Understanding the seven main ‘Chakras’

Yoga

The term ‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’. The chakras in the body are wheels of energy, which vary in activity levels depending on what we are going through in our lives.

Seven major chakras exist within us. These energy centres are located in the midline of the body and relate to our relationship with ourselves, others and the world around us. The chakras consist of an intersection of ‘nadis’ which are channels through which vital energy flows through the body. When someone feels happy and vibrant, the chakras are open and balanced, and when we feel disconnected or sad, our chakras are more blocked and unbalanced.

The seven major chakras are depicted from the base of the spine up towards the crown of the head. Here, we explore these further:

Muladara: the root

The first chakra is known as the root and is located at the base of the spine, in the tailbone. Its energy is based on the earth elements and is associated with the feeling of safety and grounding. This chakra represents survival and provides the foundation on which we build our life. It supports us in growing and feeling safe to explore all the aspects of life. Physically, it includes the spine, kidneys, bladder and legs. Red represents the root chakra

Svadhisthana: the sacral

The second chakra, the ‘sacral’ chakra is in the lower abdominal region approximately two inches below the naval. Physically, it relates to our reproductive system and represents our pleasure centre. The sacral chakra is motivated by pleasure and joy and is the driving force for your enjoyment of life. Svadhisthana is highly influenced by the element of water, getting outside and relaxing near a body of water or taking a bath or shower can help open and restore your second chakra. Orange represents the sacral chakra.

Manipura: the solar plexus

In the solar plexus area (upper part of the belly, where your diaphragm sits) is the third chakra “Manipura” which is often associated with the digestive organs and liver. This represents the core of our personality, identity and ego. It is the centre of our willpower, our inner fire. The gift of this chakra is understanding your personal power, being confident, responsible and reliable. It allows you to transform inertia into action and meet challenges, moving forward in your life. Yellow represents this solar plexus chakra.

Anahata: the heart

The heart chakra, or Anahata, sprinkles our life with compassion, love and beauty. Located in the centre of the chest (energy centre) it is driven by the principles of transformation and integration and is said to bridge earthly and spiritual aspirations. When your heart chakra is open, you will feel deeply connected to all that is around you and are able to appreciate the true beauty. Relating to the element of air, Anahata is associated to the breathe and its movements. Although most people think of pink when talking about the heart, green represents the fourth chakra.

Vishuddha: the throat

The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is located at the centre of the neck, level to the throat and represents the upper lungs, throat, mouth and vocal chords.  It is the passage of the energy between the lower parts of the body and the head. The function of the Vishuddha is driven by the principle of expression and communication and relates to the element of sound. The throat chakra is most commonly represented by a blue turquoise or aquamarine blue.

Ajna: the third eye

The Ajna chakra is the location of the third eye, which is known as the centre of intuition and foresight. Physically, it is represented by the left eye and lower brain. The function of the Ajna chakra is driven by the principle of openness and imagination. Whilst your two physical eyes see the past and present, the third eye reveals insight into the future. Represented by the light element, focussing on the third eye allows you to go beyond your desires that motivate life and urge you to move in many directions. Indigo represents the third eye chakra.

Sahasrara: the crown

Sahasrara (the crown) is the final chakra located on the top of the head. It is our connection to higher consciousness and spiritual guidance. A deficiency in the crown chakra often effects the right eye, upper brain and skin and leads to problems such as chronic fatigue, greed, depression and migraines. Opening the crown chakra brings spiritual insight, mindfulness and the ability to live with quiet self-confidence in all aspects of life. The crown chakra is often represented by a violet colour.

The regular practice of Yoga allows you to focus, in turn, on each of the seven chakras. Tranquillité’s yoga instructor, Maria, holds regular yoga classes and workshops in Hale and Altrincham which you can book onto at www.mariayoga.co.uk . Alternatively, you can view the list of available retreat dates here.

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