What is a Chakra? What does it do? How does it affect me or my health...? These are some of the frequent questions I receive in my practice. My work in the Healing Arts uses multiple holistic modalities and vibrational medicines to bring conscious healing on all levels, including physical, mental and causal. In this article I'll give a simple description of the chakras and their physical and emotional associations.
Chakra in a Nutshell
According to Eastern Medicine and Philosophy, Chakras are psychic energy centers in the body. Each chakra acts as a conduit that transforms (higher) pure energy or Prana in to the various forms that are needed to feed the spiritual, mental, astral and physical aspects of our incarnation in this body. Located etherically in the spinal column along the autonomic nervous system, the Chakras are connected to the network of nerve channels that extend out to the meridians governing all our body systems functions. The chakras each have vibrating "nutrients" of element and mineral, color and fragrances, sound and tone which resonate in harmony.
When the chakra is imbalanced like an orchestra playing out of tune, it causes a deficiency in power function which weakens our psychic or "life force" energy at its source. Over prolonged time this weakening creates rips and tears in our etheric and causal body matrix and allows sickness and disease to manifest in the physical form.
Introduction to the Chakras
Root Chakra - "Muladahara"
The Root Chakra is located at the "perineum' and governs our sense of smell and the physical body in the area of the feet to the knees. It is responsible for the health of bone and marrow and related to the issues of survival, self preservation and acceptance.
The period of development for this chakra is AGE: 0 - 3/5 yrs.
The Element "Earth" is representive of our Root chakra. It grounds and connects us to our planet and our physical body. When this element is out of balance it can manifest physically as autoimmune diseases such as bone and joint related problems and spinal disorders.
An overactive root chakra may appear emotionally as an obsession with food, money, sex or obsessive the need to secure the basic essentials for survival. An underactive root chakra may manifest as lack of self esteem, a distorted view of one's self worth, a sense of disassociation with society, or a lack of stability in adulthood.
The glandular association to the Root Chakra is the "gonad" which is connected to the pituitary gland deep in the brain and governs the healthy function of our sexual and reproductive organs.
The sounds associated with this chakra are "SA" the vocal tone, "oooh" the Taoist Healing Sound, and the "seed mantra" for the Root is "LAM" (These sounds are used in vocal toning exercises or chant and can easily be incorporated in to a regular practice routine.)
The color of the Root Chakra ranges from a dark murky brownish red when imbalanced, to a brilliant clear ruby red when the chakra is vibrating at a healthy rate. Stimulating fragrances are musk and lavender, quieting fragrances are bergamot and patchouli and the planetary association for the Root Chakra is the Moon.
The crystals associated with this chakra are smoky quartz, Onyx, ruby, garnet, agate, tigers eye and bloodstone. These can be placed near the Sacral Chakra during Crystal Therapy, or in our living space, to enhance the vibrations and clear (static) negative energies from the environment.
A healthy Root Chakra gives us confidence in our physical bodies to live our lives by establishing in us a strong and secure foundation.
Sacral Chakra - "Svadhisthana"
The Sacral Chakra is located at the lower abdomen about 2 inches below the navel and governs our sense of taste. It also governs the physical body from the knees to the hips. It is responsible for and related to the reproductive and sexual functions of the body, and the emotional issues of security, creativity and empowerment.
The period of development for the Sacral Chakra is AGE: 3/5 - 8 yrs.
The Element "Water" represents the Sacral Chakra and our emotions and symbolically it represents movement energy that is needed to rise above the denser vibrations of the Root chakra. If the water element is disturbed in this chakra it can manifest physically as hormonal imbalances, sexual reproduction and urinary problems, colitis and other digestive and intestinal issues. Emotionally it may present itself as issues with sexual promiscuity, emotional defensiveness, chronic depression, addictions, and the in-ability to receive or give joy and love.
The glandular association with the Sacral Chakra is the Lymphatic System. The important function of this gland helps clear waste matter from the lymph nodes in our body,and restore plasma and protein to the blood. The lymph fluid it carries travels to the heart and organs, and is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system and the health of the liver and spleen.
The tone for this chakra are "RE" (pronounced "ray"). The Taoist Healing Sound is "oh" and the seed mantra is "VAM".
The color vibrations for this chakra are "muddy red" when dysfunctional, to bright "brilliant orange" when the chakra is in spinning in harmony.
Stimulating fragrances for this chakra are Rosemary and Geranium and the quieting fragrances are musk and amber. The crystals associated with this chakra are amber, citrine, rose quartz and jasper.
A healthy Sacral Chakra helps empower us to live and love with healthy boundaries, not giving away our personal power. The Sacral Chakra is also linked to the throat chakra, our voice of expression and personal identity.
Solar Plexus - "Manipura"
The Solar Plexus is located 2 inches above the navel. This chakra gives us our sense of "sight" as well as our creative imagination. It governs our physical body from the lower abdomen to the heart. It deals with our quantitative qualities of logic, reason, rationality, assimilation and opinion.
The period of development for the Solar Plexus is AGE: 8-12 yrs.
The Element "Fire" represents the Solar Plexus, our "Central Sun", generator and storehouse of our physical energy and personal power. Fire is symbolic of the male "Yang" energies where as Water and Earth are more feminine or "Yin" in nature.
When overactive, this chakra's fiery nature can consume us with anger and violent rage, or manifest physically as dry skin rashes, irritability or a prickly personality! When this chakra is underactive we may lack passion, desire and motivation to move forward and accomplish our goals or find it difficult to manifest true purpose in life.
This chakra is associated with the adrenal glands (cortex and medulla) located right above our kidneys. The healthy function of this chakra regulates the hormone "cortisol" which helps to generate and store energy within our body, and "aldosterone" which helps us maintain a healthy balance of water, potassium and sodium levels in the body essential to our general health and wellbeing. The Medula gives us that "boost of adrenaline" when the situation requires and the "fight or flight" reaction when confronted with danger. The condition of the Solar Plexus is crucial to our ability for assimilation, not only of food and nutrients but also with the psychological assimilation of knowledge and experience as well.
The tone for this chakra is "GA", the Taoist Healing Sound is "aww" and the Seed Mantra is "RAM". The use of these sounds as vocal toning exercises can help replenish and replace the energy depleted by stress and anxiety. The healthy color for the Solar Plexus chakra is a clear bright yellow like the Sun. The color rose pink or the crystal rose quartz can be used visually in meditations, to harmonize and bring "softness" to an overactive solar center.
Stimulating fragrances for this chakra include ylang ylang and bergamot. Quieting fragrances are vetivert and rose. Some other crystals that are harmonious with this chakra are calcite, citrine, iron pyrite, topaz and malachite.
Our energy rises as we progress up thru the chakras. Puberty often occurs for most of us during the latter age of development for the Sacral chakra (between the age of10-12 yrs) symbolically representing the "rites of passage" for both sexes and the time that we form healthy attitudes towards the responsibilities of adulthood. This period of time establishes our views on sex, the physical body and our own sense of power, and is an important stage in the process of parenting. Balance restrictions and the need to protect your child equally with the allowance of freedom for self expression, and the ability to choose and make decisions that will encourage the development of a healthy attitude towards these issues in adult life.
Heart Chakra - "Anahata"
The Heart Chakra is located at the same level of the physical heart but at the center of the body. It gives us our sense of "taste" and zest for life as it governs our sense of compassion and our feelings and emotions. It rules the physical body from the heart to the throat and is linked to our capacity for unconditional love.
The development years for the Heart Chakra is AGE: 12-15 yrs old.
The Element "air" represents the Heart Chakra Element which is masculine or "Yang" in nature. Symbolically this element represents life (we cannot breath without air). It also represents the "space" that exists between material objects, all the way down to the cellular level of our being. Air helps to define the individuality of all living organisms. A healthy heart chakra gives the ability to clearly differentiate between feelings and emotions. It is a crucial ingredient to gaining wisdom and understanding as we grow into adulthood. In addition to this a healthy heart chakra works in conjunction with the energies of the Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus chakra to help us "love" wholeheartedly, vulnerable yet compassionate, discrete, and totally aware of the consequences of our own actions. Whereas an imbalanced heart chakra may manifest physically as heart disorders, or muscular, valvular, aortic and circulatory diseases and infections. emotionally the imbalance can lead to inflexibility in relationships, chronic stress, hypertension, or a sudden withdrawal from social activities.
The Heart Chakra is associated with the Thymus gland which is part of the lymphatic system and secrets a hormone known to have a direct link to our growth process and the natural progression from child to adulthood. The Thymus gland is also connected to our circulatory and immune systems functions.
The tone for the Heart chakra is "GA" while the Taoist Healing sound is "ahh" and the seed mantra is "YAM".
Like the color of leaves in early spring, the predominant color of the Heart Chakra is green. At the center of the Heart Chakra is the color of rose amethyst. The colors rose and mauve help soften the hardened heart, soothing and strengthening it with the vibration of divine love. You can "breath" either of these colors into your heart chakra with visualizations to help heal the wounds the emotional devastation of traumas and heartaches.
You can stimulate the energy of the heart chakra with pine and honeysuckle or soothe it the fragrances of sandalwood and tuberose. The crystals for the Heart chakra are emerald, amber, azurite, jade, beryl, pink and watermelon tourmaline.
The heart is where tenderness and compassion are united with unconditional love, acceptance and continuity. Our "yin" and "yang" (feminine/masculine) tendencies are united and balanced at the Heart Chakra and so a healthy heart chakra affects the harmony of all life.
Throat Chakra - "Visudhha"
This chakra is located in the neck, at the base of the throat. It governs our sense of "hearing" and gives us the power to communicate openly and honestly without fear. It affects the physical body from the heart to the throat and is linked to the development of sense of law and order, responsibility towards ourselves and for humanity. A condition of the throat chakra is concerned with listening as well as speaking and can be determined by the pattern of speech and the quality and tone of one's voice. An unbalanced throat chakra may manifest physically as ear, nose, throat, respiratory problems and thyroid imbalances, weight issues or chronic neck pain.
Ether is the Element for the Throat Chakra and this is the plane of existence where electromagnetic waves are transmitted from the physical to the ethereal. Ether in and around us is like a database of personal information. It records imprints of all our thought patterns, creative concepts and imaginations, and retains genetically all that we experience as human beings in our lifetime.
The glandular connection to the Throat Chakra is the thyroid and parathyroid, which are part of the Endocrine System. The thyroid secretes a vital hormone called "thyroxine" which affects our metabolism and body heat regulation and proper development of the thyroid is conducive to the healthy development of intellect ("cretinism" is a result of a deficiency of this hormone). The parathyroid secretes a hormone that regulates the calcium in the blood which ensures muscle activity, healthy heart functions and the purity of blood and plasma.
The tone for the Throat is "PA", the Taoist Healing sound is "ay" and the seed mantra is "HUM". Vocal toning exercises help to strengthen the quality of the natural voice and send the vibrations of health throughout the internal organs.
The color of a healthy Throat Chakra is Deep Blue. An unhealthy one may show up on a Kirlian photograph as a murky grayish-blue to blue-black. The stimulating fragrances for the Throat chakra are patchouli and white musk and the calming scents are lavender and hyacinth.
A person with a healthy throat chakra emanates with the qualities of contentment, clarity and serenity, defined intellect, ability for abstract thought, and the faculties of justice, beauty and wisdom.
Brow Chakra - "Ajna"
Located between the eyebrows, this chakra is often called the "Third Eye" Chakra. It governs the higher mental or etheric body, and is linked to the Solar Plexus as well. Both chakras connect us to light in all its broader meanings, and expansion of consciousness. The awakening of the Brow Chakra urges us to seek ways to harmonize body and mind with soul and spirit.
The Element said to be associated with the brow chakra is "Radium" from the Latin word "radius" and has the elemental symbol "Ra" (which is coincidentally the name of the ancient sun diety "Amun Ra").
The Pineal gland associated with the Brow Chakra regulates the secretion of the hormone melatonin that regulates our natural life cycles and our internal clocks. An imbalanced Brow Chakra may show up as signs of thyroid disease, hypothyroidism, sleep disorders, seasonal affective disorder, and headaches or migraines.
The color for the Brow Chakra ranges from purple to lavender in hue, but the colors turquoise or mauve can also be used as well (worn or placed in surroundings) to help bring that vibration in to balance the chakra.
The tone for this chakra is "NE" (pronounced "knee). The Taoist Healing sound is "ee" and the Sanskrit seed mantra is "OM" or "Aum". The gemstone associations are Amethyst, Azurite, Pearl, Sapphire, Purple Apatite, and Blue or White Fluorite.
Some invigorating scents are violet and rose geranium, and the quieting fragrances are white musk and hyacinth and can be used in the form of medicinal oils or as essential oils in a diffuser.
The Ajna Chakra is the beginning of our connection with a Higher Power and can lead us to a higher understanding other than our own. When this chakra is open one develops the abilities of clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and the qualities of empathy and intuition.
Crown Chakra - "Sahasrara"
This is located above the crown of the head with the "stem" reaching into the spinal column. It represents light, wisdom, knowledge. It is an esoteric level which joins together our Soul with Spirit when our energy rises through the chakras towards higher levels of awareness. The awakening of the Crown Chakra signals our Souls surrender to a higher power. It releases us from our fear and lack, to place our trust in the cosmic (divine) order of the universe to help us resolve conflicts and challenges. Life suddenly becomes more harmonious and seemingly serendipitous. It is because our energies at the Crown Chakra are now united with the unlimited power of Spirit. The Crown Chakra is connected with our Auric Body. Some say this layer is a reflection of the Soul as it holds the "blueprints" for each of our incarnations. Through the practice of meditation we are able to access subtle memories and auric patterns that can help us discover why we are the way we are, and find true purpose and meaning for our lives.
"Magnetum" is the Element of the Crown chakra, though you will not find it in your standard list. Its symbolic representation is unification of body, mind, ego and spirit in total balance, harmonized and enhancing our awareness of all life, and healing the relationship we have with all living beings.
The Pituitary gland is associated with the Crown Chakra as well. Its size is tiny yet powerful as it acts as "command central" for our endocrine system. It has two lobes, each a separate gland, one which secretes while the other regulates the hormones that are responsible for our body's biochemistry. The connection between the Crown chakra and the Pituitary gland will open our channel for psychic energy to develop.
Although there are no sounds associated with the Crown chakra, some are able to hear within the silence, the sound of their individual "tone" resonating as an internal vibration. The colors in the Crown chakra are violet, which has the highest vibratory rate in the color spectrum, white light symbolizing purity and sanctity, and gold which is the color of power.
Gemstones like white jade and crystal or snowy quartz help to awaken our divinity. It is also said that diamonds worn on the crown (kings and emperors) can help illuminate our highest potential.
The invigorating fragrances that can be used for the Crown chakra are carnation and poppy, while jasmine and white sage can help to calm us and prepare us for meditation.
Some say that fear of the dark, fear of spiritual abandonment, loss of identity personal and with society, cerebral dysfunction, psychosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's are all related to an imbalance in the Crown chakra. Things such as a regular Pranayama and meditation practice, daily walks in nature, the love of music and literature, or having a favorite hobby or creative outlet, are some simple ways we can encourage the healthy function of our crown chakra energies.
Natural Healing for the Chakras - Conclusion
Regular exercise helps build muscle strength and a great body but let's not forget the subtle inner being. Working with the Chakras provides us insight in to all the questions of life and as we develop and grow. We become stronger in spirit and therefore gain confidence and the ability to view all the challenges and obstacles in life as opportunistic rather than living them from a "victim" mentality.
Would you spend all your hard earned money on a beautiful car or yacht, then not maintain the engines? Or buy a gorgeous home and let it fall into shambles? Our body is our vehicle, our shelter and covering for this lifetime. In learning more about what makes us tick we can take command of our lives with power and wisdom, putting us in control of the paths we choose and the decisions we make as masters of our own destiny.
Peace be with you. Namaste.
Jiva Yogi Wellness offers reiki, qigong, yoga and sound healing instructions. A private space to nurture body, mind and spirit.