Updated: Aug 15, 2022
(Part I of 8)
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning "wheel" or "vortex". They are an integral part of the body's energy system and they are transformers of subtle energy. They take the energy (ki, chi, prana) that surrounds us and transform it into the various frequencies our subtle energy system needs to keep us healthy. Our bodies have hundreds of Chakra's (energy centers), some called Major Chakra's and some called Minor Chakra's.
The earliest written records of Chakra's come from the Vedas, which are ancient Indian texts that describe the philosophy of yoga. The precise age of the Veda's is unknown, but they are believed to be thousands of years old. It is generally agreed in some cultures that there are seven Major Chakra's in the human body that run along the spine and many more minor Chakra's. The seven major Chakra's run from the base of the spine to the crown (above the head). They each correspond to specific organs as well as physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual states of being that influence all areas of life.
There are 3 major Nadi's (energy channels) that run along the spine. The Sushumna Nadi which is referred to the "central channel" runs up the spine. The Ida Nadi, referred to as the Yin energies run on the left side of the spine and Pingala Nadi, referred to as the Yang energy run on the right side of the spine. It is believed they Ida and Pingala start at the "Root" or "Base" Chakra and run up the spine in a double helix and form a caduceus, two snakes (much like our DNA) spiraling their way around the Sushumna Nadi and cross each other at each Chakra. It's also believed to influence left and right brain functions.
The concept of Chakra's ties into early Hindu concepts of a physical body and a subtle body - which includes the mind and emotions. While the physical body consists of mass and is visible, the subtle body - which includes the mind and emotions - consists of energy and is invisible. In this system, spiritual or psychic energy from the subtle body influences the physical body and vice versa. This means that the status of a person's Chakra's can influence and shape their overall health and well-being.
Each physical body part has a corresponding astral body part. The astral body cannot be seen or touched. This is also a reason why we cannot see the chakras. Each Chakra radiates a specific color and energy. Each one coincides with a gland in the physical body. Since each Chakra relates to specific spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of our being, it is believed that their blockage or malfunction can lead to physical, psychological, and emotional disorders. The conscious awareness and balancing of these energy centers, on the other hand, is believed to lead to well-being and good health. When a person's Chakra's are out of balance it creates an opening for illness and dis-ease.
I'll go into each of the Chakra systems and how they affect our bodies in the next 7 blog post so, look for them!