The Energy Body and Chakras for Beginners
Updated: Feb 26, 2019
If somebody told you, that you don’t have thoughts, you would say that they are crazy. Yet thoughts are not tangible, you can’t see or touch your thoughts. But these very thoughts have a powerful effect of our existence as human beings. How we think about something effects how we feel about it, and how we feel about it might determine what actions we take and so on. The realm of the mind then, is an intangible, unseen realm and so it is safe to say that there is much more to us than our bodies.
Now think about this. Haven’t you met people, even though you don’t know them, you’ve taken an instant liking or disliking to them? There are some people, even with no words exchanged, we feel drawn to, or repelled by them. What is this communication that is taking place without words? It’s the communication that is taking place in the realm of feelings, intuition and energy — the intangible. Scientists have concluded after thousands of years of research, that there is no such thing as solid matter, it’s all energy. And what we perceive as solid objects are in fact made up of atoms and particles still vibrating and moving, just slowly enough to appear to be solid. Thus our physical bodies are not as solid as they appear to be. And just like we have a physical anatomy, there is an energetic anatomy to us as well, and this is called the chakra system.
Simply put, chakras are energy centers located within or around the body; each with its own qualities and attributes. The interesting thing about this energetic anatomy, is that each ancient tradition has some version or system referring to it. The most commonly known system is that of the seven chakra system. ‘Coincidentally’ there are literally hundreds of references in ancient texts (including the Bible, Koran and Torah) that use the number 7 when speaking of human development spiritually and energetically.
In the Egyptian book of the dead, there is a life force termed ‘Sekhem’, that runs through channels in the body. Much is written about the need to harmonize the sekhem for a fulfilled life. In Greece the Pythagoreans discuss the existence of the luminous body of light that every human has. The energetic anatomy of chakras, cannot be fully understood or comprehended, without first understanding what is this energy that flows through them. There seems to be a word for it in most languages other than English; the Chinese call it Chi the Japanese and Koreans call it Ki, the Indians call it Prana and in the ancient Jewish Kabbalah, it is called Ruach. This energy is the life force that flows through all of creation, and we as human beings, being a part and parcel of that creation have this life force flowing through us as well.
The chakras then, are the channels through which this life force travels. As I mentioned before, the most commonly known and used system is that of the seven chakra system, and that is what I will elaborate in this article. The word ‘chakra’ is a Sanskrit word for ‘wheel’ or ‘vortex’, which is symbolic of the way the centers function within us.
In the seven chakra system we have three lower chakras that are connected to our primal and instinctual urges desires and needs and are our connection to the material world. We also have three higher chakras that are connected to our intellectual mental and spiritual urges, desires and needs and the one chakra connecting these higher and lower centers is the heart. This is not a coincidence because the heart is at the center of our being a deep source of wisdom and inner truth. In addition the chakra system of our energetic anatomy, is connected to the endocrine system of our physical anatomy. Each chakra is connected to a major endocrine gland.
The first chakra is the root chakra located at the base of the spine and is the energy center that governs or regulates our connection to the earth, it represents our ability to function in the material world and access to our ‘roots’ — our family work etc. It is associated with physical energy, grounding and self-preservation. When this chakra is in balance, we feel at harmony with our physical bodies and the physical world around us. When this chakra is out of balance, we can feel ungrounded nervous and fearful. The color that is usually associated with this chakra is red and it is connected to the adrenal glands.
The second chakra is the sacral chakra, located right below the navel. This chakra is about our creativity, feelings, intuition and sexuality. When this chakra is in balance, we feel open to expressing our feelings, being intimate and are comfortable with our sexuality. An out of balance sacral chakra can create repressed emotions or conversely overactive emotions and generate depression and being closed off. It can even manifest as overactive and out of balance sexuality. This chakra is connected with the ovaries and gonads and is associated with the color orange.
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra, located, well in the solar plexus. This chakra governs our self-esteem and confidence, it is our seat of power and self control. When this chakra is in balance, we feel sure of ourselves and experience a positive, optimistic outlook on life. When out of balance, It can create a feeling of passiveness and indecision and lack of self-confidence. Conversely it can also create strong feelings of aggression. The gland associated with this chakra is the pancreas and its color is yellow.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra located in the center of our chest. This energy center governs our ability to give and receive love, and to be compassionate and kind. A balanced Heart center creates a loving and affectionate person who is able to give and receive the qualities of this energy center. An out of balance heart center can create coldness or even manifest as an addiction to needing people and creating drama to be the center of attention. The color of the heart chakra is green and the gland associated with it is the thymus gland.
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra associated with the thyroid gland and is responsible for our ability to communicate our truth. It is the center governing sound, speech, writing and thought expression. A balanced throat chakra gives us the ability to communicate clearly and to express our true selves. When our throat chakra is out of balance we have a hard time expressing what we want, need and how we feel. The color for this chakra is traditionally sky blue.
The sixth chakra is the third eye, located between our eyebrows and is associated with the pituitary gland. This center governs our ability to think clearly, to connect to our intuition, and it is where we connect to higher spiritual truths and realms. This is the center where our dreams come from, it is about insight and visualization. A balance third eye chakra gives us a clear mind guided by higher spiritual forces, we can think and visualize things clearly and our mind is sharp. An out of balance third eye chakra can create confusion, loss of sense of purpose or even manifest as someone who just fantasizes about great truths and builds castles in the air. The color associated with this center is Indigo.
The seventh chakra is the crown chakra, located at the top of the head, purple in color and associated with the pineal gland. This is the energy center that governs our connection with the divine, it is the center of enlightenment and oneness. This chakra is about wisdom and being one with the world. When this chakra is balanced, we experience the world with an unprejudiced mind, we are aware of ourselves and our connectedness to the Universe. When this chakra is out of balance, it can manifest as rigidity and narrow minded ways of thinking, and a lack of interest in the spiritual side of life. Conversely, it can also create an individual, who is so enthralled by spiritual wonderings that they ignore the workings and needs of their physical and material worlds.
Having an understanding of our energetic anatomy, can give us deeper insights into who we are, what we want and what might be blocking us from realizing our potentials, goals and wishes. I once had a client who came to me stating she wanted to work on having healthier and more joyful relationships. During our discussion within the session, she told me she had a lazy thyroid (throat chakra), which caused her to gain weight easily and as a result of which she didn’t feel confident around men. As we dug deeper, we found out that her strained relationship with her father (root chakra) caused deep feelings of mistrust (root chakra) of men within her. ‘Were you allowed to express yourself as a child?’ Was one of the questions that I asked her, to which she replied ‘No! I was very angry with my father for the way he treated my mom but I was too scared to say anything!’ These familial dynamics created a blockage in her throat chakra which ultimately manifested as a lazy thyroid. This is an example of how intricate our energy anatomy really is, and how intimately it is connected to our physical bodies. The solution then, is to find a way to clear these energetic blockages and the physical healing will then naturally follow.
If you are new to looking at the world through this perspective of energy and life force, and you’re not quite sure how to begin to acquaint yourself with it, try this simple Qi-gong exercise:
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Now, bring the palms of your hands together and rub them vigorously. Then slowly pry them apart until you create the space about the size of a football between them. Then slowly bring your palms back together again, and slowly bring them back apart. Repeat until you start to feel the palpable ‘energetic football’ you’re holding in your hands. You should experience a resistance in the air between your hands. Congratulations! You have just been introduced to the world of the intangible yet very real Ki.
One last note on Ki. It is the very essence that keeps us alive, the more Ki we have, the more vital life force we embody, and the better we can live our lives and the more fully we can live our lives. So it might be a wise choice on our parts to pay attention to how this energy is functioning in our minds and bodies. So I encourage you to open and explore your energy body, balance yourself, and experience your own radiance within and without.
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