Chakras, what are they?
It may seem easier to understand if we first break down the word in it’s most basic form in explanation. “Cha” means moving in a circular motion, and “Kra” means movement. In simple terms, the Chakras presented in all our bodies act like little wheels, allowing energy (Prana) to flow through at different directions, orbits and speed. All of them have a fixed centre and if you imagine your spine as the centre of our human bodies, Chakras revolve around the spine with different frequencies/vibrations, up and down the spine. Our energy in the body are being stored, compressed and waiting to be release hence the need to practice Pranayama. Ideally, we aim to move from an unstable state to a stable structure.
The hollow tube within the spine, Sushumna Nadi, provides the pathway for subtle but vital energy to flow through. This, are the spaces between nerves/Meridiens, where Prana travels, enabling the wheels to spin within the centre of rotation (spine). By using specific Pranayama techniques, the external force as energy is being made to push these Chakras to rotate, in clockwise or anti-clockwise mode. Another point to note is that the energy is constantly transforming it’s movement upwards or downwards, resulting in us feeling stronger at different Chakras throughout the day.
Some characteristics of Chakras are as follows, they are:
1) triangular shaped, but differ in sizes
2) have centers
3) rotates in a circular clockwise or anti-clockwise motion
4) revolving everytime
Let’s start with the base root Chakra-
This is located at the 2nd bone of the Coccyx that controls our sense of smell and the Bija Mantra is “Lam” . Muladhara carries the element of Earth. When this Chakra is activated, you will tend to smell like the Jasmine flower. To successfully activate this Chakra, body survival needs to be fulfilled. Basic necessities like water, food,shelter, lust and sense of belonging needs to be fulfilled.
This Chakra is located at the 4th bone of the sacrum, corresponding to the prostate plexus, which controls our sense of taste and the Bija Mantra is “Vam“. It carries the Water element that is directly linked to the lower body abdomen of the physical body (eg: genital organs, bladder, ovaries). By definition, Swa means “self” and Swadhisthana simple means a “place for the self”. Those who have lots of blockages at this area tend to have higher tendencies for Jealousy as they will develop self gratification to hide their inferior self and they do not have a sense of belonging.
Manipura Chakra can be found at the navel, at the 4th lumber region, corresponding to your solar plexus. Mani means “gems/jewels” in Sanskrit language, while pura refers to “city”. It’s Bija Mantra is “Ram“, has the element Fire, and controls our sense of sight.
When this chakra is blocked, egoism occurs. Only when it is opened will you be able to move to the higher chakra-Anahata.
4) Anahata (Heart)
This chakra is located at the heart region (9th bone of the thoracic) and it has the element of Air. Anahata chakra is of purity and has “Yam“as its Bija. It controls our sense of touch. Also, it reflects when there is overpowering of love, universal love. However, it should not be confused with Mother’s love as that comes with nature, not the opening of the Anahata.
5) Vishuddha (Throat)
Located at the 4th bone of the cervical, Vishuddha controls our sense of hearing with the Bija Mantra “Ham” (hummmm). It correspond to the laryngeal plexus in the physical body and It represents our communication, expressions, with the element of Space. People who have blockage at this chakra have difficulties in their speech and tend to say unpure things. When the Vishuddha chakra is opened, whatever was said will happen.
6) Ajna (Arch-Nya)
Also known as the third eye chakra, Ajna is located at the pituitary gland, between the eyebrows. It has “Om” as the seed letter and has transcent from the 5 elements. In this case, intuition occurs and the yogi is left with only one attachment, without having too many distractions. Mediation done on Ajna destroys karma of the past lives, and gives liberation and intuitional knowledge to the present life.
This is the highest Chakra out of the 7 and is situated at the crown of the head (pineal gland of the physical body). Yogi who have opened this chakra is very enlightened and will experience extreme bliss in a superconscious state. Knowledge that was attained will turn to intelligence and becomes a fully developed Jnani (one who has pursued spiritual growth through wisdom or insight).