By Felicia McMillan at Mended Joy
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel. Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a set of behavioral characteristics and stages of spiritual growth. There are seven chakras, each associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the perineum to the crown of your head. Each chakra is associated with a body location, a color, a central emotional/behavioral issue, as well as many other personal aspects including identity, goals, rights, etc.
Chakra awakening is highly a debatable topic, with two distinctly different schools of thought. The answer could be, “Yes” or “No”, depending upon which school of thought you are trained in. Firstly, let's cover the side that would say, “Yes” to helping you share the experience of Chakra awakening. There is no shortage of detailed information, made available by enlightened Yoga enthusiasts. When, or if, a student is ready for Chakra awakening, it should be determined by the teacher; this is not for every student. Some students put pressure on themselves, which may lead to anxiety, causing negative qualities of the Chakras to surface, during an awakening.
Let’s Get an Overview
Defining what chakra is, should be the first step in fully understanding the chakra meditation. The human body has vital points of energy that are being used consciously or unconsciously and which greatly influence the events that happen in our lives. The term “chakra” is used to mean these vital points.
Chakras are in different parts of the body. All seven of these affect the areas where each of them is located and each possesses its own distinctive property.
Root - Red
Situated at the base of the spine. Emotional grounding and one’s roots. The excretory and reproductive systems and the immune system. Mantra “I am in touch with the earth, my roots”. This chakra is known to affect the health, structure and safety of a person. This chakra, also called the coccyx, and traditionally known as muladhara, is associated with how one’s body links to the material world.
Sacral – Orange
A hands breadth down from the belly button. Sexuality, creativity, financial issues, honor, and ethics, one to one’s relationships. Genital and urinary systems, bladder and prostate. Mantra “I am a creative, sexual being”. The Naval Chakra or svadisthana, a vital point located in the lower abdomen, is associated with the feelings of love, passion, sexuality as well as pleasure. People experiencing positive feelings will get feedback in this chakra.
Solar Plexus – Yellow
Over the solar plexus at the bottom of the rib cage. Self-esteem, self-confidence and how you see yourself. It holds the digestive system, worries and fears, the stress of responsibility. Mantra “I believe in myself”. Located just above the navel and below the chest, the Solar Plexus Chakra is a vital point influencing one’s force and willpower. This chakra is where our sense of authority, discipline and self-control meet.
Heart – Green
Over the heart. Love, forgiveness, unconditional love. Relationships. Circulatory and immune systems. Heart and lungs. Loneliness. Mantra “I can give and receive love”. The Heart Chakra or the anahata can be found at the center of one’s chest. Love and understanding are the focus of this chakra, as well as the emotions resulting from these feelings.
Throat – Blue
Center of the throat. Communication, self-expression and will power. Thyroid problems, sore throats, addictions. Mantra “I speak my truth”. A vital point located in the throat area is called the Throat Chakra or vishuddha. Linked to one’s communication, this chakra is also associated with the sky-blue color.
Third Eye - Indigo
Center of forehead. Intuition, intellect and mind, inner vision. Brain and nervous system, eye problems. Mantra “I see clearly”. The Brow Chakra or the anja is a vital point found on the forehead, just above the eyes. This chakra is associated with our sensitivity outside the physical realm and is known to the Buddhists as the region of the “Third Eye”. This clairvoyance-related focus point is also associated with the color indigo.
Crown - Violet
Top of head. Spiritual awakening, search for meaning. Our relationship to our spirit and God. Central nervous system, overwhelming fatigue. Mantra “I believe”. The important point on top of the head which is known as the Crown Chakra or sahasrara is obviously concerned with the mind and spirit. This chakra focuses on one’s consciousness and the things relating to the High Self is also associated with the color violet.
Soul star – White/crystal
Directly above the crown, about two hand’s breadths from the head. Awareness of ones soul and its connection to the conscious self. Gives perspective on life and ability to see seemingly random positive or negative events as part of the soul’s journey. Mantra "I transcend".
Chakras are known by other names and were discovered by lots of ancient peoples on different continents. The Incans have 3 major points and then the sub points which still turn out to be the same 7 areas. Chakra systems have been called many names, but they are universal, spanning across many ancient traditions. Knowing what they are and how to heal, use, or service them can change one’s life.