the truth may block this chakra. If this chakra is over-active, you tend to speak too much, usually to domineer and keep people at a distance. You’re a bad listener if this is the case.
Sixth (Third Eye) Chakra
The Third Eye chakra is about insight and visualisation. When it is open, you have a good intuition. You may tend to fantasize. If it is under-active, you’re not very good at thinking for yourself, and you may tend to rely on authorities. You may be rigid in your thinking, relying on beliefs too much. You might even get confused easily. If this chakra is over-active, you may live in a world of fantasy too much. In excessive cases halucinations are possible.
Seventh (Crown) Chakra
The Crown chakra is concerned with wisdom and being one with the world. When this chakra is open, you are unprejudiced and quite aware of the world and yourself. If it is under-active, you’re not very aware of spirituality. You’re probably quite rigid in your thinking. If this chakra is over-active, you are probably intellectualizing things too much. You may be addicted to spirituality and are probably ignoring your bodily needs.
Realigning and Stimulating the Chakras
When discussing chakras and chakra balancing, it’s important to keep a postive and down to earth attitude. While it can be interesting and helpful to be given a chakra diagnosis, or told that you have a chakra imbalance, it’s not particularly helpful if this then causes anxiety, or apathy, and possibly remain stuck in those states.
If you’re concerned that your chakras are imbalanced, or if you are advised of this by an energy worker, then ask the energyworker to provide treatment options. Meanwhile, there are some surprisingly basic exercises that are recommended, that you can carry out easily at home, to help navigate your chakras toward wellness.
Simple Chakra Exercises
Stamping your feet
Marching or “power” walking
Circular pelvis movements
Solar Plexus Chakra
Dancing, especially belly dancing
Doing the Twist
Swimming, especially breast stroke
Gargling with salt water
Singing, shouting or screaming!
Brow (Third Eye) Chakra