The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel. These spinning wheels are an inner working system of seven energy centers which are located along the spine. Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a set of behavioral characteristics that reflect either balance or imbalance. They also correspond to stages of spiritual growth.
Practicing yoga and focusing your energies during different postures as in yoga can help you to align your chakras and get all the wheels spinning in the same direction and speed. Understanding how to fine tune and control your chakras through yoga and meditation can help to bring stability and peace to your mind, body and spirit.
There are seven main chakras, each one associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the perineum to the crown of your head. Each chakra is associated with a particular body location, a color, a central emotional/behavioral area, as well as many other personal aspects including identity, goals, rights, etc.
The seven chakras are:
- Muladhara- Base of the spine
- Svadhisthana- Abdomen, genitals, lower back/hip
- Manipura- Solar plexus
- Anahata- Heart area
- Vishuddha- Throat
- Ajna- Brow
- Sahasrara- Top of head, cerebral cortex.
Through the movements and postures of yoga, you can learn to focus your concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in your body. This can allow you to compensate for areas that may be out of synch with the rest of your body or are not active at all. By balancing the energy in all seven of the chakras, great health can ultimately be achieved. This spiritual energy is known as Kundalini energy. In its dormant state, it can be visualized as a coiled up snake resting at the base of your spine, known as the Muladhara chakra.
Since the chakras act as valves or pumps regulating the flow of energy through your system, controlled and purposeful movements such as yoga can be extremely beneficial in aligning your chakras in a way that can cause great benefits to you in your physical and emotional wellbeing.