Understanding your Chakras (part 1 of 7)

“Chakra” is an ancient Indian concept found in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning” and is often depicted as a flower or wheel-like rotating sphere from a specific point on the surface of the body. Known as energy centers, each chakra is the central point for receiving, processing and expressing life force energy.

In this seven part series we will explore each of the seven major chakras, their location on the surface of the body, associated color and the information stored in each. While there are hundreds of known chakras, we will discuss the seven main chakras identified in western culture.

Chakras are closely tied to our physical, mental and emotional state of being and support the physical body while serving the development of our higher consciousness. It is thought that each chakra is stacked as a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine with the seventh resting above the crown of our head. Each chakra relates to other chakras, correlating with the basic states of our physical being and our consciousness.

The first chakra we will explore is called the Root Chakra. It is located at the base of the tailbone and is associated with a vibrant red color and the musical tone C. Also known as the “grounding” chakra, it is related to our health, physical and material security, survival instincts, safety and our innate need to exist as an individual. It is the foundation of all chakra energy centers that connects us with our home, family, support system, social network and religious traditions. All other chakras are connected through the Root Chakra, receiving only the energy that can pass through it, making it the most important in maintaining balance and alignment.

Chakras like consistent energy flow. When the root chakra is centered and grounded, you should feel healthy, alive, safe and secure. You have the ability to move forward in life with confidence and know that life supports you, your needs are being met and you feel connected to life. When your root chakra is open, you love life and feel empowered to accomplish anything.

When your root chakra is unbalanced or closed, you may feel a lack of confidence, self-esteem and insecurity. Goals seem unachievable, and you may feel fear and self-doubt. Difficulty with daily responsibilities, managing your finances and being absent-minded may also be attributed to being ungrounded. Have you had days where you felt a bit off? You didn’t feel like yourself or felt disconnected from people? You may have experienced a sudden change which left you unsettled or fearful. This could be contributed to an unbalanced state in your root chakra. Sudden or abrupt changes can destabilize your energy flow creating an imbalance.

If you feel a bit out of balance, try gardening and work with plants. Working with your hands is grounding yourself with the earth. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot or dance! Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen, helping those less fortunate is very grounding. Cook – using your hands to create food from the earth is balancing. Meditation and visualizing a vibrant red will help ground your energy center to your physical body. If you meditate using mala beads, the gemstones related to the root chakra are red jasper, obsidian, smoky quartz and bloodstone. Incense is also thought to be centering. Lavender, patchouli and sandalwood are associated with the root chakra.

In the next issue, we will explore the sacral chakra, it’s color, meaning, how to balance your chakra and its relationship to the root chakra.

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