a blog by Ellen Davies

What are the Chakras?

What are the Chakras?

The seven chakras are energy centers in the body. Knowing about the chakras can help heal the body and the spirit. Our physical bodies express the truth we carry in our bodies. Sometimes these truths show up as pain, injuries, and unexplained issues. If you have ever experienced a health issue that medication couldn’t treat (for example, digestion problems, sore throats, back pain, etc.), the root of the issue will probably be found in the chakras.

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To learn about the chakras, we start with learning about our energetic bodies, and we begin with prana. 

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What is Prana? 

In Yoga we believe that prana, or our life force, is a vibrating energy. It flows through energetic channels of the body, called the nadis. There are three main nadis: the Ida, the Pigala, and the Shushumna. Wherever these three lines cross within the body is where you’ll find a chakra. 

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What are the Chakras? 

The chakras are spinning “wheels” of energy, and their vibrations start low, with the root chakra (which grounds us to the earth), and gradually increase as you move up the body towards the top one, the crown chakra. The crown chakra is the highest frequency chakra, and it is our connection to the divine. 

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It is important to note that the chakras are energetic, not physical. For example, I couldn’t dissect a body and remove a chakra like I could remove a gall bladder. But the chakras are just as important as our physical body. 

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Our journey to enlightenment

In our yoga journey, our ultimate goal is enlightenment. The only way to get there is by awakening the prana, and the best way to start is by clearing the nadis, or energetic channels. This is considered part of our daily practice. Our energetic bodies need cleansing each day, because the energy blockages come from our actions. (Remember karma yoga?) 

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Each chakra is different

Each chakra has a different color, a sense, an element, and a purpose. Here is a brief list: 

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Root Chakra: Color: Red. Sense: Smell. Element: Earth. The issues of the root chakra include survival, grounding, stability, and the ability to stand on our own two feet. It is located at the base of the spine, and includes the legs and feet. 

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Sacral Chakra: Color: Orange. Sense: Taste. Element: Water. The issues of the sacral chakra include sexuality, creativity, relationships, unresolved issues, and emotions. It is located at the lower abdomen, between the belly button and the pelvic bone. 

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Solar Plexus Chakra: Color: Yellow. Sense: Sight. Element: Fire. The solar plexus chakra issues are personal power, self-esteem, individuality, willfulness, and energy. It is located at the solar plexus, above the belly button and below the rib cage. 

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Heart Chakra: Color: Green. Sense: Touch. Element: Air. The issues of the heart chakra are love, compassion, acceptance, and trust. It is located in the center of the chest, and includes the arms and hands. 

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Throat Chakra: Color: Blue. Sense: Hearing (Sound). Element: Ether. The throat chakra issues are communication, inspiration, expression, and faith. It is located at the throat. 

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Third Eye Chakra: Color: Indigo. Sense: Intuition. Element: Akasha. The third eye chakra issues are intuition, consciousness, spirit, and innate wisdom. It is located in the middle of the forehead. 

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Crown Chakra: Color: White or Violet. Element: Akasha. The crown chakra issues are devotion, inspiration, selflessness, and spiritual understanding. It is located at the top of the head.

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How do I use the chakras?

The first step is always awareness.

If you are new to the chakras, try a chakra clearing mediation. I recorded one, and you can find it here. This short meditation focuses briefly on each chakra, and calls for cleansing and balancing.

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Another suggestion is to meditate on the colors of the chakras, which are the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (or white). Often our intuition naturally draws our attention towards a certain color. When that happens, go back and review the issues for that particular chakra, and reflect on what it means for you.

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You can try some self-diagnosis. Do you have an unexplained issue in your body? I once wrote about how much my feet hurt, and I traced the source of that pain to an imbalance in my root chakra (you can read that post here). Another time I lost my voice, and I realized it was because I couldn’t express my truth, which is an issue for the throat chakra (you can read that one here).

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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting more information about each chakra.

I hope to give you useful information about them, so that you can begin your own study of the chakras.

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Got questions? Leave me a note in the comments section! 



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