An Introduction to the Chakras
Many of us approach yoga from the pure physical opening. I know that I did. When I first started yoga, 13 years ago, I had a specific aim – to stretch my body and decrease the pain in my body. I am happy to say that it worked. The journey to the release was a lovely, bumpy and interesting one! I realized that the physical pain was connected to my emotions, my thoughts, my worries and all of the layers of pain that I had shoved down into my body. It was a foreign concept to me.
As a physician, 10 years of medical school did not give me this awareness. I had no idea that the pain someone is experiencing in their life was actually connected to their emotions. Yoga was truly life transforming. I had no idea that this information was even available.
When we look at the chakra system – the energy centers – we can see that this knowledge is actually documented and well studied. It is only in our Western Medical domain that we do not give credence to this beautiful, awe-inspiring study.
The chakra system or energy centers in our body often become blocked by long held tension and low self-esteem. Physical postures have been well studied that correspond to each chakra and when done regularly can release the block from the body. As a result, we are able to live free of these old fears that are often stagnating our life.
The 7 chakras are believed to be arranged in a vertical line from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means wheel and these wheels are believed to spin. Each chakra is actually associated with biological functions in our body.
Through understanding the chakra system, we can se that our external life and internal habits, life limiting concepts, self-esteem and chronic mental tension can produce imbalances in our chakras. When left over a period of time, these chakras do not spin as they should. As a result, if the imbalance is left it can result in an actual physical disease and dysfunction.
Chakras can be rebalanced through regular practice of yoga postures and meditation. This allows the energy to balance and allows any energy to clear.
Personally, I have seen the amazing affects of yoga and meditation on clearing many diseases, including thyroid disease, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, chronic physical pain and more.
The practice of yoga is truly amazing and mind-boggling. Such an ancient art of healing has been well studied and documented in ancient texts. Western Medicine has its role, especially with the acute ailments.
If, however, you suffer from a chronic disease, it is more than likely related to an imbalance in your chakras that started many years ago. Regular practice can actually release and allow your body to step into its natural way of being.
Bottom line: role out your yoga mat, rain or shine, and practice. You will be glad you did!
Chakra Balancing and Wellbeing
Meditation isn’t always for the purpose of moving into quiet states of stillness. We can use meditation practice as a way to check in with ourselves and better direct our energy. Guided meditations are an awareness tool that allows us to be in conscious, present creation with ourselves.
What Are Chakras?
Chakras are points where the energetic and physical bodies meet. Imagine chakras like wheels constantly in motion. If these wheels are “stuck,” energy cannot move and we might feel out of whack. Located in the subtle body, there are hundreds of chakras, although the primary seven from the Muladhara system are where the most focus is given.
These main seven chakras are:
- Root – base of spine – Muladhara – red
- Sacral – below the naval – Svadisthana – orange
- Solar Plexus – above navel – Manipura — yellow
- Heart – heart, center of chest – Anahata — green
- Throat – throat – Visuddha —blue
- 3rd eye — at forehead between the eyes — Ajna — indigo
- Crown— top of head — Sahasrara — violet
Chakra Color Variations
This modern-day chakra color system comes from the cover of a 1977 out-of-print book by Christopher Hills. If this system works for you, go with it. However, if you discover that your root chakra is another color, go with that. When I visualize my root chakra color as red, for instance, I feel antsy and uncomfortable. When I place gold there, I feel peaceful and relaxed. Play with the colors and find that which supports you. It’s also perfectly fine if you don’t see or experience any color at all.