“Chakras are the regions situated within the spinal column where the nadis cross each other.There are seven of them in the human body.” Says B.K.S.Iyengar in his book,`Light onYoga”
Chakras are spinning vortices of cosmic life force energy that flows within the human body. Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit. There are seven energy centers in our body that run from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
It is through the Chakras that Life energy or Prana flows through the various levels of being. Chakras vibrate or rotate in a clockwise direction at different speeds. Chakras can be activated and energized through proper lifestyle, meditation, deep breathing, asana and mantras. If the energies are balanced in the chakras, then it promotes health and well being.
It bears the name Root Chakra. It lies at the lowest point of the spinal column below the coccyx. It is in color red and represents our physical connection to Mother Earth.
- Balanced chakra: leads to healthy physical body, well adjusted to family and society. One tends to handle upsets and traumatic situations in a more balanced way.
- When blocked: Experiences confusion, distraction and disconnection, problems in career and relationships.
- o When overactive: leads to work holism, greed, hoarding, addicted to pleasures in an abnormal way.
Bija mantra to activate chakra: LAM
This is the second chakra situated at the lower end of the sacrum. It is the dwelling place of the self. With its element water, it is the seat of our sub conscious mind where all life experiences and impressions of lifetimes are stored.
- When balanced: one experiences cheerfulness, faith, self confidence, joy, hope, and vigor. There will be enormous amount of creativity.
- When blocked: Feelings of hatred, greed anger, jealousy, violence, cruelty, passion are caused.
- When imbalanced: lack of creativity, stuck in sameness and routine, ability to be nurturing and giving will not be there and addiction to physical desires.
- If it is underactive, the person will not feel good about himself and there will be uncertainty and indecisiveness.
Bija mantra to activate this chakra: VAM
This is the third chakra situated behind the navel. It is also called the Solar Plexus. With its element of fire, it is the centre of vitality bestowing energy and strength. Like a magnet, it attracts prana from the cosmos. It is a seat of digestive power that regulates the function of pancreas and digestive organs.
- Blockages in this center can cause problems like diabetes, digestive disorders, and circulatory diseases. It leads to lack of self esteem, fear of rejection, being secretive and indecisive.
- A strong Manipura chakra will manifest inner strength and strong confidence.
- Overactive chakra can make one self centered, power grabbing, chasing name and fame to the exclusion of everything else.
Bija mantra to activate chakra: RAM
This is the fourth chakra that is located in the region of the heart. Prana or the vital life force resides in this heart chakra. All love and compassion is experienced from this chakra.
- When blocked, it results in despair, withdrawal from people and makes one judgmental.
- An overactive chakra makes one one-sided and dysfunctional in relationships.
- Bija mantra to activate the chakra: YAM
This is the fifth chakra with its element as ether or space. It is called the throat chakra. This chakra governs our ability to express or communicate with the world.
- When blocked, one tends to become blind to one`s mistakes and blames others for their own unhappiness and misfortune.
- Imbalance in this chakra leads to gossiping, overeating, obsessive behavior, inability to communicate and take a stand.
- Overactive chakra makes one talkative and hence meditation of this chakra will help to bring about an optimal balance between speech and silence into one`s living.
Bija mantra to activate chakra: HUM
This is the sixth chakra with its element as light. Also called third eye chakra. It governs intellect, imagination and visualization. It is the seat of our inner voice or conscience. Located in the center of the forehead, it is the junction of the three nadis –ida, pingala,sushumna.
- An unbalanced chakra leads to poor memory, lack of imagination, poor decision making, psychosis, hallucinations and disconnection from reality.
Bija mantra to activate chakra: OM
This is the seventh or the crown chakra that signifies a thousand petalled lotus. It is the gateway to the divine consciousness. Its color is purple with element or tatwa- `Adi Anadi `, meaning infinite. It is the seat of Lord Shiva and controls the cerebral vortex. An inexhaustible stream of energy radiates from this chakra called medha shakthi- our memory, intelligence and mental power depends on this.
- An unbalanced chakra leads to difficulties in connecting with people, obsessed with materialistic pursuits, learning disabilities, autism, and senility.
Bija Mantra to activate this chakra: OM