Chakra Basics

At the core of this system are seven chakras, which serve as the basic energy centers of the body. The seven chakras correspond to the seven major nerve ganglia of the body, branching from the spinal column. The fact that ancient texts were accurately describing nerve centers well before Western medicine adds a level of credibility to the system of chakras and its related sister- sciences.

The six lower chakras, all the chakras except the crown, have three major energy channels running through them called nadis. Susumna is the most efficient for carrying energy as it runs straight up and down the spine. The ida nadi criss-crosses through the chakras, passing through the left nostril. The pingala nadi also weaves a pattern through the chakras, passing through the right nostril. In a healthy, balanced being, energy flows uninhibited through the chakras. However, the majority of people have chakras blocked by some impurity or another, forcing the flow of energy solely through ida and pingala, and completely avoiding the “energy highway”, susumna.

Both external situations and internal habits, such as tension that frequently disturbs the body or negative thoughts about oneself, can cause a chakra to become imbalanced. When the chakras are not balanced properly, your body does not work as effectively as it could, forcing some chakras to over-compensate while others are forced into submission. When this happens, your body pays the price, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Additionally, chakras are affected with the various issues we face in life and how we choose to deal with them, both internally and externally in our interactions with the world. As centers of force, it’s helpful to think of chakras as physical locations where we receive, absorb, and distribute life energies.

Each of the seven chakras correlate to a specific function within the body, starting from the root at the base of the spine and working their way up through the genitals, navel, heart, throat, third eye (center of forehead), and crown of the head. When a chakra is no longer functioning properly, the results appear in various ways, some that are apparent to the eye and others that only you can recognize after deep reflection and meditation.

The chakras rely on each other to function properly. It is impossible to find balance if even one chakra is overlooked. The ultimate goal is to bring the balance known as sattva to all of the chakras, a blend of activity and passivity that lead to harmony and balance in your life. When this balance happens, not only will your body function properly, but also your mind and spirit will be freed, allowing you to live in a state of profound gratitude and joy. The beauty is that balancing chakras not only affects your life, but also the lives of those around you.