Chakras are large nexuses of metaphysical or biophysical energy within the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.
The Importance of the Main Chakras in the Body Edit
These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains 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. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow.
Each chakra has a purpose and deals with a different emotion. As such, each one can be opened and closed depending on a given individual's state of mind. When a chakra is open, energy is free to flow about the body, whereas the flow is restricted when the chakra is sealed. The chakras must be opened in a specific order, or the energy will not be able to flow.
Benefits to opening all the chakra
All living beings have specialized nodes of chi known as chakra. In healthy individuals, these are at least partially open to allow proper flow of energy.
For spirits, this also allows them to manifest their own physical form under their own power as well conjure or dispel it as they wish.
For physical beings, unlocking one's chakra also makes it easier for them to handle a larger quantity of both mana and chi. Upon unlocking the final chakra, a natural creature's new found awareness can allow it to sense even the chi of spirits and the mana of ethereal plane structures.
Opening all the chakras of the body is a significant event for all walks of life. The effects include a massive increase in one's ability to generate chi, as well as dramatically increase one's capacity to draw upon and store mana. When unlocked, these chakras are crucial for one to achieve his or her full potential, channeling his or her own energy as well as the energy from the universe. A being with fully open chakras have more general willpower and self control to resist emotions that block the chakra and more often embody the feelings of their newly open chakra. It is also the first step for reaching enlightenment in many spiritual followings and a requirement to be able to teach others on the path to self-enlightenment.
Main 7 Chakras Edit
The Chakras of Matter
The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.
Root Chakra: The Muladhara 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. The root chakra is comprised of whatever grounds you to stability in your life. This includes your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as your more emotional needs such as letting go of fear. When these needs are met, you feel grounded and safe, and you tend to worry less day to day. If there is an imbalance in the root chakra you may experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance. Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems. Yoga Asanas that help to open and align Muladhara are… Pavanamuktasana, knee to chest pose Janu Sirsansana, head to knee Pose Padmasana, lotus flexion Malasana, squatting pose Women can also practice Kegel exercises, and both men and women can do Bandha yoga—where you lock or tighten certain areas of your body—to help bring strong energy and strength to the area of the first chakra. Chanting or toning sounds can also help bring you back to balance just like music brings people together. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony. The mantra sound that corresponds to the root chakra is LAM. Finally, colors and gems can help bring a chakra into balance. The root chakra’s color is red. Gemstones for the first chakra include garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline, and bloodstone. You can place the gemstone on the area of the chakra while lying down to help open and align it.
Sacral Chakra: The Svadhisthana chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel, and is responsible for our creative expression. The word svadhisthana can be translated as “the dwelling place of the self,” and the element of the second chakra is water, which equals cohesiveness. A balanced second chakra leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions. You can open this chakra with creative expression and by honoring your body. The energy of this chakra is feminine, passive, and lunar. As humans, it is part of our nature to create. This creativity can be expressed as procreation but the second chakra energy is certainly not limited to making babies. When we cook, bake, or garden, we are creating. We create when we find a new solution to an old problem. Any time we take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy. The problem with creativity is that we are often discouraged from creative efforts, starting with education. Once we pass through the phase where coloring, painting, or cutting paper is completely acceptable, it seems that we must mold into less creative beings. In order to conform, follow the rules and fit in, we sometimes lose our creative energy and thus, our unique ideas in the process. Adults become used to following what’s right, the latest trend, or what’s acceptable to others. Then, when asked to abstractly invent something new, we might have a difficult time doing it.
How to Balance Svadhisthana
Besides being open to creativity in your daily life, you can balance the second chakra by maintaining a healthy sexual life and honoring and respecting your body. Get in touch with your emotions and see if there are any feelings you’re holding onto. Make a commitment to process those emotions in a healthy way. Left nostril breathing called Ida Nadi breathing will help to open up the second chakra as it brings forth lunar energy. Simply close your right nostril with the first two fingers of your right hand and inhale and exhale through the left nostril, only for 8 to 10 breaths. Meditation with focus on the second chakra brings about personal magnetism, refinement in behavior, freedom from diseases, and longevity. Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems. Yoga asanas that help to open and align Svadhisthana are … Seated pelvic circles: Sitting in a cross-legged or half-lotus pose with your hands on your knees, make circles with your torso. Go around in one direction 5 or 6 times and then switch directions. Baddha konasana (butterfly pose) with forward fold: In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees drop to the sides and bring your heels in close to your pelvis. Lengthen the torso and fold forward. Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Lie on your stomach with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your naval on the floor. Be sure to press down through the pubic bone toward the mat. The mantra sound that corresponds to the sacral chakra is the sound VAM. By chanting VAM, the vibrations will open and align this chakra. The color for the second chakra is orange and the gemstones for this chakra are amber, calcite orange, carnelian, or hematite.
Solar Plexus Chakra: The Manipura chakra means lustrous gem and it’s the area from the navel to the breastbone. The third chakra is our source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion.
When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. If your third chakra is out of balance, you can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. The element is fire and the color is yellow, bright like the sun.
When you have clear goals, desires, and intentions, you can move forward to achieve them. Each small step you take while honoring the larger intention helps to strengthen your third chakra. The fire within, called Tejas in Sanskrit, is the same fire in the Ayurvedic dosha Pitta. A person with strong Pitta has that inner drive to propel them forward toward their goals.
Balance the Third Chakra With Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Any yoga pose that brings heat to the area of the solar plexus is good for stimulating a sluggish third chakra. These poses include Navasana (boat pose), Matsyandrasana (seated spinal twist), and warrior. The mantra sound for the third chakra is RAM. Chanting this sound will help to open and align the chakra. Since the color of this chakra is yellow or gold, any gem corresponding to these colors will help to open the solar plexus area and bring energy to the spleen, liver, pancreas, and stomach. Yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones are all great gems to enhance your sense of personal power.
The Heart Chakra: The Connection Between Matter and Spirit
Located at the heart center, the fourth chakra, Anahata is at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection.
When we work through our physical chakras, or the first three, we can open the spiritual chakras more fully.
The fourth chakra, also referred to as the heart chakra, is located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system. The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists. When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive, and you accept others and yourself. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others. Some people choose to live in the place of grievances. They’ve been hurt in the past by parents, siblings, classmates, or loves. Maybe you’ve been there too. It’s impossible to avoid situations where someone may try to hurt you. But you get to choose what to do with that hurt. Some people might try to hurt the other person back. Yet, that is not living from a place of Anahata. The person who inflicts pain on others is coming from a place of fear, ignorance or hatred, all of which represent a closed heart chakra.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems to Balance the Fourth Chakra
Any yoga pose that opens the area of the chest will help to balance the heart chakra. Some poses include camel, standing bow pose, and cow face pose. The mantra sound corresponding to the fourth chakra is the sound YUM. A special mantra to help expand love and compassion is OM MANI PADME HUM. You can repeat this mantra in meditation to gain greater access to these qualities. The color is emerald green and the gemstones associated with the heart are emerald, malachite, jade, and rose quartz.
The Chakras of Spirit
Throat Chakra: The Vishuddha chakra is the fifth chakra, located in the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.
To be open and aligned in the fifth chakra is to speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication. Faith and understanding combine the essence of the Vishuddha chakra. The element corresponding to the fifth chakra is ether or space, and the sense is hearing.
Work on the lower chakras will help prepare you for this level of communication. For example, when you align the first and second chakras, it helps with overcoming fear. Opening the third chakra helps you to feel your personal power and have the confidence to express yourself. Knowing what’s in your heart comes when you align the fourth chakra. Then, when it comes to verbalizing your needs, desires, and opinions you’re better able to determine how to be truthful to yourself and others.
Chanting, singing, humming, and reading aloud are wonderful ways to open the fifth chakra. In fact, the mantra sound for this chakra is HUM. Two Pranayama exercises that bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi breath and the lion’s breath. In your yoga practice, you can do camel pose (Ustrasana), bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana), and plow (Halasana). These poses will stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands as well as bring energy to the area of the throat. The color corresponding to the fifth chakra is blue, and gems to balance this chakra are sapphire, blue topaz, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and turquoise.
Third Eye Chakra: The Ajna chakra is located in between the eyebrows. Ajna is our center of intuition. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability. It encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. An invisible yet powerful third eye, this is your center of intuition. A spiritual chakra, which means “beyond wisdom,” Ajna leads you to an inner knowledge that will guide you if you let it. An open sixth chakra can enable clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreaming, expanded imagination, and visualization.
The Sixth Sense
Your world is experienced through the five senses. Even before you passed through the womb, you heard noises like your mother’s voice and heartbeat, and listened to muffled sounds outside. You experienced touch, taste, and even perceived light. And since the moment of birth, you’ve attributed your experiences to what you perceive through the senses. You’ve learned to trust your senses in what you can taste, smell, touch, see, and hear. While sense perception is great in life experience, it limits you when it comes to expanding your awareness. At one time, you had to count on your sense of intuition and inner knowing. Before modern technology, we had to rely on signals from the environment and a more primal instinct to guide us. Just like birds can sense when a tsunami might hit, or squirrels know when it’s time to gather food for the winter, humans too have an intuitive sense. We’ve simply lost touch with it as well as our ability to trust in it. Ask Your Inner Knower for Guidance
You can also use your inner sense to ask for guidance to make the right decisions. Taking into account your mind, intellect, and ego, you are now including your soul in the decision making process. Just as you turned to the third chakra in the area of the solar plexus to guide you with comfort or discomfort, you will pay attention to a hunch or a subtle feeling of moving forward or holding back. If you are conflicted, ask for your sense of intuition to be opened to you in order to help you make the right choice. How to Balance Ajna
Just like any of the spiritual chakras, Ajna is best balanced through meditation. Often, new meditators will report having a tingling feeling in the third eye or equate it to a headache. A tingling or pulsating sensation around the area of the third eye during or after meditation is a sign that you are opening this blocked chakra.
A great Pranayama breathing technique is called Brahmari or the bee breath. Bring both hands to your face. Place the two middle fingers over your eyes. Allow the index fingers to rest on the eyebrow line and the pinky fingers under the cheekbones. Close your ears with your thumbs. Take a deep inhalation and exhale the word AUM with the emphasis on the “M” sound while creating a buzzing sound like a bee. Do this for two minutes or more. You can alleviate tension in the head and it works to open the sixth chakra.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Any yoga Asana where the forehead is pressed down is a good one for the sixth chakra. Try child’s pose (Balasana) with your forehead pressed to the floor or a yoga block. Dolphin pose is another helpful pose when you lift the head up to look toward the floor. The color for the sixth chakra is indigo and the mantra sound is SHAM. Gems that help open the Ajna chakra are amethyst, lapis lazuli, and azurite.
Crown Chakra: The Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine energy that creates everything in the universe. It is located at the crown of the head.
True opening of Sahaswara means the realization that you are pure awareness. You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it.
Emerging From the Murky Waters
The lotus flower is a symbol in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It is nurtured, grows, and emerges in muddy waters. It blooms where there is no clarity. The beauty of the lotus is unique to its environment, which appears monotonous and lacks vibrancy. When you reach the unfurling of the seventh chakra, you emerge through the confines of the physical body, the ego, mind, and intellect. You even push beyond the individual soul that ties you to Samsara, the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. You are freed from the shackles of desire. White light surrounds your body and you appear to stand out in your murky surroundings.
Is This an Unattainable Beauty?
After reading the description of the seventh chakra, it may seem out of reach. You may think, “Well, that sounds nice for monks and gurus, but not for me. I’m just an ordinary person with a normal life.” While we have the demands of daily living and the busy minds that accompany these demands, reaching enlightenment may not be as far off as it appears. A worthy goal may be to live in a constant state of pure awareness. But how about living with moments of pure awareness? We have all experienced these moments at one time or another. Have you ever felt unconditional love for someone? Have you ever experienced a miracle? Practicing meditation, prayer, and daily silence are disciplines that lead to increased moments of spiritual connection. In fact, these are the only means by which you will experience the essence of Sahaswara. Just as you would go to school for hours a day and study for exams to obtain a degree, meditation, prayer, and silence are your studies to obtain a spiritual degree. Once you’ve established a daily practice of these activities that connect you to universal consciousness, you will see expansion of spiritual awareness in your outer world. You will begin to experience unconditional love on a consistent basis. You will be more compassionate, kind, and forgiving, and you will show more humility. Life will no longer be solely about you and your desires. Your life will become more about serving others because when you serve others, you are serving yourself.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
While silence is the most powerful and important way to opening the seventh chakra, there are some other practices that support this chakra. Two Pranayama breathing techniques you can do before meditation include Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, and Kapalabhati, or the skull shining breath. Inverted yoga asanas such as headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) and down dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) can help stimulate the seventh chakra, as well as any posture that brings the crown of the head to the floor such as fish pose (Matsyasana). The color for the crown chakra is violet or white and the mantra sound is the universal sound of OM. Gems you can wear or have in your environment to help open and align the seventh chakra are amethyst, selenite, and sugilite.