Chakras which means 7 wheels of energetic light that run up our spine and beyond our skull is a yoga subject that comes easy to me. One that I can speak about with great ease therefore I'm so grateful that Ramapo College of New Jersey keeps on inviting me to teach about the chakras each Fall.
Since yoga refers to the chakra system as being part of the subtle body, meaning it is not obvious, my suggestion in learning about the chakras is to feel and experience them while practicing yoga postures. In other words try not to over analyze them. After all chakras are energy, so understanding them is meant to be abstract. For this reason I generally make references to images in nature as physical chakra examples. Within this post is a collection of nature pictures followed by a brief chakra description that may help your chakra study.
The red leaves pictured above represent muladhara chakra, the 1st chakra. It is red in color and is referred to as the root chakra as it is associated with the earth element. The root chakra is located at the base of our pelvis and governs the energy within our lower limbs. It embodies all emotions related to our family, money, home and survival. When our root chakra is off balance it is difficult to move forward. Symptoms maybe an aching knee, tight hamstrings or a flat tire.
Svadhistana chakra is the 2nd chakra. It is orange in color and is associated with the water element. Found in the reproductive body this chakra is where our likes and dislikes are formed. Liking on Facebook, enjoying a cup of coffee and admiring the person who just walked by comes from this energy center. As a result of the second chakra being responsible for our likes and interests this is the physical area from where our creativity as well as babies are born.
Manipura chakra is our 3rd chakra and is yellow in color. It is located below our sternum and above our navel. This energy center is from where the sun's golden rays enter us and ignites our inner fire. Sometimes our light is dim and feelings of depression and anxiety swell while on other days our fire is raging inside and our inner flames makes our head burn. This would be the day when our ego, anger, jealousy or other vices block our way. As yogis we strive for the golden middle. To have an inner light that isn't to low or high. When this center is balanced we can truthfully and peacefully move forward.
Anahata Chakra is our 4th chakra. It is related to the air element and is located in the center of our chest and shoulder blades. Green in color this energy center is from where we receive and give love and abundance. Our 4th chakra moves beyond our heart and shoulder blade's center and through our shoulders, arms and hands. When this center is off balance our arms maybe sore from helping others most of the time or weak as a result of not giving enough love to our self.
With this being said I have a theory of my own where I believe there is another ray of swirling light emerging from just above our 4th chakra. It is in the area of our chest where a pendant of a necklace falls. I see this center as pink light that has the potential to blossom. It governs all feelings associated with self love, hope and doubt. When this center is off balance it is high time to set some boundaries, sit in a hot tub or ashram like retreat and give to yourself. Once you feel whole and healed, then you can take care of others.
Vishuddha chakra is our 5th chakra. Blue in color it is associated with space and ether. Found in our throat it is from where our inner speech meets the outer world. When it is off balance our communication is not truthful. A sore throat, congestion, loss for words and stuttering from a chakra healing viewpoint is caused by speaking from your ego, remember the third chakra's high burning flames and being ruled by anger, greed, lust and jealousy. To speak in good health you need to study you and learn your truth. This isn't easy and doesn't just come to you overnight but if you start with speaking words that feel good in your gut then you're on the right path to being a wordsmith.
Ajna chakra is our 6th chakra. Purple in color, it like our throat chakra is associated with space and ether. Ajna chakra is found within our third eye. The area between our brow line. It is from where our vision can be clear or clouded. When it is off balance we see what causes us pain and suffering as only being negative. When this chakra is open and healthy we see everything that is good, bad and neutral as beautiful because it is part of the higher plan. This sentiment is why my site Glamorous Yogini posts beauty, no matter what is going on. It doesn't mean that pain and suffering is avoided. Rather it is felt, processed and understood to be just like any other step on the path. Ajna chakra also governs beyond the third eye and into our sinuses and ears. Meaning you can hear sweetness or fowl sounds. It is up to you.
Sahasrara chakra is our 7th chakra. It is found at the crown of our head. It like our 5th and 6th chakras is made up of space and ether. White light in color, I like to call this energy center from where we like our computer is either connected or not to the internet. In our case our connection is to the world beyond our everyday life. When we are connected to others we realize that the little piece of paper we threw on the street isn't serving our community or working for only our personal benefit isn't going to help the world move forward. If your days are only about you perhaps you suffer from headaches and dizziness, signs of lack of connection. Practicing headstands along with other inversions can help in balancing your crown chakra because they make you focus, more courageous as well as shift your perspective. However I find spending some quiet time with yourself and analyzing if your thoughts, words and actions come from a whole hearted space or not is the best way you can heal, open and connect your crown chakra to what's beyond your reality. My suggestion is to meditate on a regular basis to get this chakra working.