According to Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, our presence is not limited to our physical body (Annamayakosha) but we have four more layers in our persona— Pranamayakosha (Energy Body), Manomayakosha (Mental Body), Vijnanamayakosha (Intellectual Body/Wisdom) and Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss Body/ Consciousness)—five sheaths overlapping each others like onion layers. Prana (energy) flows throughout our subtle bodies—all layers. Prana means essential energy which exists in all living beings including trees.

7 chakras or 114 chakras?

This prana (essential energy) is governed by seven major energy centers which are called chakras. Our body, however, is the home to 114 chakras—out of these two are outside the physical body. Like whirlpools, the chakras rotate at the speed of light in a clockwise direction. Activating and balancing the chakras is considered as the one of the paths which helps you to realize your higher self or to connect your spiritual self. You can call it enlightenment, kundalini awakening or simply a connection to the divine universal energy.

Understanding the chakras can provide valuable insights into our emotional, mental, intellectual and physical well-being. Each chakra is associated with a specific endocrine gland, fundamental element, sense and depicted in certain colour lotus with defined number of petals. When these chakras are moving smoothly; the energy flows freely and we experience a sense of well-being. However, if a chakras are blocked, the corresponding endocrinegland can become overactive or underactive, leading to an imbalance in the body and the mind. Here’s a brief overview of each chakra:

Muladhar Chakra (Root Center)

Element: Earth, Sense: Smell, Bija Mantra: Lam, Colour: Red

Located at the base of the spine, it is associated with the adrenal glands. When balanced, it provides us with the energy to meet our core needs easily. However, if it’s blocked by unnecessary fear, doubts and anxiety, it can lead to various physical and emotional issues.

Swadhishthan Chakra (The Sacral Center)

 Element: Water, Sense: Taste, Bija Mantra: Vam, Colour: Orange

This chakra, located just below the navel center, is associated with the reproductive glands. It governs our sensuality, sexuality, creativity, joy, emotions, and desires. A blockage in this chakra can lead to a lack of passion or an overindulgence in physical pleasures. Your sacral region, area of sexual organs, sacrum, lower back, womb, urinary bladder and kidney function nourished with Swadhishthan’s energy. A guilt feeling can act as an obstacle in accessing and enjoying pleasures of life. 

Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus)

Element: Fire, Sense: Sight, Bija Mantra: Ram, Colour: Yellow

Located at the solar plexus, this chakra is associated with the pancreas which secretes insulin. It regulates our digestion and metabolism. A blockage in this chakra can lead to digestive issues, low self-esteem, or an overbearing, domineering personality. A feeling of shame doesn’t allow a person to rise in life. Accepting and loving all aspects (dark, grey or white) of the self is the key to find balance in this center. One can gradually open this chakra with backward bending asanas, performed against the gravitational force, which helps cultivate willpower.

Anahata Chakra (The Heart Center)

Element: Air, Sense: Touch, Bija Mantra: Yam, Colour: Green

 Positioned in the upper chest, this chakra is associated with the thymus gland. It’s the source of our love, compassion, and joy, and governs our relationships. A blockage in this chakra can lead to a lack of self-love or to over-loving others, often at the expense of our own needs. Feel the grief, accept the realities and opt for yoga practices that will stimulate flow in your heart chakra, specifically asanas that promote chest expansion, shoulder opening and help release neck tensions.

Vishuddhi Chakra (Throat Center):

Element: Ether/Space. Sense: Sound, Bija Mantra: Hum, Colour: Blue

This chakra, located in the throat, is associated with the thyroid glands. It maintains the health of the neck, throat, jaw, mouth, vocal cords, larynx, thyroid and parathyroid glands. It controls our communication and creativity and is linked to our ability to express ourselves. A blockage in this chakra can lead to a lack of communication or creative expression.  Truth is the nature of this chakra. When you pretend things, behave and act as someone else, you are just closing your Vishudhha Chakra. The empowerment which takes place in you when you accept the way you are, easily accept your flaws and effortlessly express your potentials.

Ajna Chakra (Third Eye Center)

Element: light, Sense: Sixth sense that includes clairvoyance and intuition, Bija Mantra: oom

Positioned between the eyebrows, this chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, which regulates our sleep patterns. It’s also linked to our intuition and psychic abilities, and is sometimes referred to as the ”third eye”. It cultivates clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, intuition, dreaming, imagination, and visualization. It is troubled by illusions (maya)—means realities which don’t exist.

Sahasrara Chakra (Crown Center)

Element: Thought, Sense: It takes you beyond all senses, closer to higher consciousness,

Colour: Violet/White, Bija Mantra: Om

The word Sahasra means thousand. This chakra is depicted by a white shining lotus of thousand petals, which signifies higher consciousness, infinite being, kundalini awakening, pure bliss and enlightenment. Located at the crown of the head, associated with the pineal glands. Sahasra Chakra connects us with the divine energy or universal consciousness. It connects you to your higher self. This is a full expression of yoga—the unification of being with action of universality with individuality.

Recommendation: If you want to undertstand your chakras in a simple visual format, this video , made for the kids; is the best https://youtu.be/StrbppmsZJw?si=tKNTwXKaX3lc3NAj


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