What Are The Chakras?
In ancient Indian mythology and even today, chakras are considered to be the most important energy spots in the body. It’s said that when the chakras are aligned, there is a natural balance achieved that cannot be found any other way…and that this “alignment” leads to the highest forms of self-expression and inner contentment. But what are the chakras? What is their purpose, and how can we tap into their power?
The Vortex of Life
Chakras initially gained popularity in the Hindu culture and spread to many different religions and belief systems; these included Buddhism, certain Christian sects, Jainism, and Jewish mysticism. They’re believed to be important energy points or “vortexes” that are the metaphysical counterparts of important physical aspects in the body such as major veins, arteries, or nerves. These chakras allow the prana (life force) to move freely, and each has a corresponding function:
1st Chakra Muladhara
Located at the base of the tailbone, this chakra governs instinct, security, stability, and sensuality.
2nd Chakra Swadhisthana
Located at the sacrum, this chakra governs reproduction, creativity, joy, and enthusiasm.
3rd Chakra Manipura
Located at the lumbar spine behind the navel, this chakra governs digestion, fear, anxiety, and expansiveness.
4th Chakra Anahata
Located at the dorsal spine behind the heart, this chakra governs love, compassion, circulation, and devotion.
5th Chakra Vishuddhi
located at the cervical spine behind the throat, this chakra governs communication, fluent thought, independence, and a sense of security.
6th Chakra Ajna
Located between the eyes, this chakra governs intuition, visual consciousness, and mental clarity.
7th Chakra Sahasrara
Located at the very top of the head, this “master chakra” (known as the thousand-petaled lotus) is the final stage of opening for the advanced practitioner. It governs karma, universal unity, and meditation.
The purpose of the chakras is basically to bring us back into a state of harmony and inner peace. The journey towards opening the “thousand-petaled lotus” is what helps to give us a certain fortitude or inner strength.
While the nature of the chakras seems somewhat aloof and sometimes unattainable, the ability to tune into their energy is something we all have. In taking up healthy living (exercise, good nutrition) and practicing meditation, we can gradually begin to feel the energy circulating within us. Want to learn how to meditate? Click here!
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