The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or revolving disc. The chakras are subtle revolving vortices of energy situated within the astral body. They connect the five sheaths (koshas) that embody the soul to the functions of the physical body, primarily through the endocrine glands and nerve plexus in the spine.
The chakras serve as transformers and act as regulators to receive, assimilate and distribute pranic energy (the life force) to the subtle body, which then distributes the energy to the spinal nerve plexus where it is in turn transferred to the blood circulation and organs of the physical body to promote optimum health..
The subtle pranic life force enters the body at the base of the brain, (medulla oblongata) and flows to the higher centers in the brain.. As this energy and light filters and spirals down through the six major chakras or energy centres, it increasingly intensifies in density. At the lowest point of the chakras at the base of the spine, (Mooladhara Chakra) the vibrational frequency is lower and slower than those above it. The higher the chakra the more subtle and finer the vibrational frequency becomes. These higher chakras are closely related to the inner most sheaths (koshas) and higher levels of consciousness.
The energy that filters down through the chakras spirals down from the cosmic energy which is produced from cosmic light, and is created by the Divine will.
Chakras are our energy centers. They are the openings for the life energy to flow into and out of the aura. Their function is to vitalize the physical body and to bring about the development of our "self"- consciousness. The energy and vibrancy of our chakras is directly related to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Each chakra is associated with specific physical, mental and emotional qualities. Each chakra governs certain organs and functions in the body. The symbolic attributes associated with each chakra are as follows:
Chakras are generally depicted as lotus flowers
There are many other aspects related to the chakras, however the list below will give the student of yoga a basic intoduction to the concept of chakras and the importance of using these points of awareness throughout their practice.
Many people practice yoga and spend a lot of time working on improving their postures and constantly challenging their bodies as they have not yet come to the realization that this will not take them very far on the path to freedom. Yogasana should ideally be practiced with total awareness on the breath and the chakras if one is to achieve any real benefit from the practice. Without this awareness one is merely performing just "exercises" and not gaining the deeper experience that is available to all of us through the wealth of knowledge that has been passed down to us by the masters of yoga as an aid to spiritual growth, radiant health and in living a life that is peaceful and harmonious.
Introducing the Seven Major Chakras
In this article we will be focusing on each individual chakra and the qualities of the chakras so you will get a broader understanding of the concept of the chakras. We will look at the physical and emotional problems associated with each chakra as well as the fragrances and gemstones that can be used as an aid in healing and balancing each of the chakras.
Yogis who present Shiva with garlands of flowers, of the oleander or the sweet smelling jasmine, shall obtain the object of their wishes.