What Are The Chakras?
Many of us often experience feelings of unease, yet we can’t quite put our finger on the source. Despite confusion, some seek to dispel the anxiety with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, etc.; others simply cast a blind eye toward the situation. However, this is like putting duct tape around a leaky pipe: applying a temporary fix to a potentially growing problem.
When the realization hits that deeper intervention is necessary, many people look to prescription medication or psycho-therapy. Others seek answers in religion, while some choose to concentrate on healing body chakras.
Life is energy, and the chakras are about energy. The energy that pervades the universe circulates through us and helps us experience life. Chakras are centers within the body that store and transmit universal energy.
The chakras have been described as whorls of light that are situated along and in-front of the spine. Picture the lights on an Internet modem. When all the lights are shining steadily, your Internet connection is fast and strong. However, the outage of just 1 light indicates a problem and you can’t connect to the Internet. Chakras operate similarly, although obstruction of 1 chakra doesn’t usually bring one’s functionality to a screeching halt as it would on a modem. The chakras are much more complicated in that blockages could cause us to feel emotionally disconnected or imbalanced, specifically in the area controlled by the “stuck” chakra.
Practitioners of eastern religions assert that true happiness can be achieved when all chakras are open, allowing energy to flow in and out. Everyone has 7 major body chakras:
* First Chakra: Base or Root Chakra
* Second Chakra: Svadisthana or The Sacral Chakra
* Third Chakra: Manipura or Solar Plexus
* Fourth Chakra: Anahata or Heart
* Fifth Chakra: Vishuddha or Throat.
* Sixth Chakra: Ajna or Brow Chakra
* Seventh Chakra: Sahasrara or Crown Chakra
by Jamie Nishi
Chakras are energy centers, vortexes or portals within the body that receive, assimilate and transmit life energy. They are deeply connected to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. In Sanskrit, chakra means wheel or disk, and chakras are often depicted as wheels, windmills, suns and lotus flowers. An easy analogy to help you imagine what a chakra might look and act like is to imagine our own spinning galaxy of stars, and all the power, life and energy it contains.
Seven Major Chakras
There are hundreds of minor chakras, but only seven major ones, each corresponding to major nerve centers emanating from the spine. The seven chakras move from the base of the spine to the top of the head in a more or less straight line and include the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Brow (Third Eye) Chakra and Crown Chakra.
The bottom three chakras receive energy from below; the top three chakras receive energy from above; and the Heart Chakra balances them in the center. The chakras are arranged in evolutionary order: from the root, representing earth and survival, to the crown, representing spiritual awakening. All the chakras work together, so when an imbalance is found in one chakra, it inevitably affects the whole system. It follows that an imbalance in the bottom three chakras (survival, emotional balance, self-esteem) will make it very difficult to reach levels related to the other four chakras (love, truth, wisdom and enlightenment).
It's nearly impossible for all chakras to be in perfect balance at all times. Anything from a move to a job change to a new love affair can throw your chakras out of whack. This article will introduce you in more detail to the first chakra, the Root Chakra, and teach you a few ways to maintain a strong foundation for the whole chakra system and, ultimately, your health and well-being.
Muladhara: Base or Root Chakra
The Muladhara or Root Chakra is located between the sexual organs and the spine. Its energy path extends down through the legs and feet, and into the earth below. Its color is red and its element is earth. It is the foundation of the entire chakra system, representing our connection to the earth, the material world and the physical plane. Its main function is to respond to survival challenges concerning food, shelter, illness, exercise, career, safety and security.
Deficient Root Chakra
Throughout the course of our lives we have to deal with threats to our survival, whether it is moving, losing a job or a loved one, struggling with weight or becoming ill. At any one moment, we may experience feelings of insecurity, shame or fear. In the best case, we learn to deal with it, overcome and move on. But sometimes, it gets the better of us. When you feel you are trapped in a repeating pattern this most likely points to a chakra problem.
A blocked Root Chakra can manifest physically as lower back pain or depression. Other more subtle symptoms include lack of concentration and self-discipline, feeling "spacey" and being unable to relax. In this state, we feel unstable and ill at ease.
Excessive Root Chakra
It's also possible for the chakra to be too open. In this scenario, we are overly attached to just about everything: money, possessions, our health and career, and loved ones. We are control freaks, resistant to change, and rigidly stuck in the same patterns.
The ideal state is one of balance: to be stable yet flexible, like a willow tree. Here are some tips to help keep your Root Chakra happy.
Grounding is a wonderful, almost instant way to get in touch with your Root Chakra. Begin by sitting in a chair and placing your feet firmly on the ground. Sit up straight and push your feet into the floor, feeling your legs tighten and the energy flow into the Base Chakra. Relax your legs and feet and feel the energy recede. You can repeat this exercise a few times, but be careful not to overdo it. You do not want to over-engage the chakra.
Exercise your Root Chakra
Any activity that helps you connect with your body will strengthen the Root Chakra. So whether it's ballet, hip-hop, housecleaning, running, yoga or hiking, go for it! But keep in mind that you don't want to exercise to the point of exhaustion, just to a point where you feel energized.
Energize your Root Chakra
You can energize your Root Chakra via your feet by stomping on the ground, marching or performing squats while concentrating on the Root Chakra area of your body.
Feed your Root Chakra
Foods that are good for the Root Chakra include carrots, potatoes, parsnips, radishes, beets, onions, eggs, meats, beans, tofu, soy products and peanut butter.
Meditate on your Root Chakra
First do the grounding exercise. Then find a comfortable sitting position and imagine the energy from the base of your spine going down into the center of the earth like roots. Visualize these energy roots grounding you firmly to the earth. Then practice the grounding exercise again to finish your meditation.
When the Root Chakra is in balance, we experience liberation via a sense of security, prosperity, and good health. In this state, we are able to focus on other aspects of life, such as love, learning and creative pursuits. The entire chakra system is like a bridge from earth to heaven, beautifully contained within our own miraculous bodies. By nurturing a strong foundation, we ensure a brighter future.
Clearing and Balancing Your Chakra's
Every day I give myself a bath, well that too, but this is a colorful light bath that clears and balances my chakra's. I use it at the beginning of my day to protect myself and set my intentions. Here are steps on how you to can balance your chakra's.
Begin by sitting comfortably. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale out through your mouth. Do this three times. Now begin by picturing the white light of God and of Universal love swirling around you in a counter-clockwise motion, starting at your feet, and moving up towards your head. Picture this motion of white light going around you three times, each time starting at the bottom of your feet and moving upwards.
Next, start a little bit above your head, picture a purple (crown chakra - which brings in spirit) light swirling around, try counter-clockwise, if that doesn't quite feel right, trying move the purple light in a clockwise motion. How does it feel? Does it move easily, or does it feel hard to move the purple light around? If it feels "stuck" keep picturing this purple light moving in the direction you have chosen clockwise or counter-clockwise. Now take that purple light and picture it swirling around your body, swirling down toward your feet and back up again going in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. Once you have done this, you can move on, the purple light may be moving with ease, or feel heavy and stuck. The heavy or stuck feeling just means that the chakra is unbalanced, but the more you work at this on a daily basis, the more it will open up and balance and begin to move with ease.
Moving the different color lights in a clockwise motion brings in energy to that chakra, moving the different color lights in a counter-clockwise motion repel incoming energy or protect that chakra.
Now let's move to the area on the forehead which is the third-eye chakra (which is your intuitive area). Begin by picturing an indigo color light in a circular motion clockwise or counter-clockwise, whichever "feels" easier or better. Picture it moving until you feel that it is clear or moving in an easy motion, now take that indigo light and swirl it around your body, in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion down to your feet and back up to your head.
You can move the light up and down your body, once you feel you have finished with that particular chakra and are ready to move on.
Next is the throat area (throat chakra, which holds anger and the ability to speak up for oneself). Picture a light blue light going in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. Same as above until it moves with ease or you feel you need to move on. Don't expect all these chakra's to have a "clear" or "easy" feeling the first time you do this. It may take several times before the chakra's will change and become clear and balanced (the color moving with ease). Picture the blue light swirling around your body in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion down your body to your feet and back up again to your head.
The chest area, which is known as the heart chakra (which is the center of love for self, and being able to love). This color is pink or green. Pick one of the colors and picture it moving in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. When you are ready you can then swirl it around your body and down to your feet and back up to your head.
The diaphragm chakra (located right below your breastbone or in the stomach area) is the color of yellow, and relates to emotional issues, once again picture the yellow going clockwise or counter-clockwise. When you are ready you can then swirl it around your body and down to your feet and back up to your head. Different chakra's may move in different directions. They do not all have to go in the same direction, and will not always be the same, let your intuition be your guide.
The belly chakra color is orange (this relates to sexuality) repeat sequence as stated above. Moving the color light clockwise or counter-clockwise and then down and up the body.
Lastly the root chakra color is red and located in the pelvic area (this relates to safety and security in all aspects of life). Swirl the color light in the chakra area and then down and up the body.
This meditation should begin to bring in healing colors and light into your spiritual being to help you to cope and deal with different aspects of your life in a more meaningful way.
You will be more peaceful, life will make more sense, you will be spreading your rainbow of light our toward other people around you, and they will respond to you in a more positive way.
Another way in which I use this tool is to do this to friends and family who are having a difficult time. This is called distant healing. I can picture the person in my mind's eye and send them the white light. I picture the white light starting at their feet and swirling it around their body three times. I then use the different color lights relating to each chakra; purple, indigo, light blue, pink or green, yellow, orange, and red, using each color light and swirling it around their chakra and then down and up their body. I'm often told they feel more relaxed and more peaceful and better able to handle what is currently going on in their lives at that moment.
After a healing, it is vital that the healer clears the healing room of any residual negative energy left from the healing. During a healing, the healer may remove blockages from the clients etheric and/or physical body which have hindered the natural flow of energy. These blockages should not be present in the body and therefore should be removed. If the client has an illness that has manifested on the physical level, there will be energy given off that may be heavy, sticky or negative - we call it 'spiritual slime'.
This tends to stick not only to the healer, but must also be removed from the client's aura and the healing area itself. During the healing, it is not uncommon for the healer to become aware of this negative energy clinging to their hands and arms, and they may even have to stop and clean it off with their other hand or a feather. It may feel uncomfortable and perhaps may make the healer ache a little. This is why it is absolutely vital for the healer to wash their hands right up to their elbows after a healing. They must make sure that they clean off this energy so that it does not remain in their aura and create problems with their own personal energy flows.
At times it may be necessary to have a shower to cleanse your auric field if the healing has brought up a lot of negative energy or you have done many healings in one day. If you have done several healings, there tends to be a build up which needs to be cleansed and cleared both from the healing area and your own energy field. Of course 'oceanic cleansing' or a dip in the sea is a powerful way to cleanse yourself. The ocean has a powerful energy all of its own and is a magnificent way to wash away any unwanted energy that you are carrying. So too is a 'bath in the sun' - a stroll in the rays of Father Sun can also burn off negative energy. We all know how good we feel when the sun smiles in spring and how we can often feel a bit down and depressed in winter. So these two are a magnificent way to remove negative energy build up in your auric field.
This energy clearing must be thorough, otherwise pockets of negative energy will remain and eventually create unpleasant vibrations. This cleansing process is very important in making sure that you do not take on the negativity of others....their problems, their heartaches or their illnesses. To remove the 'slime' from the clients aura, there are several methods which you can employ depending on which you prefer. To make sure that you remove unpleasant energy which your client has released from their physical body into their auric field, you may 'feather' them. This means that you take a feather - usually an eagle feather although it can be any feather large enough - and sweep it through their aura. Some healers I know have also used swan or geese feathers. The feather gathers the unwanted energy and it can then be flicked away from the body. Healers using shamanic healing energy use this method and also use the feather for other related aspects of healing. The hands may also be used for the same thing. Smudging is another method to help cleanse the aura and healing area of unwanted energy. This requires the healer to burn sacred herbs such as white sage, lavender, rosemary, perhaps even eucalyptus, and then blow out the flame and use the smoke to cleanse. A small bowl often ceramic in nature, (although any vessel which is fire proof and doesn't get too hot will do)is used in order to avoid any cinders escaping. Needless to say, you do not want to burn the client!!! The healer simply wafts the smoke into the client's aura using the hand or the feather. energy clearing
Some healers - especially those who follow the shaman way, like to smudge their client both before and after a healing. This means negative energy that the client comes in with is immediately removed leaving the auric field clean without going into a healing with a build up already present. For the same effect, some healers like to feather their clients before and after. The more you work with the healing energy, the more you will become aware of its differing nature. Just as you walk into a room of people and sense that you can cut the air with a knife, you will sense if a person is carrying negative energy about their person or if there is negative energy in an empty room. You will feel it clinging to the walls and in corners. To cleanse the healing area before the start of your healing and afterwards, you may use several methods. Make sure that you air the room thoroughly by opening the doors and windows. Allow the breeze to blow through. Light a white candle to burn up unwanted energy - and always have a candle burning during a healing for the same reason. A white candle will help burn off negative energy during the healing and therefore helps to make the cleansing afterwards easier.
Crystals in a healing area also help to soak up unwanted energy. Clear quartz, rose quartz, agate etc....will all do the same job and it is vitally important that you remember to cleanse your crystals thoroughly at least once a week. You can do this several ways. If you have reiki, you may reiki the crystal until you feel that it is clean. Giving your crystals a salt bath using preferably sea salt, or adding eucalyptus oil (which is a natural disinfectant) to the water is another method. Other healers like to give them a 'bath' in beach sand. Yet another method is to put your crystals outside at night during the full moon for her cleansing moon rays, or burying them in Mother Earth for a few days to clean them. Putting on some boppy music up loud(if that is your preference) helps to blow away the cobwebs - spiritually speaking that is!!
The loud vibrations from your favourite music creates positive energy which fills the room to the corners Some healers like to place plants in a healing area to suck up unwanted energy. I would be very protective of living creatures - both plant and animal life. If using plants, they must be removed and put outside for a good breeze and cleansing water bath. Plants and animals can be attuned to Reiki energy and this gives them a certain amount of protection but they must also be cleansed properly - just as we have a bath or cleansing method for us - the healer - so must they be cleansed or you run the risk of them becoming unwell. This is something that other healers may not agree with but in my experience I have found this to be true. It is also important to wipe the healing table over between healings and to change pillow cases and the sheet - if you use one. So in conclusion, remember that cleansing of the healing area and you, the healer, is just as vital as cleansing the aura of your client. Therefore there will be no transference of negative energy from one client to another, or client to the healer, or plant or animal. Just as modern medicine disinfects on the physical level, so we must disinfect and clean on the spiritual or etheric level. It is just as important!
Author: Kaz Hanford