“Chakras” is a word you might have heard often, but what are they?
What are the Chakras?
They are a bridge that connects the material world to pure consciousness
According to the Indian Yogic tradition, the Chakras are energy centers that exist within each one of us.
There are several Chakras in our body, but the main ones are seven.
The word literally means “disk”, and these seven disks are stacked one on top of the other, creating a column that goes from the base of our spine to the top of our head, creating that bridge that connects the material world to the pure consciousness.
Where are the Chakras?
They cannot be seen or touched, they’re not material entities, but they still have a huge impact on our bodies, our thoughts and our behaviours.
You can compare them to emotions and ideas:
you can’t see an emotion, you can’t touch it, but we know the very physical effects it can have on our bodies (like sweating, increasing or decreasing our heart rate, altering our breath.)
Anodea Judith, who wrote extensively about the Chakras, uses this beautiful image:”Just as we see the wind through movement of the leaves, the Chakras can be seen by what we create around us”.
Sometimes the Chakras might be out of balance
When we say that a Chakra is out of balance, we’re saying that a specific area of our being is out of balance.
Each of the Chakras is associated with a specific area of our body, and with a specific area of our psychology.
The lower ones, being closer to the earth, are associated to the more practical aspects of our life: survival, movement and action.
The higher ones, are associated to the more impalpable aspects of life, like thoughts and ideas.
Here is an example
The first Chakra, Muladhara, is associated with survival, satisfaction of the basic needs, our right to be here and take up space.
Someone with an excessive first Chakra might have hoarding compulsions, often feel sluggish, fearful of change and with rigid boundaries.
On the other hand, someone with a deficient first Chakra might feel disconnected from her/his own body, anxious, unable to focus and disorganized.
People with a balanced first Chakra look grounded, prosperous, comfortable in her/his own body and able to relax.
To rebalance the Chakras, then, is to heal archetypal structures in our minds, so to rebalance our life.
The work of rebalancing the Chakras, is the work of rebalancing and healing ourselves.
Most of this information comes from the brilliant book of Anodea Judith - "Eastern Body, Western Mind"
The beautiful picture of the graphic is from Pawel Czerwinski