Updated: Aug 18, 2019
Chakra means wheel or disk in Sanskrit. They are often described as spinning vortices of energy. They are created within us by our conscious and physical body. This results in chakras becoming centres for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life energies. There is a growing awareness of the seven major chakras. Some say there are 12 major chakras or bodies of light in the body. The body has around 49,000 chakras.
The seven major chakras are best thought of as spheres of energy radiating out from the central nerve ganglia of the spine. They approximate the nerve plexuses of the physical body and function a bit like telephone exchanges where countless wires feed into the exchange. The energy channels, known as nadis are the wires, which connect into the chakra. The minor chakras have fewer nadis or energy channels running into them. The nadis carry large amounts of energetic information. The chakras take in the energy for the nadis, processes it and then distributes it back out into its areas of influence.
As well as corresponding to nerve plexuses in the body chakras are also connected to glands in the endocrine system, and bodily processes such as breathing digesting and procreating. Yogis consider them centres of spiritual consciousness and psychologists may use them to map the development of the human personality. Chakras have corresponding colors, sounds, crystals, deities, and herbs. Archetypally they also represent the elements of earth, water, air, fire, sound, light, and thought. These elements are a metaphorical representation of the energetic expression of each chakra:
Earth - solid, heavy and dense
Fire - radiates and transforms
Water - flows
Air - soft
Sound - communicates
Light that reveals
Thoughts that store information
By removing blockages in your chakras you enhance your senses and boost your physical and emotional well-being.
Chakras influence your physical, mental/emotional and spiritual bodies.
One way of thinking about chakras is to see them as gears that shift energy up or down. For example:
Inspiration/idea comes into your head - Crown Chakra
Thinking about it and transforming it - Brow Chakra
Discuss it with friends/colleagues - Throat Chakra
You then take it to your heart - Heart Chakra
Invest energy to make it a reality - Solar Plexus Chakra
Water your dream - Sacral Chakra
It becomes concrete - Root Chakra
The energy flow upwards is required to reach enlightenment.
Base Chakra contains our survival program. This includes what diet suits us, when we need to exercise or sleep, and how to take care of ourselves when we are sick.