The word chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit, a sacred and holy language of Hinduism and Buddhism. Chakra is pronounced shock + ra. The first writings about the chakras are dated at approximately 1000 B.C., and their origins are based strongly within Hinduism, but the concepts of chakras and energy centers is also fundamental within the Ayurvedic concepts of prana and the Chinese practice of qi.
It is believed that we each have seven primary chakras and 21 lesser chakras are thought to also exist. Chakras are also sometimes referred to as energy centers or vortices. Each chakra is thought to resemble a colored wheel that spins in a clockwise direction, and the chakras are thought to each spin at a different rate or frequency.
Chakras are invisible to the naked eye and interconnect our physical and spiritual selves. Each of the seven chakras is tied directly to a specific region and nerve center of the body. It is believed that each of the chakras absorbs and filters the energy that we emit through our thoughts and actions as well as through the thoughts and actions of all those that we come into contact with. When one of the chakras is out of balance as a result of negative energy flowing through it, it begins to spin too slowly or too fast. When a chakra is not balanced, it can effect that physical region of the body and also effect very specific aspects of our spiritual and emotional selves.
Even if you question whether the chakras truly exist, the underlying principles of the chakras can still play a special part during prayer, meditation or when trying to improve your physical, spiritual or emotional outlook. By using the principles of the chakras to help me examine where my body and emotions are out of balance, I can focus my thoughts and use of essential oils to seek specific help and guidance of the universe or higher being – and I can play a more active role myself in directly focusing my intent on trying to balance the areas of my body and life that need it.
The Seven Primary Chakras
The Root Chakra centers upon our core needs for survival, security and livelihood. When the Root Chakra is unbalanced, you will feel ungrounded, confused and lack the ability to move forward. Without a balanced Root Chakra, it is impossible to fully balance the other chakras.
The Sacral Chakra influences personal creativity ranging from artistic expression to creative problem solving. Healthy sexual desire and expression is also controlled by the Sacral Chakra, though communicating sexual desires is also directly affected by the Throat Chakra.
The Solar Plexus Chakra strongly influences your identity and sense of self worth. Imbalances can take on polar opposites ranging from low self-esteem all the way to arrogant, selfish behavior.
The Heart Chakra strongly influences the ability to give and receive love in a healthy way. The Heart Chakra also influences our ability to cope with the sadness of betrayals of a loved one or losing a loved one due to breakup, abandonment or death
The Throat Chakra strongly influences our ability to effectively communicate our thoughts, opinions, desires and feelings – and just as importantly, our ability to hear, listen and understand those in our daily lives. The Throat Chakra not only influences what we hear and say through verbal communication, but it also influences body language and written communication methods.
The Third Eye Chakra influences the areas of our mind that control our common sense, wisdom, intelligence, memory retention, dreams, spirituality and intuition.
The Crown Chakra influences our deeper understanding of ourselves beyond the physical or material.