What are Chakras?
A description of chakras, how they work, and how they affect your life.
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally 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 through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy (it looks like a cone or vortex when viewed from the side and there is a front and back “cone”) where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, Chi, Ki, Qi, Shakti, or Spirit Energy, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So it is too with our bodies and the chakras. As we go through life, the energies of most situations/experiences, emotions, intentions, actions, perceptions, etc. flow right through us going in through the front of the chakras and out the back. However, when something comes up that has an impact on us on some level (physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual), we tend to hold the energy of it in our chakras. If it is something occurring in our present time, it will be held in the front of the chakra. Things from our past, including “past” lives (time doesn’t really exist), are held in the back of the chakra.
Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge, but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. Because all things are connected, whatever happens on one aspect of one’s energy (emotional in this case) will affect all others (mental, physical, and spiritual). The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailment.