We have lost the magical possibilities that are inherent in our wonderful bodies. Too often, we look at our own bodies in a way that diminishes us. Airbrushed images in the media offer an ideal that glorifies anorexic teen bodies. Our medical system promotes constant testing to find a disease, a search for illness instead of health. We see our bodies as inert systems beyond our control.
Yoga and Taoism recognize a more integrated view of the body, based on our innate energy and powers to heal and grow. The Chakras are one system that affirms our constantly regenerating healthful system. For millenia, chakras have been recognized as essential to life. These spinning vortices of energy are actually regions of mind power, each one governing certain aspects of our inner being.
Charas stay healthy and balanced through energy healing, which can include:
- Conscious breathing
- Tai Chi
- Chakra meditation
- Acupressure and acupuncture
Often the chakras are envisioned starting at the base of the spine and moving up. This list details the chakra name, location, color, and function.
- Root (1st) — Base of the spine; red; governs survival instincts, grounding.
- Sacral (2nd) — Lower abdomen; orange; governs sexuality, intuition, self-worth/-esteem.
- Solar Plexus (3rd) — Upper abdomen; yellow; governs impulse control, ego.
- Heart (4th) — Center of the chest; green; governs compassion, spirituality.
- Throat (5th) — Throat; blue; governs communication, emotion.
- Third Eye (6th) — Between the eyes; purple; governs rationality, wisdom, imagination.
- Crown (7th) — Top of the head; indigo; governs connection with the Divine.
Another way to envision chakras is from the top, the highest consciousness:
|Sahasrara – thousand-petaled or crown chakra is the topmost chakra in the subtle body, located in the crown of the head. It is considered to be the highest spiritual center and the state of pure consciousness, within which there is neither object nor subject. When the feminine Kundalini Shakti rises to this point, it unites with the masculine Shiva, the yogi or yogini achieves self-realization and a state of liberating samadhi is attained. The chakra is symbolized by a lotus with one thousand multi-coloured petals.In esoteric Buddhism, it is called Mahasukha and is generally considered to be the petal lotus of “Great Bliss” and corresponding to the fourth state of Four Noble Truths|
|Ajna – guru chakra or third-eye chakra is the subtle center of energy, located between the eyebrows, along the subtle (non-physical) spinal column. This is the spot where the tantra guru touches the seeker during the initiation ritual (saktipata). He or she commands the awakened kundalini to pass through this center. It is symbolised by a lotus with two petals. It is at this point that the two side nadi Ida (yoga) and Pingala are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Sushumna, signifying the end of duality, the characteristic of being dual (e.g. light and dark, or male and female).|
|Vishuddhaor throat chakra is located at the base of subtle body’s throat. It is symbolized as a sixteen petaled lotus. The Vishuddha is iconographically represented with 16 petals covered with the sixteen Sanskrit vowels. It is associated with the element of space (akasha) and has the seed syllable of the space element Ham at its center. The residing deity is Panchavaktra shiva, with 5 heads and 4 arms, and the Shakti is Shakini. In esoteric Buddhism, it is called Sambhoga and is generally considered to be the petal lotus of “Enjoyment” and corresponding to the third state of Four Noble Truths.|
|Anahata the heart chakra is located in or behind the heart. It is symbolized by a lotus with twelve petals. Within it is a yantra of two intersecting triangles, forming a hexagram, symbolising a union of the male and female as well as being the esoteric symbol for the element of air (vayu). The seed mantra of air, Yam, is at its center. The presiding deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, and the Shakti is Kakini.
In esoteric Buddhism, this Chakra is called Dharma and is generally considered to be the petal lotus of “Essential nature” and corresponding to the second state of Four Noble Truths.
|Manipura (the nabhi chakra or the solar plexus/navel chakra, is located in the navel region along the subtle body’s spinal column For the Nath yogi meditation system, this is described as the Madhyama-Shakti or the intermediate stage of self-discovery. This chakra is represented as an upward pointing triangle representing fire in the middle of a lotus with ten petals. The seed syllable for fire is at its center Ram. The presiding deity is Braddha Rudra, with Lakini as the Shakti|
|Svadhishthana or sacral chakra is located at the root of the sexual organ along the spine in the subtle body. It is symbolised as a six-petaled lotus. Svadhisthana is represented with a lotus within which is a crescent moon symbolizing the water element. The seed mantra in its center is Vam representing water. The presiding deity is Brahma, with the Shakti being Rakini (or Chakini).
In esoteric Buddhism, it is called Nirmana and is generally considered to be the petal lotus of “Creation.”
|Muladhara the root chakra located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region of the subtle body. Dormant Kundalini is resting here, wrapped three and a half, or seven or twelve times. Sometimes she is wrapped around the black Svayambhu linga, the lowest of three obstructions to her full rising (also known as knots or granthis).It is symbolised as a four-petaled lotus with a yellow square at its center representing the element of earth. The seed syllable is Lam for the earth element (pronounced lum),. All sounds, words and mantras in their dormant form rest in the muladhara chakra, where Ganesha resides, while the Shakti is Dakini. The associated animal is the elephant.|