In many spiritual and healing disciplines, and in the world of complementary medicine, the word Chakra pops up frequently. If you are not familiar with that term and this is your first time reading about it, it can be quite confusing.
A chakra is an energetic spiral (coil) of energy and all of our 7 main chakras make up our aura, the invisible energetic field which envelops every living being.
We will describe seven main chakras, which are aligned along the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.
On a physical level, these spirals of energy correspond to massive nerve centres in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contain bundles of nerves and relates to major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy simply cannot flow and we can literally feel stuck in life.
The word chakra is a word from Sanskrit, the classical, ancient language of India. The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC in the oldest text called the Vedas. The concept is found in the early traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The theory differs between the Indian religions, with many esoteric Buddhist texts consistently mentioning five Chakras, while separate esoteric Hindu sources will offer six, or even seven.
How can we benefit from knowing the chakra system?
We can learn to understand ourselves and our psyche through the help of the chakra psychology. Every chakra is not only connected to physical organs and glands, but also to psycho-spiritual matters.
Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case with the physical manifestation of the grief in her lungs. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honours the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailments.
If we understand which issues are related to which chakras, we can understand ourselves much easier and direct our healing more efficiently towards the blocked chakras.
Sometimes chakras become blocked because of stress, emotional or physical problems. If the body’s energy system’ cannot flow freely it is likely that problems will occur, on a physical level. The consequence of irregular energy flow may result in physical illness and discomfort or a sense of being mentally and emotionally out of balance.
Chakras in recovery from addiction and non-serving behaviours
Most people in recovery will find blockages in the lower 3 chakras, the root, the sacral and solar plexus chakra). Our holistic approach focusses therefore on bringing especially these chakras back into balance. A good nature walk will not only replenish you but also open your root chakra. The kriyas of Kundalini Yoga will help you to strengthen your solar plexus chakra and release stored energies from the root and sacral chakra. Being with the horses will bring the energy flow back in your root chakra and vocal toning and sound will harmonize all your chakras.
We advise you to repeatedly keep reading the explanations below to get a feeling for something as abstract as a chakra. Over time you will start connecting the dots!
The 1st or root chakra is the first chakra and is located at the base of the spine
It is the root of your being and establishes the deepest connections with your physical body, your environment and with the Earth.
It is the most instinctual of all chakras - it is your survival centre. Your fight and flight response is initiated from this chakra. This is your primal, animal nature.
The energy of root chakra allows us to harness courage, resourcefulness, and the will to live during trying times. It connects us with the spiritual energies of our ancestors, their challenges, and their triumphs.
Since the root chakra carries our ancestral memories, basically everyone experiences challenges or blockages within this chakra.
War, famine, natural disasters, and any events that threaten our basic survival, are all recorded within energies of the first chakra.
These memories are imprinted in the subtle body and are passed down from generation to generation creating unconscious generational patterns.
This chakra is developed in the womb to the first 12 months of our life.
All subconscious memories of our first year of life are stored here.
- How welcome did we feel, were our parents happy with our arrival?
- How protected and nourished did we feel?
- Did we feel loved by both our parents?
- Were we born into a safe and calm environment?
It is our work to take responsibility for our own lives and bring to light that which is unconscious.
All the seven chakras are important and interconnected with each other. Usually, balancing one chakra will create change in another chakra.
It is important though, to balance the root chakra first, before we proceed to others, or we will lack the stability and rootedness necessary for true transformation and personal growth.
The 2nd or sacral chakra
The sacral chakra is your passion and pleasure centre and it is located in the pelvic area. While the root chakra is satisfied with survival, the 2nd chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment.
The gift of this chakra is experiencing our lives through feelings and sensations.
The second chakra is the centre of feeling, emotion, pleasure, sensuality, intimacy, and connection.
The energy of this chakra allows you to let go, to move, and to feel change and transformation occurring within your body. It allows you to experience this moment as it is, in its own fullness.
The main challenge for the second chakra is the conditioning of our society. We live in a society where feelings are not valued, where passion and emotional reactions are being frowned upon. We are being taught not to "lose control". And we get disconnected from our bodies, our feelings.
As if this was not enough, we also experience the wounds of our collective cultural struggles over many sexual issues of our society. On one hand sexuality is magnified and glorified, and on the other hand it is rejected. This results in either blocked or excessive second chakra issues.
No wonder we have so many issues with our passion centre, the wellspring of feelings, enjoyment, sensuality, and creativity.
Do you love your body? Do you enjoy feeling your body? When was the last time you walked barefoot on the grass and felt the sensation of ground underneath your feet?
The sacral chakra is also your centre of creativity.
Passion is the fuel of creative energy. Everything you create, a poem, a drawing, or a website, originates from the energy of second chakra. It is also where your fertility originates. After all, conceiving a child is a (pro)creative process.
A person with an open second chakra is passionate, present in their body, sensual, creative, connected to their feelings and at the same time connect easily to other people.
This chakra develops when we are 6 months - 2 years old.
The 3rd or solar plexus chakra
The solar plexus chakra, located between the navel and solar plexus, is the core of our personality, our identity, of our ego.
The third chakra is the centre of willpower. While the sacral chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment, the third chakra is all about the perception of who you are.
The gift of this chakra is sensing your personal power, being confident, responsible, and reliable. The third chakra is the centre of your self-esteem, your willpower, self-discipline, as well as warmth in your personality.
The energy of this chakra allows you to transform inertia into action and movement. It allows you to meet challenges and move forward in your life.
The main challenge for the third chakra is to use your personal power in a balanced manner.
What does that mean? It means consciously harnessing the energy of the solar plexus chakra. It means being proactive rather than reactive or inactive.
Beings with excessive third chakra energy react to life circumstances; they have emotional outbursts and are often stressed out.
Beings with blocked or deficient third chakra are passive and inactive - allowing life to pass by while they do nothing.
Strong third chakra reflects the ability to move forward in life with confidence and power. It reflects the ability to make conscious choices to choose and to act.
The message of the third chakra is: You have the power to choose.
You can choose to achieve your life purpose, or you can live out your karma or past experiences.
What do you choose?
Do you choose love, light and healing?
Do you accept that you have the power to choose?
Do you feel a sense of freedom when you make a choice?
Or do you feel that life is happening to you, that you are a victim of the circumstances of life?
The third chakra is the centre of your self-esteem, the centre of empowerment.
Every time you judge or criticize yourself, you deplete this chakra and weaken your willpower.
Self-love, self-acceptance, and acknowledgement of your own worth are the building blocks of the third chakra.
A person with an open and balanced 3rd chakra values themself and their work, are confident in their ability to do something well, loves and accepts themself, is willing to express themselves in a powerful way, knows that they have the freedom to choose to be themselves and direct their own life.
The 4rth or heart chakra
The heart chakra - the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy is in the centre of the chest at the heart level.
This chakra moves love through your life.
It is the centre of your deep bonds with other beings, your sense of caring and compassion, your feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect.
The heart chakra is an integrating and unifying chakra - bringing to wholeness - as such, it is your healing centre. Indeed, most spiritual traditions recognize love as the ultimate healing force.
The energy of the 4rth chakra allows us to recognize that we are part of something larger, that we are interconnected within an intricate web of relationships extending through life and the universe.
It allows us to recognize and get in touch with the sacred and fundamental truth that runs through all of life and connects everything together.
The "way of the heart" or the "path of the heart" is living your life from this energy centre of love.
It means living your life with loving kindness and compassion towards others. It means that your heart is open to others and you inspire kindness and compassion in others. You create safe and supportive environments.
Others can feel your love and warmth. They feel loved and accepted unconditionally. People feel at peace around you, as there is no judgment coming from you.
When the heart chakra is open, and energy is flowing freely, you are not only loving to others, but you are also loving to yourself. You know when you need to say no and when you need care and self-nurturing. You feel trust in life and in others.
All the seven chakras are important, and while we cannot say that the heart chakra is the most important, it is very important.
Most of the world's spiritual traditions recognize love as the unifying force, the energy that is the most fundamental part of the universe, and of ourselves.
To open to love is to reach to the deepest places and connect with our true essence, our spirit, and our soul.
This chakra develops when we are between 3,5 and 7 years of age.
The 5th or throat chakra
The Throat Chakra is the fifth chakra and it is the first of the higher or spiritual chakras on the "chakra ladder". This chakra is in the region of neck and shoulders and its colour is blue.
The gift of this chakra is accepting your originality, expressing your authentic voice and speaking your truth.
The energy of this chakra allows you to seek knowledge that is true, beyond limitations of time and space, beyond cultural and family conditioning.
The main challenge for the fifth chakra is doubt and negative thinking and lying. Every time we tell a lie our throat chakra gets more and more unbalanced. Speaking the truth on the other hand opens the throat and will make it easier every time to express who we truly are.
The "way of the Throat Chakra" is the way of inspired creativity, seeking and sharing of the truth and authentic self-expression.
It is the way of standing up for what you believe, saying no when you need to, and being open and honest in what you say.
Do you dare to be creative?
Do you dare to open to a life full of infinite possibilities?
The fifth chakra is linked directly to your personal integrity and a sense of honour.
As a communication centre, it not only allows you to express who you are and what you stand for, but also allows you to listen deeply to another.
A person with an open throat chakra is a good listener, she enables another person to have the experience of being heard - one of the most profound human needs.
This chakra develops between 7-12 years of age.
The 6th or third eye chakra
The third eye chakra transcends time. It is in the brain, at the brow, above the base of the nose.
The gift of this chakra is seeing - both inner and outer worlds.
The energy of this chakra allows us to experience clear thought as well as gifts of spiritual contemplation and self- reflection.
Through the gift of seeing, we can internalize the outer world and with symbolic language we can externalize the inner world.
The energy of this chakra allows us to access our inner guidance that comes from the depths of our being. It allows us to cut through illusion and to access deeper truths - to see beyond the mind, beyond the words.
The "way of the third eye" is seeing everything as it is from a point of "witness" or "observer", or from simply being mindful - moment by moment.
It means examining self-limiting ideas and developing wisdom that comes from a perspective that transcends the duality of good or bad, black or white. It means seeing and helping others to see the deeper meanings of the situations in their lives.
The Sixth chakra is holistic in nature. When this chakra is fully activated, both hemispheres of the brain function in synchrony. The right hemisphere's creativity and synthetic thinking is integrated and balanced with left hemisphere's logical and analytical thinking.
Using drugs (especially cocaine, heroin, crack) and looking into smart phones for a longer period damages the sensitive 3rd eye.
The Third Eye is not only the seat of wisdom, but also a seat of conscience. This is where you not only see what is going on, but you also know what it means. This is where your sense of justice and your ethics originate.
When your third eye is open, you not only see but you also understand.
The 7th chakra or crown chakra
The crown chakra is the seventh chakra and it is at the top of the "chakra ladder" which starts from the root chakra that grounds us on the Earth and progresses upward to the head which connects us with the universe and the Divine source of creation.
This chakra is located at the crown of the head. The gift of this chakra is experiencing unity and the selfless realization that everything is connected at a fundamental level.
The energy of this chakra allows us to experience mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature.
There is no intellectual knowing at the level of the seventh chakra, but there is serenity, joy, and deep peace about life. You have a sense of knowing that there is a deeper meaning of life and that there is an order that underlies all of existence.
The "way of the crown chakra" is the way of going beyond the limits of your own ego. It is the way of transcending the ego and knowing that all of creation is interconnected at a fundamental level.
It is the place where time and timelessness intersect and where death and eternal life meet. The thousand petal chakra embraces an attitude of gratitude for one's life.
When we realize that everything is interconnected and that we are part of the larger scheme of life, we begin to live with gratitude, faith and trust, rather than filled with fear and anxiety.
We are guided by the higher power and we feel divinity from within and from without.
The challenge of this chakra is to liberate the spirit - open to the divine - and at the same time stay firmly rooted deep in the ground.