If you have friends interested in the paranormal, meditation, or new age healing, you have probably heard them talking about their chakras. Unlike what some people believe, chakras are not crystals, candles, or similar metaphysical toys. Chakras are a series of conceptual points in the human body that have a certain focus in a person’s spiritual, physical, or personal health. Learning more about your chakras might just lead you to a new path of self awareness.
This concept has been in existence since the early days of both Hinduism and Buddhism, and chakras have been featured in holy texts about yoga, tantra, and even ayurvedic healing texts. “Chakra” means “wheel,” or “turning,” and the name alludes to the fact that chakras are supposed to be wheel-like vortexes filled with energy devoted to certain aspects of the human body or psyche. Some models portray chakras as flower shaped.
There are actually many different models of where chakras are supposed to be, but the most common model features seven different main chakras that run down the center of a person’s body. In addition to the seven major chakras there are 21 minor chakras located a various places on the body which are said to be reflections of the seven major chakras. For the sake of brevity, only the seven major chakras will be covered.
The top chakra, which is located on the very center of the top of the head, is called the Crown Chakra or Sahasrara. The Crown Chakra deals with karma, neurological issues, and spiritual work. It is also known as the “Thousand Petaled Lotus,” which blooms when enlightenment is achieved.
The Brow Chakra or Ajna , located right on the middle of one’s forehead, deals with your third eye. The third eye is believed to be the center of insight. It is believed to be closely associated with the pituitary gland and pineal gland. This charka is believed by many to be the channel through which psychic powers such as telepathy and clairvoyance are experienced.
The Throat Chakra or Vishuddha, and as its name suggests, is found on one’s throat. This chakra deals with everything that is related to communication, speech, and arts. Truthfulness and willingness to take responsibility for one’s own needs are believed to be signs of a healthy throat charkra.
The Heart Chakra, or Anahata (which is fourth down the chakra line), deals with your life essences, your emotions, and your immune system. In a sense this may be thought of as the social charka in that it governs our social identity and our sense of connection to those around us. When this charka is blocked we feel lonely and isolated.
Fifth is the Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura, and its focus is diet-related. This charka is associated with our ego and our sense of self esteem. People with Solar Plexus Chakra problems are often troubled by anxiety and a sense of powerlessness.
The Sacral Chakra or Svadhisthana, which is found slightly lower than your belly button, is devoted to reproductive health. More metaphorically, this is the source of the creative force that drives creative endeavors such as writing, painting, and other arts. When this charka is blocked the subject may experience “writer’s block,” for example.
Lastly, the Root Chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and governs your most basic human instincts. The drive for survival and security of self and family are two things influenced by this charka as are physical identity, and self-sufficiency.
As already implied, a common belief is that the energy in chakras needs to be carefully balanced in order to maintain good health. This is because the energy from one chakra can overpower others, and could cause other chakras’ energies to dissipate or drain if it is ignored. Many people try to balance the amount of power in each chakra in order to improve their health. This is often done through meditation, ayurvedic cures, or similar Eastern medicine practices.
One method charkas may be tuned or balanced is by the use of repetitive primal sounds or mantras associated with each charka. The following is a list of the mantras or sounds:
- Crown: AUM
- Brow: SHAM
- Throat: HAM
- Heart: YAM
- Solar Plexus: RAM
- Reproductive Area: VAM
- Base of Spine: LAM
Does the act of chakra balancing actually work? Well, it depends on who you talk to. Many people who practice ayurvedic medicine insist upon the actions of chakras. Others, however, are much more skeptical about the powers of chakras. There are plenty of different practices that use chakras in one way or another. The only way to figure out whether or not things like chakra balancing meditation work for you is to actually try them out for yourself.