Chakras seem to be mentioned everywhere these day which is great but what are they? An online search will reveal a myriad of information about them but sometimes it can all be a little overwhelming. In this series of articles I hope to de-mystify the chakra system a little and take you on a journey through the system from the base chakra to the crown chakra. Rather than regurgitating the information you can easily find online I thought I would draw inspiration from a wonderful book I have read recently called “The Wheels of Life” by Anodea Judith and take you through each chakra and try to explain how to work with the energy of each to bring about balance, health and harmony to your life.
This first article will summarise the system and then each further article which will be released weekly will focus on one particular chakra until all are covered with the final articles then summarising and reviewing what we have learned along the way. I hope you will find them informative and useful. I am keen to hear your feedback so please do get in touch and feel free to share the articles on your social network.
So, before we start – what are chakras? The word chakra comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and means “wheel”. Chakras are energy centres which link our physical bodies to other “dimensions” such as emotions and thoughts. Energy passes through the chakras to and from our physical core and you can imagine them like a swirling vortex (like water going down a plug-hole) or like a flower – opening and closing its petals – as the chakra opens and closes as energy fluctuates.
Our physical human bodies are made up of matter – atoms and molecules – energy particles, but there is more to us than first meets the eye! We also have a subtle body – layers of energy bodies which surround our physical body and make up our aura. I am sure you have heard people taking about auras and some people can even see them as colours or swirling energy around people. In fact, with a little work, anyone can learn to see auras but that is a topic for another day!
It is in this energy field that chakras work – transferring energy to and from our bodies, in a state of constant flux and change. Imagine the chakras like little portals or gateways where energy comes and goes. If any of these portals get blocked or out of balance it has an impact on the entire system. Imagine, if you will, a circuit board where energy in the form of electricity is passing through lighting up little bulbs along the way. If one of the bulbs glows too brightly the others will fade and if one blows completely the others will cease to function as the circuit is broken. Chakras work in a similar way and it is therefore important that we maintain a healthy balance so our energy system works well. If our energy system starts to break down then we will feel the effects in our physical bodies as illness or ailments will start to plague us.
So, how many of these chakras do we have then? It is generally accepted that there are 7 major chakras, as depicted in the image below. From top to bottom these are the crown (top of your head), the brow or third eye (situated between your eyebrows), the throat (at your throat), the heart (centre of your chest), the solar plexus (just beneath your breastbone at the top of your belly), the sacral (just beneath your belly-button) and the base or root (at the base of your spine). There are also 21 minor chakras situated around the body in the face, hands and feet but these will not form part of this discussion for the moment. There are also then many other lesser chakras which actually form part of the acupuncture system and again, for the purpose of this series of articles, we will not be delving into that – but there will be other articles in the future if you are interested in this side of things.