About the 7 Chakras

An introduction to the body's 7 energy centers, plus 5 steps to meditate for a balanced life

Among the high-end shops, delicious restaurants and impressive office buildings that dot Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue lies a small office that looks like a salon, but offers to balance your seven chakras rather than do your hair. As the Michigan Avenue location suggests, the concept of chakra-balancing has become more popular than ever.

What is a chakra?

The word chakra comes from the Sanskrit term “cakram,” meaning “wheel.” Hinduism describes seven energy centers, called chakras, existing within individuals along the spine. By learning how to active chakras, you are able to bring balance to your life.

According to David Pond's book Chakras for Beginners, there are seven chakras that allow for the circulation of universal energy through our bodies. Energy flows from the lowest chakra, the root, to the highest one, the crown. When in balance, the chakras allow the energy flow to be smooth and seamless.

Significance of the chakras

For most people, retaining a balance can be difficult when different responsibilities, such as work, parenthood and wellness, have to be juggled. However, you also know that,when that balance is maintained, you feel better and can often perform better at your various responsibilities.

The same is true for the chakras. When one of the chakras is closed, energy cannot flow to the others. Similarly, if one is wide open, the energy flow can be too great. Instead, it is believed that maintaining a balance of the chakras can lead to better well-being.

The 7 chakras

The seven chakras are located in the body from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, and are associated with each of the colors of the rainbow. Vibrating and humming with the energy of the universe, the seven chakras each correspond with a different part of life.

The first chakra is deeply connected to manifestation; the second to emotions, friendship and self worth; the third to personal power; the fourth to love; the fifth to creativity; the sixth to psychic ability; and the seventh to enlightenment and positive energy.

Energy and the 7 chakras

Pond writes that the seven chakras can be compared to batteries. The spinning of the chakras determines which areas of a person's life receive the most energy. You have probably heard it said that everything is energy. This is true: As we live our lives, plants grow and animals roam; energy is constantly changing form. The seven chakras determine how that universal energy goes to work in us.

How to activate chakras

Used individually or as part of a chakra-clearing meditation, taking the following steps will cause your energy centers to respond by activating your chakras. Activating your chakras begins with learning their names and locations.

Step 1: Learn the names and locations of your chakras

From the lowest point to the highest point in the body, the names and locations of the chakras are as follows:

  • Root: Just below the base of your spine
  • Sacral: In your abdominal region
  • Solar Plexus: Approximately two fingers above the navel
  • Heart: Centered in the chest
  • Throat: Around the area of the “Adams Apple”
  • Third Eye: In-between the eyebrows
  • Crown: At the top of the head

Step 2: Clear your chakras through breathing and meditation

When activating chakras, it is advised to begin with a cleansing process. This can be as simple as allowing shower water to run over you as you meditate and visualize the liquid clearing your chakras. Chakra-breathing, or seeing your breath purify your chakras, is another method of clearing.

Step 3: Visualize chakra colors

As part of your chakra-clearing meditation, visualize the color of each chakra. The colors of each chakra correspond to those of the rainbow: root, red; sacral, orange; navel, yellow; heart, green; throat, blue; third eye, indigo; and crown, purple.

Step 4: Incorporate chakra affirmations or mantras

While sitting in meditation, move your consciousness to each of your chakras one at a time, starting with your root chakra. Chakra affirmations enable you to “see” or visualize the energy vortex within you as unblocked. Mantras associated with each chakra are: root, LAM; sacral, VAM; solar plexus, RAM; heart, YAM; throat, HAM; third eye, VOM; and crown, AM.

Step 5: Add musical tones

Chakra centers are not only associated with colors, but also with notes on the musical scale. Beginning again at the root chakra for grounding, the correlating note is "C," followed by "D" for the sacral chakra, and so on up the scale, culminating with "B" as the note corresponding to the crown chakra. These musical tones can be utilized to sing your affirmation or mantra while you initiate breathing into each vortex.

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