The chakras are energy vortexes we can percieve inside our bodies, corresponding with and resonating at the various frequencies of the universe (chakra means 'wheel' in sanskrit). They are centres of energy that give power to, control and influence every aspect of our lives including the physical body, the energetic systems, mental and emotional functions as well as the perceived world around us. By becoming aware of the energetic aspect of our being, the chakras become part of our experience, and in doing so we are able to change and influence any part of our inner and outer worlds; creating a reality we choose. One of the names for this practise is Hatha yoga (ha-tha refers to sun and moon). Though not common in modernized yoga, Chakra Yoga Brings the focus to this area for the purpose of developing each of the forces.
In the following sections we will step through the chakras, starting with the lowest chakra, Muladhara and working our way through the body. The first 7 chakras are shown in the chakra man above.
This is an energy depiction of Muladhara. It is often shown as a four petalled lotus in Hindu symbolism. In many other traditions it maintains the structure of four sides, in this case four red triangles. In Egypt the four triangles were folded up into a pyramid, like a lotus with its petals folded up into a bud. This 'bud' represents the condensed energy in an atom, which becomes the raw power of Kundalini when transformed.
This center is known to be at the root of our being, generally shown at the base of the spine. It is a portrayal of the gravitational force which pulls into the center and holds us together. It is an energy of contraction, used by muscles in their work and by the gonads in creating seed.
Muladhara, the energy of gravity and compression, is the creative force underlying the material world, pulling particles together like building blocks to manifest the earth element.
- At the molecular level this energy is the strong integrative power that holds each individual atom together; the nuclear core of the material world.
- At the universal level it is the gravitational pull that holds individual stars and planets together, and creates what we experience as the gravity of the earth that pull which keeps us on the ground.
- At the physiological level it is the force that empowers cells to gather nutrients for growth, as in children’s bodies where an abundance of this energy is required. Hormones and neuro-peptides produced by the sex glands reflect this energy and distribute it throughout the body.
- At the psychological level the energy generates thoughts about the self, possessions, survival, and acquisition, while emotionally it provides us with sensations about our physical body.
The energy vortex we might refer to as cohesion. At the level of physics it manifests as a gentle force that holds atoms together to create molecules, in this case called covalence. It is called the water element because, amongst other things, it is the force that holds together the atoms of oxygen and hydrogen in order to make a water molecule.
Within our personal and mental sphere it is in this realm that we swim in our emotional waters. Our attractions towards other people and relationships with them, are fueled by this energy, same energy that holds hydrogen and oxygen together.
Swadhistana is the energy of cohesion, a force that gently pulls together and unites.
- At the molecular level it creates the bonds between atoms to make the molecules of all the known substances in nature as well as in the synthetic world.
- It is a flowing energy that allows flexibility, adaptability and change. This energy, added to the solidity of the first chakra, generates the ability to move, creating what we call living matter rather than rock. At the universal level it creates the flowing orbits of moons around planets, and of planets around suns. It is the movability of he entire system.
- At the physiological level the energy of the second chakra creates bonds between hemoglobin, oxygen and carbon dioxide, as well as among various nutrients, to create proteins and complex molecules. It is also responsible for thousands of chemical bonds which occur at the neuro-peptide level of body and brain chemistry.
- At a psychological level this force attracts and pulls people together to share energy, emotions, ideas etc. It is the social energy on which society is based.
Manipura is the center of fire. It is called the solar center, and very connected to the solar plexus of western medicine.
At the molecular level the force of Manipura moves into the realm of quantum physics, instigating the liberation of energy from the quanta of energy that make up the atoms.
Here is that place where we generate our energy for physical stamina, and also our source of will-power.
Manipura instigates change and transformation in the manifest world. It is the force that breaks apart some of the bonds created by Swadhistana energy and brings about a subsequent liberation of energy which we perceive as the fire element.
- At the molecular level the force of Manipura moves into the realm of quantum physics, instigating the liberation of energy from the quanta of energy that make up the atoms. These are sometimes explained as photons of light or heat.
- At the universal level this fire element is the energy we see as light and feel as heat, whether from a campfire, a light bulb, or the sun. Manipura is energy that has been liberated or released from matter, or matter that has been transformed into energy.
- At the physiological level it is responsible for the transformation and liberation of energy from the food we have eaten. This includes the destruction of what we eat so as to enable digestion, and the subsequent changing of some of those nutrients into energy for motion and action.
- At the psychological level it motivates change, action, creativity (especially visual) and spontaneity. People dominant with this force are often perceived as non-conformists, or dare we say 'rebels'.
Associated with the Air element, Anahata energy is responsible for all expansion and most outward moving forces in the universe.
What is known in Western science as Expansion or Repulsion. We can experience this force in science when we put two north poles of magnets together; an invisible power that pushes them apart.
This brings us to the area of the heart, that place where we feel.
Anahata's energy is that of healing and compassion. It is a force that moves outward towards others, although it comes from deep within, from the source of our being.
Anahata energy contributes to expansion and outward moving forces in the universe.
- At the physiological level the force of Anahata makes us breathe and keeps our heart beating. Its expansive nature creates healing of the body through detoxification and elimination of undesirable substances or residues that have accumulated in us, gently pushing everything out of the body.
- At the molecular level it is the repulsion of like forces. Just as two north poles of a magnet will push each other apart, or as two rubber balls colliding will bounce off of each other, this force is acting on each molecule of air, pushing them apart to create the expansion of the air element.
- At the universal level this force is expanding the universe, moving every star and galaxy outward and away from each other.
- At the psychological level Anahata energy inspires the urge to reach out and help or heal people. The feeling of compassion and/or love motivates our actions when this energy is balanced and flowing.
This is Vishuddha, the Chakra or energy vortex of electromagnetism. It was called the element of ether from Greek times down through the middle ages and to the present.
Within this highly vibrant aspect of the universe lies the information bank from which comes manifestation. The seeds for everything in creation are contained as waves of possibilities in this ocean,
Vishhudha chakra brings us into the sea of vibrations. Its essence is a vast field of electromagnetic energy in a constant state of vibration at a wide range of frequencies.
- At the physiological level the vibration of the fifth chakra is what activates our metabolism, raising or lowering our metabolic rate according to the speed of that vibration. It also has an influence on the harmony or disharmony within cell groups in our body. Just as music can be harmonious or noise can be chaotic, the vibrations of Vishuddha directly influence and affect our internal environment.
- At the molecular level this harmony exists in the bonds and relations between atoms that make up our being. When that harmony is present, the atoms and molecules move together in a cosmic dance that creates the solid material world we perceive. When disharmony prevails we have disintegration and disease.
- Universally this vibrant force permeates the infinity of space through light-waves and a vast array of other electromagnetic vibrations that we cannot perceive through our normal senses. As with the fourth chakra force, vishuddha moves outward with a pressure that keeps the cosmos expanding in the same way that sound moves out in all directions from any source of vibration.
- Psychologically the energy of Vishhudha vibrates throughout our brain cells stimulating a thought process that can seemingly go on forever. Intellect comes to life with unlimited new ideas from the universal mind. This cosmic mind is referred to in the Indian tradition as the Akashic records; a vast energy field which contains the universal library of past, present and future. Information contained in the waves, just like our telecommunication networks.
Ajna is the element of mind and in physics force of magnetism. The geometric structure of the universe is contained in its magnetic field, the holographic matrix, and all structures within are held in that web. The cyclic energies flowing in those fields create changes in time and are the basis of most ancient calendars.
In this area of the mind we use the magnetic energy of Ajna to direct our logical thinking process. Our ability to perceive, process and respond to our environment rests in this center, or at least it should be resting sometimes. Herein lies our central processor.
Ajna brings about manifestation by setting the magnetic pattern which holds every particle or wave in its place or along its path. Like a web or holographic image, it is the mental/energetic blueprint for life.
- Physiologically this energy governs our unfolding body as we grow from a seed to an adult, following the genetic blueprint from which our personal manifestation originates. Throughout our life, Ajna remains the governing force behind the old axiom “mind over matter”, constantly directing our body and brain chemistry according to our beliefs and expectations, and ancestral programs for behavior and survival.
- At the molecular level it is the polarity that runs through every atom and molecule. A magnetic force, establishing the magnetic guideline for every electromagnetic wave, Ajna is at the core of every “thing”.
- The universe also has a pattern of magnetic fields, one which keeps the position and motion of all the parts in balance. These universal gridlines make up the web that weaves our manifested reality.
- At the psychological level this chakra is our command center, the site where we make decisions and govern our thoughts, actions, and even feelings.
Sahasrara is the conscious awareness that is experiencing all the other chakra manifestations.. Just as white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, so the 7th chakra is in its essence the awareness of all the other energy centers. In the Science of Yoga, this is the first of the higher, out of the body, centers. Up at level 7 we become aware of the infinite and eternal universe in its blissful state, lose track of our worldly bodies, and experience the divine states. The purpose of meditation in yoga is to bring us to this cosmic awareness, and the more worldly practices such as Hatha yoga and Pranayama yoga are to prepare us for these higher experiences.