The chakras are pranic centers within the human framework. The Sanskrit word chakra literally means ‘wheel’. A better translation in the context of yoga is ‘vortex’. According to ancient scriptures there are 72,000 nadis in the human body, these nadis cross at various places in the human body, there are seven major regions along the spine where these nadis cross, these regions or energy centers are called chakras They are the vortices of pranic energy at specific areas in the body which control the circulation of prana permeating the entire human structure. They are beyond the realms of normal perception. Each chakra is associated with pranic energy at specific frequency levels and subtlety. The chakras symbolize different levels of awareness in man from the more instinctive realms associated with muladhara chakra to the more intuitive realms associated with ajna chakra. The chakras are associated with colour, physical and emotional aspects. The seven chakras are:
- Muladhara Chakra: The Sanskrit word mula means ‘root’ or ‘base’, the word adhara means ‘substratum’ or ‘support’. Therefore, the word muladhara means ‘the basic substratum’. This centre is also widely known as the adhara chakra-‘the support centre’. It is the seat of kundalini shakti. It is the centre where people are almost entirely self-centred, where the predominant thoughts and actions are directed towards attaining some measure of security in the world. People surround themselves with immaterial objects, money, friends etc. in order to feel secure. This is the general trends associated with the muladhara chakra. The location of the muladhara chakra is the region of perineum. The physical organs associated with this chakra are adrenal glands, the kidneys, reproductive system and spinal column. The colour of this chakra is red. The element associated with this chakra is earth.
Energies: Survival, Self preservation, Physical needs, Fear, Insecurity.
- Svadhisthana Chakra: The Sanskrit word swa means ‘one’s own’ and adhisthana means ‘dwelling place’. Therefore the word svadhisthana means ‘one’s own abode’. The function of this chakra is desire and procreation. It relates to desire, sensuality, attraction, emotions. The location of Svadhisthana chakra is the sacral spine. The physical organs associated with this chakra are spleen, kidneys and bladder, reproductive system. The colour of this chakra is orange. The element associated with this chakra is water.
Energies: Desire, Sensuality, emotions, Attraction.
- Manipura Chakra: The Sanskrit word mani means ‘gem’ or ‘jewel’; the word puri means ‘city’. Therefore the word manipura literally means ‘the city of gems’. It is so called because of intensity of the pranic energy at this centre. Manipura chakra radiates and distributes pranic energy throughout the entire human framework. It is also compared to a blazing fire, since it burns up and assimilates the energy in food in the same way that a fire burns up wood and releases the inherent energy. The manipura chakra is located at the solar plexus. The physical organs associated with this chakra are adrenal glands, pancreas, liver, stomach, as well as the nervous system and the bladder. The colour of this chakra is yellow. The element associated with this chakra is fire.
Energies: Power, Authority, Energy, Will, Anger, Self-Assertion.
- Anahata Chakra: The Sanskrit word anahata means ‘unstruck’ or ‘unbeaten’. Therefore the word anahata literally means ‘unstruck sound’. That is, the cosmic sound is heard at this centre. This centre is widely regarded as the centre of consciousness in man. It relates to our emotional thoughts, ideas and inspirations. The anahata chakra is located at the centre of the chest. The physical organs and systems associated with this chakra are thymus gland, the heart, circulatory system, immune system and the endocrine system. The colour of this chakra is green. The element associated with this chakra is air.
Energies: Love, Compassion, Connection, Warmth, Forgiveness, Trust, Balance, Peace
- Vishuddha Chakra: The Sanskrit word vishuddha literally means ‘purification’, therefore this chakra is usually translated as ‘the purification centre’. It is the centre that purifies and harmonizes all opposites. Its function is communication and creativity. The Vishuddha chakra is located at the throat. The physical organs associated with this chakra are thyroid and parathyroid glands, vocal chords and bronchial apparatus. The colour is blue. The element associated with this chakra is space.
Energies: Communication, Creativity, Sound, Speech, Self-expression.
- Ajna Chakra: The Sanskrit word ajna means ‘command’. It is considered the seat of intuition. It is the highest psychic centre in man It is located at the center of the forehead between the eyebrows. The physical organ associated with this chakra is the pineal gland. The colour of this chakra is indigo. The element associated with this chakra is space/light.
Energies: Intuition, Understanding, Clairvoyance, Imagination, Awareness, Sixth Sense.
- Sahasrara Chakra: The Sanskrit word sahasrara means ‘one thousand’. For this reason, It is depicted as a lotus with thousand petals. This chakra represents our belief systems, both conscious and unconscious. Its function is understanding. It relates to consciousness as pure awareness. One who attains this chakra has the highest widom. The sahasrars chakra is located at the top of the head.The physical organ associated with this chakra is pituitary gland. The colour is white/violet. It is beyond elements-thought.
Energies: Enlightenment, Transcendence, Love, Peace, Grace, Spiritual Understanding.