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Energy Anatomy and the Chakras

Energy Anatomy: Chakras

Living as we do, in a fast-paced world, we tend to focus our attention on the physical aspects of existence –the things we can see and touch. Ancient Indian teachings share a different concept of life. Besides physical experience, there is a belief in an underlying system that is invisible, but permeates all things. It consists of energy called prana, meaning “life force” or vital energy”. This energy enters the body at different frequencies via a series of energy centers, called chakras. A chakra is a place in the body where energy spins in a vortex. It is sometimes described as having petals, like a lotus flower. Chakra means “wheel” in the ancient Indian Sanskrit language. The chakra system is part of the tradition of yoga, which began in India several thousand years ago. Indian sages regarded the chakras as the means whereby universal energy, the force that creates all things, is stepped down in frequency so that the human body can use it. So, as well as having a physical body that we can see and touch, we also have an “energy body”, invisible to the eye, but permeating our solid structure. The chakras are transformers of energy, our energy blueprint, needed in the invisible realm to create, heal and balance the human body in the physical realm.

Imagine the human body as a musical instrument and chakras as hollow champers that pulsate as they absorb and emit vibrations. Indian tradition mentions 88.000 minor chakras in the human body. There are seven major chakras located from the crown of the head, down through the forehead, throat, chest and abdomen, to the base of the spine. Although chakras aren’t specific anatomical places, they interact with parts, organs and systems of the human body. Each chakra operates on a different frequency, but they are all linked. Chakras are located both at the front and at the back of the body, passing through the three dimensional structure of the physical frame. They are associated with colors and sounds, linked to natural elements and related to different states of mind and types of daily activity. Chakras may be open and in balance when energy flows freely through them or closed and out of balance when the flow of energy is blocked. In case of chakra imbalance, certain symptoms -pains, illnesses- may be experienced. Chakras can be influenced, supported and rebalanced in many ways, for example through simple exercises, visualizations, the use of essential oils or crystals and the practice of yoga postures and breathing techniques.

Working with the chakra system, identifying and experiencing the relationship between the physical and the energy body allows us to accept change. Reconnect with the idea that energy, the dynamic force that creates the universe, is constantly in motion. Life is a dynamic, creative and evolving journey, not static and linear, but three-dimensional, colorful and vibrant. Stars, planets, even galaxies are born, rise to brilliance, fade or perhaps explode into particles that spin to reform new systems. There is life, death and then rebirth. We experience the cycles constantly throughout the journey of life in the physical plane, but we come from energy and eventually we will return to that state. This idea is deeply embedded in the philosophy and spiritual beliefs of India.

We are here to experience the world joyfully with open hearts and minds –in full awareness. All we have to do is allow it.

Bibliography: Harding, Jennie. Chakra Therapy. Live Better, 2006, Filinis, Michel. Teaching Techniques of Hatha-Yoga. Athlotypo, 2009

Energy Anatomy: The Root Chakra

Do you feel tiredness, exhaustion or stress? Do you experience persistent weakness in the lower back, frequent colds or flu? The first chakra may need strengthening.

Muladhara (meaning root or central support) chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is linked to kidneys and adrenal glands. Its color is deep red and its element is Earth. It is associated with the sense of smell. Root chakra is the frequency that grounds us in physical existence. Its energy is closely connected to physical survival –nutrition, safety, sheltering, digestion and excretion.

Tips for energizing the root chakra: Practice sitting, standing and balancing yoga poses as well as stillness. Make use of vetiver essential oil. Allow your bare feet to touch the ground!

Energy Anatomy: The Sacral Chakra

Do you feel lack of creativity? Do you experience persistent lower back aches, intense hormonal shifts like irregular menstruation or maybe suffer from conditions such as constipation or irregular bowel rhythm? The second chakra may need strengthening.

Svadisthana (meaning your dwelling place) chakra is located at the sacrum. It is linked to male and female sex organs and to the function of large intestine. Its color is warm orange and its element is Water. It is associated with the sense of taste. The sacral chakra is the home of creativity and human sexuality. Its energy is closely connected to human relationships, desire, reproduction and change.

Tips for reinforcing the sacral chakra: Practice all kinds of leg stretchings. Make use of sandalwood essential oil. Treat yourself a sauna, hamam session or a sea dive!

Energy Anatomy: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Do you feel lack of self-confidence or aggression, fear or anger? Do you experience stomach cramps or poor digestion? The third chakra may need balance.

Manipura (=meaning lustrous jewel) chakra is located dip under the ribcage. It is linked to pancreas and to the function of small intestine. Its color is brilliant golden and its element is Fire. It is associated with the sense of vision. The solar plexus chakra, as it is often called, is the place where the human being expresses ego, will and drive to succeed. Its energy is closely connected to energy management, transformation and social status.

Tips for rebalancing the solar plexus chakra: Practice exercises that empower the abdominals, forward bends, torso twists and arm balances. Make use of rosemary or lavender essential oil. Concentrate on external or internal light!

Energy Anatomy: The Heart Chakra

Do you feel sadness? Do you experience problems with the circulatory system or pains in the chest? The forth chakra may need support.

Anahata (=meaning unbeaten or unstruck) chakra is located at the center of the chest. It is linked to heart, lungs and thymus gland. Its color is vibrant green and its element is Air. It is associated with the sense of touch. The heart chakra is the place of unconditional love. Its energy is connected with growth and expansion, compassion, caring and tenderness for ourselves and those around us.

Tips for rebalancing the heart chakra: Practice backbends, twists and thoracic breathing, enjoy a massage session. Embrace your beloved ones!

Energy Anatomy: The Throat Chakra

Do you experience difficulties in communication? Are you prone to breathing infections or overuse of the voice? The fifth chakra may need support.

Vishuddhi (=purification) chakra is located at the base of the neck area. It is linked to voice and thyroid gland. Its color is deep sapphire blue and its element is Ether. It is associated with the sense of hearing. The throat chakra is the place of sound. Its energy is connected to expression and communication.

Tips for rebalancing the throat chakra: Practice plough and fish yoga postures. Make use of manuka essential oil. Sing!

Energy Anatomy: The Third Eye Chakra

Do you experience eye strain, problems with the sense of smell, headaches or migraines? The sixth chakra may need support.

Ajna (=to perceive) chakra is located between the eyebrows, close to the bridge of the nose. It is linked to pituitary gland. Its color is indigo, deep purplish blue and its element is Void. The third eye chakra is the home of intelligence –physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Its energy is connected to intuition.

Tips for rebalancing the third eye chakra: Practice child’s yoga pose and visualizations. Chant OM mantra. Make use of basil essential oil. Rub your palms together briskly and place them over the eyes for a few minutes!

Energy Anatomy: The Crown Chakra

Do you feel emotionally or mentally vulnerable, disconnected or depressed? Do you experience difficulties in sleeping or waking? The seventh chakra may need support.

Sahasrara (=thousand petal lotus) chakra is located at the very top of the head. It is linked to pineal gland. Its color is golden white and its element is Infinity. The crown chakra is the connection with the Source. Its energy is connected to whatever you believe to be spirit, the divine spark of creation.

Tips for rebalancing the crown chakra: Practice sirsasana and savasana yoga postures. Meditate. Walk outside in the daylight!

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