Updated: Jul 21, 2020
The word chakra in Sanskrit means wheel. Chakra is a well-known concept in the world of spirituality. They are the most important components of our energy bodies. The human body is made of the physical body, mental body, and subtle body. The physical body is made of flesh and bones and the one we can see and feel. The mental body is the mind and deals with our thoughts and emotions which can felt but not seen. The third body is the subtle body or the energy body. The energy body deals with life force or prana and regulates the flow of energy in the body. The chakras form the core of this energy body. These are wheel-like energy centers located in different parts of our bodies. According to scriptures, there are a total of 114 chakras of which 112 are situated inside the body. However, according to ancient Hindu texts, there are 7 main chakras or main energy centers, the rest of them are minor centers. These centers are associated with different colors and Bija mantras. They also correspond to different elements a human body is made of (earth, fire, water.ether, air), Out of these 7 chakras, 6 are located inside our bodies and the 7th one is located just above our head. These centers are located along the spinal cord and start from the base of the spine to the top of our head. These centers handle various physical and psychological aspects of our lives. If a chakra is wide open and healthy and is aligned with the cosmos, it ensures a free flow of energy through that center hence resulting in the proper functioning of the aspects related to that chakra. However, if the chakra is not functioning well and is out of balance it will lead to physical and mental health disorders. In yogic culture different mudras, asanas and mantras are taught to ensure our chakras are aligned and balanced throughout. Now let us discuss each of these 7 centers specifically.
Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Element- Earth Color - Red
Bija Mantra - LAM
The root chakra is the lowest and is located at the base of the spine. This center is associated with earth and hence provides us with the feeling of being grounded and secured. A well-balanced root chakra makes us feel grounded and secured in life. This center is also associated with our survival on this planet. The fear of survival is also associated with this chakra. An improper working root chakra will give one the feeling of being uprooted and insecure about life in general. A person might feel insecure and needy about finances, health love, and other aspects of his life. It is also mentioned that Kundalini Shakti resides in this chakra and when invoked rises from Muladhara towards the crown (Sahasrara). The diseases related to this center are issues with colon prostate, bladder, etc.
Sacral Chakra (Swadistana)
Element - Water Color - Orange
Bija Mantra - VAM
This chakra is located in our pelvic region and corresponds with our sexual and reproductive organs. This chakra is associated with all the pleasures of one's life. It also controls the aspect of creativity and fertility. When this center is functioning properly one will have his creative juices flowing. His basic emotions shall also be stable. If this goes out of tune it can lead to depression. emotional instability and lack of creativity and fertility. Diseases associated with this center are related to issues with reproductive organs, kidney, bowel movements, etc.
Solar Plexus (Manipura)
Element - Fire Color - Yellow
Bija Mantra - RAM
The solar plexus is located near the naval region. This center is associated with the feeling of power,confidence, and optimism, etc. A well balanced solar plexus will ensure you are full of vigor and passion and take up challenges with full confidence. It ensures you follow your goals and lead a powerful life. An imbalanced solar plexus can lead to laziness, confidence issues, and a lack of will to perform well in life. Diseases related to this center are mostly digestion related. Diseases like jaundice, hepatitis, gall bladder stone, kidney issue, diabetes, chronic tiredness, etc are associated with solar plexus.
Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Element - Air Color - Green
Bija Mantra - YAM
This energy center is located near the heart and governs emotions like love, compassion, forgiveness etc. A well functioning Anahata will let a person love freely and be compassionate towards everyone. He will have a forgiving heart and will not keep emotions of revenge and wrath within. A dysfunctional heart chakra will make one insecure about the feeling of love. He or she may enter toxic and abusive relationships. They may also not be able to forget and forgive and move on easily in life. This could cause mental illnesses like depression anxiety, panic attack, etc. On the physical front it may lead to cardiac, chest, lung-related issues like Heart failure, breast cancer, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, etc.
Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
Element - Ether Color - Blue
Bija Mantra - HAM
This energy center is located near the throat region and is the center of expression and communication. When this center is in tune with the body, the person speaks his truth without any hesitation. He can express freely and owns his truth. He becomes a very effective communicator and can bond with himself and others very easily. Not only he communicates well but also becomes an active and patient listener. If this chakra goes out of balance the person may find difficulties in expressing himself and his needs. He seems to be shy and isolated. At the physical level, all throat-related diseases can manifest if this center is out of tune.
Third Eye (Ajna)
Element - Light Color - Indigo
Bija Mantra - OM
This energy center is located in between our eyebrows and is more metaphysical. The reason why Hindus apply a bindi or tika between their eyebrows is to activate this center. This center if opened and working is in accordance with the cosmos makes us aware of our real nature which is beyond this body. The third eye is the seat of intuition and inner wisdom and guidance. People with the activated third eye are wiser and more intuitive in life. They are in tune with their surroundings and in full control of their emotions. This center takes a step closure to our higher self. An improper working Ajna will have the opposite effects and the person would still be tangled in the Matrix or Maya. He will not be aware of his true identity and will confuse his body to be him. On the physical front diseases related to the head, eyes and brain can manifest if Ajna is not working properly.
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Element - Cosmic Energy Color - Purple
Bija Mantra - Sohum/OM
This center unlike the rest of the centers does not exist inside our bodies. It is located just above our head. This is also called the Shiva center. This center connects us to the entire cosmos. The experience of Nirvana and divine ecstasy can be experienced if this center is active. This chakra helps us become one with the entire cosmos. Working to activate this center can help us become free from all worldly illusions.
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