What are these chakras you speak of???
The subject of chakras may seem like a far-out concept to someone that is not familiar with them. It’s understandable, as they are a foreign concept in Western culture. Simply put, the chakras are seven points of energy that are located along the spine from the base to the top of the head. Starting from the bottom and moving upward, the seven chakras are the root, sacral, solar plexus (or navel), heart, throat, third eye, and crown.
The Physical Aspect
In sanskrit, chakra translates to wheel or disc. So, you can imagine each chakra as a whirpool of energy in your body. For balanced chakras, the idea is for your energy to move freely through each of these points. These points where the chakras are located correspond with nerve centers and major organs in your body. If that concept seems abstract, take a deep breath and feel how the air moves in and down your body. As you exhale, feel it travel back up and out. Energy moves through your body just like your breath.
Here is a list of the parts of body related to each of the chakras:
Root – hips, legs, lower back, sexual organs, and reproductive glands (testes in men; ovaries in women)
Sacral -Women’s sexual organs, kidneys, bladder, the large intestine, and adrenal glands
Solar Plexus – stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and small intestine
Heart – heart, lungs, circulatory system, shoulders, and upper back
Throat – throat, neck, teeth, ears, and thyroid gland
Third Eye – eyes, face, brain, lymphatic and endocrine system
Crown – not associated with a physical component, but rather, the spirit
Similar to how our circulatory system moves nutrients and oxygen through our bodies (ideally, without blockages), our energy needs to travel the same. If it doesn’t, we tend to have issues within the areas of the body where our energy gets stuck. That is why some Eastern philosophies believe our chakras are an important factor in our overall health.
Does the concept of energy still seem weird? Maybe this will help you conceptualize it without getting too deep. Consider this: the act of burning calories actually occurs with the release of carbon through your body, not the act of physical movement itself. That’s right, you burn calories by pumping an invisible gas through your body. (Here’s a good sciencey article for reference: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287046.php) Our body is way more complex than just the physical aspects we’re conditioned to pay attention to. Which is a good segue to the next part we’ll discuss!
Emotional Representation in your Chakras
Just like each chakra has body parts they relate to for physical health, they also have emotions and/or feelings they’re associated with.
Here’s another handy list for reference:
Root – sense of security, feeling connected and supported, emotional strength, trust
Sacral – the center for sexual energy, creativity, and emotional expression.
Solar Plexus – sense of self, wholeness, self-respect, compassion, self-esteem, personal power, confidence, hope, and assertiveness
Heart – our center of love, spirituality, humanity, and healing
Throat – communication, self expression, truthfulness and honesty
Third Eye – inner vision, sense of unity, perspective, empathy, understanding, and intuition.
Crown – spiritual awareness, integration of whole, consciousness, sense of purpose, devotion.
As complex and difficult to understand as emotions may be, there is science behind their link to our physical bodies, via our nervous system. (You can read more about that here: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/biology-of-emotion/) So as our chakras move energy through points of our body associated with the physical elements, they also have an impact on our emotions as well. And once again, blocks in any of these areas can effect our overall emotional well-being. Another good reason to pay attention to these things!
At this point you might be thinking, “Okay, okay. What do I need to do to keep these wheels greased and the energy flowing??” Thanks to the growing popularity of Eastern culture in the West, it’s easier than ever. The most simple and effective ways are through yoga and breathwork (also called, pranayama). Similar to physical exercise for carbon emission to burn calories, focused movement and conscious breathing exercises can help open up blocked energy centers for healthy chakras. While any type of yoga is beneficial, Kundalini is a type of yoga specifically geared toward it. Additionally, Ayurvedic treatments, diet, acupuncture, sound healing, visual techniques, and essential oils are other numerous ways to help balance them. There are plethora of resources just a quick Google away.
With holistic medicine becoming increasingly popular, attention to our chakras is another step to achieving a healthy mind-body balance. Hopefully this article has helped shed some light on the seemingly esoteric subject of chakras.