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7 Chakras: The Basics and Beyond
A Chakra Introduction
People collect energy from different sources of vibrations that are used in various parts of the body. The body's main energy centers, or chakras, are connected to major organs and glands. Our bodies contain hundreds of chakras, but there are only seven major stations from which they all emanate. These centers or hubs each connect to our being at varying levels, including spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical.
"Cakra" means "wheel" or "disk" in Sanskrit. Many describe the chakras as spinning wheels of light that exist along th espine.
The 7 Chakras: A Very Brief History
Chakras were first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts. Knowledge of the system was passed down orally from generation to generation by the Aryan, Indo-European people.
Originally an Eastern philosophy tradition, it is now a part of New Age beliefs. The chakra system was also discussed in detail in the classical Upanishads.
Today, the chakras are a main focus of yogis and those who practice yoga. Finding a balance in the centers helps align the energies, which are part of the core.
The chakras have also found their way into pop culture, featured in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, Japanese manga and anime series. Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, a video game, names their main locations after the chakras.
It's all about life's energy or prana, no matter the ideology. In essence, balancing energies within the body is a rather simple and universal concept. The idea around alignment of energies and finding balance exist in other cultures as:
- qi in Chinese
- ki in Japanese
- koach-ha-guf in Hebrew
- bios in Greek
- aether in Greek and Old English
The seven main chakra centers are aligned to along the body's spinal column. If there are any disturbances or abnormalities, they tend to show up in the chakra's vitality level.
Each organ and gland is connected to a chakra. Each chakra is connected to a different color vibrational frequency. Each chakra is also its own intelligence center and controls various emotional and mental aspects of our beings.
When one chakra is out of sync, it takes the others off kilter as well. It is important for people to find balance and take care of each of their centers. Keeping the chakra energies balanced is the key to a healthy mind and body.
The Red Root or Base Chakra
The root chakra's primary drive is survival. It is located at the base of the tailbone. This first chakra represents human foundations, helping us feel secure and grounded.
Root Chakra Stressors
Foods That Heal the Root Chakra
- Red foods: apples and beets
- Hot spices: red cayenne peppers and Tabasco sauce
- Ground vegetables: carrots and potatoes
- Animal proteins: eggs and red meat
Awakening the Root Chakra
Often times in life, fear drives our behaviors. If you are feeling off, check your root chakra energy and examine any anxieties or fears you may be facing. Acknowledging your fears will help you find balance.
Trusting your animal instincts and the fact that they will help prevent you from harm can help reduce the intensity of fear. Doing this will liberate your consciousness and awaken your root chakra, allowing you to focus your energy elsewhere. It helps to imagine yourself surrounded with red, immersed in a strong emotional color to face your fears.
The Orange Spleen Chakra
The spleen chakra's primary drive is pleasure. It is located in the pelvic and lower abdominal area. This second chakra represents human abilities to accept change and feel sexual and creative.
Spleen Chakra Stressors
- Lack of abundance
- Lack of well-being
- Lack of sexuality
- Lack of pleasure
Foods That Heal the Spleen Chakra
- Orange foods: oranges and tangerines
Awakening the Spleen Chakra
When things are not going well and fears have been acknowledged, it is time to immerse yourself in pleasure. This could take form in a variety of ways to awaken the spleen chakra and find balance.
For some, pleasure is a warm bubble bath with their favorite aroma rising out of the tub and light music playing in the background. For others, pleasure is time to reminisce about loved ones and memorable experiences that bring about warmth. Yet others indulge in gourmet teas or coffees, or anything else that brings pleasure to the senses.
The Yellow Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra's primary drive is power. It is located in the upper abdominal area. This third chakra represents confidence and control in our lives.
Solar Plexus Chakra Stressors
- Low self-worth
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
Foods That Heal The Solar Plexus Chakra
- Yellow foods: corn
- Grains and flour: whole wheat and granola
- Teas: chamomile and peppermint
Awakening the Solar Plexus Chakra
When tough decisions need to be made or stress is upon you from a downfall in self image, it is time to awaken the solar plexus chakra and turn to it for strength. This involves developing an intense, centered focus during physical activity -- running, yoga, lifting weights, swimming.
This third chakra is helpful to balance when trying to resolve a variety of conflicts.
The Green Heart Chakra
The heart chakra's primary drive is love. It is located in the heart. This fourth chakra represents human intimacy and the ability to love.
Heart Chakra Stressors
- Lack of love
- Lack of joy
- Lack of inner peace
Foods That Heal the Heart Chakra
- Green foods: leafy vegetables
- Green tea
Awakening the Heart Chakra
When it becomes draining to be with others, open up your heart to them, show your love, and awaken your heart chakra. This is extremely helpful when conflicts are personal in nature and have to be solved. Centering yourself with the heart chakra and taking down your defenses will help you open yourself up and in turn help your friend do the same.
You essentially have the right to be mad at someone else or disappointed, but never take them out of your heart. Maintain the connection, no matter how weak it may be.
The Blue Throat Chakra
The throat chakra's primary drive is creative expression. It is located in the throat. This fifth chakra represents our abilities to communicate and creatively express ourselves.
Throat Chakra Stressors
- Poor communication
- Inability to express feelings
- Holding secrets: difficulty speaking the truth
Foods That Heal the Throat Chakra
Awakening the Throat Chakra
When feeling nervous, stage fright if you will, awakening the throat chakra helps. Rather than fight the nervous energy and trying to restrain it, let it out. Let the energy travel through you and come out however it will. This allows you to communicate clearly and not end up in conflict.
The Indigo Brow or Third Eye Chakra
The brow or third eye chakra's primary drive is transcendence. It is located above the base of the nose, between the eyes. This sixth chakra addresses our abilities to see the big picture and get hung up or lost in the details.
Brow Chakra Stressors
- Inability to make decisions
- Lack of the ability to imagine
- Lack of foresight or intuition
Foods That Heal the Brow Chakra
- Purple fruits: grapes and blueberries
- Lavender tea or flavored spices
Awakening the Brow Chakra
If you are feeling discombobulated and not sure which direction to head, awakening the brow chakra can help tremendously. This means it is important to stop, take a break, and reassess the situation. Stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture will help redirect you and provide a sense of purpose again.
The reason looking at the bigger picture is helpful is because it brings you to the question, "What is the meaning of life?" This gives you the opportunity to redefine yourself and reestablish a purpose, rejuvenating your soul.
The Violet Crown Chakra
The crown chakra's primary drive is spirituality. It is located at the top of the head. This seventh and highest chakra represents our full spiritual connection.
Crown Chakra Stressors
- Anything that disturbs our inner peace and beauty
- Lack of pure bliss
Foods That Heal the Crown Chakra
The Crown Chakra does not benefit from healing foods as it represents our highest state of being and spiritual connection.
Awakening the Crown Chakra
Ultimate nirvana. Ultimate surrender. When all else in life fails, the crown chakra is called upon to give you permission to totally give up. One condition is in play, however. You may give up under the condition that you never lose faith. Have faith that one day,
The Seven Chakra Colors: From Top to Bottom
Top of head
Brow or Third Eye
Center of chest
Solar plexus and stomach
Base or Root
Coccyx and perineum