The Seven Chakras
A Brief Overview
The word chakra means "wheel" in Sanskrit. Chakras are energy centers in the human electromagnetic energy field sometimes known as the aura. There are seven major chakras which are located along the central line of the body, from the base of the spine to the top of the head. They are conceived of as whirling, wheel-like vortexes through which prana (universal cosmic energy) flows into and out of the body. The flow of this energy affects all areas of our wellbeing.
Each chakra has a specific function and corresponds to specific glands, organs, nerves, muscles, and facets of our emotional, psychological, and spiritual being. Imbalances within the chakras refer to these energy centers being either excessive or deficient in terms of their energy input and output. These imbalances can effect the areas that correspond to that chakra and may lead to illness, chronic pain, injury or dis-ease.
Energy flows into the chakras two ways. Firstly, upward from the base of our spine, through the Root Chakra, and secondly, from above, entering our Crown Chakra and flowing down. When a chakra along the central channel, or Sushumna Nadi, is functioning suboptimally, energy flow to the rest of the chakras is also effected. Often times when one chakra is excessive another chakra will become deficient or vise versa in an attempt for the energy body to achieve overall balance. But this coping mechanism of matching one imbalance with a counter imbalance isn't truly helpful or healing. When all of the chakras are open and balanced the body radiates health and we feel centered, at peace, and enjoy a deep sense of well being on all levels.
From the top to bottom...
The Crown Chakra
Location: Top of the head
Physical Correspondence: Upper skull, cerebral cortex, Pineal gland, and the nervous system
Role: This is the chakra that opens us to the Divine. It is our spiritual gateway to higher realms. This center is associated with highest wisdom, knowledge, transcendence, understanding, enlightenment and unification of the higher self. It is a place of oneness, unity and understanding.
The Third Eye Chakra
Location: Central cavity of the brain, centered above the eyebrows.
Physical Correspondence: Eyes, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, medulla plexus, and cerebellum.
Role: Responsible for intuition, insight, and perception, this chakra is known as the psychic energy center. The Third Eye helps us to understand our divine purpose. It is associated with self-reflection, visualization, discernment, clear thought, understanding, and an ability to see clearly.
The Throat Chakra
Location: Hollow of throat
Physical Correspondence: Thyroid gland, ears, nose, throat, mouth, vocal cords
Role: Your communication center — your voice, your creative self-expression. The Throat Chakra relates to speaking your truth, communicating clearly, listening and being heard.
The Heart Chakra
Location: Center of chest
Physical Correspondence: Heart, lungs, thymus, cardiovascular and respiratory systems
Role: This center is associated with the emotion of love, love on all levels: self-love as well as the love we feel for others. It is the place of sharing, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance. The Heart Chakra is also deeply connected to our relationships, again relationship to self, as well as to others.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
Location: Between navel and base of sternum
Physical Correspondence: Stomach, liver, gall bladder, digestive system
Role: The Solar Plexus Chakra relates to our personal power. It is associated with self-esteem, self-worth, ego, confidence, will, effectiveness, and freedom from shame.
The Sacral Chakra
Location: Lower abdomen, a few inches below the navel
Physical Correspondence: Reproductive organs, bladder, lower intestines, and urinary system
Role: The center of emotions, sexuality, sensation, pleasure and desires.The Sacral Chakra stimulates creative energy and is connected to issues of control, blame, and guilt.
The Root Chakra
Location: Base of the spine
Physical Correspondence: Kidneys, blood, hips, legs, feet, bones, adrenals, immune system, skin
Role: The Root Chakra relates to our most basic survival needs: food, shelter, safety, comfort and belonging. This energy center is the place of physical strength, energy and vitality. It is how we are connected and grounded to the Earth, our bodies and ancestral roots. It has to do with our connection to the material plane.