The Yogis understood the human body in a very different way, compared to how modern science looks at it. One among this approach is the concept of Cakras. The viewed the Cakras as vital energy centers located at different places in the body, which controlled important functions of the body. Each of the Cakras are located along the spine and each has a specific role in our health and wellbeing, as well as in the expansion of our full potential.
Although there are some variations found in the classical texts about how many Cakras there are, it is widely acknowledged that there are seven major ones. The appropriate functioning of these seven energy centers was seen as an important focus for most Yogis. So they designed very specific practices including Asana, Pranayama, Mantra and Mudra to engage with these vital centers so as to improve overall quality of life.
They strongly believed that our negative tendencies and illnesses were a result of imbalances in the particular Cakras. Hence they considered an exploration into each Cakra a vital part of our own self reflection process.
Here are seven simple reflections you can consider, and why you should start engaging with the Cakras in your own practice, and perhaps begin an exploration into this theme.
1. The Muladhara Cakra located at the base of the spine connects to concepts of stability, security and feeling grounded in our lives. An excessive blockage of prana in this Cakra influences the person feeling heavy, sluggish, monotonous, obese, having a sense of hoarding or being too materialistic. While if you are feeling frequent fear, a lack of discipline, restlessness or spacey, it could indicate a deficiency of energy in this Cakra.
2. The second Cakra is called the Svadhisthana Cakra and is located near the reproductive organs. It influences one's creative potential, as well as fertility. If one is suffering from a lack of creative expression, infertility, poor social skills, emotional numbness, excessive boundaries etc., it is a sign of a deficiency of Prana in this Cakra. While an excessive blockage of Prana in this center can lead to pleasure addiction, poor boundaries, emotional dependancy and a host of other imbalances.
3. The Manipuraka Cakra, located in the navel region, has an important role in transformation, be it with regard to food or with emotions. Overall low energy levels, Chronic fatigue, Poor digestion, Procrastination tendencies, victim mentality etc. are often considered as a consequence of deficiency in the functioning of this Cakra. While a hyper activity of this Cakra may lead to the person to be aggressive, controlling, stubborn, arrogant and have a whole range of digestive disorders including ulcers and other eating disorders.
4. Anahata Cakra is the name of the fourth energy center, and is located in the heart region. Deficiency of Prana in this Cakra is believed to influence anti-social behaviour, lack of self love and self esteem, fear of intimacy, depression and lack of empathy. While an excess activity in this Cakra could influence dependancy, poor discrimination, possessive and clingy attitudes. Dysfunction of this Cakra is also believed to influence physical disorders such as disease of the heart, the lungs, thymus and immune system deficiency.
5. The fifth Cakra is called as the Visuddhi Cakra, and is located at the throat region. Its primary function is to influence communication and expression. Weakness in this Cakra may be a reason for fear of speaking, introverted behaviour, shyness, lack of self expression and other related issues. While an excess functioning of this Cakra may result in the person talking too much, using talk as a defense mechanism, gossiping and inability to listen.
6. Ajña Cakra is the name for the sixth Cakra, and is located in the region between the eyebrows. Insensitivity, poor perception, poor memory, denial and other related issues are often believed to be a consequence of weak energy in this Cakra. While hallucinatins, delusions, obsessions, headaches, insomnia and other similar disorders are considered a hyperactivity of energy in this Cakra.
7. The last Cakra, located at the crown of the head is called Sahasrara Cakra. It is fundamentally connected to our full potential and our spiritual orientation. Spiritual skepticism, learning difficulties, rigid belief system, materialism, alienation and other similar issues are related to a weakness of Prana in this energy center. While over intellectualization, spiritual addiction, dissociation and poor manifestation are considered a hyper activity in this region.
The Yogis not only believed in this view, but also developed tools and means to influence the balanced functioning of the Cakras.
In order to facilitate a deeper understanding of this topic and to help engage seekers to explore these through deeper practice, an intensive online series of seminars is on offer starting January 2016. Kindly click here for more information and to participate in this unique course.