The Chakras, generally speaking are associated with the heightening of the consciousness. The Sanskrit word chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. They are invisible wheels of energy throughout the body.
They tie in with our psychological issues, which would explain why they can be open or closed depending on those issues. There are 7 primary centers, although we have others which extend beyond our physical body. I don't proclaim to be an expert on Chakras, because there are many, many different explanations of what each one does.
I will say, that because of a recent interest, I now believe that they are very, very important. I now believe that it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. I believe that we should all begin some sort of daily practice to keep them open.
The root chakra is right at the base of your spine, the foundation chakra. It is the chakra of stability and the color is red. It sends messages to every single cell of your body. It is the chakra of survival and responsible for your sense of safety and security on this journey. It would then make sense, that in order to keep the root chakra open you need to rid yourself of insecurity. You need to let go of being the victim. You have to KNOW that you will be OK.
The sacral chakra is linked to our reproductive organs. This is also your creativity chakra. The color is orange. Feeling comfortable with oneself and honoring your body will keep this chakra open. Be open to your creative side.
The third chakra is the solar plexus located behind the naval. The color is yellow or gold. This chakra controls metabolism and digestion. This is where you get those "gut feelings". Negativity will close this chakra. Chanting the sound of RAM will help to open and align the chakra.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra and the color is green. It is the center chakra, with 3 chakras above and 3 below. This is the area where physical and spiritual meet. When the heart chakra is open you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive and you accept others and yourself. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra and the color is blue. It is the first of the three spiritual chakras. Speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication. Have faith and understanding. Fear of not being accepted or the fear of being judged may hinder your truthful words. Speak you highest truth without being hurtful or critical. Chanting, singing, humming, and reading aloud are wonderful ways to open the fifth chakra. Working on the lower chakras will help in opening the fifth chakra.
The sixth chakra is in the area of the third eye, which is found in the space between the eyebrows. It encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. The color is indigo. It leads to inner wisdom, intuition, telepathy and clairvoyance. It is best balanced through meditation. Chanting AUM will help to open the third eye.
The crown chakra is our source of enlightenment and our connection to All That Is. The color is violet or white. When your crown chakra is fully open you realize that you are pure awareness and pure consciousness. Meditation will help open the crown chakra. Although silence is the key to this one, chanting OM will also help to open this chakra.
If you would like to read a full explanation of the chakras and more information on how to work on each one, Deepak Chopra's site has a great article. Yoga was originally developed to assist in the opening of the chakras and this article also has many yoga tips.
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Recent articles is where I post my latest ah-ha moments and things that I feel are important.