What are the chakras?
Surely you have heard about the activation of the chakras, how important they are or how we should pay attention to their alignment. But that could sound like Chinese to you if you don’t know exactly what they are.
The Chakras are energy points which are found in specific areas of our body. They are in charge of controlling the circulation of prana (vital energy) through our subtle body. The 6 main chakras are in the middle of the spine connecting energetically the perineum with the crown.
In addition to the chakras there is a huge network of energy channels throughout the body called Nadis. Controlling the energy and activation of the chakras helps us to reach a higher level of consciousness. Hence the importance of knowing the operation of each one of them.
All the chakras are represented by lotus flowers with different number of petals since this is the spiritual symbol of the growth of consciousness:
- A seed in the dark or mud = Ignorance
- Grows in the water trying to reach the surface = Spiritual aspiration
- The flower reaches the surface and is bathed by the sun and the air = Enlightment
Types of chakras
- Muladhara or root chakra -> Provides security and safety
- Swadhisthana or sacral chakra -> Helps you to try everything life can offer
- Manipura or solar plexus chakra -> Gives energy so you can function effectively
- Anahata or heart chakra -> Rule the energy of love or compassion
- Visshuda or throat chakra -> deals with communication
- Ajna or third eye chakra -> Seat of wisdom
- Sahasrara or crown chakra -> The chakra of enlightenment
Then we will talk a little more in depth about each of them
It is the lowest chakra so it´s the basis of energy. It can be found at the height of the perineum.
When this chakra is not active we can feel disoriented, insecure, with instability in finances, work and relationships and even with little physical and mental energy.
When the chakra is active we can feel confident of ourselves, stable, responsible and independent.
At a physical level it regulates the immune system, the osseous and the lower digestive system, so it´s related to lower back pain, sciatica and certain digestive problems.
The element of the Mooladhara chakra is the earth and is represented by a red lotus with 4 petals.
To meditate on this chakra we must use the mantra LAM
Located in the region of the sacrum. It connects with the subconscious mind and the part of the brain that stores karma and past life experiences. In addition, it´s related to creativity, pleasure and control of morality.
When not active, it leads to guilt, addictions, irresponsible relationships and cold emotions.
When we activate this chakra we promote creativity, pleasure without addiction and the enjoyment of life.
At a physical level, it takes care of liquid-based organs such as the kidneys, bladder and the urinary, reproductive and circulatory systems.
The element is water and is represented by an orange lotus with 6 petals.
Meditation in the Swadhistana Chakra should be done with the mantra VAM.
It´s located in the solar plexus, at the level of the navel. It´s mainly related to willpower and self-esteem.
If it´s not active we can feel vain, proud, inflexible, faddy and even manipulative. It usually generates fear of rejection, lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
If we have open and balanced Manipura chakra, we will be focused people who feel valued, unique and with confidence.
At a physical level it controls the digestive system and the muscles so that its imbalance is related to many digestive disorders.
The element that dominates it´s fire and is represented by a yellow lotus with 10 petals.
To meditate on the solar chakra we must use the mantra RAM.
It´s the heart chakra and is found in the energetic center of the subtle body so it unites the physical and spiritual realms.
People with this chakra unbalanced can feel grief, suffering and sadness. They are vulnerable and very dependent people or even the opposite case; cruel and insensitive.
On the other hand, having a balanced Anahata chakra makes us loving, compassionate, generous and spiritual.
Its element is air, so at a physical level it acts on the lungs and on conditions of the asthma or pneumonia type.
Its lotus is green and has 12 petals. The mantra to meditate on this chakra is YAM.
It´s located at the back of the neck, just behind the throat and is related to the ear and the vocal cords.
An imbalance in the Visshudhi chakra generates lethargy, weakness, apathy and laziness. People who don´t have this chakra active often distort their ability to communicate, lie and gossip.
On the other hand, activating this chakra implies not only knowing how to listen to others but talking with truth and knowledge, being an inspirer and a good communicator.
An imbalance is expressed at a physical level in eating disorders, stress and even deafness.
The associated element is the ether and is represented by a soft blue lotus with 16 petals.
The mantra HAM is the one used to meditate on this chakra.
Ajna chakra is commonly known as “the third eye” and is responsible for intelligence, mind, memory and concentration. It´s the chakra that allows us to deepen in meditation. And it´s also the chakra with a greater control of the personality.
Having this chakra unbalanced results in excessive intellectualization, little spirituality and much confusion.
A balance in the charka of the mind generates clairvoyance, concentration, sense of humor, intuition, imagination and what we usually call “having a sixth sense”. In addition, an activation of this chakra helps us to establish a goal in our life.
At the physical level it has an important role in the appearance of migraine, headaches and dizziness. It also influences poor memory and insomnia.
It is not related to any element although you could say that the mind is its associated element since it controls and perceives vital energy.
The lotus that represents it is a strong blue color with two petals.
To meditate on the third eye we must use the mantra OHM or AUM.
Technically it´s not considered a chakra since is not in direct contact with the body. It is placed above the crown making the link between the individual consciousness and the infinite consciousness. Is the most superior chakra and a portal to the energy of the universe itself. You could say that Sahasrara is yoga in its purest form.
Through this chakra we receive the prana, the vital energy, and it is the door through which it enters our chakra system.
Having Sahasrara closed generates a lot of egocentricity, materialism, lack of spirituality, being closed of mind and difficulty in connecting with people and the world around us.
Accessing this chakra completely is very difficult but getting it generates a supreme knowledge and what we know as “enlightenment”. The more balanced our Sahasrara energy is, the more connected we will feel to the divine energy in any of the ways we conceive it: God, Pachamama, Universe, etc.
Not being part of the body is not associated with any of our physical parts.
It´s represented by a lotus of 1000 petals and the mantra on which you must meditate is OM MANI PADME HUM.
I hope that this quick review of the chakras has served you to have an initial idea of what they are and the effect that each one exerts on our body.
Yoga goes through an endless path but the route is magical. Enjoy the process and if you liked this article we encourage you to share it in your social networks and leave us a comment.