Many people have heard of the term chakra, perhaps in alternative healing, meditation or in yoga. But what is it really?
‘Chakra’ is the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning”. It can be referred to as an energy center. Our body has many different energy centers, and each one of these chakras sends and receives energy into our body from our environment. If we look at human anatomy, it is a system that explains how our body is made up of different organs and limbs.
While the foundation of Chinese medicine states that energy lines run throughout our body and lead to specific organs, the chakra system is a different philosophy which shows how they interact together, just like cogs or gears in a larger machine to cycle energy through our system.
The seven main chakra centers are aligned with the spinal column or central channel. They represent our energy on several different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. When our chakras are balanced, energy flows freely between them and with our environment.We are then able to be balanced on the physical, emotion, mental or spiritual levels.
When we are living a balanced life, all the chakras are functioning equally, like well-oiled gears. If one aspect of our lives is imbalanced, it could cause dysfunction in one of the chakras. Imagine it as something getting stuck in one of the wheels and preventing it from moving smoothly. This in turn causes the other wheels to work harder. Generally, everyone has some chakra out of balance. Maybe the Dalai Lama is the only one has balanced chakras all the time!
So how do we remain balanced? Energy always changes. We can always help freshen our energy by using movement. Yoga is a great way to cycle energy through the body. As we are moving through the different postures during a class, the body movement will directly affect the chakras. If you work with intention, you can set an intention to release any stresses, obligations or emotional and mental energy that does not serve you in a positive way.
Other activities that may help clear energy are meditation, focusing on your breath, documenting thoughts through journal writing, and/or physical activity.When you release old energy, you create space for new energy to come into your life. Energy always changes. Aim for it to be bigger and better!
Contributing Author: Kathy Ong. Kathy is the manager of our Midtown Yoga Tree Location. She is also a Reiki Master and Reflexologist, aiming to aid in the emotional, physical, and spiritual well being of those around her.