Understanding Your 7 Chakras – Keeping Balance – The Root Chakra
Understanding Your 7 Chakras – Keeping Balance – The Root Chakra
A Series on Chakras
By Mark Zuleger-Thyss
The chakras describe energy centers in our body and come from a system of traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. Hindu Vedas (religious texts) mention chakras somewhere between 1500 and 500 BC.
Stress can upset chakra balance and lead to physical, emotional, or psychological symptoms. Using daily practices, it is possible to harmonize the chakras' energy system. Meditation or Reiki can lead to a general state of well-being and spiritual evolution.
The Meaning of the Chakras
The chakras are energy centers having a circular flow that is sensitive to internal and external influences or vitality. Etymologically, the word "chakra" comes from Sanskrit and means "wheel" or "disc." Chakras receive the vital energy ("prana") carried through the thousands of channels called "nadis" present in the human body.
Seven main chakras run along your spine and each with its own properties. The chakras are swirling disks of energy. They start at the bottom of the spine and extend to the crown of your head. Reportedly, there are many more chakras. Some experts believe you have at least 114 different chakras in the body.
While the practitioners of yoga recognize 7 chakras, some teachers believe that we actually have 9. Seven are found within the physical body and two outside the body. The eighth chakra resides within our Luminous Energy Field. We will tackle the 7 main chakras in the body, but not the 5 outside it. This makes a total of 12, but we'll stick with the 7 most people agree on.
Chakra balancing is the process of achieving a state of balance. The spirit, body, and health are in sync. From this state, there is a harmonious flow of energy throughout the body. When chakras are well balanced, energy circulates freely. This fluid movement is called "kundalini" and health flows and you feel good. If one or more chakras become imbalanced, they prevent the others from fulfilling their roles. Chakras are interdependent on each other and organized in the same system. Due to this interdependency, dysfunctions can appear.
Chakras and Their Roles – Root Chakra
From the feeling of being relaxed and grounded to facilitating your connection to Divine consciousness, each of the 7 main chakras is unique. In a separate article we will explore the Divine Gateway Chakra which opens you up to new worlds. Here we focus on your first or Root Chakra.
First Chakra - Root Chakra or Muladhara
"Root of Existence"
The first Chakra, or Root Chakra (Muladhara), is located at the base of the spine. It is near the inguinal region of the body – or the groin. Ayurveda associates it with the color red. It represents our foundation and helps us feel grounded. Its element is Earth.
The root chakra corresponds to the survival instinct. It signifies courage and self-care, and it determines financial independence, money, and food. You feel confident and are able to withstand challenges when it is open and balanced. It helps move you closer to your life goals.
When Chakras are well balanced, it means you have accomplished leading a good lifestyle. Healthy eating, restorative sleep, and physical exercise. Strong bonds with your loved ones will also follow.
To get the Root Chakra back in balance: dance, exercise, or garden. Walk barefoot in nature. Practice forgiveness and get rid of items you no longer need. The mantra that corresponds with this Chakra is Lam.
A blocked Root Chakra causes you to feel threatened. Blockages and any excessive opening result in digestive disorders, anxiety, phobias, and depression. Aggressive behaviors could also manifest. When this chakra is too open, the excess energy leads to greed and cockiness.
Causes of Imbalance in the Chakra System
There are many causes of chakra imbalances - the main one is feeling stress - physically or mentally. In many cases, both stress and anxiety can lead to diseases. Personal habits such as poor physical alignment or posture, eating unhealthy food, or self-destructive behavior may cause chakras to become imbalanced.
Our main chakras are located along the Vagus nerve. When stressed, this nerve malfunctions and our energy vortexes - the chakras - are blocked. This blocks nerve and muscle functions, and the mental actions attached to these chakras.
Warnings that your chakras are out of balance include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, and colon diseases.
When a part of the body is blocked, a part of the soul is blocked, too. Look for the source of the problem to combat the origins of stress.
How do You Keep Your Chakras Open?
We go looking for energy where there is not enough, and you can find yourself exhausted. According to followers of Ayurvedic medicine, energy rebalancing opens the chakras. It can be performed by an energy specialist or by practicing Kundalini yoga, the original form of yoga.
Kundalini yoga involves chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and repetitive poses. Its purpose is to activate your Kundalini energy, or shakti. This is a spiritual energy that's said to be located at the base of your spine.
You might prefer Tai chi-chuan which relaxes your mind and loosens the body. Qi gong or mindfulness meditation work wonders, too.
Tai chi is a self-defense and calisthenics technique developed in China centuries ago as a maturation of several similar but separate exercises. Tai chi is not just a physical activity, it is often referred to as a form of gentle exercise. It is a mind-body exercise that integrates slow, gentle movements, breathing and a variety of cognitive components, including focused attention, imagery and multi-tasking. Twenty to thirty minutes of practice can have a positive effect on your chakra system.
After practicing Tai chi your body and mind will feel clear and pleasant. In this relaxed state, you should be quiet and contemplative - you won't be too far from enlightenment.
The Theoretical Principles of Chakra Balancing
This article describes the principles of chakra balancing derived from Ayurvedic medicine. This practice, which was initially essentially spiritual, is not a substitute for conventional treatment.
Chakras are referred to as a part of yoga practice and they describe the way energy “moves” in the body. “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word for wheel as they are thought to be spinning energy forces in the body.
Chakra Balancing is energy medicine or healing that focuses on channeling energy into the seven Chakras. In treating the Chakras, we are referring to your energetic body. We have a physical body – AND an energy body which extends beyond our physical wellbeing.
Energy medicine (E.M.) is based on physics instead of biochemistry. E.M. works with subtle forms of energy known as chi or prana - they exist in and around the human body. E.M. treats with the understanding that all illness results from disturbances in this energy known as the human biofield.
Chakras are recognized as the energy transducers for subtle energy. Subtle energy is healing that anyone can learn to perceive and utilize. It is a crucial but often missing component in health care. Be aware some folks do not believe there is scientific evidence of the effectiveness of Chakra balancing.
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