Chakras – What are Chakras?

Most people are aware of our physical, emotional and mental bodies that exist within us…. but are we in touch with our spiritual or energetic body? As a whole we have these four bodies and they are inter-linked. The energetic body comprises of the Aura – an energetic field that radiates around us and the chakras, which are the connection points between our aura and our physical, mental and emotional bodies. Firstly, the definition of Chakra is a swirling vortex of energy permeating from points in the physical body found in the subtle/energetic body.

The word chakra, found in yogic texts, derives from the Sanskrit word for wheel or sometimes referred to as padmas which means lotus. Chakras are not normally seen – unless clairvoyant (a person with the gift to see energy, an extra sensory perception), but if we were able to see the chakras they are described as colourful spinning wheels or lotus flowers. The spinning wheel concept indicates that they are moving, active, vibrating energy points found in living beings. The lotus flower represents that, like a plant it is something that grows with development, so in us some of our energy centres have not fully bloomed.

Clairvoyants perceive the chakras as colourful energy centres. Each chakra represents a colour of the spectrum, or rainbow. Root: Red, Sacral: Orange, Solar Plexus: Yellow, Heart: Green/Pink, Throat: Light Blue, Third Eye: Indigo, Crown: Violet/White. In the western world we concentrate on the seven main chakras, located vertically from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Studies have shown that the location of the chakras correlate to western anatomy and physiology, each of the seven main chakras are linked to the major glands or nerve plexus within the body. For example the Manipura (Third Chakra) is the solar plexus chakra located at the solar nerve plexus. An interesting point to make is that the location of each of these nerve plexus or glands corresponds to where some of the common psychosomatic illnesses manifest. Hence, there is a link to the health of our energy levels and our physical wellbeing.

Each chakra represents different aspects in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. They each have a colour, crystal, essential oil, angel and yoga pose that can aid healing, balance and activation. The size, brightness, and movement are individual depending on everyone’s development, physical condition, energy level, dis-ease or stress.

Chakras can be visualised, using meditation and imagining the chakras you can activate and balance your own energy centres. A simple visualization for each chakra is to imagine a ball of coloured light (the colour that represents the desired chakra) located at the specific chakra and imagine with every breath the coloured ball of light grows.

Using colour is an easy way to elevate your energy levels – applying the principles of colour theory; each colour can have a different effect on your system. For example, light blue is generally tranquil – calming the mind and allowing thoughts to be perceived more clearly. Or yellow has a bright uplifting effect, instilling vitality, self-esteem and spontaneity.

If the chakras are not balanced or energy is blocked it can have a knock-on effect on your physical, emotional or mental body – well, in fact it is the emotional or mental block that generally causes an energy blockage. Most of us have one or more of our chakras out of balance at any given point in time. These subtle differences may be the very reason for each of our individual personalities. However, more obvious imbalances or blockages can have a huge effect on both our physical and mental well-being.

The body gives us clues to the state of our wellbeing. Unbalanced chakras can leave one feeling tired, listless or just not right. At they give a great example: a sore throat can be an indication that the 5th (Throat) chakra needs balancing; headaches can hint that we need to work on our 6th (Third Eye) chakra; constipation may nudge us into looking at our base chakra. Alternatively, you can draw from your behaviour. Are you often fearful, lacking in confidence and self-esteem? Work with your 3rd (solar plexus) chakra. Do you find you have sexual relationships but can’t connect on an emotional level? You may well need to focus on both the 1st (base) and 4th (heart) chakras. If you’re feeling too spacey and drifting away from the “real world” you may need to
ground yourself with your 1st (base) chakra.

A balance allows the chakras or individual energy points to be open to the universal energy flow. So by cultivating an inner awareness we can keep check on our state of being. Yoga is one practice that promotes this inner awareness, connecting to the power of the breath, moving the body and stilling the mind. As the physical body is a great indicator as to how we are doing energetically therefore by aligning the body and relieving discomfort we are automatically balancing the energetic body. Just like many people go to a chiropractor or kinesiologist to align their body, a yoga asana (posture) practice will have a similar effect. As the term chakra was first mentioned in yogic texts, it is the fundamental reason for practicing yoga to balance and activate the chakras, to align the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies – to become one. The true purpose of yoga is to sit comfortable in Padmasana (lotus pose, seated pose) and meditate, which allows you to access and harness your energetic field and use the chakras as a path leading from the material physical world to the world of universal intelligence, intuition and inspiration.

Information sourced from my teacher Paul Dallaghan at Yoga Thailand, Chakra Yoga by Alan Finger, The Chakra Bible by Patricia Mercier &

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