Among some of the most fundamental questions we ask ourselves is “What am I?” and “How do I exist?” These questions force us to consider mass, energy, and existence as a whole. What strings tie our universe – and us – together?
In Hindu and Yogic traditions, chakras, nadi, and prana play important roles in answering this question. These deal precisely the energy that exists within and outside us, and they form the neural system that bonds our health and wellbeing to the universe.
What are Chakras
Chakras are centers of energy that exist within our bodies. In total, there are 114 chakras that operate in the body. Each manifests itself in the subtle body, a part of our being that exists beyond the physical structure of our cells and body parts. These vortexes of energy connect us to the non-physical energy of the universe, and are connected in our bodies through pathways or channels calls Nadi.
Through these channels, prana –the life energy of the universe – flows.
Imagine a long stream which, at different parts, contains pools of water. The stream starts at the top, and on several different levels, the water runs down, creates a pool, then run off down to the next pool, and so on and so forth.
Just as this stream may be blocked at certain parts, making pools overflow or become moldy and diseased, so can our chakras. When the stream is blocked, the flow of water is disrupted in all following pools. Like chakras, these pools are linked, and when one chakras becomes unbalanced, physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences occur.
The Chakras from the Beginning
Generally, there are seven chakras that are most important to Ayurveda: the Root Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, the Heart Chakra, the Throat Chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, and the Crown Chakra.
In the following articles, we’ll explore each of these chakras, what they mean, and how to balance them. It’s important to understand that of the seven main chakras, three are physical and three are spiritual/metaphysical, with the fourth – the Heart Chakra – serving as a plane of connection between the two. Generally, it’s advised to start from the ground up when balancing one’s chakras, beginning with the the Root Chakra.