Throughout this month we are going to be exploring Chakras and Aromatherapy. We start by understanding the fundamentals of energy the seven Chakras, what they are, their origins, meanings as well as exploring us, as human beings. When we begin to talk about Chakras it’s hard to even know where to start, there are so many practices to do with the Chakras that are all different in their own way, but, they all revolve around the same main principle – energy or life force. But what do you mean by energy?
In traditional Chinese culture, energy is called “Qi” or more commonly known to us as “Chi.” It is to be believed that it is a vital force forming part of any living entity. “Qi” translates as “air” and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force” or “energy flow”. “Qi” is the central underlying principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Martial Arts and the practice of cultivating and balancing “Qi” is called “Qi-gong.”
In Japanese culture, it is called “Ki”, though this character originates from the Chinese “Qi” they are still used differently. The Japanese still use the character for “chi” This is the character気. It combines the symbols for rice and steam, combining the simple inanimate thing with an animation brings it alive as some sort of energy released. Ki can be used ambiguously such as in the description given. Ki can mean many different things from the release of energy, emotions or energy within a person or an object but ultimately it means life force or life energy.
In Indian culture, it is called Prana. Prana is Sanskrit word for breath, “life force” and this permeates reality on all levels including inanimate objects. In Hindu literature, Prana is sometimes described as originating from the Sun and connecting the elements. There are five types of Prana, collectively known as the five vāyus.
Prāṇa – The exhaled breath, pra – “outward”, “forth”, which lives in the lungs.
Apāna – Down and outward energy, most notably the eliminatory systems. It resides in the hips and gut
Udāna – Rising energy, resident in the throat, but also responsible for lifting kuṇḍalinī. Sound production through the vocal apparatus.
Samāna – The heat of digestion, which resides in the belly between prāṇa above and uḍāna below
Vyāna – The energy of circulation that resides throughout the body.
Our bodies are alive with universal energy. This energy flows in, out and all around us, this is the underlying principle of many systems and practices such as Reiki, Qi-gong, Tai Chi, Shiatsu, yoga and many more. It is known by many different names and can be interpreted in many different ways but ultimately meaning life force or energy. But what is a Chakra exactly and what does it have to do with energy?
A Chakra is a centre of spiritual energy and power within the human body that helps to regulate al processes from organ function to the immune system and your emotions. There are seven Chakras and each Chakra means and represents something different both physically and emotionally. They can be described as vortexes or valves that help keep us healthy, balanced and protected. Sometimes Chakras can become blocked because of stress, emotional or physical problems. If the body’s ‘energy system’ can not flow freely.
Each Chakra resembles a flower having petals and stems. The stems normally stay closed but the petals are flexible, opening, closing, vibrating and turning according to different life situations. Our physical body is surrounded by an energy field often called the Aura, which is divided into seven layers. The petals open into the auric field at the front and the stems open into the auric field at the back. The crown and root Chakras are contained within the central column. You have seven of these major energy centres or Chakras that basically run lengthwise along the body from the base of the spine to the top of the head. We can use Chakras or energy centres to cultivate greater harmony, happiness, and well-being in our lives and around us.
What are the Seven Chakras? Chakra means ‘wheel of light’ in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India and for those who can see or sense Chakras, they are seen as wheels of light or colour. Each Chakra has its own specific colour but also includes all of the other colours. The colour that is seen is that colour that is not absorbed. So a yellow Chakra absorbs all of the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, green, blue, indigo and violet but not yellow. Each Chakra is associated with a colour, shape, star sign, planet, smell, sound, emotion, negative and positive personality and much more.
The Root Chakra
Location: Located at the base of the spine
Essential purpose: Grounding, security, physical needs
Associated parts of the body: Adrenals, kidneys, blood and circulation, the base of spine, bones, colon, immune system.
The Sacral Chakra
Location: The sacral chakra is located midway between the pubic bone and the navel.
Essential purpose: Relationships
Associated parts of the body: Reproductive system, ovaries and testis, large intestine, pelvis
The Solar Plexus Chakra
Location: The Solar Plexus Chakra is located underneath the diaphragm
Essential purpose: To be oneself
Associated parts of the body: Pancreas, stomach, liver, gall bladder, nervous system
The Heart Chakra
Location: The heart chakra is located on the right side of the chest
Essential purpose: Love, self-love and love of humanity (not ego love)
Associated parts of the body: Thymus gland, heart, blood, circulatory system, arm and hands
The Throat Chakra
Location: The throat chakra is located in the middle of the throat
Colour: Light Blue – Turquoise
Essential purpose: Communication
Associated parts of the body: Thyroid, bronchial apparatus, lungs, throat, mouth, tongue, vocal cords
The Third Eye Chakra
Location: The brow chakra is located in the centre of the forehead
Colour: Deep Blue
Essential purpose: Inner vision
Associated parts of the body: Pituitary gland, lower brain, nervous system, ears, left eye, nose
The Crown Chakra
Location: The crown chakra is located at the top of the head
Essential purpose: Connect to and being at one with the universe
Associated parts of the body: Pineal gland, upper brain, right eye.