Chakras: Wheels of Life

September 15, 2014    BY Yoga International

Chakras are us. These 7 wheels of energy and consciousness, located along the central axis of the body, underlie and influence every aspect of our being—physical, energetic, mental, and emotional. We can work with the chakras through yoga practices.

Muladhara is the foundation and support for our physical body and the energies that need a physical body to unfold. It is associated with stability, the four primary urges (food, sleep, sex, self-preservation), and the earth element.

Element: Earth
Cognitive Sense: Smelling
Active Sense: Eliminating
Seed Mantra: Lam*
* Pronounced lum (as in pendulum).

At svadhishthana chakra, our life force begins to move outward to express itself and fulfill our desires. When we are balanced here, we neither overindulge nor suppress our desires. This chakra is associated with the water element.

Element: Water
Cognitive Sense: Tasting
Active Sense: Procreating
Seed Mantra: Vam*
* Pronounced wum.

Manipura chakra is the pranic hub of the body, so it’s the place to start for both healing and spiritual practice. It gives us vitality and self-confidence. Associated with fire, it governs digestion and transformation at all levels.

Element: Fire
Cognitive Sense: Seeing
Active Sense: Moving
Seed Mantra: Ram*
* Pronounced rum.

At anahata chakra, the upward-moving instinctive energies of the lower three chakras and the descending grace of the Divine meet. It is our core—the seat of our self-identity and our Higher Self—and it is associated with the air element.

Element: Air
Cognitive Sense: Touching
Active Sense: Grasping
Seed Mantra: Yam*
* Pronounced yum.

Vishuddhi chakra is the seat of creative expression, and also nourishment, as the throat is the gateway for both speech and food. This chakra affects our metabolism and growth through the thyroid gland, and its element is space.

Element: Space
Cognitive Sense: Hearing
Active Sense: Speaking
Seed Mantra: Ham*
* Pronounced hum.

Ajna chakra is the seat of the mind and conscious awareness. The pituitary and pineal glands are both under the influence of this chakra. By working with ajna and the breath, we can calm our mind and focus it inward for spiritual practice.

Beyond Elements and Senses
Seed Mantra: Om

At sahasrara chakra, we move beyond the manifest world and connect with Pure Consciousness. We let go of our limited identity in order to embrace something beyond the personal. Meditation is the key to making this connection.

Beyond the Manifest World

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