What is Chakra?
It is a Sanskrit word for wheel or disk - a spinning circle.

According to Hindu/Buddhist traditions the seven chakras exist as a metaphysical system, they are the energy centres of the astral body, a subtle energy plane that co-exists with the physical body. The chakras are the areas of interconnection between body and spirit which when purified or opened up through ie the advanced practices of yoga, lead the adept to enlightenment.

Each chakra reflects an aspect of consciousness essential to our lives; each energy centre corresponds firstly to the endocrinal system of the body-to organs, glands and physical properties within the body. There are seven major centres along the spinal column, these are energy centres of the subtle body, the psychic body. They are connnected and energised through a network of psychic channels called nadis, which correspond on a grosser level with the nervous system.

The subtle body has seven layers forming the AURA about the physical body. Each layer has seven chakras which correspond to the major seven chakras in the physical body. Therefore each Major chakra has seven chakras, each vibrating at higher frequency, nested like glasses.

Nadis means flow or current. There are 72 thousand nadis in the human body.

They are visible (because they are made of astral matter) like currents of light to a person who has developed psychic vision. Along the nadis flow the forces of prana. Out of the large number of nadis flowing in our bodies the most important are three, called the ida, pingala and sushumna. All nadis are subordinate to the sushumna. The sushumna nadi runs within the spinal cord, from muladhara chakra at the base to ajna chakra at the top. It is dark and silvery in colour. Ida nadi emanates from the left side of muladhara (Chakra One) and spirals round sushumna to reach ajna (Chakra Six) on the left side. Ida is blue.

Emanating from the right of muladhara is the pingala nadi. It spirals up to ajna and enters on the right. Pingala is fiery red.

Ida and pingala are the pathways of the two polar opposites of the life force flowing within us (prana). The male and female, the yin and yang, the moon and sun, and the colours are, yes, blue for girls and red for boys! (we are told the strands are the threads of Fate, and three colours stood for Prakriti the divine female energy as Creator/Virgin (white) Preserver/Mother (red) and Destroyer/Crone (black)) see chart on Qualities of Ida and Pingala.

Our aura is the external manifestation of our subtle body. (Kirlian photography shows this) In India the sacred flower is the lotus and chakras are called lotus’s.

Like flowers a chakra can be open or closed, dying or budding depending on the state of consciousness within.

The chakras are the master programs that govern our lives, from instinctual behaviour to planned strategies, from emotions to artistic creations - they are a rainbow bridge between mind and body, spirit and matter, past and future, Heaven and Earth.

In each of the chakras we can hold onto patterns of behaviour, these can become self perpetuating and keep us ‘stuck’ at an emotional level or behavioural level (karma is a pattern formed through actions). If the patterns are beneficial they can enhance growth but if not they become blockages to our development and our higher goals.

Cleaning the chakras of old non-beneficial patterns is the work involved here

Chakra One

MULADHARA (root/place) base of spine
our grounding, the root chakra, - survival
Element: earth, Colour: RED

Chakra Two

SVADHISTHANA (self/dwelling place) lower abdomen
emotional and sexuality
Element: water, Colour: ORANGE

Chakra Three

MANIPURA (city of jewels) solar plexus just above navel
personal power (hara) & metabolic energy
Element: fire, Colour: YELLOW

Chakra Four

ANAHATA (not struck) heart chakra sternum
love, compassion, courage
Element: air, Colour : GREEN/ROSE PINK

Chakra Five

VISHUDDI (purify) throat
communication and creativity
Element: ether, Colour: BLUE

Chakra Six

AJNA (command) eyebrow centre
intuition, mind, clairvoyance, imagination, dreaming
Element: light, Colour: INDIGO/VIOLET

Chakra Seven

SAHASRARA (consciousness) crown, top of the head
knowledge understanding, spirituality
Element: thought, Colour: WHITE /GOLD

The Gunas

In Hindu mythology the cosmos, The Prakriti, is woven from three threads called the Gunas.

  • Matter TAMAS — black

  • Energy RAJAS — red

  • Consciousness SATTVAS — white.

The chakras all comprise varying proportions of three gunas. They are the essence of a basic unified primordial substance. Together they comprise the Dance of the Universe. Yet separately they are quite distinct but they are never found alone, always they are accompanied by varying proportions of their counterparts.

Energy, matter and consciousness combine to form all that we experience in the same way that the gunas combine to form the cosmos. The chakras are these combinations.

Lower chakras are matter (tamas); the middle chakras are energy (rajas) and the upper chakras are consciousness (sattvas) Yet some proportion of each thread is found at every level and in every living thing.

Caroline Myss has written the best book Anatomy of the Spirit