“We travel everywhere, all around, yet we hardly undertake a journey which is only two or three feet long, spanning the distance of our spinal column wherein all the secrets of life reside.”
The word “chakra” comes from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “disk” and originated within the philosophy of the ancient yoga system of India, most specifically from the Tantric texts. In this system, there are seven major chakras arranged vertically along the spine, starting at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. In the physical body, these seven chakras correspond to major nerve ganglia, glands of the endocrine system, and various bodily processes, such as breathing, digesting, or procreating.
Yogis have said for thousands of years that the average person makes use of 10-15% of the brains potential. Modern science is in agreement.
Yogis went one step further and provided a detailed guide to where the other 85% resides and described techniques on how it can be awakened.
The purpose of this document is to stimulate your interest in the chakras, simply this. A little knowledge of the Chakras and their functioning can be of immense benefit to ones life.
Importance of Our Chakra System
Your mind alone cannot nurture your whole being, nor can a proper food diet solve all your problems. It is important to understand that “all of you” has to be understood in order to keep “your house” in order.
If there is a disturbance on any level, this shows in a chakra‘s vitality level. And each of the seven main chakras has its own innate intelligence and function. Similar to how your body functions automatically, your chakra centres also operate automatically. If you are to understand your chakra system then you must learn what each chakra‘s function is and how it represents a part of your “whole.”
In reality little is known and understood about the human psyche and its intricate systems. However, medical science has proven that toxins and other impurities, which include negative thoughts, chemical enhancements in our food and other poor environmental factors, influence our body. Constant forms of ―pollution‖ can cause chakra imbalances to manifest, which may eventually affect us on a physical level. Since traditional health care systems at this time are unable to naturally or totally alleviate symptoms or cure our problems, this means it is up to each individual to improve their health conditions. We also have to consider that we may be our own best doctor. So understanding the chakra system is more about how you can help improve your own state of health at all levels of your being.
The benefit of learning about your own chakra system is for you to understand on a whole (whole = body, mind and spirit in harmony) that when all parts of you (all of your seven chakra centres) are communicating equally and working in alliance with each other, you will have little or no energy disorders. For example, if the mental part of you is powerful and so are the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of you equally as strong, it is then that you feel at your optimum level.
Nowadays, we live in a fast world and often forget about our “whole.” We put too much emphasis on independence and very little on interdependence. Our chakras are interdependent on each other for harmony and balance.
Throughout our body we have main energy centres, which are connected to major organs or glands that govern other body parts. Each of these main energy centres are referred to as chakras. A chakra is a wheel-like spinning vortex that whirls in a circular motion forming a vacuum in the centre that draws in anything it encounters on its particular vibratory level.
It is said that our body contains hundred of chakras that are the key to the operation of our being. These “spinning wheels” draw-in coded information from our surroundings. Coded information can be anything from a colour vibration to ultra-violet ray to a radio or micro wave to another person‘s aura. In essence our chakras receive the health of our environment, including the people we are in contact with (that‘s why other people‘s moods have an affect on us!). Our chakras also radiate an energy of vibration.
It is also believed that we have seven main chakra centres and that each main centre is connected to our being on several different levels: physical, emotional (astral), mental and spiritual (causal). On the physical level each chakra governs a main organ or gland, which is then connected to other body parts that resonate the same frequency.
Every organ, gland and body system is connected to a chakra and each chakra is connected to a colour vibration frequency. For example, the heart chakra governs the thymus gland and it is also in charge of the functioning of the heart organ, lungs, bronchia system, lymph glands, secondary circulatory system, immune system as well as the arm and hands. And the heart chakra resonates to the colour green.
When a chakra is closed, the life force energy cannot travel through that part of the body, and one might say that the programming in that chakra is locked in a restrictive pattern. If this is the case, we feel a lack in our lives in its related area (such as the ability to communicate, throat chakra), and our physical health in the chakra‘s related functions may also be affected (sore throat, tight neck).
A chakra can also be “overblown” if it is out of balance with the other chakras in the system. In this case, that particular chakra uses so much of the body‘s energy and the mind‘s attention that other areas become deficient. An overblown third chakra causes an attachment to holding power over others hindering the ability to find the love and balance associated with the heart chakra directly above. As the chakras are discussed individually in the following pages, the results of a chakra that is too closed or too open will be examined more closely.
Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.
The Root Chakra, or 1st chakra is of the Element Earth. Keeping your root chakra balanced and healthy will help you have abundant energy and give you the ability to accomplish all of your goals. It is the foundation of all of your other chakras. The dominant root chakra types are the earthy ones. The root chakra personality is in need of emotional and physical security. Your health, home and hearth are of vital importance to you.
A caution, you can be so grounded on this earth that you forget to work on your spiritual side. Although you should balance all of your chakras, you should remember to pay special attention to your complementary chakra, the Crown Chakra. This will help you to overcome the tendency to be more attached to the Earth than to the Spirit.
This is highly influential and governs sensual and sexual factors, the means whereby experiences are felt and registered. Blockages result in a variety of phobias or conditions such as a fear of being touched, a general incomprehension or an obsessive cleanliness. Physical manifestations may include being prone to infections, or problems with the kidneys/bladder or lymphatic system.
- Physical – Urogentital, bladder, kidneys, sexual function (habitual problems in this area may indicate a Muladhara energy imbalance.
- Astral Emotion – Anger, Strength
Anger is a vital emotion, without which no spiritual progress can be made. However if clouded by egoism it becomes destructive.
The ability to push through and create something new. I will not be put aside. I will not be content as things are. A plant pushing through a rock. This emotion is vital to achieve anything in life.
However if we are easily angered as we have no patience to create change in ourselves or experience a perceived slowness of others; it’s not happening fast enough; it’s not how I want it; you‘re the reason why. This anger is totally destructive.
- Causal Thought – I am here, right now. A feeling of groundedness.
- Discipline to awaken Muladhara – Study of the scriptures. Study what has been before, expand one‘s knowledge.
- Awakened Quality – Energy and endurance
- Signs of Blockages – Phobias, fear of being touched, obsessive behaviour.
You can become too grounded. Balance with Sahasrara Chakra
Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected.
The Sacral Chakra, or 2nd chakra relates to the Element Water. Bring out your creative potential by having a healthy and well balanced Swadhistana Chakra. Sacral chakra types are driven by the need to create, to express themselves and to share their creations with the world. Sacral types are charismatic, likeable and sensual. A healthy sacral type feels very much at home with his or her own sensuality. The well developed sacral type of Woman is a natural mother and the men are lucky to be able to get in touch with their feminine side.
Sacral types need to be wary of over indulging themselves in their sexual nature. This tendency can be balanced by having a well-developed and complementary Anja Chakra (third-eye) which imparts wisdom and the ability to understand limits and boundaries.
This Chakra is a source of strength and is essential for proper development. The other centres of energy rely upon this chakra to perform properly. Disorders within the root chakras may result in mental problems (e.g. aggression, confusion) or physical symptoms (e.g. of the intestines, excretory systems, or bones).
- Physical – Urogentital, bladder, kidneys, sexual function (habitual problems in this area may indicate a Swadhistana energy imbalance.
- Astral – Fear, lust
I desperately want to get close to that. I desperately want to get as far away as I can from that.
Sometimes we need to get away from something that‘s going to harm us. Sometimes it’s good to get close to something that gives us pleasure. However, when this emotion lends itself to wild swings then this is a sign of Swadhistana imbalance.
People with a strong Swadhistana Chakra are usually very instinctive, like the primitive like or dislike of an animal. They can lash out at times. It doesn‘t last and they hold no grudges. Afterwards they can be left with the feeling of “Where did that come from”. This emotion is indicative of Swadhistana Chakra.
Yogis say that the awakening of Chakras is the primary reason of teenage moodiness. Inner realms are awakening from within. They are no longer totally absorbed in the outer realm of blue skies, puppy dogs, Father Christmas, and ice cream They now have their own inner world. The awakening of samskaras/karmas that deal with physicality and sexuality are now revealed through Swadhistana Chakra.
It’s innately attractive to see someone with strong Swadhistana Chakra. We need this passion for life to be active. But we need a passion liberated from self interest . That’s the tough part!
Instincts that rise up from an untrained, unexamined Swadhistana Chakra can be egotistical in the extreme. Hence the moody teenager… I will do what I want, I will place my pleasure above all else, I will sneak out of my room tonight and do as I wish. Irrespective of the effect on others.
- Causal – Justifications.
To avoid embarrassment we hide/disguise primitive impulses. Those with a habit of introspection and meditation at least have the honesty to say ‘I don’t know why I did that?’
This is not to say that we should blub all are emotions and desires to the World. Though we should examine them ourselves so that we are not fooled by our justifications.
A group of people were told that they were to be interviewed twice. Once under hypnosis, and again not under hypnosis. In fact they were never interviewed under hypnosis. Instead they were given a post hypnotic suggestion that when they were next interviewed, if someone should clap their hands, they would stand up and open a window before sitting back down to continue the interview.
When they did this the interviewers would feign surprise and ask the interviewee why they opened the window. Almost without exception the person would instantaneously make up an excuse to justify their actions. It was too cold, too hot, too stuffy, didn’t you ask me to?! Very few had the honesty to simply say I do not know why I did that.’We are so in the habit of justifying our actions and if it’s out of hand we should examine ourselves.
- Discipline – Honesty, Loyalty, Companions.
It is said that in a battle with you and your environment, your environment will always win. The most important aspect of our environment is the people we share it with. Choose honest, friendly, loyal balanced persons to share your time with. People who appreciate and share your aspirations. People who encourage, understand, and lighten the burdens of life.
We‘ve all met those who have no agenda but to suck the essence of life from your very core. Avoid!
Without standing on a soapbox, we must have the courage to express what we strive for, even if it‘s the complete opposite of what we currently are!
Swadhistana is the most powerful centre of the body. Your liver is totally regenerated every three months to two years. You started as one egg and are now seventy trillion specialised cells, you produce two million NEW blood cells per minute. This takes incredible energy and this energy resides in Swadhistana Chakra.
- Awakened Quality – Ability to regenerate body and mind. Too become a new person. To be reborn!
- Signs of Blockages – Confusion, Aggression.
Be wary of over indulging in one’s sexual nature. Balance with Anja Chakra. This is the most dangerous of Chakras because of it’s associated lustful Karma. It is also the most vital energy to experience the fullness of life!
They are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
The Naval Chakra, or 3rd chakra type is associated with the Element Fire. This chakra is the centre of our life force and from it emanates the most powerful energy we have. These are the types that are never afraid of their decisions, they always make their decisions based on their “gut” feeling and feel the needs of others because of this innate ability to measure up a person or a situation immediately.
The naval chakra type is competitive and can succeed at anything they desire and, although they have the ability through their willpower to avoid illness they can become dangerously committed to winning at all costs. And the costs can be great because as strong, vibrant and energetic as this chakra is, they will eventually cause damage to their health and their psyche if they don’t learn to balance their complementary chakra, Visudha Chakra. This will help them learn to relax and discuss options rather than charge ahead mindlessly. The heart chakra is also very important to a well balanced naval type.
This is also called the solar plexus chakra, this is the power centre and focus of personal freedom or, conversely, feelings of guilt. Mental consequences of a blockage might be anxiety about how others perceive you, envy or selfish greed. Physically there could be digestive disorders, liver and gall bladder problems or disorders of the pancreas.
- Physical – Digestive organs
- Astral – Worry, Contentment
I‘m very happy things are going my way. I‘m very unhappy that things are not going my way. It is normal to experience these emotions, however when they are habitual and swing from one to the other it is a clear sign of Manipura imbalance.
- Casual – Fear and hoping for the future.
Thoughts spinning out of control based on nothing but fantasy. If I get this job then I‘ll get promoted within a year, get a healthy pay rise, be able to afford a new house, have secured a pension etc. Or, should I lose my job I‘ll have to sell my house, I‘ll never work again, will not be able to afford the insurance etc.
It‘s healthy to hope, worry, and plan for the future. It‘s a unique quality that human beings have over other animals. However it can serve us or harm us as.
- Discipline – Suspend like and dislike.
Do not be quick to judge people/situations. Instead open to people/situations and see them for what they really are. All to often we make immediate assessment of others based on no more than a glance.
This is not to say that we do not respect intuition and gut feel. Rather we avoid being over judgemental.
The more finicky we get in life, the more we indulge in likes/dislikes, including food, clothes, people, places, the more backwards we are travelling on the spiritual path!
- Awakened Quality – True empathy. The ability to see/feel the needs of others.
Some people have a dim awareness of this. For advanced Yogis it‘s a precise ability to see the thoughts and emotions of others beyond what they themselves are aware of.
- Signs of Blockages – Anxiety of how others perceive them. Feelings of guilt, envy, selfishness.
When your heart speaks, take good notes.
The Heart Chakra, or 4th chakra is associated with the Element air. This is the central chakra and is also central to the development of all other chakras since it helps to assist in the healing process. The heart chakra type is the person who embodies the phrase, loving-kindness. They are kind to others and accepting of themselves, understanding that we are all humans and incapable of perfection. These types make caring counsellors and social workers. They have the ability to stir the emotions of others. Their heartfelt love, which is a part of everything they touch can be felt by others.
Heart chakras do not have a complementary chakra to work on since the heart resides in the centre of all the chakras. It is very important that the other chakras are healthy for a heart chakra type to be well balanced, for a heart chakra type can become so inward that they can forget about the outside world without the strong energy of the other chakras.
This effectively controls self-acceptance and by extension everyone else around us. Blockages may result in attitudes such as selfishness or emotional blackmail. Physical manifestations could be disorders of the lungs and heart, and circulatory problems.
- Physical – Circulation
- Astral – Joy, Jealousy.
I‘m very happy for myself or someone else or I‘m very jealous of something that someone else is getting that I‘m not. Again, all of us experience these emotions. It‘s what is habitual and out of control that is a sign of Chakra imbalance and needs attention.
Vivekananda said the true test of Ahimsa (non harming) is non jealousy.
Also it‘s instinctive to feel good when complimented or rewarded but to turn it into an egotistical I‘m better than others is another sign of Anahata imbalance.
- Causal – Right and Wrong (Judgemental) and Winning and Losing (Personal, Small Minded).
Right/Wrong – Reacting strongly to people/situations that interfere with OUR moral sense of right or wrong. When out of hand it leads to fanatical violence.
To some extent, and in very subtle ways, we all do this. We all need a sense of right and wrong, it‘s healthy. However it should be free from egotistical attachment. The sense of ego is strongest at Anahata Chakra.
Strong Anahata Chakra is seen in people who do the right thing, no matter the consequences to themselves. Even if it‘s bad for me personally, I‘ll do the right thing.
- Discipline – Selflessly serve others without thought of reward or recognition, and accept ones karma.
- Awakened Quality – Compassion and healing power.
Awakened Manipura gives us the ability to see the needs of others. Awakened Anahata Chakra gives us the ability to do something about it. Healers typically work with their hands as the heart meridian runs through the arms. Advanced Yogis use the third eye.
- Signs of Blockages – Selfishness and emotional blackmail.
As Anahata is the middle Chakra is does not have a balancing energy centre. However one should work on all other Chakras. Awakened Anahata can lead to instantaneous enlightenment.
To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said.
The Throat Chakra, the 5th chakra is one of the three higher chakras and is connected to the mental aspects of our personality. Since it is between the heart and third eye chakras, it acts as liaison between our heart and our intellect and is the link between this and the next existence. Throat chakras are communicators and put great store in their ability to give rational explanations. The rationality of which, they spent a great deal of time validating for themselves to be the truth, which is why they can be so convincing. Throat chakras, obviously, can be very successful at any careers that have to do with communication: teaching, facilitating, acting and singing.
Throat chakra types sometimes have a problem with being open to ideas that are in opposition to their own beliefs. They can love the sound of their own voice so much they can’t seem to stop expressing their opinion. They can be one-sided in believing that, since they did the math, they just can’t be wrong. The throat chakra needs to develop their naval chakra to ensure that they can feel the needs of others and this will help to balance the impression that they just can’t be wrong.
The expressive chakra (or throat chakra) controls overall self-expression, whether it is language or gesture. An upset in this centre could well result in an individual who becomes dictatorial while the physical signs could be growth problems, or a muscular tension leading to a lack of vocal control.
- Physical – Respiration, Metabolism.
- Astral – Grief, Poignancy. I regret what‘s happened, I accept what has happened.
Some disciples approached their master to enquire as to how he remained so totally happy and content whenever surrounded by sorrow. The master held up a glass bowl and remarked how beautiful it was. He then explained that in his mind it was already broken, but between this moment and the moment it breaks he will gain immense pleasure from its beauty. This is not a fear of it breaking, or grief when it breaks. This is not a deadening of emotions. There is no wisdom or pleasure in this. It‘s instinctive and natural but there is no wisdom.
Meditating on Visudha will awaken us to the transient nature of all things; broadening our emotions and understanding.
- Causal – Attention, Reflection. The ability to focus one‘s attention and the ability to reflect on the past and question if there‘s a better way to proceed.
Weak Visudha spin castles in the air and get lost in conversations in which they are the only ones talking. They lose the thread of what got them going and can‘t stay on the point.
- Discipline – Uninterrupted listening. Just let people speak without formulating your response as you listen, waiting to talk rather than listening.
- Awakened Quality – To be able to perceive the emptiness of objects and see everything as a passing cloud. Leading to peacefulness and contentment.
As opposed to holding, grieving, preferring this or that, it leads to an appreciation of everything is pretty cool as it is.
We become calm and silent and sink below our own thinking and the concerns and worries of others. Just stay calm and begin to see that so much of what we do is completely unproductive.
- Signs of Blockages – A need to be in control, muscular tension, vocal disturbance.
Balance with manipura to tune into the needs of others.
Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.
The Third Eye (forehead), or 6th chakra is our source of intuition, our psychic ability. It is the mind – spirit connection. These are the types who are always searching for the answers to the ultimate spiritual questions. Their ability to look beyond the material world makes them the types who can be extremely creative artists and writers, giving us glimpses of other realms that only they can dream up. They are not concerned about others opinions of their work, they are simply sharing their knowledge with us and making our lives richer for doing so. Perhaps they are not concerned about our opinions because they see nothing unusual about there ability to see things as they do. In their mind, they and their talents are nothing special. They are not particularly concerned about their talents, it‘s more about the spiritual path they are travelling.
It hardly seems possible that this type could have a negative side, however, they like the other chakra types must achieve a balance of the other chakras. The forehead chakra type can become so consumed with their spiritual path that they become removed from the real world and lose contact with their friends and family. This chakra has the ability to forego all relationships and be content, a situation that could eventually cause depression and mental illness. They must be aware of this issue and work hard on a healthy balance of the other chakras, especially the complementary sacral chakra.
Otherwise known as the forehead chakra or Third Eye, this is the focus of intuition, the perception of truth which enables a person to find their own course through life. Accordingly, a blockage of this chakra will culminate in a haphazard approach to life, and probably an inability to settle down to any one task for any length of time.
- Physical – Central Nervous System
- Astral – Transcendental Bliss (A glimpse of no matter if things go against me nothing can touch this feeling I‘m experiencing). Similar to the sense of calm after a Yoga class. A blissful state that‘s always available to us yet we tend to turn to things we can taste or touch for comfort.
- Causal – Reason without prejudice or self interest.
The ability to entertain new and different ideas and view our thoughts and opinions as objectively as others. Get into the thinking of others by suspending our own thoughts before adopting or dismissing the thoughts without emotion.
- Discipline – Prayer for wisdom and understanding.
- Awakened Quality – Emptiness of the self. We lose the sense of I and are not attached to our thoughts and passions.
- Signs of Blockages – Haphazard approach to life and an inability to settle or focus. Depression and mental illness.
It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
The Crown Chakra, or 7th chakra is the state of enlightenment. These types may not seem to be of this world but they are quite the opposite, more of the world than the other types. They have developed and balanced all of the other chakras to the point that they are now free to spend their energies on enlightenment. Crown chakra types can be found in any vocation although they are often involved in religious careers. Crown chakra types are often a spiritual inspiration for others. They can have an aura that vibrates with their striving for spiritual enlightenment. They are uplifting to all other types.
Crown chakra types are not immune to the problems associated with imbalances. They must continue to work on all of their other chakras, especially their complementary root chakra which will keep them grounded. Otherwise, there is the chance that they can become overtly superstitious and involved in damaging spiritual practices.
It is generally felt that the seventh, crown, chakra is appreciated only by experience and it depends upon the other six for its development.
- Physical – Central Nervous System
- Astral – Transcendental Bliss.
- Causal – Consciousness. At the highest stages of Yoga and meditation we are not in a trance but permanently and consciously in a state of Transcendental Bliss.
- Discipline – Non attachment to the personality (not just thoughts). I am not a man/woman, I am not English, I am not old etc. I exist not limited to the body.
- Awakened Quality – Rasa (Life is like a movie and we are not affected by it. As we watch horror and comedy movies so we observe our lives. We are fully engaged and experience emotions but stand apart as an observer. This does not mean we are dead to the World or experience lack of emotion. We show infinite compassion and enjoyment of life. We are more engaged in the World, not dead to the World. We see VERY clearly what really is!
- Signs of Blockages – Overly superstitious, Damaging Spiritual Practises
Taking the original meaning of the word chakra one step further, the chakras within us can be seen as our internal “floppy disks” that store our programming about how to function in life. The base chakra contains our survival program such as what we like to eat and when we need exercise; the second chakra—our sexuality program, including ethics and preferences; the upper chakras—our modes of perception and information storage. Our body is the computer hardware, and each of us has a slightly different model, programmed in a distinct language with unique operating systems. Ideally, one‘s work on the chakras is to examine the programming we have been given on each of these levels, eliminating destructive programming and consciously recreating something more beneficial.
In terms of individual development, the chakras describe the progression from infancy to early adulthood that repeats itself again from adulthood to old age as we establish our survival strategies, form sexual relationships, develop our personal power, communicate, plan ahead, and learn. As we understand the significance of these levels, we can better develop appropriate strategies for coping with our situations, whether personal or cultural.
With attention and understanding, we can control and influence our chakras. They can be developed like muscles, programmed like a computer, nurtured like a seed, or closed like a book. Development of the chakras occurs through understanding the system as a whole and then working directly on specific areas. Techniques may include physical exercises, processing of old traumas through therapy, visualization and meditation, chanting of mantras, working with their elements, herbs, or gemstones, and personal ritual, as well as the general lessons that are brought to us through our daily lives.
The body is a vehicle of consciousness. The chakras can be seen as the wheels of life that carry this vehicle through its evolutionary journey toward enlightenment. Within us, these wheels are like gears, each one appropriate for different activities or stages of life. As we open our chakras, we become more conscious and more fully alive. Our journey becomes smoother, more productive, yet more exciting as we become more fully who we are.
Together, the seven chakras form a connecting ladder between matter and consciousness, body and mind, Earth and Heaven. Each of us forms this ladder as the steps are found within us.
In order for us to be whole, the ladder must be complete. Therefore, each chakra is of equal importance, and the blocking of one chakra can make an excess or deficiency in another part of the system.
Individually, the chakras can give us important clues about our strengths and weaknesses,
outlining areas in which we need to work on ourselves. It must be remembered, however, that the chakras form a complete system, and diagnosis or attention to any one area should always be seen in relation to the whole.
With our chakras opened and fully functioning, we ourselves form the rainbow bridge between Heaven and Earth, ever evolving towards realisation and integration.
Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.