Ever wondered what chakras actually are? Here is a little insight into the seven chakras.
This article highlights the seven chakras of the mind and spirit, which must be cleared to allow energy to flow. With your new knowledge, you can become more balanced in your body and your mind.
Dude. Your chakras are like, totally unbalanced and destroying my stability. What the heck is a chakra? Not the title of a retro ‘80s single. Not the colour of your aunt’s favourite pashmina. Definitely not something you can pick up in a Seven Eleven with an Octopus card.
- The word chakra has its roots in Sanskrit.
- There are seven main chakras of the mind and spirit.
- Awareness of how your chakras may be out of balance is the key to aligning them because our bodies are in a constant flux between balance and imbalance.
- If your chakras are unbalanced or blocked, you need to clear them to allow the energy to flow.
- This brings us to Kundalini. In the Hindu tradition, kundalini awakening is both a process and an objective for spiritual development.
The Sanskrit word Chakra translates to Wheel or Disk. The term refers to wheels of energy massing in specific locations (along the length of the spine) throughout your body.
Think of a swirling mass of energy where matter (things in your body like nerves and glands) and energy fields meet. These invisible energy fields are called Prana. Prana is considered a vital life force which keeps us vibrant, healthy and alive. Each of the seven main chakras contain bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned and fluid. We’ll talk about blockages later, but for now let’s focus on the chakras themselves. There are seven main chakras which start from the base of the spine and extend to the crown of the head.
First Chakra – The Muladhara (root chakra) is the chakra of stability, security and our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder and the colon. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.
Second Chakra – The Svadhisthana (sacral chakra) is the chakra of our creativity and sexual energy. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel and is responsible for creative expression.
Third Chakra – The Manipura (solar plexus chakra) is the source of our personal power. It can be found in the area from the navel to the breastbone.
Fourth Chakra - The Anahata (heart chakra) is at the middle of all the chakras (at the heart center) and unites the lower chakras of matter with the upper chakras of spirit. It serves as a bridge between the body, mind, emotions and spirit – it is the source of love and connection.
Fifth Chakra – The Vishuddha (throat chakra) is located in the area of the throat. This is the source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The Vishuddha includes the neck, thyroid and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth and tongue.
Sixth Chakra – The Anja (third eye chakra) is located in between the eyebrows. Ajna is the center of intuition (we all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings).
Seventh Chakra – The Sahaswara (crown chakra) is located at the crown of the head. It represents the path of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others and ultimately to the divine.
As noted above, each of the body’s basic seven chakras are associated with specific locations on the body. If you compare a chakra chart to a chart of our endocrine glands or that of our nervous system, you will see how each lines up. Awareness of how your chakras may be out of balance is the key to aligning them. Our bodies are in a constant flux between balance and imbalance. Unless you have an apparent problem in one area of the body, imbalances can be difficult to detect. For example, a recurring sore throat or a cough can indicate a blocked fifth chakra. Are you speaking your truth? Are you lying to someone or to yourself (usually known as “denial”)? Frequent headaches may mean your sixth chakra is blocked (are you going along with something that doesn’t make much sense or is causing you mental or emotional discomfort)?
Sometimes when chakras are unbalanced or blocked, we need to “clear” them. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of a storm surge after a typhoon – in the aftermath of a storm (i.e. stress), debris piles up and blocks roads and pathways. If too much debris accumulates in one spot, a road is unusable until the way is cleared, which can take time. If a road is blocked, it can translate into areas of congestion in other parts of the city. Much the same is with a blocked chakra – energy never stops flowing, but as pathways narrow or become blocked, they can cause stress on other areas of the body until they eventually come back into balance.
Which brings us to kundalini. The term kundalini refers to the vital force or energy that we all hold within us. Often called the “sleeping goddess” or “serpent power,” it is represented as a serpent coiled around the first chakra or root chakra at the base of the spine. As kundalini moves upwards from the root to the crown chakra, it provides each with a boost of energy. This is desirable, which is why many enlightened people try to engage in kundalini awakening through yoga, breathing techniques, meditation or other forms of exercise, all of which help keep chakras in balance and the energy flowing. In the Hindu tradition, kundalini awakening is both a process and an objective for spiritual development. It leads to the union of personal consciousness and cosmic and divine consciousness. There are many people who have difficulty balancing their chakras, and thus seek the advice and the guidance of a guru.
Fun fact: the word guru actually means “dispeller of darkness.” On a personal note, I’ve been flinging that term around for years to describe anyone who is really good at what they do. My dry cleaners will love the fact that I’ve been assigning them cosmic attributes of enlightenment and joy to top off their skill set. I should probably now merely point out that I have a balanced wardrobe…
But in all seriousness, at a basic level, we all appreciate that we can become more balanced by being kind to ourselves and others, and by being honest with ourselves. We feel better about ourselves when we speak our minds in a constructive way, find creative ways to use our skills and let go of resentment and guilt. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to and learning from differences of opinion, and encouraging others to try new things. In the midst of a constantly changing and fast-paced city like Hong Kong, it’s good to open our hearts and minds to the possibility of goodness through balance. Go. Learn more about your chakras and your own balances and imbalances. Embrace and accept the constant change that growth brings. Namaste.