What are chakras?
Chakra literally means wheel in Sanskrit and the term refers to the spinning energy wheels of the subtle energy system in the human body. The seven major chakras or energy centers, are located along the spine and radiate energy in the shape of a vortex to the front and back.
Our subtle energy system is similar in construction to our circulatory system. It radiates our mental and physical energy outwards, but at the same time it receives energy from our surroundings, including the energy of the people that we are with. We all have experienced instances of intuitively knowing that someone is ‘troubled’, ‘angry’, ‘sad’ or ‘peaceful’, ‘warm’ and ‘open’, without that person having to utter single one word. Whereas we can feel drained spending time with people that are demanding, angry and negative and yet a walk in nature can re-energize us with the positive energy from the sun, wind, trees, shrubs, flowers and animals.
The picture on the left shows the English and the Yogic name and symbol of each chakra, as well as their main mental/spiritual energy type. The physical energy is mostly associated with the organs of the surrounding area.
The Root chakra – strength of the skeleton and excretion of waste,
The Sacral chakra – sexual organs and bladder,
The Navel chakra – digestion,
The Heart chakra – heart, lungs and circulation
The Throat chakra – ears, nose and throat
The Brow chakra – brain, rational thought
The Crown Chakra – our whole being
If we experience ‘problems’ with any of the mental or physical aspects associated with the chakras, we can heal or stimulate these chakras in order to restore the balance. Each chakra has been allocated a specific colour and sound, depending on its spinning frequency. For example the base chakra spins at 256 Hz which corresponds with the frequency of sound of the middle C note and the frequency of light which produces the color red.
Beginning at the base, the chakras follow the same sound pattern as the musical scale and the colours of the light spectrum, hence the exact pattern of the rainbow colours.
Chakra Balancing with asana practice
Yoga practice is very beneficial for balancing the chakras. Below is a general indication of which poses benefit which chakras:
Muladhara – Standing poses for grounding, like the warrior series and Tadasana)
Swadhisthana – Hip openers like deep squats, lunges, Lizard pose, happy baby.
Manipura – Twists of any kind and core work like boat pose, plank.
Anahata – Chest openers like all back bends, gate pose, camel pose.
Vishuddhi – Neck focusing poses, like fish pose, cat, shoulder stand, crescent moon.
Ajna – Balancing poses that need concentration and focus, child’s pose, dolphin.
Sahasrara – headstand, handstand, legs up the wall.
Sound healing and the chakras
The chakras can also be balanced, using a ‘sound bath’ or ‘sound healing’. Similar to tuning a musical instrument, we can expose ourselves to the right frequencies of each chakra for a period of time. This will give each chakra the chance to align itself to its healthy frequency and start spinning at the correct speed, which in turn will provide us with a healthy balance of energy.
The instruments used in a sound bath vary from crystal or metal singing bowls, gongs, xylophones to digitally produced binaural beats at specific frequencies. This last type of healing meditation is best performed while wearing headphones.
Please click on the sound file above and don a set of headphones to experience the binaural beat to heal the heart chakra, which spins at 12 Hz. (It starts on 15)
Binaural is and adjective, meaning: of, relating to, or used with both ears. “Human hearing is binaural”.
Positive affirmations and the chakras
Thoughts and speech carry vibrations at certain frequencies. Thoughts are similar to visualizations as they are both ‘products’ of the mind/brain. If I would ask you to think of biting in a lemon, your saliva glands will start producing. This is direct proof that thoughts can have a physical effect on the body.
Breaking habits with positive affirmations
How you formulate the things you say to yourself can have a positive, negative or neutral effect on your well-being. Remember that every thought you think and every word you speak radiates energy and vibrations. Positive affirmations, when repeated over and over again, have the power to bring about positive changes. Negative thoughts will stop you from achieving the best version of yourself. With the with the help of positive affirmations we are able to break habits. Habits are like well-traveled paths. To break old destructive habits we need to clear out new pathways. This takes effort. Positive affirmations are simple reminders of what our goals are and how we like to achieve them. The more we repeat these affirmations the move we believe them, the more likely we will achieve what we set out to achieve. Below is a list of a good set of positive affirmation to accompany each chakra: