An In-Depth Look into the Role of Chakras.
Chakras (pronounced as chuck-rah) are the energy vortices, the invisible nodes in our body, which work like a powerhouse for our mind, body, and soul. They are like psychic spine of our subtle body which draws energies from universe into our consciousness.
Many of you already are acquainted with the seven main chakras out of many others. What I have put together apart from the basic info are some of the facts that your “chakras activation classes” do not tell you. Not that I am offending any of those places (scandals scare me!), but digging deeper into Vedas, Kundalini Yoga, Puranas and Upanishads for that’s where this knowledge has been bestowed upon us.
It is important to know why all of our chakras are not fully activated. The reason is to fulfill the purpose of your soul which can only get accomplished with the right combination of energies. If you weren’t a little insecure (root chakra), you might not have jumped out of your comfort zone and ever understand what leap of faith really means. If you didn’t go through a particular illness, you might not have gotten the lesson you needed to ascend at the soul level. Each chakra is governed by a planet and when that planet is in a weak position in your birth chart, the concerned chakra gets weaker. (I will leave the complex yet mesmerizing astrology here!) The life lessons come from experiencing the difficult or less activated side of the chakras.
However, at times, when we forget life’s basic rules and get into turmoil of living in the past or behaving inhumane (yes, we all are selfish at times!), chakras tend to get more imbalanced than they were supposed to be. Our ancestors–clairvoyant and wise sages–on the request of indolent kings (pun intended!), devised ways to balance the chakras to make the life path a little easier. That is a paradox though, as activating chakras is not an easy task. Discipline, yoga postures, meditation and mantras can help. In Skanda Purana Upakhyana, sage Agastya has mentioned the role of aromas of sacred flowers, roots, barks, seeds as one of the healing methodology to balance chakra. (That deserves a whole new article, soon!)
Here, you can read about the seven prime chakras with their location and element (Tattva) with explanations of corresponding yoga poses to open it.
- Root Chakra (Muladhara) – Base of the spine – Earth
This chakra is associated with the basic needs, sense of survival and security. When a baby is in the womb, his first chakra starts to develop–the trust in his mother is his sense of security. When you travel to an unknown place or it is your first day at the job, you get pangs of anxiety and insecurity. Suddenly you are in a crunch for money, all the ‘what ifs’ of financial adversities pops up in your head. When such feelings start renting your body, mind and soul everlastingly–stress, insecurity, fear of survival or even eating disorders–understand that your root chakra is getting iffy.
Sit on the grass (without any yoga mat–nothing between you and the energetic earth), close your eyes and imagine roots like structure emerging from your root chakra entering the ground. Feel the flow of the energy, flowing to and from the root chakra to the deep core of the earth. Apart from this grounding activity, Hatha Yoga suggests Warrior, Triangle and Eagle poses to open this chakra.
The root chakra is the first step in chakra balancing.
- Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana) – Genitals – Water
Sacral Chakra is associated with pleasures, creativity, emotions, and decisiveness without inhibitions.
Lesser active sacral chakra tends to give you unhealthy relationships, low libido, sexual-related guilt, depression, and eventually addictions which lead to low self-esteem.
On the other hand, if you are clingy in relationships, you overreact, and you suffer from abdominal cramps then, your sweet chakra is getting dizzy (overactive).
Hatha Yoga suggests Extended Lateral Angle Pose for this chakra.
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) – Navel – Fire
Is it difficult for you to say a no to someone? Is it difficult for you to decide on something and stick to it? Do you feel panicky even on a small situation? Are you tagged as ‘nice’ and hence people walk all over you? Your solar plexus is low on energy. This chakra is linked to your expression of personal ability, will and power. Overactive solar plexus results in rage, violence and a strong will to control others.
You should try the camel pose and Upward Bow pose.
- Heart Chakra (Anahata) – Chest – Air
Love–unconditional acceptance of all matter, harmony with oneself–that’s heart chakra functionality. Anahata is un-struck sound–the sound of the universe. Divine word, isn’t it? This chakra is associated with making decisions outside the law of karma and fate. Your higher self begins getting in touch with you when this chakra is in full bloom and you ‘go with your heart’. You are above the basic desires and fears of the society.
Forgiveness and compassion is the insight set by this chakra.
You should try Cobra Pose and Fish pose.
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) – Throat – Ether
It is our purification center. Wisdom comes when this chakra is fully blossoming. You have a clear vision of what is wrong and right and you do not hesitate to speak out loud and clear. You become a good listener too. (That’s what wise people do!) You recognize the inner self, the higher self, the consciousness.
Go for Shoulder-stand and Bow Pose to open Vishuddha.
- Brow Chakra (Ajna) – Between Eyebrows – Mahat (Three Gunas)
Your brow chakra is linked to intuitiveness and mental strength. This chakra is the doorway to the spiritual energies of the cosmos. You get intuitions through your “gut” or even dreams. You gain an awareness of the higher self and understanding of the connectedness between the cosmos and every single matter.
In Kundalini Yoga, Trataka (steady gazing), Shambhavi Mudra (gazing at the space between the eyebrows), and some forms of Pranayama are the exercises mentioned to kindle Ajna energy.
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) – Top of head – Adi Tattva (Infinite Element)
The thousand vivid petals arranged in twenty layers with the golden shell is the door to the God (Universe, Brahma, the Source–call it what you may like). That’s how the crown chakra glows. When it is activated, the soul radiates with purity. It is immersed in pure consciousness and pure actuality. All the energies flow together.
The enlightenment is here; the peace is here. You meet with the supreme self; you achieve the state of pure consciousness. It is the silence after Om. Activating it needs a life away from all the worldly desires. It is when a person understands all the world is nothing but ‘Maya’–the illusion and that’s where the true bliss is.
Age is not getting older but getting wiser. That’s how gradually chakras open up and we get spiritual knowledge of the mystic realms. Often, people start sinking in consciousness by getting stuck in finding reasons of complications which happened in their life and the fear of death–past and future. Mature souls make use of this time to manifest higher chakras in order to attain the bliss that everyone, eventually, is supposed to obtain; if not in this lifetime, then maybe in another.
‘Pravrittibhede Prayojakam Cittamekamanekesam’–Patanjali Yoga-sutras 4.5
Consciousness and unconsciousness are spun in harmony in the phenomenal world. In the human species of life, this harmony is in full blossom. That makes the human body as the most evolved mechanism of matter.