“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “spinning wheel.”
Each chakra is associated with a certain part of the body and a certain organ which it provides with the energy it needs to function. Additionally, just as every organ in the human body has its equivalent on the mental and spiritual level, so too every chakra corresponds to a specific aspect of human behaviour and development.
By working with these centres in yoga practice, we can begin to unravel any blocks that may prevent the unfolding into our highest potential.
- Root Chakra (Muladhara)is located at the base of the spine. It is symbolized by the colour red and a lotus with four petals. Muladhara represents the centre of instincts, stability of mind and body, survival and self-sufficiency. A positive balance in the Muladhara Chakra would be mental and physical health and prosperity. It is related to the adrenal glands and reproductive organs.
- Sacral Chakra (Svadishthana)is located at the lower abdomen between the belly button and pubic bone. It is symbolized by the colour orange and a lotus with six petals and its issues are creativity, pleasure/pain, relationships, and emotions. A positive balance in the Svadhisthana Chakra would be represented by stability in one’s sexuality, sensuality, and emotions. It is related to the reproductive system.
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)is located at the solar plexus (between belly button and bottom of rib cage). It is symbolized by the colour yellow and a triangle within a lotus with ten petals. Its issues are personal power, self-esteem, wilfulness and energy, and it is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. A healthy balance in the Manipura Chakra would be shown as having motivation, purpose, and confidence.
- Heart Chakra (Anahata)is located at the heart (centre of the chest). It is symbolized by the colour green and a lotus with 12 petals. Its issues are love, acceptance, and trust. Anahata is the centre of compassion, and a positive balance in the heart chakra would be showing sensitivity and unconditional love for self and others. It is related to the immune and endocrine systems.
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddhi) islocated at the throat. It is represented by the colour blue and a crescent within a 16 petaled lotus, and its issues are communication, inspiration, expression, and faith. A healthy balance in the Vissudha Chakra would be shown as fluent and clear thought, creative written and spoken expression, and wisdom. It is related to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
- Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)is located between the eyebrows, just above the bridge of the nose. It is represented by a deep indigo blue and a lotus with two petals. Ajna is thought to be the point at which the two nadis (energy channels), Ida and Pingala, merge becoming the center that controls all higher mental activities including psychic, emotional, and mental intelligence, and insight. Someone with a healthy and balanced sixth chakra would have a keen imagination and intellect, strong intuition, and deep spiritual awareness. It is related to the pineal gland which produces the hormones serotonin and melatonin.
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)is located at the crown (top) of the head. It is represented by the colour white or violet and is considered to be the center of wisdom and pure consciousness. Its issues are devotion, inspiration, selflessness, and spiritual understanding. It is related to the pituitary gland and also connects to the central nervous system. Someone with a healthy and balanced seventh chakra would have highly developed emotional awareness and may even reach a higher spiritual state of bliss or unity with the divine.