Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel. These are a system of seven energy centres located along the spine. Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a set of behavioural characteristics and stages of spiritual growth. Practicing yoga and focusing our energies during different postures helps us to align our chakras and get all the wheels spinning in the same direction and at a synchronous speed. Understanding how to fine tune and control our chakras through yoga and meditation helps bring balance and peace to our mind, body and spirit.
There are seven chakras, each associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the perineum to the crown of our head. Each chakra is associated with a particular body location, a colour, a central emotional/behavioural issue, as well as many other personal aspects including identity, goals, rights, etc.
The seven chakras are:
- Muladhara- base of the spine
- Svadhisthana- abdomen, genitals, lower back/hip
- Manipura- solar plexus
- Anahata- heart area
- Vishuddha- throat
- Ajna- brow
- Sahasrara- top of head, cerebral cortex.
Through the movements and postures of yoga, we learn to focus our concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in our body. This allows us to compensate for areas that may be out of sync with the rest of our body or not active at all. By balancing the energy among all seven of the chakras, balance is achievable.
This spiritual energy is known as Kundalini energy. In its dormant state, it is visualized as a coiled up snake resting at the base of our spine, the Muladhara chakra. Since the chakras act as valves or pumps regulating the flow of energy through our system, controlled and purposeful movements such as yoga is extremely beneficial in realigning our chakras in a way greatly benefits us and promotes our physical and emotional wellbeing.
The art of chakra healing, in use for centuries, balances important energy centres in the body called chakras. We use a number of different tools such as stones or meditation during chakra balancing. The end result will be a physically healthier body, happier, and more at peace.
According to practitioners of chakra healing, we all have seven primary chakras that correspond with vital areas of our bodies and emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives. The seven chakras form a line from the base of our spine to the top of our head. Chakras have their own colour, vibrational frequency, and symbol. For example, the first chakra is found at the base of the spine and is known as the root chakra. This chakra governs the spinal column, kidneys, legs, feet, rectum, and immune system. So, when this chakra is out of balance, it may lead to lower back pain, varicose veins, leg cramps, rectal conditions, depression, as well as immune related disorders. A lack of balance in the root chakra may be caused by feelings of low self esteem, insecurity, or family concerns.
Other chakras include the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow, and crown chakras. Each energy centre must be vibrating at the proper frequency independent of one another in order for the entire body to vibrate in harmony. Therefore, each chakra is equally important to optimal functioning of the body according to the chakra healing tradition.
Many powerful tools affect the vibration of the chakra, and that's where chakra balancing comes into play. Chakra stones, the human voice, music, chants, mantras and chakra meditation bring the frequency of the chakras back into proper vibrational alignment. For example, the root chakra is greatly affected by the hematite, onyx, ruby or garnet gemstones. During chakra healing a practitioner may use one or all of these chakra stones to cleanse our root chakra and bring it into harmony.
Chakra meditation may also be used to open up our chakra centres and improve the flow of positive psychic energy inside our body. During meditation we simply concentrate on each of the chakras starting with the first one and working our way up to your crown chakra. By imagining the flow of energy from chakra to chakra, we are helping to remove blockages in each energy centre that might be the cause pain and disease.
Because the chakras govern every organ and system in our body, chakra healing has far reaching health implications. Chakra balancing may lead to improved heart, lung, brain, immune and digestive function and may also help with depression, anxiety, and other emotional imbalances. Many believe that the chakras have the power to transform our life both physically and spiritually. It is only when our chakras are in sync that we may truly access higher levels of consciousness.
If the powerful art of chakra healing sounds intriguing to us visit an experienced chakra healer. A good healer will ask us plenty of questions about our health in order to pinpoint which of our chakras are the most blocked or unbalanced. From there he or she may employ any number of tools to help lead our energy centres into harmonious vibration.
Chakra Clearing Chant
From Yasmin Bolund via the Sri Narayani Peedum Ashram
These are the 7 chakra healing chants:
Root Chakra (Muladhara) - chant mantra LAM
Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana) - chant mantra VAM
Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) - chant mantra RAM
Heart Chakra (Anahata) - chant mantra YAM
Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) - chant mantra HAM
Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) - chant mantra OM
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) - chant mantra OM
Chakra meditation helps to strengthen weak chakras and will benefit our health, wisdom and happiness. If we need to recharge our body, mind and soul then using chakra meditation is an excellent way to revitalize us from the inside out.
How to perform a chakra meditation:
The first few times we practice a chakra meditation, make sure that we have an expert to guide us, face to face or using an online video. We need to make sure that our chakras are left more in balance at the end of the meditation than they were when we started!
Start our meditation by sitting down, cross legged in a quiet, dimly lit room. Make sure that our spine is straight, and not stiff. Close our eyes then take a deep breath and start to relax. Now, go through each chakra in turn, starting with the root chakra: -Imagine that we are drawing energy up from the earth, through the root chakra and that this is building up in the base of our spine.
-Then the navel chakra: feel the concentration of energy building up around our navel and visualize a flow of warm lava out of this chakra centre.
-Moving on to the solar plexus chakra, let our stomach muscles relax deeply and sense the movement of the energy through our diaphragm.
-Next is the heart chakra. Imagine our heart getting stronger with every breath. See and feel a bright light radiating out from this area.
-Progressing on to the throat chakra, breath in with force. Then gradually relax our tongue, shoulders and neck.
-For the brow chakra, keeping our eyes closed, focus on our “third eye” (the point between our eyebrows). Endeavour to see this area even though our eyes are close and observe what we are seeing.
-Finally, it’s the crown chakra. Visualize a beautiful lotus with a thousand petals blossoming from the tip of our head. As we visualize, see the colour change from a deep violet through to a brilliant white light.
Done correctly, the chakra meditation brings us into union with the Spirit. It is a very powerful form of meditation and helps us to stabilize our body, bringing an inner peace and harmony to us.
If there is difficulty, invite things to happen and be assured they are happening on a subtle level, and it may take practice to connect to the subtler energies.