The more I help people with significant behavioural and emotional issues and the more I stand in front of large audiences sharing ideas, the more I am aware of the energy that flows between us. This is not some New Age mumbo jumbo. Scientists all over the world are proving this energy is real – it has been tested and measured. Western thinking is finally accepting what the east has known for centuries – we are made of energy, it moves through our bodies, and it affects everything we do.
Chakra (pronounced ‘sha-kra’) is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ or ‘wheel of light’. The first known recordings of chakras are in the Vedas, written around 3500 B.C and considered the oldest known Indo-European writings on religion and philosophy. In some cultures, the writings were said to be the language of the gods.
Chakras are referred to in the Vedas as an essential part of Ayurveda, an holistic and comprehensive medical system considered the origin of all medical science. Chakras and the movement of energy through the body continue to play a very important role in eastern medicine and more recently in alternative western medicine. While chakras are spiritual in origin, they are more biological than religious in nature.
What are Chakras?
A picture tells a 1000 words (see the picture) but essentially chakras are energy centres located at particular points of the body. The 7 major chakras discussed here start at the base of the spine and move upwards to the crown of the head. They coincide with the positions along the spinal cord of the major nerve ganglia in our physical body. When our chakras are open and spinning freely, we enjoy wellbeing at all levels of our experience. If a chakra is not performing correctly, it can adversely impact physical, mental and spiritual health.
Each of the chakras is associated with different parts of our experience as follows.
1. Root chakra
Location: At the base of the spine.
Impact: This centre holds the basic needs for survival, security and safety. The root chakra is powerfully related to our contact with the Earth, providing us with the ability to be grounded into the earth plane. This is also the centre of manifestation. When you are trying to make things happen in the material world, the energy to succeed will come from the first chakra. If this chakra is blocked an individual may feel fearful, anxious, insecure and frustrated.
2. Sacral chakra
Location: Between the navel and pubic bone.
Impact: This centre holds the basic needs for sexuality, creativity, intuition, and self-worth. This chakra is also about friendliness, creativity and emotion. It governs your sense of self-worth, your confidence in your own creativity, and your ability to relate to others in an open and friendly way. Proper balance in this chakra means the ability to flow with emotions freely and to feel and reach out to others. If this chakra is imbalanced you may feel emotionally explosive, manipulative, obsessed with thoughts of sex or, on the other hand, you may lack energy, be stiff, unemotional and closed to others.
3. Solar plexus chakra
Location: Between the breast bone and navel.
The third chakra is the centre of personal power – the place of ego, passions, impulses, anger and strength. It is also the centre for astral travel and astral influences, receptivity of spirit guides and for psychic development. When the Solar Plexus Chakra is out of balance you may lack confidence, be confused, worry about what others think, feel that others are controlling your life, and be depressed. Physical problems can include digestive difficulties, liver problems, diabetes, nervous exhaustion, and food allergies. When balanced you may feel cheerful, outgoing, have self-respect, be expressive, enjoy taking on new challenges, and have a strong sense of personal power.
When your Solar Plexus Chakra is open, you feel in control and you have sufficient self esteem to express yourself in a group. When it is closed, you tend to be passive and indecisive. You are probably timid and don’t get what you want.
If this chakra is overactive, you are domineering and probably even aggressive.
4. 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 closed, you are cold and distant. If this chakra is overactive, you are suffocating people with your love and your love may be quite selfish.
5. 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 closed, you tend not to speak much, and you are probably introverted and shy. Not speaking the truth may block this chakra.
If this chakra is overactive, 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.
6. Third Eye chakra
The Third Eye chakra is about insight and visualization. When it is open, you have a good intuition. You may have vivid fantasies and daydreams.
If it is closed, 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 your beliefs too much. You may get confused easily.
If this chakra is overactive, you may live in a world of fantasy too much. In excessive cases hallucinations are possible.
7. Crown chakra
The Crown chakra is about wisdom and being at one with the world. When this chakra is open, you are unprejudiced and quite aware of the world and yourself.
If it is closed, you’re not very aware of your spirituality. You’re probably quite rigid in your thinking.
If this chakra is overactive, you are probably intellectualizing things too much. You may be addicted to spirituality and are probably ignoring your bodily needs.
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