Many types of yoga incorporate the awareness of a person’s chakras. Understanding and even more importantly, experiencing the chakras, can help a practitioner evolve and grow not only as a yogi, but also as a human being. The chakra system has been used for thousands of years by many dedicated yogis. They were first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts of knowledge, and are still integral parts of many different branches of yoga into modern day.
Literally, chakra translates as “wheel”. There are seven main energy centers (wheels) in a person’s subtle energy body that reside along the spine or sushumna channel. The first one sits at the base of the spine (perineum), the seventh one sits at the crown of the head. When learning about the chakras, it can be helpful to know that each of the seven chakras correspond to specific organs and glands of the body. So, there is a physiological correlation with each chakra to the human body, and they are not just esoteric representations of “Yoga Magic”! The eighth chakra is also known as the Aura. It radiates 12-18 inches outside of the physical body. It is a representation of our personal projection and it serves to protect us from negative influences.
Why is it helpful to be aware of the chakras?
The chakras can provide us with very valuable information and help us navigate through life. Each of these energy vortexes is associated with a sound (mantra), a shape, a color, a symbol, an animal, a planet and many more things. Most importantly, each chakra is related to specific feeling states, or emotional states. When a particular emotion arises or if we notice a “lack” of emotion, like love for example, we can do exercises that bring more awareness around the related chakra to help bring more balance into our lives. Chakra related exercises are generally about healing and balancing. Consequently, when the chakras are more balanced, life is more balanced. It is an amazing, ancient system that can support us as we grow and evolve as human beings.
The chart below lists the chakras in order starting with the first (“Muladhara”) to the eighth (Aura) and describes each chakras relationship to the physical and subtle bodies:
|Muladhara||Perineum||Anus/large intestine||Adrenals||We have feelings of security, patience, trust||Poor elimination, poor decision making|
|Svadistana||Yoni/Lingham||Sex organs||Reproductive glands/gonads||Healthy sex life, healthy intimate relationships, lots of creativity, healthy desires||Fertility issues, poor relationships, over-indulgent sex life, misusing sexual activity|
|Manipura||Solar Plexus||Liver, gall bladder, spleen||Pancreas||Feeling a lot of personal power, will power & self-motivation||Feeling anger, running into obstacles, greed, ego-related issues, fear, control|
|Anahata||Heart/Sternum||Heart & lungs||Thymus||Feelings of LOVE, compassion, acceptance & fulfillment||Feelings of jealousy, possessiveness, prolonged sadness, attachment|
|Vishuddha||Throat||Trachea, throat, cervical vertebra||Thyroid||Having something to say, feeling heard, listening||Shyness, insecurity, inability to express oneself|
|Ajna||Between Eyebrows||Brain||Pituitary||Feeling intuitive, illumination, intelligence, seeing Divinity in all, psychic abilities, imagination||Feeling confused & being over-intellectual, mental health problems, headaches & sinus issues|
|Sahasrara||Crown||Brain||Pineal||Feeling connected with Divinity, being wise & feeling deep Inner Peace; Development of psychic abilities||Feelings of closed-mindedness, intense anxiety, migraines, cerebral tumors, sleep disorders|
|Aura||Electro-magnetic field||N/A||N/A||When strong, negative influences are more easily repelled, one experiences feelings of Universal connectedness||When weak, vulnerability abounds|