Making Sense of Chakras, by Kathryn McCusker, Founding Director of KMYOGA
Chakras are centers of consciousness. They are focal points of energy that have a direct, immediate and profound effect on our daily lives.
But what does that mean? How do they work? And how can you recognise whether they are in or out of balance.
“Chakras” are energy centers which asorb life force or ‘prana’ from the Universe and distribute it through the NADIS (energy channels) to the nervous system, endocrine glands and circulatory system.
The first 3 chakras 1, 2 & 3 are known as the lower triangle and chakra’s 5, 6 & 7 are known as the upper triangle. The fourth chakra (heart) is the balance between the two triangles, where the shift happens from ME to WE (Individual to Universal).
If you imagine the body as a tree, the lower half of the body, (navel down) are the trunk and roots, the upper half (navel upwards) are the branches/leaves. The lower triangle focuses on elimination and are balanced by the upper triangle, which accumulate, create and refine. So like the tree, if the root system is functioning properly then the leaves begin to grow and flourish.
By opening and balancing the chakras it is possible to connect to a larger source of energy,from which we come and to which we return.
The first five Chakras are associated with the elements (Tattvas) EARTH, WATER, FIRE, AIR and ETHER and the upper three Chakras correspond to the subtle realm.
Each Chakra resonates to a different frequency and a different refraction of the Infinite Light.
The 1st Chakra – The Root Chakra
‘The Presence’ – How I See Myself
The Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine is the centre of our regeneration and our creativity: it stores our vital force, stimulating all the cells in every part of the body. It is concerned with basic security, survivial and existence. It represents our image of SELF, of our presence on Earth, and is full of all our experiences, particularly those of early childhood.
The first Chakra functions are very important in our modern life. Surrounded by pollution and chemicals it is essential for our survival to eliminate these toxins through the first chakra (ie: anus and large intestine).
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as – valuing oneself, being centered, secure, loyal, grounded, stable and eliminating regularly.
*Suggested Affirmation: “The Universe looks after my needs. I trust life.”
The 2nd Chakra – The Sacral Chakra
‘To Feel, To Desire, To Create’
The vision of the second chakra is about desire and passion, about duality and polarities, about movement and change, and fundamentally about creativity. The element associated with the second chakra is water and so the qualities of water (flowing, moving freely, no set shape, more mobile than earth, limitless movement) are a like a mirror to the feelings connected to this chakra.
Language in the second chakra is often sensual, colourful and goal-oriented. It is flexible and fluid just like water. From the yogic point of view, the experiences of the second chakra provide the first taste of merger, of going beyond one’s isolated self, dissolving with, through, and into another.
In the second chakra, desires, pleasure, and the pains and struggles of finally expressing your creation in the light, are all mixed together. When all the other chakras are balanced in relation to the second, sexuality becomes joyful, varied and expressive.
The emotions and passions expressed through the second chakra, and the thoughts and assessments that are give through the sixth chakra stimulate each other. Thoughts and imaginations about different things produce feelings and feelings regulate the flow, intensity, and believability of thoughts.
Taste is the sensory system connected with the second chakra. Without passions life has no taste. When you experience great passion, then the tastes within your mouth also change. In the state of yoga, you unite with the Infinite, at that point your brain produces an amrit, a sweet nectar and the tastes within your mouth change. To the tantrics, you are blending the polarities to stimulate the passions with the tongue representing the male organ and the lips representing the opening of the female organ. You can create on the gross level directly through the second chakra and the physical organ, or you can create through the word and through vibration.
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as- positive, genuine intimacy, mature relationships, creativity, passion for life, willingness to share, patience, relaxed, positive attitude to sexual functions.
*Suggested Afirmation: “My emotions are great teachers; I listen to their lessons and respond to them in ways that are loving and respectful to all involved.”
The 3rd Chakra – The Achiever
‘What I think about myself’ – Action & Balance
The Solar Plexus Chakra, located just above the navel is the centre of our self-confidence (will-power). It stores faulty concepts of power and its misuse, situations and people that have threatened your self-esteem.
Its energy allows you to accomplish and achieve. It is the seat of our mental body. In this Chakra we explore personal power; is it to empower oneself or is it to have power over others?
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as – willingness to initiate and complete action, confidence, willpower, awareness of the effect of one’s actions upon others, leadership skills.
*Suggested Affirmation: “I claim my personal power and accept responsibility for all areas of life.”
The 4th Chakra – The Heart Chakra
‘Love & Compassion’ – The one who cares, how I care about myself, Awakening from ME to WE (Finite to Infinite)
The heart Chakra is located in the centre of the chest (thymus). It is the seat of our source of caring, intuition, compassion and unconditional love. This is where the opening of the higher consciousness and the higher self takes place.
COLOUR – Green
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as humility, unconditional love for all, seeing the Divine in All, harmonious relationships, acceptance that all is as it should be, compassion, kindness and forgiveness.
*Suggested Affirmation: “I am open to give and receive love, freely and effortlessly. I forgive and release the pains of my past, and I am free to love in the present.”
The 5th Chakra – The Throat Chakra
‘How I express Myself’ – The power of the word, communication, speaking the truth and the Teacher.
The Throat Chakra, located at the top of the breastbone, is the centre for the expression of creativity, love and abilities. It influences the thyroid gland which effects the balance of the entire nervous system, metabolism, muscular control and body temperature. The throat chakra must be cleared in order to express your potential, once the heart chakra is open.
COLOUR: Light Blue
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as, always voicing the truth (honoring the word), authenticity, knowledge and the ability to communicate that effectively, inspiring, teaching and embodying God’s will.
*Suggested Affirmation: “I express my deepest truth gracefully, respectfully and confidently.”
The 6th Chakra – The Brow Chakra
‘The Visionary’ – How I perceive Myself. Known as the third eye (intuition, wisdom).
The brow Chakra located in the middle of the forehead just above the space between the eyes. It is the centre of vision and perception. The pituitary gland (master gland) is located here and it is there that you reach the integrity and integration of personality. It is from here that you get the sense of intuition and the direction you want to take. It is where the major channels of energy come together (positive = sun+ moon = negative / Ida+ Pingala +Sushmuna). It is the eye that goes beyond the 2 eyes. The 2 eyes give you dimension in the normal world and the third eye gives you depth and dimension into the subtle worlds.
ELEMENT: Light (beyond the elements)
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as, clear perception, developed intuition, psychic abilities-clairvoyance, seeing energy within and beyond matter and form, power of projection and understanding your purpose.
*Suggested Affirmation: “I always receive and perceive the guidance I need.”
The 7th Chakra – The Tenth Gate or Crown Chakra
‘The Angel’ – How I feel my purpose. Humility.
The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head. It is the seat of the soul, the centre of all perceptions, all dimensions and all forms of being (we are ONE).
This chakra is associated with cosmic sound, like the sound of the gong. If you listen to the gong carefully as is cascades into crescendo, all the nerves are stretched to their limit. The pressure of the sound gives a chance for the body, mind and spirit to merge and become one with the infinite. You have the choice to let go and surrender or to contract and pull out of the experience.
The 7th Chakra has the key characteristic of surrender – the humility that fills you as you bow before Infinity. That is one of the reasons that so many traditions use the act of bowing. The top of the head, the 7th Chakra is brought all the way to the Earth, so the blood circulation and Prana becomes focused at the 7th Chakra and the person is given a new purpose of openness and strength (experience of the Divine) so that you flow spontaneously in rhythm with the Universe.
*When this chakra is balanced/unblocked it can manifest as bliss, unity, enlightment, secure relationship with the unknown and the experience of all as ONE.
*Suggested Affirmation: “I acknowledge and rejoice in my spirituality.”