The concept of Chakras is closely attached to the energy. The energy within us, also which is manifested in the whole universe.
The Universe is referred to as a system of many elements acting or fused together to function as a unit.
According to Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism, just like the Universe, Our body itself is believed to be made of five core elements 1 Air, Space, Earth, Water, and Fire.
Concept of the Human Body
Breakdown the Universe, our body has small systems of cells working together, in which energy is flowing or moving constantly in the form of 5 elements, just like in the universe. There are constant changes occurring in our bodies because of these energies.
Different energies circulate through us continuously to establish and maintain our inner system that certainly affects our outer system as well. These energies are vital contributors to our behavior, mood, nature, conscience, and wellness.
Speaking of energies, many questions arises in the mind including, what is the source of these energies in our body? What makes up to the definitive but a vast system of human mechanism?
Henceforth, the Yogic system enables us to find the right sources of energy, their purpose, and meanings through Chakras.
What Is A Chakra?
‘Prana – The Life‘ in certain major parts of our body constantly spinning to keep us alive and active. The spinning or rotating nature of Prana made these parts of the body, ‘centers of energy‘ also known as Chakras.
The word ‘Chakra’ (In Sanskrit Cakra) refers to ‘Wheel’ or ‘Disc’, which named because it’s made of the rotating motion of Prana.
Chakras are basically the junction points of Nadis in the body. Converging at certain points in our body, Anodea Judith 2 stated in her book ‘The Wheels of Life‘, these Nadis form a junction we know as Chakra.
Where Nadis are the pathways of ‘Prana – life force’, Chakras are the distributor and purifier of the Prana.
3 States of Chakras
To understand the working of Chakras, each Chakra has the 3 states of activeness. Rate of rotation of Prana in each Chakra defines the state of Chakra at a particular time.
- The Overactive state of a chakra – When Prana spins at a higher rate than the normal one, chakra is said to be in overactive states. In this state, you will feel the excessive energy flow through corresponding organs of the overactive Chakra.
- The Balanced State of a chakra – When Prana spins at the normal rate so that energy neither excessively flow through certain organs nor in a deficient manner.
- The Underactive State of a chakra – When Prana spins slower than usual rate due to lack of attention or certain physical activity, chakra becomes underactive.
In both cases (overactive and underactive), there is a faulty flow of energy happens through the chakra, called Imbalanced or Blocked chakra.
If Chakras gets blocked, it may cause illness and other difficulties which are clearly visible whether behavioral or physical.
History of Chakras
The historical meaning of the word Chakra revolves around 600 BC where Chakras got mentioned first as psychic focal points of consciousness in the Upanishads. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali adopted the same in Circa 200 BC.
The etymology indicates that this concept of chakras (Wheels of life) first evolved in Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism. It first got developed around and introduced in Vedas, which was introduced by Upanishads and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Different interpretations led to the discovery of a varying number of Chakras stating own understanding of Kundalini (the energy that is unleashed in creation, and lies coiled and sleeping at the base of the spine). The similar theory emerged in Sufism, later.
From India, the notion of Chakra as an energy center got carried forward to China, where, it was absorbed and harmonized with Chinese concepts of the flow of energy (Qi energy) replacing Kundalini.
Today, the chakra concept remains popular among the New Age Movement in the West. The Modern Age movements have led to an increased interest in the West regarding chakras.
How Many Chakras Are There?
Yoga formulations typically describe seven chakras, says Dr. Georg Feuerstein in his book Yoga Encyclopedia 3, although additional chakras also described in some systems.
Apart from the yogic system, prominently there are 114 Chakras with 72,000 Nadis lies in the body.
114 Chakras can be divided in the following way.
- 112 chakras present in the physical structure of the body and rest 2 lies in the outer plane.
- Out of 114 Chakras, 86 are micro chakras which also called acupuncture points on the body.
- Now, out of rest 28 Chakras, 21 are minor chakras which work in conjunction with major chakras and distributed all over the body.
- Last 7 are called major Chakras, 5 lies along the spinal column, 1 on the forehead and 1 over the head (outside of the body).
Each Chakra has a distinct role, symbol, energy frequency, and is identified by a different colour. Each one is connected to different organs and glands within the body to channelize the energy (in the form of Prana) through ‘Nadis’.
The 7 Chakras
There are 3 major Nadis in the subtle body along the spinal cord: Ida (left side), Pingala (Right side), and Sushumna Nadi (Central).
7 Chakras are the converging point of Ida and Pingala Nadis which are the source of Sun and Moon energy in the body. Joining sun and moon energy at these places produces a powerful vortex of energy; hence it’s called ‘7 centers of energy’ (7 chakras).
Each Chakra has a different meaning & purpose which are identified by its unique characteristics.
Characteristics of 7 major chakras
It’s described using some key points. These are the following.
Location of Chakras: Location of a chakra represents the energy accumulation from massive nerves center at a specific position. These positions are 5 along the spine and rest 2 on the forehead and above forehead.
The element of Chakras: 5 elements of the physical body represents the first 5 chakras. Last 2 chakras (Ajna and Sahasrara) respectively representation of the mental body and consciousness.
Number of Petals in Chakras: Chakra also called Lotus and there is a specific number of petals considered for each Lotus or Chakra.
These lotus petals signify the number of Nadis meeting at the junction point. Higher the number of petals of a lotus, higher is the energy associated with a specific chakra.
Sound or Mantra of Chakras: All the 7 Chakras stimulate corresponding to a particular set of frequencies. The vibrations of the corresponding chakra are resonated through each Beej mantra. Beej mantra with daily meditation balances the energy of each chakra.
Color of Chakras: Energy emitted through each chakra gives a specific color, called ‘chakra’s color’. This emitted color through each chakra usually indicates the emotions, physical & spiritual state of a human being.
Now, you’ve been introduced the basics of Chakras, let’s discuss in-depth how each chakra associated with physical, mental, and every other aspect of your life.
We are going to discuss the following points about each chakra
- Location and chakras element
- Chakras Symbol, Color, Mantra
- Signs of balanced and imbalanced Chakras
- Healing of blocked chakras
1st Chakra – The Root Chakra – Muladhara
The meaning of Sanskrit term Muladhara denotes 1st Chakra significance i.e. Mula means Basic or Root and Dhara mean Support.
This 1st Chakra is responsible for the basic needs (Survival, Shelter, and Food) a person has to go through in their life. It defines our ability to survive and to stay grounded. Hence, the element of the Root chakra is Earth.
2nd Chakra – The Sacral Chakra – Svadhishthana
Located below the belly button and extended to its center, the 2nd in 7 chakras is – Svadhishthana Chakra.
Svadhishthana – Sva (One’s Own) + Adhishthana (Place). Also, sometimes it’s meaning derived from the world ‘Svad’ means ‘Activity of taking pleasure.’
Concluding meaning of the word Svadhishthana, 2nd Chakra is all about making you realize your identity as a human, son, brother, friend or a father, etc. with the world surrounding you.
Symbol of Sacral Chakra contains up-turned silver crescent moon inside an orange color circle. The silver crescent moon represents the water element of the sacral chakra. Also, 6 lotus petals cover circle circumference in which a unique Sanskrit syllable has written.
Qualities of Sacral Chakra
Qualities of Sacral Chakra associated with:
- Your ability to make decisions based on the response influenced by intelligence.
- Sense of sexual activity and expression is also the quality of sacral chakra.
- Your intuitional and creativity.
Sign of Balanced Sacral Chakra
Depression is literally a closing down of this chakra’s energy says Ambika Wauters 4 in her book “Healing with Energy of Chakras”.
Following signs are helpful in identifying if you have balanced sacral chakra
- A balanced sacral chakra let you enjoy every pleasure of life without being addicted or overdoing to it,
- You are more humble and strong at maintaining relations with people near you,
- Your perception towards the world and to yourself is the same hence building friendly and joyful bonds.
Signs of Overactive Sacral Chakra
When over energy is flowing through Sacral Chakra =
- You are more possibly to turn into a manipulative person
- Physical symptoms include – obesity, hormone imbalances, and restlessness
- With an overflow of energy through 2nd chakra, you become addicted to pleasures
- A person becomes lustful, and selfish person with an urge to be controllable.
How to Balance Sacral Chakra
To balance 2nd Overactive Chakra,
- Redirect the overactive energy of it in nearby chakra. For this, withdraw from addicted means of pleasures and be more grounded with natural things.
- Consider every action based on whether it’s healthy or nourishing for you, if not, skip it.
Signs of Underactive Sacral Chakra
You will start feeling the following signs when there is a deficiency of energy in Sacral Chakra
- Heeding to the practical things while forget to enjoy the process of working on something
- Physically you will suffer from low back pain, sexual dysfunction, and lack of sense of taste
- Psychologically you become emotionally unstable, have trust issues, and lack of passion
How to Energize Underactive Sacral Chakra –
Following practices are helpful to restore the energy state of Sacral Chakra.
- Reciting the seed sound “Vam” regularly while meditating.
- Keeping yourself close to water and water bodies is a way to level the depreciated level of energy (since the element of Sacral Chakra is water).
- Gems like Orange Aventurine, Orange Carnelian, Citrine, Orange Calcite, and Coral Calcite can help up the level of your Sacral Chakra
3rd Chakra – The Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura
The third Wheel of life is denoted by Manipura, which sits right at the center of the body. It is placed directly above the navel also associating itself with your digestive system.
‘Manipura‘ means the ‘Lustrous Gem‘ which is located in the center of the body. It has a symbol of a descending red triangle inside the circle that signifies your will power and individual identity.
The 10 number of Petals represent ten Pranas of vibrations in Solar plexus chakra. It has a yellow color comparing your light to that of the sun. The bright yellow color stands for the energy you hold for your personal and professional growth.
Its principal element is Fire associating with body organs Pancreas, Stomach, Liver, and Gall Bladder.
Qualities of Solar Plexus Chakra
The qualities associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra are:
- It is the meeting point of Prana and Apana (the second life force of total five i.e., Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, and Samana).
- Your consciousness and will power.
- It is linked with your ego and exertion of will power and self-control.
- Distribution of Nourishing elements in the body.
Signs of Balanced Solar Plexus Chakra
The following states indicate that your third Wheel is balanced.
- When you feel more determined and self-confident in whatever you do.
- Your will to seek the truth about your life grows further.
- You become more decisive, self-controlled, and affirmed about your intention and actions.
Signs of Overactive Solar Plexus Chakra
In the overactive state of Solar Plexus Chakra:
- You tend to become excessively authoritative and try to get control over people or surroundings.
- You try to speculate things more logically.
- Making plans and rigid limits over yourself are one of the examples of the overactive state of Solar Plexus Chakra.
Getting angry over little things is one of the most common issues arising due to the excited state of Manipura Chakra.
How to Balance Solar Plexus Chakra –
To ground the overactive Solar Plexus Chakra, you need to:
- Open up yourself with love and kindness to others.
- Show compassion and empathy for others as well as yourself.
- Give more time to yourself to realize your actions and assess them.
- Your actions must be such that they do not affect people in your surroundings negatively.
Signs of Underactive Solar Plexus Chakra
You are easily depressed when you go through a deficient state of Solar Plexus Chakra.
- In this state, you become less confidence; hence, losing your decision-making ability.
- You grow to become shyer and are unable to speak out your concern.
- You lose your ability to realize your self-worth, are more submissive, and less likely to respect yourself.
How to Energize Underactive Solar Plexus Chakra –
- Since the Bija Mantra associated with Solar Plexus Chakra is “Ram” chanting this seed sound is helpful to restore this Wheel to the energized state.
- The yellow-colored foods help stimulate the Underactive Solar Plexus Chakra. You can enrich your diet with turmeric, and eat yellow colored-fruits and vegetables. Cereals, flax seeds, and rice to boost your Manipura Chakra.
- Crystals that stimulate your Solar Plexus Chakra are Amber, Citrine, Lemon Quartz, Yellow Jasper, and Yellow Tourmaline.
4th Chakra – The Heart Chakra – Anahata
Sitting at the place where the heart is, this Wheel is at the Centre of the chest and signifies your Love, Compassion, and beauty in life.
This Fourth of the Seven Major Chakras is represented by green color which signifying the free flow of energy like air, hence has air as its element. 12 Lotus Petals denote this Chakra.
Heart Chakra has a symbol of two intertwined triangles (one ascending and the other descending) within a circle. Being centered at the chest, Anahata Chakra relates to your Open-heartedness, emotional balance, and harmony with others.
Heart Chakra encompasses the areas surrounding the heart, which are Lungs, Thymus, and liver. Since this Chakra is in line with heart, it is also associated with blood circulation.
Qualities of Heart Chakra
- This Chakra defines your ability to maintain relationships with people.
- Anahata Chakra is the Centre of your awareness and insight integration.
- How you love others and yourself determined through the Heart chakra.
- The strength of your heart is defined by heart chakra and how you share your love with compassion.
Sign of Balanced Heart Chakra
- One tends to feel love and compassion for yourself as you do for others.
- You treat everyone with unconditional affection, selflessly with compassion, and devotion.
- No matter how tense or sparse your situation is, you still have empathetic thoughts for others.
Signs of Overactive Heart Chakra
You sense to have been undergoing an overactive Heart Chakra if:
- You overexpress your feelings.
- Become too judgmental and jealous.
- Unable to Control your emotions or have grown too much affection to something or someone.
- You are undergoing a discerning relationships
- Your sentiments are ruling you.
- Saying yes has become your habit without even considering the pros and cons of it.
How to Balance Heart Chakra –
You can bring your Heart Chakra to a Balanced State by:
- Treating yourself with some visits to nature.
- Learning to love yourself and letting go is the first way to bring the Anahata Chakra to Balance.
- Learn to say no at times when necessary. Sometimes it the best way to heed to yourself.
- Remain kind and compassionate to others even at your worst.
Signs of Underactive Heart Chakra
The underactive heart chakra is when you experiencing:
- Lack emotions for others.
- You are hard to be kind to others or compassionate.
- It is hard to get involved in love relationships for you.
How to Energize Underactive Heart Chakra –
You can raise your energy level of underactive Heart chakra using these simple acts.
- Green is the primary color, so have green food, take walks in the places full of greenery surrounding yourself with this color.
- Practice reciting the chant of “Yum” while meditating to up the level of heart Chakra.
- Wear gems that enhance your Heart Chakra namely Malachite (that prevents negativity from entering you and pacifying heart chakra energy level), Epidote (to enhance good intentions), and Chrysoprase (to bring more joy and positivity).
5th Chakra – The Throat Chakra – Vishuddha
Vishuddha (means Purity and Clarity) Chakra sits at the center of the neck on throat navel hence also known as Throat Chakra. Located in the vicinity of the vocal cords, the Throat Chakra signifies the ability to speak and hear the truth.
This Chakra is identified by the color blue/turquoise blue and has 16 Lotus petals (higher density of Nadis compared to the lower Chakras). Throat Chakra is also associated with thyroid, neck, jaws, vocal cords, tongue, and mouth.
Throat Chakra symbolizes using a circle inside a descending triangle with a crescent moon defines your pure instinct and communication ability. This Chakra has air and sound as elements signifying one’s open-heartedness, compassion, and self-expression.
The other names by which this fifth Chakra is known by are KanthPadma and ShodsashDala. Most commonly, the throat chakra is known by Vishuddha, which refers to purification.
Qualities of Throat Chakra
The qualities of Throat Chakra include:
- Your ability to express the truth and listen to the truth.
- This Chakra is where you develop your ability to be creative and realize your purpose.
- Vishuddha Chakra defines your verbal and non-verbal communication as well as internal and non-internal communication.
Sign of Balanced Throat Chakra
When your Throat Chakra is in the aligned state:
- You are more precise about your thought process and communication.
- Your creative side to the world is better reflected.
- You are affirmed about your purpose.
Signs of Overactive Throat Chakra
Sings of Hyper State of Throat Chakra include:
- Losing control over your speech.
- Your words sound hurtful.
- Manipulative words or thoughts start creeping into your mind.
How to Balance Throat Chakra –
Calm your hyped state of Vishuddha Chakra by:
- Practicing to listen more and speak less.
- Inculcating Patience and thinking about what you are to talk about and to whom.
- Keeping close to the blue sky or ocean, since the blue color is the indicator of Throat Chakra.
Signs of Underactive Throat Chakra
When your Throat Chakra is underactive, you’ll experience:
- A slurry and less confident speech.
- Lack of ability to express yourself.
- Less communication with the people.
- Feeling scared while expressing your views.
How to Energize Underactive Throat Chakra –
Try these simple ways to amplify the deficient Throat Chakra:
- Get involved yourself in Art and creativity more.
- Chant the Bija Mantra (Seed Sound)- Hum/Ham often while Meditating.
- Wear Blue Stones and Gems that help you escalate the lower energy levels, which are: Azurite, Lapis, Turquoise, Lazuli, Sodalite, and Aquamarine.
6th Chakra – The Third-Eye Chakra – Ajna
The Third Eye Chakra is also known as Ajna Chakra located in the Centre of the forehead between the eyebrows. It is also referred to as the Brow Chakra due to its location (in the space between the eyes).
Ajna Chakra is in connection with our Lower Brain, Pituitary Gland, & Spine affecting our sixth sense. Third Eye Chakra has 96 Lotus petals indicating a much higher density of energy or higher frequency of energy due to number of Nadis converging.
The symbol of a descending triangle denotes the Third Eye Chakra with a crescent within a circle. The Indigo color of third-eye chakra symbolizes wisdom, Intuition, and self-awakening.
The elements of Brow Chakra are Psychic or Extrasensory perception. It affects the functions of eyes, ears, nose, pineal glands, and pituitary gland.
Qualities of Third-Eye Chakra
Qualities related to Ajna Chakra are:
- Your ability to perceive the concepts between life and death through wisdom.
- Visualizing the surroundings using the third eye that physically does not exist.
- Recognizing patterns and correlating them to a bigger picture hence bringing clarity and subtleness.
Sign of Balanced Third-Eye Chakra
- It is believed that once Third Eye Chakra gets balanced, your eyes reflect it with a sparkle.
- Your vision becomes far, and metabolism gets stronger with more strength generating in the upper body.
- Memory becomes sharper, and your tendency to think wisely and calmly is at its optimum.
Signs of Overactive Third-Eye Chakra
The overactive state of Third Eye Chakra has drastic effects on your psychological behavior. These include:
- Fantasizing more often.
- Continuous or excessive flow of thoughts can make you mentally drained.
- Even the easiest of decisions can be hard to take in the hyper state of Ajna Chakra.
- Hallucinations, Anxiety are the most common experiences of the excessive state of Ajna Chakra.
How to Balance Third-Eye Chakra –
- To calm the hyperactive state of this Chakra, connect yourself to ground.
- To balance this state, a simple way to bring a solution is to work on the lower level chakras (Heart, Throat, and Sacral).
- Get off the Decision-making chair and get some rest to let your senses get in line.
- Before judging others quickly, question yourself.
Signs of Underactive Third-Eye Chakra
This Chakra is said to be in a deficient state if:
- You feel intimidated by your thoughts often.
- Stress, Depression, and Anxiety are getting a daily business to deal with.
- It is hard to remember even the simplest things and events.
How to Energize Underactive Third-Eye Chakra –
Practice these to Vitalize your Third-Eye Chakra:
- Eat healthily and put some blueberries, raspberries, grapes, Wine, and blackberries on your table.
- Chant the Seed Sound “Om/Aum” associated with Ajna Chakra frequently while meditating.
- Wear Third-Eye Chakra Stones to bring the Ajna Chakra to the Vital State, namely Indigo/Blue Kyanite, Phenacite, Satyaloka Quartz, and Tanzanite.
7th Chakra – The Crown Chakra – Sahasrara
The final and the topmost Chakra that sits outside of the body is The Crown Chakra. This Chakra is also known as Sahasrara translated into a Thousand Petals.
Situated a little over of your head, Sahasrara governs your entire consciousness and is signifies your self-awareness with respect to the outer world’s. Violet color indicates of this chakra represent your presence of being beyond the physical connections.
Sahasrara is where your spiritual Centre is located. This Chakra is a gateway to meet the divine. When your Crown Chakra is Open, you reach the highest level of consciousness.
Crown Chakra is the Centre where all the lower level Chakras integrate with their respective traits. It is said that once you master your lower level chakras, you are more likely to balance your Crown as well.
Qualities of Crown Chakra
Characteristics of Crown Chakra are:
- This Chakra defines your consciousness and is considered as the Gateway to meet the Universe and the creator of the Universe.
- The energy associated with Crown Chakra unravels the mystery of the universe through harmony and oneness.
- Crown Chakra helps you drop your pride and ego and think beyond selfishness and other confinements.
Sign of Balanced Crown Chakra
There has not been any tangible evidence yet as who has reached this energy level so far. But when your Crown Chakra is balanced,
- You attain the highest level of consciousness and enlightenment.
- You feel most joyful, peaceful, happiest feeling connected with universal creatures.
- Expecting nothing in return, you envision everything and everyone equally.
Signs of Overactive Crown Chakra
- Though it is said that you can turn into an egomaniac, proud, and selfish with the intention to rule once you experience an overdrive of the Sahasrara.
- This is where you are most likely to misuse your power and senses.
How to Balance Crown Chakra –
In case of an overactive Crown Chakra, you need to descend your energy to the lower parts of the ladder to bring the Crown Chakra to a calming level.
- Think about the Universal principle, everything is connected, and we are all made of the same elements.
- Live in gratitude, learn to trust more, and once you realize you have everything to survive, help others in need with what you have.
- Go out facing the sun, let the light shine on you.
Signs of Underactive Crown Chakra
- It is considered normal to experience the underactive state of Crown Chakra.
- In some cases, the underactive state can lead you to remain aloof and disconnected.
- You are least likely to experience any spiritual connection.
- Loneliness and meaninglessness are the common traits of a deficient Crown Chakra State.
- When you possess wisdom and knowledge, but you don’t agree to share it with others.
How to Energize Underactive Crown Chakra –
The first step to work towards enlightenment is to let the ego vanish. (I am the same as everyone, I know my purpose, I serve my purpose without expectations).
- To vitalize your underactive Crown Chakra, practice reciting Bija Mantra “Om/Aum” while meditating.
- Wear Kyanite to enhance the energy-level of Crown Chakra.
- Eat herbal foods like Sage, Juniper, Myrrh, and Copal to restore your energy level.
There is always a fight between balance and imbalance. When your chakras are aligned and open, your mind body and soul are at their healthiest level.
However, imbalances tend to manifest themselves and that is when problems arise. You feel defeated, lethargic, unhappy and depressed. Overcoming them is not always about taking medicine. Sometimes the answer is very simple and requires a little physical activity.
And yet other times it becomes necessary to supplement it with medical care. Whatever be the problem, most things can be healed by opening up your chakras. Don’t be cynical and rule out the goodness of yoga. Learn more about it and embrace it in your lives to make it more worthwhile.