Chakras – the energetic centers of man
In Sanskrit, the word Chakra means “wheel.” Chakras are energy centers that exist in our body in the form of whirlpools of energy. Kundalini yoga distinguishes 8 chakras. Seven of them correspond to areas of the endocrine system or nerve plexuses in the physical body, while the eighth is associated with the aura and electromagnetic field.
The first three chakras are known as the Lower Triangle. The fifth, sixth and seventh chakras are referred to as the Upper Triangle. The fourth chakra (heart) is the balance point between the Lower and Upper Triangles. It is the place where we experience the transition “from I to You” or “from I to We.”
None of the chakras exists alone, in isolation from the others. Each is part of a larger cycle of development. The Lower Triangle chakras focus on elimination and reduction. They are balanced by the Upper Triangle chakras, their function is to accumulate, create and purify.
The first five chakras are associated with one of the five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether – and the qualities each element represents. The upper three chakras correspond to the more subtle worlds, and therefore have no connection to the elements.
Prana, or life force, drives the chakras by clearing them of blockages, resulting in a free and natural flow of non-energy. Kundalini Yoga technology facilitates this cleansing, balancing and maximizing the functioning of body, mind and spirit.
The chakras influence our perceptions, feelings and choices. They influence our thoughts and the type of energy that can bring those thoughts to fruition. Opening and balancing the chakras opens the senses and fuses them into a sensitive network. This network can be linked to the source of energy from which we come and to which we return.
MULADHARA – the first chakra. This is the root chakra, located at the bottom of the spine, and is responsible for our sense of SAFETY and SURVIVAL in the physical and material sense. An imbalance in this chakra can manifest, for example: obesity or financial problems. The first chakra co-creates the world of habits. It is the realm of automatic behavior, the repository of deep instinctive patterns that we use for survival. Muladhara is associated with excretion, the anus and the large intestine.
SVADISTHANA – the second chakra, is located around the sexual sphere and its organs. The second chakra, is our CREATIVITY. It is responsible for our NAMES, PASSIONS, MOTIVATIONS and OPINIONS. Desires, pleasures and pains and struggles are mixed in this chakra. When all other chakras are balanced to the second chakra, our sexuality becomes joyful, varied, expressive. When the second chakra is weak, then the world seems bland and insipid to us, we lack passion. Our body shows no desire to move, to love, the senses seem dormant. When the second chakra is overactive, then everything seems to have a dimension, a sexual context. Someone with a strong second chakra may have difficulty maintaining business relationships. He oversteps his boundaries and can’t keep himself in check. The goal of yoga exercises is to balance and bring this chakra into play with the other chakras.
MANIPURA – the third chakra, located near the navel, solar plexus. It is the center of energy, willpower, sense of CONTROL and COORDINATION. It coordinates and develops the sense of sight and is responsible for creating various visions and imaginations. Sight and vision gives us a sense of control. This chakra is responsible for the realization of our visions for our life and future. The navel point is the area that draws energy from the cosmos, it is the place where energy is gathered in the body, it is even said that kundalini energy is initiated from this place. A person with a strong third chakra has a sense that his life depends on it, her/him, and what actions he/she will take. He/she is a man of action, able to shape, direct and develop what happens in his/her life. When the energy of the third chakra is insufficient, the person has to compensate for this by using other sources of energy (for example: food, drugs). Strengthening the navel point means gathering energy from the first three chakras in order to break through to the upper world of consciousness. Without a strong third chakra, we may have many good ideas and intentions, but nothing comes of them. With a strong third chakra, even the smallest intentions create action and begin to move others.
ANAHATA – the fourth chakra – the heart, is located in the center of the chest, near the heart. It represents FEELINGS, CONTRIBUTION and LOVE. Opening the heart chakra means a new relationship with our feelings. We know what our feelings are, we can recognize them and direct them accordingly. The heart chakra corresponds to the realm of relationships and connections. In case, it is too active you may be the object of too much affection. A weakened fourth chakra can manifest itself in that you will tend to become emotionally dependent on other people. It’s also a shaken sense of self-identity.
VIŚUDDHA – the fifth chakra is the throat chakra, and is associated with the throat center and the thyroid gland. When this chakra opens we begin to understand and feel at higher levels. We are aware that our words have an impact on ourselves and our environment, that what we say begins to come to fruition. The level of the fifth chakra helps reveal the truth. We have the power to initiate and create our lives. The throat chakra is the last area of the body influencing our emotions with the power to, stop something or release something, purify something. With the fifth chakra open, we begin to use words consciously as leavens for future events.
ADZNA – the sixth chakra, the third eye, is located at a point between the eyebrows. It corresponds to the pituitary gland. It is the chakra of command. It is the level at which we achieve the coherence and integrity of our personality. It is from here that we get an intuitive sense of the direction of our actions. This is where the main energy channels IDA, PINGALA and SHUSHUMNA converge and merge into one. The third eye gives us depth, dimension and scope in spheres that require delicacy, sensitivity. The sixth chakra allows us to master duality, like ying and yang.
SAHASRARA – the seventh chakra, the crown chakra, is located exactly above the top of the head. It is associated with cosmic sound. The key characteristic of the seventh chakra is humility, which fills us when we bow before the Infinite.
AURA – the eighth chakra, is located in the electromagnetic field.
The aura combines the influence of all the other chakras. It is often referred to as the surrounding field or force of energy surrounding all the other chakras. The aura is also the place where the energy streams of the universe converge. When this surrounding field is strong, then it protects us from all negative influences. When it is weak, we seem to be susceptible to everything, everything passes by us, or through us. A strong aura improves the functioning of all chakras. The sensitivity that comes from this surrounding field is a feeling of connectivity. It connects us to the universe. When the surrounding electromagnetic field is strong and all chakras are tuned and functioning properly, everything will benefit us.