The 7 Chakras According To Tantra Yoga
In yoga, all of the systems of the body, the mind, and the spirit are seen as a whole, inextricably linked, each with its part to play in the daily destiny of human beings.
No one can be affected exclusively; any impact on one part of any of these systems affects each of the others.
In this spirit of wholeness, this time we will look at each chakra and all of the activity connected with them.
The First Chakra: Muladhara
The first chakra is located at the base of the perineum.
It controls the solid factor of the body and is related to the excretory functions.
It is controlled by the conscious layer of mind.
It is here where the spiritual and evolutionary journey begins; this is the densest expression of creation, where consciousness, both in the macrocosmic universe and in the microcosmic reflection of mind in the individual has been solidified to the greatest degree.
It is here that the static energy of kundalini, the latent force of cosmic energy in the individual, resides.
Acoustic root: lam (pronounced “lung”)
Called: the root chakra, terrainian plexus
Location: the lowest point of the last bone of the spinal column
Vrttis: spiritual aspiration, psycho-spiritual longing, psychic desire, physical lust
Physical malfunction: constipation, sciatica, hemorrhoids, obesity, anorexia
Psychological issues: survival, ambition, will to live
Controlled by: conscious layer of mind
Bodily function: excretory
Glands: gonads (ovaries, testes)
Activities to strengthen: “grounding” exercises; yoga posture yogamudra
Foods to strengthen: proteins in the form of grains, beans, and dairy products
Color therapy to strengthen: red
The Second Chakra: Svadhisthana
The second chakra is located a little higher, at the base of the pelvis.
It controls the liquid factor of the body, is related to the sexual functions, and is controlled by the subconscious layer of mind.
As the kundalini pierces this chakra, you realize, “Brahma (Cosmic Consciousness) is everywhere; Brahma is all that exists.”
Color: milky white
Acoustic root: vam (pronounced “wung”)
Called: fluidal plexus
Location: spinal cord, directly behind root of the genitals (perineum)
Vrttis: indifference, lack of common sense, fear of death, lack of confidence, hopelessness, crude behavior
Physical malfunction: impotence, kidney and bladder infections, reproductive problems
Psychological issues: sexuality, gender and sexual identity, ethics, body image
Controlled by: subconscious layer of mind
Body function: sexual
Glands: gonads (ovaries, testes)
Activities to strengthen: yoga postures yogamudra and diirgha pranam; meditation in conjunction with sexual abstinence
Foods to strengthen: liquids, especially herbal teas and soups; watery vegetables such as jicama and celery, neem leaves
Color therapy to strengthen: orange
A weakness in the first and second chakras can cause psychic disturbances that have to do with survival concerns, desires and drives that are “out of control,” and self-image problems.
Imbalanced secretion of the associated glands may cause cruelty and/or narrow-mindedness.
The Third Chakra: Manipura
Located at the navel point, the third chakra is the controlling point for the luminous factor — the fiery energy of the body — and is associated with digestion.
It is controlled by the supramental, or intuitive layer of the mind.
You experience the close proximity of your goal as you gain control over this chakra.
You can hardly remember a time when the intense desire for self-realization was not the pivot of your life.
Meaning: fiery gem
Shape: triangular, pointed upward
Color: fiery red-orange
Acoustic root: ram (pronounced “rung”)
Called: igneous or solar plexus (because of its relationships with effects of the sun on the body)
Location: at the navel
Vrttis: shyness, sadistic tendencies, envy, inertia, melancholy, peevishness, yearning for acquisition, blind attachment, hatred, fear
Physical malfunction: ulcers, pancreatitis, diabetes
Psychological issues: personal power, self-esteem, work
Controlled by: supramental layer of mind
Body function: digestion
Glands: pancreas, adrenals
Activities to strengthen: yoga postures cobra and yogamudra
Foods to strengthen: starches such as potatoes and yams
Color therapy to strengthen: yellow
The third chakra is closely connected with intense emotions, with energy, with stress management, and with the functions of the adrenals and the pancreas.
It is also an energy center for the sensitive fourth chakra.
A weakness in the third chakra causes intense shyness and a fear of speaking in public.
Excessive fear builds tension around the third chakra, blocking energy to the fourth chakra and causing heart problems.
Strengthening and stabilizing the third chakra can have a profound positive effect on your immune system, your emotional health, and your resilience.
In particular, the yoga asanas yogamudra and cobra can help with problems of fear (ranging from shyness to anxiety and panic), the emotion that most weakens the third chakra and blocks the fourth.
The third chakra is the center of heat for the entire body and is also associated with the liver, the storehouse of the body’s heat in the form of energy.
When the body is cremated, this area is the last to burn, as it requires a much higher temperature to be destroyed.
People often refer to the third chakra as the solar plexus.
The Fourth Chakra: Anahata
Located at the center of the chest, the fourth chakra controls the aerial factor of the body and is related to the body’s respiratory and circulatory functions.
It is controlled by the subliminal layer of mind.
The state of consciousness experienced as the kundalini pierces it is one of divine love.
The fourth chakra is often called the”yogic heart” because as the practitioner’s attainment rises to this level, she becomes more and more like a lover on fire with devotion to her Beloved.
The desires for the experiences, joys, and pleasures of the physical world pale in comparison to the ecstatic, encompassing love meditation brings.
Even the contemplation of the infinite gives you an intense joy that brings a special radiance and grace
Meaning: pure, untarnished
Color: smoky green
Acoustic root: yam (pronounced “yung”)
Called: lunar plexus (because of its relationship with the effects of the moon on the body)
Location: at the center of the chest, just above the sternum
Vrttis: hope, love, anxiety, depression, helplessness, the effort to arouse potential, conscience, conceit, avarice, hypocrisy, argumentativeness, remorse
Physical malfunction: heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma
Psychological issues: feeling your emotions, joy and pain, gratitude, grief, love, transformation of personal love to universal love, feeling “at one” with others and the universe
Controlled by: subliminal layer of mind
Body function: heart and lungs, circulation and breathing
Activities to strengthen: yoga asana cobra; deep meditation, regulated breathing (pranayama); loving kindness in thought, word, and deed; spending time in forests and near natural water
Foods to strengthen: pure water and air, blue-green algae, chlorella, spirulina, seaweed
Color therapy to strengthen: green
It is said that light from the sun and moon affects the body and mind through the “lunar plexus,” the container of the fourth chakra.
Therefore, light or color therapy is best used on this area.
We can see how the third and fourth chakras are related through the thymus gland Chronic stress caused by unrelenting tension or negative emotions causes tension in the third chakra and pushes the adrenals into action.
Steroids from the adrenals act on the thymus, at the fourth chakra, causing the destruction of T-cells, disabling the immune system.
Thus someone can literally have a “broken heart.”
Negative experiences that affect us at the “heart” level can weaken this chakra.
Other expressions we use in our intuitive understanding of this chakra include “heartfelt,” “from my heart,” “my heart sank,” “it broke my heart,” and “have a heart.”
The Fifth Chakra: Vishuddha
Located at the throat, this chakra controls the etheric factor and is related to the function of speech.
It is controlled by the highest layer of mind, the subtle causal layer.
This chakra controls the ones below, thus it coordinates all the energies of the physical body.
Control of this chakra brings with it the knowledge of past, present, and future.
You hear the cosmic sound the Aunkara (“AUM”) in deep meditation.
You are one with the cosmic mind, from whom the generation (“A” sound), the operation (“U”), and the destruction (“M”) of the entire cosmos resides.
You are merged with the pure “I am” — the origin of the universe.
Color: rainbow hued
Acoustic root: ham (pronounced “hung”)
Called: sidereal plexus
Location: throat (at vocal chord)
Vrttis: some of the vrttis at this chakra are fruition, accomplishment, development of mundane knowledge, integrity, resolve, surrender to the Supreme, attraction, and repulsion
Physical malfunction: colds, sore throat, bronchitis, thyroid, speech and hearing problems
Psychological issues: listening, expressing your thoughts and feelings, creative expression
Controlled by: subtle causal layer of mind
Body function: speech and hearing
Glands: thyroid, parathyroid
Activities to strengthen: yoga asanas sarvaungasana (shoulderstand), matsyamudra (fish), singing devotional songs, listening to devotional/spiritual music, creative artistic expression
Foods to strengthen: fruits and fruit juices
Color therapy to strengthen: blue
Control of this chakra brings with it paranormal experiences such as extrasensory perception and precognition.
In deep meditation, the cosmic sound “aum” is heard and the meditator merges with the cosmic mind, with which the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe resides.
Psycho-spiritual issues addressed by strengthening this chakra include difficulty in speaking one’s mind, expressing oneself artistically, and being able to empathize with others.
For balanced, normal body processes and normal thinking, we need exactly the right amount of thyroid and parathyroid hormones.
The yoga asanas mentioned help maintain this balance.
The Sixth Chakra: Ajina
As realization reaches the next two chakras, all objective reality is dissolved. The consciousness of the individual gives way to the universal consciousness, beyond even cosmic mind.
The sixth chakra is called the “seat of mind” and is located at the “third eye,” directly above the nose, between the eyebrows.
No physical factor is controlled here.
Beyond the reach of limitation, having broken the mirror of the ego, when the kundalini reaches this chakra you are merged in the consciousness from which the mind of God originates.
Meaning: to see or perceive
Shape: triangular, pointed downward
Acoustic root: none
Called: third eye
Location: at the bridge of the nose, between the eyebrows
Vrttis: mundane knowledge, spiritual knowledge
Physical malfunction: headaches, vision problems, cognitive difficulties
Psychological issues: ideals, beliefs, intuition, self-realization
Controlled by: atman (soul)
Body function: thought, awareness
Activities to strengthen: yoga asanas yogamudra, diirgha pranam; study involving concentration; meditation
Foods to strengthen: none
Color therapy to strengthen: deep blue (indigo)
The sixth chakra is the focus of most meditation practices.
Meditation strengthens the functions of this chakra and regulates the pituitary gland.
As practice in meditation progresses and powers of concentration develop, the seventh chakra becomes the focus of practice.
The Seventh Chakra: Sahasrara
The seventh chakra is know as the “thousand-petaled lotus” because it is the controlling point for every vrtti (mental tendency) in the individual.
It is here that the kundalini reaches its goal and awareness merges completely in infinite consciousness, the origin or origins.
There is no human expression for this state.
It is beyond anything we can imagine.
We know of it only by its after-effects: the waves of ecstasy that follow even a fraction of a moment in that state.
When no samskaras (reactive momenta) are left to bind the individual to the physical world, the merger in this state will be complete.
Like the doll made of salt who tried to measure the ocean, your consciousness merges in the immeasurable expanse of your own origin.
This the goal of human life.
Meaning: thousand petals
Shape: thousand-petaled lotus
Acoustic root: none
Called: the seat of the soul
Location: at the top (crown) of the head
Physical malfunction: none
Psychological issues: none
Controlled by: universal consciousness
Body function: none
Activities to strengthen: deep meditation
Foods to strengthen: none
Color therapy to strengthen: violet
This chakra controls the thousand expressions of all the vrttis.
When consciousness reaches this chakra in deep meditation, complete absorption (samadhi) is attained.
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