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Chakras ~ Sanskrit चक्र – meaning ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’.

To understand what chakras are we must first seek to expand our understanding of what we, as sentient beings, actually are. In considering the interplay between our physical bodies, consciousness and energy, we can begin to open our minds to the idea of the subtle body (sometimes referred to as the aura or astral body), the interface between the physical and non-physical realms. It is in this very space that our chakra system exists.

The concept of chakras was first conceived in the tantric traditions of ancient India. Chakras were later mentioned in the Vedas, ancient scripts written around four thousand years ago. These writings, which explored the nature of reality, referred to seven energy centres in the body, running from the base of the spine to the top of the head.

The Seven Chakras

These ‘wheels of life’ can be described as energy centres which act as the bridge between our physical being and non-physical energy field, between consciousness and matter, between our inner and outer worlds. Our chakra system forms the spiritual architecture of our entire being.

“Chakras are organizational centers for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life-force energy. They are the stepping stones between heaven and earth” – Anodea Judith

Each of the seven chakras link to the major nerve centers in our physical bodies, running from the base of our spine to our crown, and create the bridge between our physical and emotional functioning and spiritual states of being. The chakras also correspond to various phenomena in nature, in particular the rainbow spectrum, reminding us of our connection to all that is.

“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” – Hermes Trismegistus

Root chakra
Colour – red
Gland – adrenals
Relates to our connection with the earth and our physical body.

Sacral chakra
Colour – orange
Gland – ovaries, testicles
Relates to our emotions, sexuality and creativity.

Solar plexus
Colour – yellow
Gland – pancreas and adrenals
Relates to our energy, sense of power and self-esteem.

Heart chakra
Colour – green
Gland – heart
The chakra of unconditional love, relates to relationships, balance and unity.

Throat chakra
Colour – blue
Gland – thyroid
The chakra of communication, relates to our ability to express ourselves.

Third eye chakra
Colour – indigo
Gland – pineal
Linked to our intuition, visual imagination and psychic abilities.

Crown chakra
Colour – violet
Gland – pituitary
Associated with consciousness, thought, transcendence.

Looking after your Chakras
From infancy through to adulthood, as we navigate our lives, we will be impacted by experiences, cultural conditioning and varying degrees of trauma which slow down the functioning of our energetic bodies, leading to blockages. These energy blockages are the root cause of all physical and emotional dis-ease.

The key to maintaining our chakras (and thus the equanimity of our mind, body and spirit) is through balance and integration.

If our chakras are open and balanced, life force energy will flow through us efficiently, leading to states of joy and peace. This renewed state of being will manifest in our life circumstances effortlessly, leading to improved well-being, high quality relationships and increased satisfaction, regardless of material circumstances.

We can work towards this high vibrational state by working on our energies. There are numerous techniques and approaches that can be adopted to clear blockages, transmute negative energy and balance and integrate each of the seven chakras independently (this will be explored in future blog posts!). However, the following two approaches work on our entire energetic systems – both consciously and unconsciously.

Understanding the Self –
Frequent meditation and periods of reflection can encourage us to connect with ourselves, to listen to what our bodies are telling us, to watch our thoughts without judgement and to feel the essence of our life force. Getting to know yourself better – to feel truly acquainted with what it is to be you, to have a sense of your energy signature, your place in the universe, is one of the most vital things you can do for yourself.

In addition, through conscious effort we can adopt mindfulness techniques in our day to day lives and deliberately choose to align ourselves with higher vibrational thoughts, activities and people.

Whenever drama or conflict appears in your life situation, observe how you respond. Watch your emotional reactions and responses carefully. Watch how your ego tries to insert itself in to the situation. Just by patiently observing yourself, without judgement, you are altering your vibration. This is very powerful.

And instead of chasing negativity, purposefully align yourself with love. Do more of what brings you joy; respond to others with kindness; consciously seek out high quality relationships and encourage positive interactions with others. And never be afraid to honour your feelings, to do what feels good for you. Over time, as our life force energy begins to break down old blockages, these habits will become integrated in to our very being, like second nature, and our energy field will emit a higher vibration.

Energy work –
Various physical and therapeutic healing modalities have the ability to re-assimilate our vibrational framework in order to improve our health and well-being. This includes yoga postures, reiki, acupuncture, crystal therapy and sound-based therapies, to name just a few. It’s useful to understand that conscious thought is not required in order to benefit from these techniques. They work on us energetically – we cannot think our way there. Over time, as our chakras begin to unblock and release stagnant energy, subtle but profound shifts will take place in our state of being – whether we are fully aware of it or not.

The key to aligning more closely with our truest natures, with pure consciousness itself, can be found in understanding and working with our chakra system.

Recommended reading;
Wheels of Life – Anodea Judith PhD (1999).