What are Chakras?
Chakras are a channel for the way energy moves through the body. They are subtle energy fields spinning at different velocities like a vortex within the body and in the etheric field around the body. This etheric energy field is also known as the subtle body or the aura. These energy fields are also referred to as Chi in Taoism and Prana in Vedic traditions.
The Subtle Energy Body and Chakras
The word chakra is Sanskrit for wheel. These fields start at the base of the spine and go all the way to the top of the head. According to ancient Indian Vedic texts, chakras are meant to be a point of focus during meditation, visualized as structures of energy resembling spinning wheels or spinning and blooming lotus flowers.
Energy is taken in through the chakras that the body can use — at the cellular level. Just as the pineal gland is the energy transducer that sends hormonal and electrical messages throughout the body, chakras may likewise be the energy transducers for subtle energy. Subtle energy is a healing energy that anyone can learn to perceive and utilize. It is a crucial, but often missing component in health care.
The original Hindu Vedic texts (600 BCE) speak about a system of seven chakras; however, other Hindu sects and Tibetan Buddhist traditions believe there may be as many as 114 chakras all over the body. Today, it is universally accepted that there are seven basic chakras.
Each of the seven chakras correlates with elements of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. They are considered to be etheric spinning energy fields that hold the life force (also known as prana or chi). They help to regulate all the body’s processes from organ function to the immune system and emotions.
“Chakras act as junction points between your human form and consciousness. They are psychic centers of transformation that enable you to move toward an enlightened state of being.”—Harish Johari, Hindu Yogic, Tantric and Aryuvedic scholar, author of Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation
When Chakras Become Unbalanced
It is vitally important that our chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flows become restricted. Because chakras are moving energy centers, they can drop out of balance or become blocked, thus causing disease. This disease can create an imbalance in the whole body if the chakras are not balanced.
So, when one chakra becomes unbalanced then the others can also become unbalanced. If the chakras remain unbalanced it may cause the mind to lose its balance as well. As a result, clear thinking can also become impaired. If you start to experience chronic illnesses or just feel out of sorts, this could be a warning sign your chakras are unbalanced.
See the chart below to see the corresponding chakras to their conditions.
“When we get in touch with the energy within our chakras, we connect with ourselves more fully, and learn how to heal ourselves on all levels, creating true holistic healing.” ― Margarita Alcantara, Chakra Healing: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras
How to Balance Your Chakras
There are specific ways to balance each chakra, including practices for increasing the energy of a chakra when it is weak, and practices for calming the energy of a chakra when it is overly strong. Chakras can be made more powerful by visualizing the chakra as a spinning wheel or lotus flower in their respective colors. This can also be accomplished through meditation, yoga, chanting Bija mantras, affirmations, and other spiritual practices.
When a chakra is overactive, it means that the chakra is distributing too much energy. It is working in overdrive and creating a lack of balance in the chakras. When a chakra is overactive, it can affect your overall health.
When a chakra is underactive, it means that the chakra is experiencing a blockage or is not distributing the flow of energy. When a chakra is underactive, it can also affect your overall health.
Chakra Chants for Healing
A Bija mantra is an ancient Sanskrit phrase that translates to ‘seed mantra’. It is the most basic of primordial mantras used. There is a Bija mantra associated with each chakra. They each have meaning and intense vibratory qualities that attract energy.
When chanted aloud a Bija mantra activates the energy of the associated chakra. Bija mantras have a very intense vibratory quality and act as an instrument to access higher levels of consciousness and balance the mind and body. They are simple single syllable sounds that can be chanted with a group or chanted when alone.
To find out how to chant the Bija mantras for each chakra, click on the chakra below that you feel you want to focus on.
Activating Your Light Body: 7 Chakras and What Each Chakra Means?
Each chakra is represented by a specific colored lotus flower.
Click on each chakra below to find out more.
Ancient Eastern Cultures Knew About Chakras
Over 2600 years ago, Ancient Eastern cultures in India, China, Tibet, and Japan all knew about the healing power of chakras. The concept of chakras originated with the texts of the Vedas from India between 1500 and 500 BCE. Later, the Yoga Upanishads from 600 BCE revealed the theory of the subtle body and its energy centers. It comes from the Tantric Yoga tradition, which flourished from years 600 to 1300 CE and still thrives today.
Esoteric Yogic traditions focused on overcoming suffering and imbalance in life, seeking to become established in the experience of creativity, peace, and harmony. Ancient Hindus first introduced the concept of meditating with chakras around the 7th century CE. Their intent was to increase mind-body connections and radiant inner energy which they called prana flows. Ancient Chinese medicine also adopted the Hindu concept of chakras; they developed their own system by matching acupuncture points to chakra centers. Treating chakras with acupuncture involves the circulation of qi energy aka chi energy (both pronounced chee).
The Science Behind Chakras
He wrote about a patient who had an asthma attack after smelling an artificial rose. In the mid-1970s Dr. Ader provided a scientific explanation for Osler’s curious observation when he demonstrated that mammals are capable of conditioned Pavlovian responses. Ader’s scientific studies showed that thoughts and emotions can physically make changes in the immune system (NIH).
A study conducted by Dr. Robert Ader, MD, in 1975 provided the first scientific evidence that our thoughts can physically alter our immune system. Dr. Ader was building on writings from over a hundred years ago from Sir William Osler, MD. Osler was one of the founding physicians of Johns Hopkins University. His findings were profound and revolutionary. Ader wrote about his findings in 1975,
“Until recently each body system was considered to function in a pristinely independent manner.” He revealed that everything is connected and “emotional stress indisputably and negatively impacts our physical health” – Robert Ader, MD (NIH).
Subtle Energy and Chakras
There is an energy surrounding the body, referred to as the subtle energy body, also known as the aura. It is taken into the body through the chakras and translated into a form of energy that the body can use at the cellular level. Subtle energy is a healing energy that anyone can learn to perceive and utilize. It is a crucial, but often missing, component in health care.
Pineal Gland is the Third Eye
The pineal gland is draped in ancient lore as the mysterious third eye and one of the chakra sites of the sixth sense. It is theorized that the pineal gland may interface with bodily energy portals such as chakras. Described in ancient Egypt and India, the pineal gland was considered an energy center.
Scientific Evidence of the Subtle Energy Body
A study published from George Washington University Medical Center in 2005 by psychologists, Len Wisneski, MP, FACP, and Lucy Anderson, MSW, revealed scientific evidence that the mind and body are inextricably connected to the subtle energy field. Wisneski and Anderson are at the cutting edge of subtle energy medicine.
This study made the case that the pineal, not the pituitary, is the body’s master gland. It showed that the pineal gland is the interface between the subtle energy field and the hormonal and nerve impulses that create thoughts and emotions.
Wisneski and Anderson pulled together their research and ancient philosophical concepts to establish that comprehensive health care must involve thorough attention to the mind and spirit—not just the body.
The Science of Chanting During Meditation
Scientists from Amravati University recently found remarkable results from a study of the Om (Aum) mantra and documented that it creates a distinctive vibration throughout the body. What was astounding was that the study showed the effects of the Om mantra produced profound mental and physical changes. Read more on our blog; Meditation Science and Spiritual Awakening.