In the Hindu tradition, Chakras are the energy centers present throughout the body and in the subtle spine. They are invisible to the human eye. The Buddhist tradition also emphasizes on their concept. The exact meaning of the Sanskrit word Chakra is a wheel or disk.

Seven Major Chakras, Wikimedia commons

What is the significance of Chakras?

They are very vital to our health and life both as ‘Life Force’ or ‘Prana’ in Sanskrit, enters and flows through them. They distribute ‘Prana’ or life force to the physical body.

From here the life force travels to the spinal nerve plexus and then enters our blood circulation and various organs.

This cosmic energy or life force enters the body from medulla oblongata to the brain.

From the higher centers in the brain, it travels downwards from the Spiritual eye (the point between the eyebrows) and then downwards through other major chakras.

‘Nadis’ or Nerve channels are the connecting points of Chakras to the physical body. They are not visible to the naked eye and are present in the subtle body.

How many Energy Centers are there?

There are 114 minor and major Chakras. They are located at the junctions of Nadis. Out of these, 4 Chakras are present outside the body. There are many other minor chakras but these 114 are specifically talked about.

Out of 114 Chakras, there are 7 main Chakras that form the subtle spine.

These are Mooladhara (Root Chakra), Swadhishthayan Chakra (Sacral Chakra), Manipur chakra (Solar Plexus), Anahat Chakra (Heart) Chakra, Vishuddhi (Throat chakra), Agnya (Third eye) chakra, Sastrahar (Crown) Chakra.

They may at times be high in energy or low in energy which in turn affects our life and health, so Chakra Balancing is very important.

Our whole life depends on these 7 chakras. Exactly the way a car runs on its 4 wheels, Human body and life run on these Chakras. The way wheel alignment of a car is very important for a smooth ride, likewise, alignment of 7 Chakras is a prerequisite for a smooth life.

Great Yogi, Yogananda Parmahansa in his writings, Autobiography of a Yogi says: “Gross man seldom or never realizes that his body is a kingdom, governed by Emperor Soul on the throne of the cranium [Sahasrara chakra], with subsidiary regents in the six spinal centers or spheres of consciousness.” Yogi Ji also refers to them as “spinal shrines” and “spheres of consciousness.

The root cause of all illnesses, emotional problems, and an unhappy and nonmeaningful life lies in the imbalance of the 7 major chakras.

Read here: Chakra Healing and Chakra Meditation Course: Unlock Your Chakras for a Free Flow of Prana or Universal Life Force Energies within You

The First Chakra – Muladhara or Root Chakra

Chakra
Root Chakra

It is positioned at the perineum and is of Red color.  The Sanskrit word Muladhara can be broken down to Mula which means root and Dhara means to support. A lotus with four petals represents Root chakra

It is responsible for your day to day survival and connects your energy to the Earth. The feeling of being grounded pertains to this Chakra. Your materialistic needs and emotional survival also depend on it. Moreover, it determines your ability to respond to critical situations in life. Legs, feet, skeletal system, large intestine, and adrenal glands are controlled by this chakra.

The Second Chakra – Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra

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Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra

It is of Orange color and is located between the base of your spine and your navel.  In Sanskrit, it means the place of the self.  Its symbol is a circle surrounded by six lotus petals.

It decides your creativity, your identity, and how you relate to the pleasures of life including sex.

Sacral Chakra controls the functioning of Kidneys, urinary bladder, reproductive organs and associated endocrine glands and lower abdomen.

The Third Chakra – Manipura or Solar Plexus

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Manipura or Solar Plexus

It is located a few inches above the navel and is yellow in color. In Sanskrit ‘Mani’ means Jewel and ‘Pura’ means place.

Solar Plexus is responsible for the Digestive system, muscular system, pancreas and adrenal glands. Most notably, It is the seat of your own power and vitality and can directly draw cosmic energy or ‘Prana’. A lotus with ten petals symbolizes Manipura Chakra.

Fear and insecurities rule the person who has blockages in the Solar chakra. Furthermore, this fear culminates into anxiety related to performance in exams, interviews and also fear of losing your loved ones. Stage fright and being introverted are also signs of blocked solar chakra. Unexplained bouts of binge eating and loss of appetite also point out to blockages in solar chakra. Diabetes is one of the most common medical conditions related to blocked solar chakra.

A balanced solar chakra makes you confident and gives you wisdom for correct decision making. Stable relationships and balanced assertive attitude also result from balanced solar chakra. It also results in balanced metabolism and balanced weight.

The Fourth Chakra – Anahata or Heart Chakra

Chakras
Anahata or Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra or Anahat chakra is green in color and is located in the center of the chest. In Sanskrit, Anahata stands for unhurt, unbeaten, and unaffected. Two intersecting triangles in a circle with 12 petals represent Anahata.

It is essential for spiritual development and is the seat of love and compassion. Moreover, it is a bridge that takes you from the earthly elements to the higher chakras and spiritual wisdom. Also, makes you receptive and in harmony with your surroundings. Forgiveness and acceptance also arise from this Chakra.

The smooth functioning of your lungs, heart, arms, hands, and thymus gland depends upon the heart chakra.

Jealousy, dwelling in past and troublesome relationships, and feeling disconnected from your surroundings indicate a blocked Anahat chakra. At the physical level, the imbalance manifests as respiratory ailments, such as lung infection, bronchitis, Asthma, Heart diseases, breast cancer at the psychological level it results in anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

The fifth Chakra – Vishudha or  Throat Chakra

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Vishudha or  Throat Chakra

It is located at the level of the throat and is blue in color.

A balanced throat chakra enables the passage of the energy between the lower and the higher chakras. Makes you a good communicator and enhances your spiritual and intuitive abilities It is the reflection of your lower chakras. More importantly, effective communication, self-expression, and balanced judgment arise from this Chakra.

It also governs the Neck, shoulders, arms, hands, thyroid, and parathyroid glands.

Poor communication skills, nervousness in public dealings, and argumentative nature spell blockages in this energy center. Dishonesty and rudeness in your speech are also indicative of the same. ENT Problems Conditions related to Thyroid gland Jawline and teeth related conditions are also a sign of blockages in it.

The Sixth  Chakra– Ajna  or the Third Eye or Brow Chakra

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Ajna  or Third Eye Chakra

It is located between the eyebrows. It is the seat of intuition and your thought process. In fact, Third Eye Chakra decides your thoughts. Your psychic abilities, wisdom, and insight also depend upon third eye chakra. Third eye chakra in Sanskrit is called “Ajna” or आज्ञा, which means “command” and “perceiving”. A balanced Ajna chakra leads to a strong memory and focus. Also, develops a positive attitude in life. This Chakra is associated with the pineal gland. This gland regulates your biorhythms, including sleep and wake time.

Lack of vision about your life and getting entangled in day to day life issues is a sign of blocked Ajana Chakra. You tend to have a negative disposition. Furthermore, you always focus on the negativities in your life. Sleep problems and persistent headaches also, become a part of yours. Extreme unbalanced behavior and patterns prevail in your life.

The Seventh Chakra Sahasrara – The Crown Chakra

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Crown Chakra

It is located at the top of your head and is violet in color.  Sahasrara in Sanskrit means thousand petal lotuses.

It governs the cerebral cortex, central nervous system, and the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Most notably, A balanced Crown Chakra makes you feel connected to supreme power.

A blocked crown Chakra results in negative thoughts, staying preoccupied with blaming others for everything, and holding grudges. Lacking faith in God and feeling insecure also point to blockage.

By Neeru Bahl ( Twitter )