“Chakra” literally means spinning wheel.
Your life energy (also known as your ‘prana’ or ‘Qi’ -pronounced “chi”) is like electricity which runs along lines throughout your body. Chakras are like junction boxes where these lines come together.
When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it is said to trigger physical, mental, and/or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, poor sleep, or digestion, etc.
There are seven main chakras in the upper body, as follows:
The Root Chakra (muladhara) is red in colour and it is located at the perineum / pelvic floor. Those who practice yoga will be familiar with the moola bandha- contracting the moola bandha triggers this root chakra. Our basic survival instincts are located in this energy centre including urges relating to food, sleep, and sex. It is also linked to our ability to trust in others.
The Sacral Chakra (svadhistana) is orange in colour and it is located about 2 inches below the navel (also known as the dantian). This second energy centre chakra is the home of the reproductive organs, the genitourinary system, and the adrenal gland and is therefore linked to our sexuality and family connections. It is also likened to our inner child being associated with creativity, innocence, vulnerability and spontaneity.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (manipura) is yellow in colour and it located in the solar plexus, that is about 2 inches below your sternum in your chest. This chakra is linked to our ego / our self-concept as an individual, fame, authority and free-will.
The Heart Chakra (anahata) is green in colour and it is located just left of the centre of your chest. It is associated with love, hatred, faith, compassion, anger, duty and devotion.
The Throat Chakra (vishuddha) is blue in colour and it is located at the base of your throat. It is linked to our creativity, communication/ expression, our knowledge and abundance.
The Third Eye Chakra (ajna) is a meeting point between two important energetic streams in the body. It is indigo in colour and it is located at the centre of your forehead in-between the eyebrows. It linked to intuition, insight/ inner vision, wisdom and relaxation.
The Crown Chakra (sahaswara) or “thousand-petaled” chakra represents the state of pure consciousness/our union with the Divine and unbounded awareness. It is violet in colour and it is located at the very top of your head. It is linked to our union with the Divine and cosmic consciousness and unbounded awareness.
Ideally this meditation should be done in the mornings as it gives you an abundance of energy.
Each of these seven chakras resonates with specific sounds that you can make/ chant:
The Root Chakra – “LAM”
The Sacral Chakra – “VAM”
The Solar Plexus Chakra – “RAM”
The Heart Chakra – “YAM”
The Throat Chakra – “HAM”
The Third Eye Chakra – “SHAM”
The Crown Chakra – “OM”
To meditate on the chakras and awaken each energy centre first sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight and watch your breath. Once you have settled begin chanting the first mantra “LAM” visualising its location in your body and the colour red. Do this for about 5 minutes and then watch your breath and settle back down.
Then do the same for the second chakra – visualise its location in your body (i.e. the dantian; 2 inches below the navel) and its colour (orange) and chant the mantra “VAM” for 5 minutes or so.
Repeat this routine for each chakra (remembering to leave a gap between each stage as you simply watch your breath and settle back down).
Finally, after chanting all seven mantras you then observe the silence for 20 minutes; watching your breath.
Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™.