New to chakras? This quick series of guides will help broaden your knowledge of this ancient Hindu concept. Whether you fully believe in or are skeptical about these kinds of metaphysical ideas, I hope you will enjoy this series with an open mind. Take what knowledge serves you and leave the rest.
While they are based in Hindu tradition, the system itself is not necessarily religious in any way. It is also featured in some schools of Buddhism. The chakra system is simply a guide that can be used to find balance within your relationships with yourself, with others and with your place in the world as a whole.
Each chakra has various characteristics that define them and that they govern. They have a name, location in the body, color, associated element, sound and vibrational frequency. They represent certain goals, human rights, developmental stages and identities of the human experience.
The chakras can be thought of as 7 disk-shaped pools of "subtle" energy along the spine - "subtle" meaning not purely physical, but rather a cross of the material and immaterial. There are two main currents in which the subtle energies of the body flow: the manifesting energies moving down and liberating energies moving up.
The lower chakras are generally associated with manifestation, because they govern the most basic, stable, physical, tangible concepts of the human experience, such as simple human survival in the root chakra. Our focus is fully on ourselves and our rights to our most basic needs.
As we meet these needs and we move up through each chakra, the energies are more and more free, as in liberated, to explore complex, intangible concepts, usually associated with the upper chakras. Our focus widens little by little from our relationship with ourselves to our relationships outside of ourselves until we reach the connection to "oneness" at the crown chakra at the top. This could be a religious or spiritual connection or a connection to a wider community as a whole, one's place in the world.
We need both of these energies in order to find balance. If our energies cannot liberate, if we are stuck in our lower chakras and we must struggle to meet our basic needs, we are not free to indulge in more complex ideas. We are not free to express ourselves, to think and dream and fully connect with others. If we are stuck in the upper chakras, we live trapped in our own heads. We cannot find a healthy foundation to manifest our energies and bring our ideas into existence. Perhaps we even neglect our own basic needs and functions in favor of living purely in our heads. Balance of the manifesting and liberating energies of all the chakras is necessary for the health of the mind, body and spirit of the individual and, by extension, their role in their relationships.
Credits and Resources:
Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith
7wisdoms.org by Shai Tubali
Chakras.info by Lizzy Martin
My Other Chakra Guides: