The Power Centers Within, An Introduction to Chakras

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Chakras are all the rage right now in both alternative healing and within the yogic community. And they should be! Our Chakras are spinning whorls of energy that exist within our etheric selves. There are seven Chakras and they have very specific functions, colors, and locations that make them unique. The Chakras are considered the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.

The concept of Chakras have numerous interpretations, but all of them will agree on the following points

• They create part of a subtle energy body, along with the energy channels a.k.a nadis, and the subtle winds a.k.a pranas.

• They are located along the central nadi a.k.a Sushumna, and run alongside or inside the spine.

• Two other nadis, Ida and Pingala, also run through the chakras, and alongside Sushumna. They occasionally cross Sushumna at the location of the chakras.

• They possess a number of ‘petals’ or ‘spokes’. In some traditions, such as the Tibetan, these spokes branch off into the thousands of nadis that run throughout the human body.

• They are generally associated with a mantra seed-syllable, and often with a variety of colors and deities.

Here are few descriptions of Chakras by well respected yogis and scholars:

… A powerhouse in the way it generates and stores energy, with the energy from cosmos pulled in more strongly at these points. The main nadis, Ida, Pingala and Shushumna (sympathetic, parasympathetic, and central nervous system) run along the spinal column in a curved path and cross one another several times. At the points of intersection they form strong energy centers known as chakras. In the human body there are three types of energy centers. The lower or animal chakras are located in the region between the toes and the pelvic region indicating our evolutionary origins in the animal kingdom. The human chakras lie along the spinal column. Finally, the higher or divine Chakras are found between the top of the spine and the crown of the head. ~Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda

… A chakra is believed to be a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy. The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerveganglia branching forward from the spinal column. Generally, six of these wheels are described, stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the middle of the forehead, the seventh lying beyond the physical world. It is the six major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness. ~Anodea Judith

The following seven primary chakras are commonly described:

1. Muladhara (Sanskrit: मूलाधार, Mūlādhāra) Base or Root Chakra (ovaries/prostate)

2. Swadhisthana (Sanskrit: स्वाधिष्ठान,Svādhiṣṭhāna) Sacral Chakra (last bone in spinal cord, the coccyx)

3. Manipura (Sanskrit: मणिपूर, Maṇipūra) Solar Plexus Chakra (navel area)

4. Anahata (Sanskrit: अनाहत, Anāhata) Heart Chakra (heart area)

5. Vishuddha (Sanskrit: विशुद्ध, Viśuddha) Throat Chakra (throat and neck area)

6. Ajna (Sanskrit: आज्ञा, Ājñā) Brow or Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye)

7. Sahasrara (Sanskrit: सहस्रार, Sahasrāra) Crown Chakra (Top of the head; ‘Soft spot’ of a newborn)

See Image Below for Example

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the information needed to get a deeper understanding of Chakras. I encourage you to look into Chakra Alignment Yoga, Chakra/ Energy Workers, and to study up. Knowing about your Chakras and understanding how they work within you can lead to some pretty amazing revelations. I will try to touch on more information regarding Chakras soon. If you have information  that you would like to share such as your own spin on Chakras, your experiences with alignment, or just a comment, please post it.

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