What is a Chakra?
Although many people who practise yoga and crystal healing are already familiar with the various chakras, I believe it is important to introduce the topic for those who have no idea what we are talking about and who might be a little sceptical as to why chakras are considered to be so important within our mind and bodies.
Although you cannot always see it, everything in the world is made up of energy. There are all types of energy, positive energies, negative energies and they can manifest themselves through a variety of manners. It’s a little bit like when you walk into a room while two people are arguing and you feel as though you can feel the tension inside of you, your hairs stand on edge and you feel uncomfortable. Or if you are uneasily walking by a big dog who can “smell” your fear and the dog begins barking at you. Energy can be transformed, moved, passed onto someone else (think of a smile or a contagious laugh) and it is especially important to listen to your own energy and how it makes you feel.
Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel. There are six main Chakras in the body (along the spinal chord), considered to be the leading energy points between the unconscious and the physical, or “energy wheels”. Each chakra has its own cluster of nerves and usually is associated with a specific organ in the body. Each has its own name, colour and function. Your body is most healthy once your chakras are opened and alined, so as to let the energy flow without blockages. Opening each chakra and allowing the energy to flow smoothly can help relieve many types of pain, from a physical disturbance to an emotional tension.
There are many ways to open your chakras and help align them so as to feel more balanced. Physical exercise such as yoga and meditation are two excellent methods. Generally being more aware of your physical body and your conscious mind is helpful. Do not ignore any symptoms you may feel, weather it is a light headache or a gut feeling in the pit of your stomach. Your chakras speak to you through your body; attempting to listen to yourself and paying attention is already a good step to leading a balanced, more peaceful life.
You may also have heard that there are seven main chakras, but many argue that the last one does not count as part of the body since it is technically found just on the crown of your head.
The six main chakras are:
- Muladhara – the root chakra
Bija Mantra: Lam
- Svadihsthana – one’s own abode
Bija Mantra: Vam
- Manipura – city of jewels
Bija Mantra: Ram
- Anahta – the heart chakra (“unhurt”)
Bija Mantra: Yam
- Vishuddha – the throat chakra
Bija Mantra: Ham
- Ajna – the third eye chakra
Bija Mantra: Oum
- Sahasrara – the crown chakra
Bija Mantra: Oum
Associated with each chakra there is a specific element, crystal and bija mantra to help guide and heal each energy wheel. There are many ways you can try and connect with a specific chakra you feel needs more care. You may find it useful repeat the bija mantra for the specific chakra you are working on. A bija mantra is a one syllable seed sound that helps activate your chakra through sound vibrations. Perhaps meditating while imagining you are breathing in a vapour of the same colour of the chakra may help bring your attention onto the balance between spiritual and physical.