Chakra and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of my favourite topics is definitely, Chakra. Chakra literally means a wheel or disc, that enables energy to flow through or around it at various speeds, different directions, at different orbits, with a centre that is anchored to a fixed point. We have learned that there are 7 main Chakras revolving around our spine, from our Coccyx all the way through our spinal bone and finally at the cranium, of the top of our head. Each Chakra represents a state of consciousness and has a specific feeling, tone, bliss or emotion tied to it. What interests me the most is that if one chakra is blocked, all the other following chakras will be block too.

This reminded me of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – a five-tier model of human needs in psychology, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid as seen below (courtesy to Simply Psychology for the image). Maslow’s also noted that one has to fulfill their most basic need before transiting to the next level, much like if our Muladhara Chakra is blocked, all the other chakras above will be block too.

Where the Muladhara Chakra is associated with our root issues, such as sense of security and safety, sense of belonging, satisfying our basic needs like food and shelter; it corresponds with the basic needs of Maslow’s Hierarchy where all humans will need to satisfy our physiological needs first before being able to consider our other needs.

The Svadhisthana Chakra governs our emotions, creativity, sexuality, intimacy, emotional well-being and self-expression. This corresponds with belongingness and love needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy where we look to fulfil our needs for interpersonal relationship.

The Manipura Chakra is associated with our self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity and individual will, which corresponds with esteem needs of Maslow Hierarchy Needs. Both looks at one’s ability to achieve which impacts our self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.

The final tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy is self-actualization which looks at one’s realisation of their own potential, self-fulfilment, personal growth, and peak experiences. In my opinion, the Anahata, Vishuddhi, Ajna, Sahasrara Chakra are all steps toward self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy. Where at Anahata Chakra we surrender our self-centredness to selflessness, letting go of judgment, we focus more on compassion and love for others, and find joy in giving more than receiving. In Vishuddhi Chakra, we are able to live authentically as who we are, speak our truth, set clear boundaries with ourselves and others. In Ajna Chakra, we are in touch with our intuition and intellect, and able to evaluate our own beliefs and attitude. And in Sahasrara Chakra, we find detachment in illusion, gaining freedom over our thoughts and emotions that bound us and connect to our life’s purpose and spirituality. All these chakras together will help us to reach self-actualisation stage.

There is so much knowledge to draw from ancient text that can be applied in today’s modern society. How our ancestors have so much wisdom and foresight to come up with all these theories never fails to amaze me! As I continue to learn Yoga Philosophy, I see so much connection to Yoga and Psychology and it is intriguing to connect ancient knowledge to modern science!