The chakra system holds your body’s energy and your actions can help keep it in balance. The Sanskrit word for chakra translates to a wheel or disc. There are seven main chakras that align along the spine, starting from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Chakras are a spinning force of energy that is not seen by a human eye but can be felt and sensed through intuition. For example the different chakra vortexes lay along your spine but their energy expands past and through the sides, front, and back of your body. The health of one’s chakra is directly related to the health of our physical body, mind, and emotional wellbeing. It is also what I call our motherboard!
The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC in the oldest text known as the Vedas. Evidence of chakras, spelled cakra is also found in many sacred Hindu treatises written in Sanskrit such as the Shri Jabala Darshana Upanishad, the Cudamini Upanishad, the Yoga-Shikka Upanishad and the Shandilya Upanishad. According to scholar Anodea Judith, knowledge of the chakra system was passed down through oral tradition by Indo-European people, known as the Aryan people. The chakra system was originally Eastern philosophy until New Age authors, such as Anodea Judith who resonated with the idea of the chakra system and wrote about them, expanding on older texts and making the knowledge of them more accessible.
Each chakra holds beliefs, emotions, and memories related to different areas of our lives. The lower chakras are related to Earthly matter such as survival.
The first: The Muladhara is the chakra of stability and security, our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae as well as the bladder and colon. When this chakra is open we feel safe and fearless.
The second: The Svadhisthana chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the naval and is responsible for our creative expression.
The third: The Manipura chakra is the area from the navel to the breastbone. This chakra is the source of our personal power.
The fourth chakra is the connection between matter and spirit. Located at the heart center, the fourth chakra, Anahata acts as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection. When we work through our physical chakras (the first three), we can open up to our spiritual chakras (the last three) more fully.
The fifth: The Vishuddha chakra is located in the area of the throat. It is our source of verbal expression and where our ability to speak our highest truth comes from. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, jaw, mouth, and tongue.
The sixth: The Ajna chakra is located between your eyebrows. It is often referred to as the third eye chakra. Ajna is the center for our intuition.
The seventh: The Sahasrara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra on enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves and to others.
Awareness of your chakras being out of balance is the key to aligning them. Our bodies are in constant flux between being balanced and imbalanced. Sometimes it is difficult to know when one of our chakras are being blocked so it is important to be aware of your body’s constant signals to alert you to a possible blockage. For example experiencing constant headaches around your forehead could indicate that your fifth chakra is being blocked. When healing the chakras it is wise to start from the ground up. For example starting with your root chakra, exploring ideas regarding your safety, security, and nourishment. From there you can move up the spine; the health of the lower chakras is crucial to the health of the upper. Without a sense of grounding it may feel jarring to our bodies to open up the third eye or crown chakra that are related to our intuition and higher knowing.
Our chakras change moment by moment because they are the energy center. What you eat has an influence on your chakra.While chakras are unseen energy points there are certain foods that are beneficial to keeping your chakras balanced. Each chakra is associated with a color for example Muladhara, the Root chakra’s color is Red. The color scale will help you remember the type of foods that are beneficial to the specific chakra as well as making sure you’re making a balanced dish by combining the different foods on your plate. Continuing on the Root chakra being red, foods that are good to eat are root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, radishes,beets, or parsnips. Spices that suit it are pepper and paprika.
Similarly to how food can help balance our chakras, yoga postures, breathing practices, and mediation also help us regain alignment. Just as each chakra has its placement on our spine and place in our bodies, yoga and yoga poses allow us to focus on areas of our bodies. For example if you are trying to unblock your fifth chakra or Vishuddha chakra doing stretches that help open your back and front sides of your neck will be beneficial. A good pose for that is the Plow. Similarly for strengthening your crown chakra a good pose would be Savasana or Corpse Pose, this is because your chakra is about connecting you to your eternal self– your soul– and reminding you of where you’ve been and where you’ll go.
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