We are all aware that our bodies can pick up “vibes”. You walk into an uncomfortable situation, a loving atmosphere; you cannot explain how or why, you just know. This is part of our subtle body, the energy that is around our bodies as well as within. One of these subtle bodies are our chakras. Everyone has them, and while there are 12, there are only 7 mainly used. In Sanskrit it means wheel or turning, but in a yogic sense its vortex or whirlpool. Traditionally, when working with the chakras, one would focus on each one in turn, starting with our root, and up through our crown. They are conveniently at the major physical counterparts in our bodies, such as arteries, veins, and nerves. I had been under the impression that when doing a chakra meditation I had to be seeing colors in order for it to work. Luckily, my yoga instructor taught me differently!
The first chakra is our root chakra, or our muhladara chakra, and this is at the base of our bodies near our coccygeal region. It is symbolized with a four petaled lotus and is usually red. This chakra concerns our sense of security, instinct, our fight-or-fight response. Physically it governs our sexuality, and mentally our stability. When trying to awaken your Kundalini energy, the muhladara chakra is one of the three main nadis. These will be discussed at a later time, or again on our sister site mentioned above.
The svadhisthana chakra, our sacral chakra, is the second chakra. It is symbolized with an orange, six petaled white lotus which has a crescent moon in its center, and is at the our sacrum. It is believed to correspond with the ovaries and testes that produce the sex hormones, and has to do with the expressive sexuality, creativity, and the reproductive glands. Emotionally this chakra has to do with relationships, addictions, pleasure, and basic emotional needs. This is also one of the main nadis used for bhanda practice and raising the Kundalini.
The third chakra is the manipura, or solar plexus, chakra. Symbolized with a yellow ten petaled lotus. Physically it relates to our digestive and metabolic systems. Mentally and spiritually, manipura concerns the ego and issues about personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, willpower, introversion, and converting our base or simple emotions into complex ones.
Anahata chakra, our heart chakra, is symbolized by a green, twelve petaled lotus, and is at our chest, and relates to our thymus. Physically it relates to our immune system, as well as being part of our endocrine system. Mentally and spiritually, it relates to compassion, unconditional love for the Self and others, devotion, tenderness, equilibrium, wellbeing, and rejection.
The fifth chakra is our throat chakra, known as vishuddha. It is represented with a blue, sixteen petaled lotus, and is at our throat. Physically it corresponds with growth, maturation, and the thyroid. Emotionally it corresponds to communication, spirituality, fluent thought, authenticity, independence, and a sense of security. In Tibetan Buddhism it plays an important role in Dream Yoga, the art of lucid dreaming.
Our third eye chakra is known as the ajna chakra. It is at our foreheads, between our eyebrows. It is symbolized with a violet, two petaled lotus. Now sometimes it is blue, indigo, or purple as well. Physically it is linked to our pineal gland, which produces the hormone melatonin, which regulates our sleep/awake patterns. Key issues involving the ajna chakra are balancing the higher and lower Selves, and trusting our inner guidance. It deals with clarity, intuition, and visual consciousness. It is also one of the nadis incorporated into waking the Kundalini.
Our seventh chakra is our sahasrara chakra, our crown chakra. It is positioned at the top of our head, and is represented by a white, thousand petaled lotus. Again, sometimes represented by purple, but white (in my opinion) is a better representative color for what it stands for. It is the state of pure consciousness, where there is neither subject or object. When the female Kundalini energy Shakti rises to this chakra, it unites with the male Shiva energy, and a state of liberating samadhi is reached. It corresponds with issues of inner wisdom, and the death of the body. Physically it relates to the pituitary gland, which excretes hormones to the endocrine system and connects to the central nervous system through the hypothalamus. Aspects are the release of karma, physical action with meditation, unity, universal consciousness, mental action, and being-ness.
Each chakra, when balanced, can optimize the body and consciousness, so that we may strive toward samadhi and enlightenment. It also helps the wellbeing of our bodies when they are aligned and functioning wholly. There are the positive correspondences of our chakras, as well as the negative. If our chakras are out of balance, then the issues about that chakra would be negative instead of positive. There is duality in life, science has proven that, history and experiences has shown that. When pertaining to our energy fields it is no different. Again, more in-depth discussion can be done in other posts. I have linked a great book on subtle bodies for you below, there is also a workbook available as well! I am only linking it because I have it personally, and truly enjoy learning more about the subtle body and wanted to share that with you! Amazon has it too! 😉
***Note, Cyndi Dale’s book The Subtle Body, is very in-depth with physics***
Thank you Google for the images!