What is a Chakra?

Many Chakra theories exist, and the number of chakras acknowledged varies based on the individual or culture presenting the system. While some systems identify 7, 8, 13, or even more chakras in the system, we will focus today on the 7 Chakra system. This system is coming primarily from the Indian traditions. It includes the Root Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, The Heart Chakra, the Throat Chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, and the Crown Chakra, respectively.

"The Sanskrit word Chakra translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive," says Michelle Fondin.

Just as we possess anatomy and various anatomical systems which allow our physical bodies to complete different necessary biological processes. Such as the digestive system processing the food we eat, the circulatory system processing our blood and ensuring wastes are removed, or our respiratory systems, allowing us to exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen. The chakra system contains a set of energetic organs, and the chakras, as a complete functional system. This system is what enables us to process non-physical input and content like emotions, vibrational energies, and spiritual abilities.

Situated vertically along the spine, the seven chakras are most often described or seen as round or disc-like, relatively uniform in size and a predictable spectrum of the rainbow colors from red up to violet or white. "The Chakras, as described in Eastern religious and medical systems, may well be the energy transducers for subtle energy. Therefore, various forms of energy, such as light, sound, electromagnetism, and the putative energy behind the healing effects of prayer, are translated into electrical and chemical signals within our bodies," relates CRC Press.

Chakra Colors and Stages of Human Development

Just as each organ has a specific range of functions and very particular hormones or types of tissues it may build within the body, each Chakra is responsible for processing specific ranges of typically-non- visible vibrations. These vibrations correlate to a color denoting the frequency range and a range of energetic functionality. Each Chakra is also connected to a psychological stage of development in humans.

 Root Chakra: Red, Development years: 1-7 & 49-56
 Sacral Chakra: Orange, Development years: 7-14 & 56-63
 Solar Plexus Chakra: Yellow, Development years: 14-21 & 63-70
 Heart Chakra: Green/Pink, Development years: 21-28 & 70-77
 Throat Chakra: Blue, Development years: 28-35 & 77-84
 Third Eye Chakra: Indigo, Development years: 35-42 & 84-91
 Crown Chakra: Violet/White/Gold, Development years: 42-49 & 91-98

 

         

 

The Root Chakra

Fundamentals: Located at the base of the spine, this Chakra opens downward, drawing energy from the electromagnetic field of the earth into our individual field of energy and physically could be pinpointed in the area of the perineum. The color of this Chakra is red, and as this vibrant color would indicate, the root chakra is the domain of existence, survival, safety, and grounding.

Practices and Insights: The root of our chakra system relates to the feeling of being grounded. If you've ever worked with a grounding cord in guided or solo meditation, grounded yourself intentionally while barefoot on the earth, or done any other grounding practice, you were lighting up and nourishing or aligning this Chakra. The more we feel secure and balanced, the stronger and more aligned this
Chakra becomes.

Questions Encouraged by this Chakra: "Who am I, Who Do I want to be?" Knowing one's essential identity and determining place in the world are fundamental tasks that build our sense of self-sovereignty and solidity.

 

Sacral Chakra

Fundamentals: Located just below the belly button but more internal the abdomen, the sacral Chakra vibrates in a frequency range causing it to appear clairvoyantly as orange. The main areas of focus processed in this chakra center relate to creative expression, sexuality, reproduction, raw emotional content, and instinctive reactions we have to our experiences.

Practices and Insights: We activate the Sacral Chakra when we express creativity and emotions openly, honestly, and clearly. When we stand in our power and our gifts and when our sexuality is unhindered and balanced, this Chakra will be in alignment.

Questions Encouraged by this Chakra: "What are my creative gifts? Through what pathways is my sexual creative potential being expressed? How can I externalize my creative desires appropriately?"

 

Solar Plexus Chakra


Fundamentals: Located at the soft opening in the hollow of the ribcage above the diaphragm, the Solar Plexus chakra vibrates in such a way that it appears yellow. The term solar plexus also nods to a primary nerve plexus that is a complex of ganglia and radiating nerves of the sympathetic nervous system which exits from the pit of the stomach. This third Chakra is, therefore, correlated with digestion processes and
thought. The focus here I on willpower, social identity, and stored emotional content.

Practices and insights: Aside from the mental capacities and association with the light of the will, the solar plexus is also the energetic territory responsible for what we all know as 'gut instincts.' Our Solar Plexus energy center is the area of the physical body where we may feel a sensation when something is amiss, even before our logical mind has picked it up on radar. Though our visit to the third eye chakra will be the greatest focus on intuition, the solar plexus equips us with our most earthy and instinctual powers in this regard.

Questions Encouraged by this Chakra are: "Where do I fit in with society and what is my identity on a global scale. Is my place in society in line with who I want to be? This Chakra deals with how we see society and how we perceive society sees us.

 

 

Heart Chakra

 

Fundamentals: Located in the center of the chest, approximately at the line of the nipples on both men and women. The heart chakra is a green hue and is also the Chakra directly in the center of the Chakra system, forming a bridge or connection between the first three chakras we have explored which relate to more to earthly life and mental and emotional functions and the three upper chakras we have yet to explore which serve as stations to process higher thinking, expression, and spirituality.

The heart chakra is unsurprisingly the center governing relationships, experiences of love and connection, the essential core truth of who we are, and our way of relating to and accepting or not accepting who we are.

Practices and Insights: All of us, to some extent or another, are entwined in the matrix of societal roles and personality constructs. These constructs allow society as a whole and others in our sphere of influence to categorize and interact with us in a logical way. We label "the hipsters", "The nerds", "fitness fanatics" and so on. Confining roles often prevent the expression of the true self, which is in the domain of the heart chakra and can hinder self-acceptance and self-love.

When we speak of getting to the heart of the matter or following our heart, our language is naturally expressing the truth of this Chakra- it is about the essential us, the identity that comes from love and joy and truth. Anything related to relationships and companionships falls to this Chakra. Heartbreaks are stored here, as is hope. The heart chakra stores our ability to give and receive unconditional love

Questions encouraged by this Chakra: "Am I living from my true center and my essence, or have I allowed myself to be deadened the roles of society? How well is my heart?"

 

Throat Chakra


Fundamentals: Blue in color, the fifth center in the chakra system going from bottom to top is the throat chakra. As mentioned previously, the heart is the point of transformation and the bridge between the 'levels' of our existence both 'earthly' and 'divine'; therefore, the throat chakra is the first center more in the domain of higher spiritual energies. It is located in the region of the throat or neck.

The throat chakra allows us to express our most authentic nature in speaking with clarity and honesty and in relaying the truth of our experiences. A lot of energy can be processed through the throat. This is both seen energetically when we consider how singing, laughing, crying, or speaking clearly makes us feel as well as when we consider experiences of illness that move through the throat like loss of voice or sore throat. It is through the throat as well that we receive nourishment through drinking and eating before it moves down to be further processed.

Practices and Insights: Listening without an ulterior motive or a need to immediately respond is a reciprocal function of the throat chakra. When in a relationship with others, we need to express ourselves honestly, thoroughly, and accurately, and we also need to reciprocate by actively listening and creating space for others to be heard. In this way, the throat chakra is balanced. Writing, composing music, teaching,
storytelling, and journaling all help to cleanse and flow energy here.

Questions encouraged by this Chakra: "Am I expressing myself honestly? Am I withholding information or truth from myself or others due to fear of being judged? Am I listening to myself and others openly,
honestly, and without judgment?"

 

Third Eye Charka

 

Fundamentals: The third eye chakra is the sixth Chakra and expresses itself in an indigo color. This Chakra is located between and slightly above the brows, and imagery related to this Chakra is perhaps the most well-known association out of al 7 primary chakras. This Chakra relates to perception, intuition, and mystical abilities. It has been associated with the pineal gland and the eye of Horus or the
all-seeing eye.

Practices and Insights: This chakra associates to mental and thought-related prowess such as wittiness and intellect in being a clear and undisturbed mind, but is furthermore related to increased awareness and responsibility for
subconscious thoughts and dialogue. Often individuals who align this chakra present with a certain level of mastery. This Chakra is also the domain of psychic gifts such as clairaudience, clairvoyance, clairsentience, and claircognizance. Put simply, these abilities or gifts are related to knowing or having access to information not available by the primary five physical senses. A person who has activated or cultivated these gifts may be able to see, hear, feel, or know information or data outside of their station in time or location.

Questions encouraged by this chakra "Are my perceptions distorted or accurate? What vision and direction am I creating for my life through my perspective? What information am I picking up on or what do I intuitively know that my logical mind
maybe ignoring?"

 

Crown Chakra

 

Fundamentals: The crown chakra can be found on top of the head or 'the crown of the head.' It is the last primary Chakra in the seven chakra system when moving from bottom to top, and its color expresses as violet or white. This Chakra opens upward to 'the divine realms,' and it serves as our conduit to the source. This Chakra is activated in prayer or meditation, and anyone who has ever experienced a rush of white
light was experiencing the crown chakra.

"Much the same as your Root Chakra is responsible for physical energy and well-being in this life; your Crown Chakra is responsible for your spiritual energy.

The Crown Chakra is also known in Sanskrit as Sahasrara, which means 'infinite,' 'thousandfold,' or 'thousand-spoked wheel' It is the Chakra of consciousness and symbolizes the threshold between psychic and spiritual realms. It is where one attains the highest levels of consciousness and enlightenment," relates Laura Berman, Ph.D

Practices and Insights: Our relationship to God, the Universe, or a higher power and our experiences surrounding prayer, faith, and meditation can all touch on this Chakra. Often times guided meditations will encourage the visualization of white light, and such visualizations are drawing on the power of the crown chakra.

Questions encouraged by this Chakra: "Am I allowing myself to be my fullest, truest self? Am I living in a way that allows expression to come from my soul? Am I identified with forms (thought-forms, physical forms, emotional forms, or societal roles)? How connected to the Universe do I feel?"

The guiding questions and fundamental information provided in our chakra exploration can be used to gain awareness of your own spiritual anatomy. By taking good care of our chakra centers, we can ensure our vibrational system flows naturally, and we can be free to grow and evolve.

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