We know through science and may experience for ourselves that our physical bodies are encircled and held by an electromagnetic field, analogous to the flowing energy field that encircles and emanates from Mother Earth. The field protects us, and creates our environ through which we interact with the world. Everything is experienced because we’re both surrounded by our own personal force field, and the insides of our bodies contain electrical generators, which the body uses to send signals through our body and experiences our environment. The focus of that field is at our core, running from below our feet through to above our head. In the Eastern tradition the focuses of that field are called chakras. They are not really points, but focuses, spinning energy points of that larger field, interconnected to our mind and body and spirit. (In the eastern and western mystic traditions these are not separate things, but one interconnected aspect of our being.) Virtually every single process which is keeping you alive can be traced back to that field and those energy focuses.
There are seven major chakras, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. These spheres of energy, aligned with the spine, keep us vibrant and healthy. The Sanskrit word Chakra translates as “wheel” or “disk”. In the eastern tradition the invisible, healing energy is called Prana, the vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.
First Chakra: In Sanskrit, Muladhara, the Root Chakra is the lowest chakra and connects us to Mother Earth. Through this chakra we experience stability, security, and our basic needs. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless. It is also one of the paths through which we connect to others, like spokes of a a single wheel, through the Muladhara we connect to the spoke and others experiencing our interconnection and “oneness”.
Second Chakra: The Svadhisthana , the Sacral Chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel. It holds much of our life force and vitality.
Third Chakra: The Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra resides between the navel to breastbone. The third chakra is our source of personal identity and power. When people refer to feeling something “in their gut” or “butterflies in their stomach” this is us feeling our Solar Plexus. It contains our “inner wisdom”, that which we know is true for us, versus what for which the world is trying to convince us.
The Fourth Chakra: The Anahata, the Heart Chakra, is the Connection Between Matter and Spirit. Located at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection. It contains both our passion and compassion, and therefore guides how we connect to others. Sometimes it is described as if it is two aspects, but in truth this is a single, connecting chakra.
The last three chakras are the Chakras of Spirit.
Fifth Chakra: The Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra, is the fifth chakra found at the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our truth. But the throat chakra may be used in silent prayer, meditation, and empathetic expression. It is another sphere of connection to others through our sharing and blessing.
Sixth Chakra: The Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra, is located in between the eyebrows. It connects mind to spirit. The Ajna is our center of intuition, or “seeing in a different way”. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its guidance and warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help hone this ability.
Seventh Chakra: The Sahaswara, the Crown Chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher/highest selves. It is a focus of connection to others, the communal consciousness, and ultimately to the divine.
The Importance of the Major Chakras in the Body and Relation to Wellness
Wellness: We have all met people who are physically well, but in whom we can feel that they are feeble, or that their life force is weak. And then there are others, like newborn babies, who just radiate that vitality of life. In them the life force is strong and we would say that their chakras are “open”, vital and flowing. And we can feel and see that vitality. And that vitality is not actually limited by age or circumstance. It is an internal, powerful force.
These chakras, swirling spheres of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven major chakras contain our body, electromagnetic flow, bundles of nerves, and major organs. And each is part of our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. This is not a static energy, rather verything is moving, spinning, flowing. It’s essential that our seven chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flow will be restricted.
Balance: In the eastern tradition, wellness is found through balance. Mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected. The condition of these energy centers can affect the physical organs that are found within their vicinity in the body. Our bodies are in constant flux between balance and imbalance. The chakras impact emotional, spiritual and mental aspects such as: feelings of security and "groundedness"; artistic creativity and enjoyment; motivation or drive; connection and love; assertiveness, communication and self expression; intuition and self confidence; feelings of ecstasy and blissfulness. Awareness of an imbalance in one area through chakra meditation will help bring the others back into balance. Awareness is the first step in detecting any imbalances. Then through the use of techniques such as meditation and yoga sequences, crystal healing, and Reiki, one can work towards improved energy flow and balance. These techniques, beginning with meditation, can open the chakras, restore the balance, and strengthen our life force, sense of well being, and connection to spirit.
- Aum Shanti