Flowing through the Chakras
Everything in our universe is radiating energy, from the biggest mountain or ocean, to the tiniest blade of grass, to each individual cell in our body. All of our cells emit energy in different ways, and different cells will emit different kinds of energy depending on where they are located within the body and what their job is. Given the specialized nature of your body’s energy, there are several different channels located on key points of the body through which energy can flow in and out in a constant stream.
The word chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit. Chakra energy spins in a clockwise direction as it moves the energy of our body out into the field around us, and it spins counterclockwise to pull energy from our external world (including the people in it) into our body. It is the state of our chakras that determines the direction our energy will flow as they either draw energy into our body or release it outward.
- Muladhara/Root Chakra. Natural Element: Earth. The Muladhara Chakra, or Root Chakra, is associated with the earth element, representing physical and emotional grounding, with the color Red, which has a slower, a deeper, vibration than the colors that symbolize the other chakras. Centered at the perineum & base of the spine this energy vortex is involved in tending to our survival needs, establishing a healthy sense groundedness. Practice attention on our own groundedness and connection to the earth, first physically and ultimately…spiritually.
- Svadhisthana/Sacral Chakra. Natural Element: Water. The second chakra, Svadhisthana, is the place of sweetness in which we are established in authentic self and creativity. Translating as: “the dwelling place of the self”, it is the water element and represented by the color orange. Svadisthana relates most closely to the Law of Least Effort. Our yoga practice is the ideal setting to become familiar with that Law. So rather than forcing our way into an asana, we effortlessly surrender with present moment awareness and observe how boundaries lose their hold on us. Awaken acceptance by consciously bringing peace to the body, mind & spirit.
- Manipura/Solar Plexis Chakra. Natural Element: Fire. The Manipura Chakra, or Solar Plexis Chakra, is associated with the element of Fire and is the seat of personal power. When this 3rd chakra is balanced we feel at peace, energetic, fearless and free. When the energy is flowing freely, the effect is like that of a power station, constantly supplying vitality- bestowing balance and strength. This is where the Agni lives, the Fire, giving us our passion, our drive and what physically gives us the energy to digest our food.
- Anahata/Heart Chakra. Natural Element: Air. Anahata Chakra is associated with unconditional universal love, compassion and joy and is the bridge between both the lower and upper chakras as well as between the body and mind. Represented by the color green and the natural element of air. Congestion in the heart chakra interferes with our ability to be openhearted and fully present in our relationships. Clarity in Anahata enables us to give and receive love without fear or attachment. In any relationship, there will times when we give more, and other times when we receive more. It is important to recognize that our ability to support someone else depends upon us taking care of ourselves. It is said, “Only a plentiful well can quench your thirst.” So we can remember that we serve others, and ourselves, best by being grounded, balanced, creative and abundant. For me… this is my yoga practice.
- Vishuddha/Throat Chakra. Natural Element: Ether or Space. Also known as the 5th, or Throat Chakra, the Vishuddha is the center that governs our speech and creative expression in the world. Its’ balance will determine how honest we are, and how well we can express ourselves with people around us. Translating to “Especially Pure”, this chakra is the purification center which gives voice to our spirit. Closely related to the law of detachment, acknowledging one of the greatest paradoxes of life, that the best way to get what we want in the world is to relinquish our attachment to it. When we are confident that our words and actions are in alignment with evolutionary forces, we relinquish our rigid attachment to particular outcomes. So when we practice detachment, or Vairagya, and are balanced in this chakra, everything flows beautifully.
- Ajna/Third Eye or 6th Chakra. Natural Element: Light The “way of the third eye” is seeing everything as it is from a point of “witness” or “observer”, or from simply being mindful – moment by moment. It means examining self-limiting ideas and developing wisdom that comes from a perspective that transcends the duality of good or bad, black or white or right or wrong. It means seeing, and helping others to see the deeper meanings of the situations in their lives. The Third Eye is not only the seat of wisdom, but also a seat of our conscience. This is where you not only see what is going on, but you also know what it means. When your third eye is open, we not only see… but we also understand.
- Sahasrara/Crown Chakra. Natural Element: Space This chakra is the center for a deeper connection with ourselves and a deeper connection with a force of life that is greater than ourselves. At the core of our being, we are pure awareness, we are a part of everything. Represented by the 1,000-petaled lotus flower that blooms when we remember that our essential nature is infinite and unbounded, without beginnings or ending. How do we become one with a force greater than ourselves without losing ourselves? We already are that… we are already one.