Article by Denise Yamaoka
What Is a Chakra?
‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex, and it refers to each of the seven main energy centers of which our consciousness, our energy system, is composed.
These chakras, or energy centers, function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy through our energy system by rotating the flow of energy in a clockwise direction. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, and what to feel, and how we choose to perceive and experience the world around us.
The chakras are not physical, per say. They are aspects of our consciousness similarly like our auras are aspects of our consciousness. The chakras are more dense than the auras, because of the amount of energy which flows through them, but not as dense as the physical body. Chakras interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each chakra is associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland to which it is associated.
All of your senses, all of your perceptions, all of your possible states of awareness, everything it is possible for you to experience, can be divided into seven categories. Each category is associated with a particular chakra. Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body, but also particular parts of your consciousness.
Understanding the chakras allows you to understand the relationship between your consciousness and your body, and to thus see your body as a map of your consciousness. It gives you a better understanding of yourself and those around you.
Maintaining balance within your chakras is important, because when your chakras are not functioning correctly this can cause the glands associated to it and surrounding it to also function incorrectly. When your chakras are not balanced you can usually feel this on both an emotional and physical level.
THE SEVEN MAJOR CHAKRAS
Studying the individual chakras begins with the root chakra. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine at the tailbone in back, and the pubic bone in front. This chakra holds the basic needs for survival, security and safety. The root chakra is powerfully related to our contact with the Earth, providing us with the ability to be grounded into the earth plane, and our ability to manifest security and stability for our basic survival needs is affected by the state of our root chakra. If this chakra is blocked an individual may feel fearful, anxious, insecure and frustrated. Problems like obesity, anorexia nervosa, and knee troubles can occur. Feelings of helplessness, unworthiness, lack of self confidence or unhappiness with your physical body are also signs and extreme blockage of your root chakra can lead to depression. Root body parts include the hips, legs, lower back and sexual organs. The color associated to this chakra is red.
Sanskrit name: Muladhara (root)
Basics: This is the seat of the Kundalini. It is linked to survival, stability, acceptance, self-preservation, deep-rootedness, perception, grounding, fear and safety.
Rights: To be here, To have.
Hormonal Glands: Reproductive Organs
Body: Physical Body
Essential Oils: Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood.
Crystals: Garnet, Ruby, Agate, Onyx, Haematite, Red Jasper, Black Tourmaline, Smokey Quartz, Bloodstone, and Red Tiger’s Eye.
Planets: Mars, Pluto and Saturn.
Signs: Aries, Taurus, Scorpio and Capricorn.
Healing Tips: Physical activity, touch, massage, reconnect with your body, grounding, hatha-yoga. Reclaim your right to be here!
Excessive: Sluggish, lazy, tired, monotony, obesity, overeating, hoarding, materialism, greed, Fear of change, addiction to security
Deficient: Fearful, anxious, restless, lack of discipline, underweight, financial difficulty Chronic disorganization
Balanced: Good health, vitality, well grounded, sense of trust in the world, feeling safe and secure, stability, prosperity, ability to relax
Second Chakra – Belly (Sacral)
The next chakra or second chakra is often referred to as the belly or (sacral). It is located two inches below the navel and is rooted into the spine. This center holds the basic needs for sexuality, creativity, intuition, and self-worth. This chakra is also about friendliness, creativity, and emotions. It governs people’s sense of self-worth, their confidence in their own creativity, and their ability to relate to others in an open and friendly way. It¹s influenced by how emotions were expressed or repressed in the family during childhood. Proper balance in this chakra means the ability to flow with emotions freely and to feel and reach out to others sexually or not. If this chakra is blocked a person may feel emotionally explosive, manipulative, obsessed with thoughts of sex or may lack energy. Belly body parts include sexual organs (women), kidneys, bladder, and large intestine. The color used with this chakra is orange.
Sanskrit name: Svadhisthana (sweetness)
Basics: Sexuality, emotions, creativity, codes of honor and ethics.
Rights: To want, To feel.
Hormonal Glands: Pancreas
Sense: Touch / Taste
Essential Oils: Rosemary, Juniper, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang.
Crystals: Amber, Citrine, Topaz, Moonstone, Fire Agate, Orange Spinel, Fire Opal, Carnelian
Planets: Moon, Venus, Pluto.
Sign: Libra, Cancer, Scorpio.
Healing Tips: Movement, therapy, emotional release, inner child work, boundry work, assign healthy pleasures, develop sensate intelligence
Excessive: Sexual, pleasure addiction; excessively sensitive and strong emotions; invasion of others, seductive manipulation; obsessive attachment; emotional dependency.
Deficient: Poor social skills; frigidity, fear of sex, lack of desire, passion, excitement, denial of pleasure; fear of change; rigidity in attitudes
Balanced: Graceful movements; emotional intelligence; ability to experience pleasure; nurture of self and others; ability to change; healthy boundaries
Third Chakra – Solar Plexus
The third chakra is referred to as the Solar Plexus. It is located two inches below the breastbone in the center behind the stomach. The third chakra is the center of personal power, the place of ego , of passions, impulses, anger and strength. It is also the center for astral travel and astral influences, receptivity of spirit guides and for psychic development. When the Third Chakra is out of balance you may lack confidence, be confused, worry about what others think, feel that others are controlling your life, and may be depressed. When balanced you may feel cheerful, outgoing, have self-respect, expressive, enjoy taking on new challenges, and have a strong sense of personal power. The body parts for this chakra include the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and small intestine. The color for this chakra is yellow.
Sanskrit name: Manipura ( lustrous gem )
Basics: Power, self-esteem, self-image, energy, will, responsibilty.
Rights: To act and to be an individual.
Hormonal Glands: Adrenal Gland
Essential Oils: Juniper, Lavender, Bergamot, Rosemary
Crystals: Citrine, Amber, Tiger’s Eye, Peridot,Yellow Tourmaline, Yellow Topaz.
Planets: Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars.
Signs: Leo, Sagittarius, and Virgo.
Healing Tips: Risk taking, stress control, vigorus exercise, sit ups, psychotherapy (release or contain anger, build ego strength, work on shame issues and strengthen your will)
Excessive: Overly aggressive, dominating, controlling, blaming, arrogance, manipulative, power hungry, stubbornness, hyperactivity, excessively ambitious and competitive
Deficient: Low energy, weak will, poor self-esteem, passive, sluggish, fearful, poor self-discipline, emotionally and physically cold, victim mentality, blaming of others, unreliable, poor digestion
Balanced: Feeling of tranquillity and inner harmony, self-acceptance, respect for the nature and emotions of others, feeling of unity with the rest of humanity, responsible, reliable, confidence, spontaneity, sens of humour, able to meet challenges
Fourth Chakra – Heart
The fourth chakra is referred to as the heart chakra. It is located behind the breast bone in front and on the spine between the shoulder blades in back. This is the center for love, compassion and spirituality. This center directs one¹s ability to love themselves and others, to give and to receive love. This is also the chakra connecting body and mind with spirit. When this chakra is out of balance you may feel sorry for yourself, paranoid, indecisive, afraid of letting go, afraid of getting hurt, or unworthy of love. When this chakra is balanced you may feel compassionate, friendly, empathetic, desire to nurture others and see the good in everyone. Body parts for the fourth chakra include heart, lungs, circulatory system, shoulders, and upper back. The color used for this chakra is green.
Sanskrit name: Anahatra (unstruck)
Basics: Love, Unconditional Love, Self-Love, forgiveness, relationships, intamacy, devotion.
Rights: To be loved and to love in return.
Hormonal Glands: Thymus Gland
Body: The Feeling Body
Essential Oils: Sandalwood, Rose, Cedarwood.
Crystals: Rose Quartz, Emerald, Jade, Adventurine, Malachite, Rhondonite.
Planets: Venus, Saturn, Sun.
Signs: Libra, Leo, Sagittarius
Healing Tips: Self-Discovery, co-dependancy work, forgiveness, inner-child work, work with arms, hugs, reaching out, taking in, breathing exercise.
Excessive: Demanding, jealousy, co-dependency, poor boundaries, overly sacrificing, possessive
Deficient: Antisocial, withdrawn, cold, shy, critical, judgmental, intolerant, loneliness, depression, fear of intimacy and relationships, lack of empathy, narcissism, bitter
Balanced: Compassionate, loving, self-loving, empathetic, peaceful, balanced, good immune system
Fifth Chakra – Throat
The fifth chakra is referred to as the Throat. It is located in the V of the collarbone at the lower neck and is the center of communication, sound, and expression of creativity via thought , speech, and writing. The possibility for change, transformation and healing are located here. The throat is where anger is stored and finally let go of. When this chakra is out of balance you may want to hold back, feel timid, be quiet, feel weak, or can¹t express your thoughts. When this chakra is balanced you may feel balanced, centered, musically or artistically inspired, and may be a good speaker. Body parts for the fifth chakra are throat, neck, teeth, ears, and thyroid gland. The color for this chakra is blue.
Sanskrit name: Vissudha (purification)
Basics: Communication, self-expression, self-discipline, speaking, one’s truth.
Rights: To speak the truth, and to hear the truth.
Hormonal Glands: Thyroid Gland
Body: Mental Body
Essential Oils:Lavendar, Patchouli
Crystals: Lapislazuli, Aquamarine, Sodalite, Turquoise, Sapphire, Blue-Lace Agate, Blue Tourmaline, Blue Quartz.
Planets: Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Mars.
Sign: Taurus, Gemini, Aquarius
Element: Ether (Akasa)
Healing Tips: Learn communication skills, letter writing, inner child communication, practice silence, story telling, story writing, singing, chanting, toning, release voice, loosen neck and shoulders.
Excessive: Too much talking, talking as a defence, inability to listen, gossiping, interruptions, over-extended, stuttering
Deficient: Fear of speaking, small, weak voice, difficulty putting feelings into words, shyness, tone deaf, poor rhythm
Balanced: Good listener, resonant voice, good sense of timing and rhythm, clear communication, lives creatively
Sixth Chakra – Third Eye
The sixth chakra is referred to as the Third Eye. It is located above the physical eyes on the center of the forehead. This is the center for psychic ability, higher intuition, the energies of spirit and light. It also assists in the purification of negative tendencies and in the elimination of selfish attitudes. Through the power of the sixth chakra, you can receive guidance, channel, and tune into your Higher Self. When this chakra is not balanced you may feel non-assertive, afraid of success, or go the opposite way and be egotistical. When this chakra is balanced and open you are your own master with no fear of death, are not attached to material things, may experience telepathy, astral travel, and past lives. Sixth chakra body parts include the eyes, face, brain, lymphatic and endocrine system. The color used for this chakra is indigo.
Sanskrit name: Ajna (to perceive)
Basics: Intuition, imagination, ability to see one’s life clearly, use of mind / intellect.
Rights: To See.
Hormonal Glands: Pituitray Gland
Sense: Intuition (Sixth Sense)
Body: High Mental Body
Essential Oils: Geranium, Lavender, Rosemary, Spearmint.
Crystals: Amethyst, Azurite, Flourite, Lapidolite, Sodalite.
Planets: Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, Neptune.
Signs: Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces
Healing Tips: Meditation, vizualization, visual stimulation, create visual art, coloring, drawing, working with memory, dream work, hypnosis,guided visual meditation, past life regression therapy.
Excessive: Hallucination, nightmares, obsessions, delusions, difficulty concentrating, headaches
Deficient: Poor vision and memory, insensitivity, lack of imagination, difficulty visualizing, difficulty seeing the future, can’t remember dreams, denial
Balanced: Intuitive, perceptive, imaginative, good memory, able to visualize, able to think symbolically, able to remember dreams
Seventh Chakra – Crown
The seventh chakra is referred to as the Crown. It is located just behind the top of the skull. It is the center of spirituality, enlightenment, dynamic thought and energy. It allows for the inward flow of wisdom, and brings the gift of cosmic consciousness. This is also the center of connectedness with the Goddess (God), the place where life animates the physical body. The silver cord that connects the aura bodies extends from the crown. The soul comes into the body through the crown at birth and leaves from the crown at death. When this chakra is unbalanced there may be a constant sense of frustration, no spark of joy, and destructive feelings. Balanced energy in this chakra may include the ability to open up to the Divine and total access to the unconscious and subconscious. The color used for this chakra is violet.
Sanskrit name: Sahasrara (thousand-fold)
Basics: Awareness, spiritual search for meaning, issues of karma and grace, grace bank account, spiritual awakening, divine discontent
Rights: To Know
Hormonal Glands: Pineal Gland
Body: The soul, the karmic, causal body
Essential Oils: Jasmine, Frankincense
Crystals: Diamond, Clear Quartz, Moldavite, Selenite, Pyrite, Amethyst
Planets: Saturn and Neptune
Signs: Capricorn and Pisces
Healing Tips: Reestablish physical, emotional, spirit connection, spiritual discipline, meditation, examine belief systems, goal setting
Excessive: Over-intellectualization, spiritual addiction, confusion, dissociation from body
Deficient: Spiritual cynicism, learning difficulties, rigid belief systems, apathy, materialism, greed, domination of others
Balanced: Sense of spiritual connection, open-minded, wisdom and mastery, broad understanding, intelligent, thoughtful, aware, ability to perceive, analyze and assimilate information