Most people seem to either love them or hate them. Chakras are either welcomed and believed in whole heartedly or dismissed as hocus pocus. Here, we will explain them simply, and hopefully bring them to life in a real way. The word Chakra is a Sanksrit word meaning “wheel” or “circle”, and it refers to the individual circular spinning wheels of energy located throughout the body.
The Chakra System is a complex network of energy channels connecting these wheels and is mapped throughout the whole body, much like a spiritual nervous system. There are 7 main and biggest Chakras which are found running alongside the spine (not actually in the spine). The main hurdle these days is the ambiguity of the word “energy”, with so many varying meanings. It sometimes feels like people just use the word because they do not know what they are talking about!
Actually, it is true that in some ways we are not fully sure what we are referring to. When we say “energy”, we are referring to our life force, which makes us alive and conscious, and we have not truly been able to explain the source of this life force. However, the Chakra System helps to explain the movement of this life force or “energy”, and can help us understand ourselves. Working with your chakras and balancing them can help in many ways from curing ailments, to improving our emotional states, or even unblock limitations to financial success!
We work with the seven (7) main chakras which run alongside the spine. They start at the perineum (the space between the genitals and anus), and then run up in a straight line to the top of the head. The top most chakra is in fact just outside of the body above the top of the head. Each chakra is said to vibrate at a different frequency and is associated with a particular color, very handy for chakra meditations where you can visualize the colors. They are also each associated with certain emotions and organs and their function. Here is a very simple run down of the Chakras.
Seven (7) Chakras | The Life-Force Energy Centers
#1 Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Located at the base or root, the perineum, this chakra represents grounding, and survival needs like shelter and security, often a good one to focus on if you travel a lot and don’t always have a fixed home or sense of security. Associated with the color red and the spinal column, the kidneys, legs and colon.
#2 Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana)
Located by the Sacrum, a large piece of bone at the base of the spine, but above the coccyx. This chakra represents pleasure, emotional balance and sexuality. Associated with the color orange and the reproductive organs, prostate and bladder.
#3 Navel Chakra (Manipura)
Located by the belly button, this chakra represents our willpower and assertion, it is yellow in colour and associated with the pancreas, liver and stomach.
#4 Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Located centrally near the heart, this chakra represents of course, love, unconditional love, acceptance, compassion and intuitiveness. The color is green and the associated organs are the heart, the circulatory system, the arms and hands.
#5 Throat Chakra (Vishudha)
Located at the throat (quelle surprise!), this chakra is all about communication, creativity, truth and reliability. The color is blue and the organs associated are the thyroid, hypothalamus, throat and mouth.
#6 Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
Located in the center of the brain, at a cross section found between the eyes and just above the ears. This chakra represents wisdom, imagination, intuition and an ability to analyse and perceive truth in the world. The color is a deep purple and the associated organs are the pituitary gland, the nose, the ears and the pineal gland.
#7 Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
The only chakra to be found outside of the physical body, this is located just above the crown of the head in what is considered our “spiritual body”. There are less words about this chakra as it is the chakra associated with higher consciousness, pure unconditional live and a state of pure being (beyond words!). There are no physical organs associated, but it is associated with vitalizing the upper brain, and the color is a light purple or indigo, or white.
How to Work with Our Chakras
This is a very brief overview of what is an extremely complex subject, but we can start to see from our own lives, ailments, habits and potential blockages where we may need some work to balance out those chakras and bring more clarity to our lives. All yoga practices, including the physical postures, breathing techniques as well as chanting, and of course, meditation are methods of cleaning and balancing the Chakra System. So balance your life and keep practicing!
About the Author
Maria of Get Real Yoga is one of our yoga instructors at our onsite Siem Reap yoga studio, Samadhi Yoga by Navutu Dreams. Maria qualified in Ashtanga and Hatha in India and has taught retreats, resorts, gyms, and privately. She leads the Ashtanga classes and ensures the classes are inclusive to all ability levels. Read her full bio here.