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When I am instructing ytts or yoga teacher trainings abroad in world regardless if live in Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica or Hawaii. I am asked sometimes the first day by new students. What are chakras? Here is my best overview of them.
Parana, also known as Chee, is our inner and primary form energy. It is constantly flowing throughout our bodies and greatly influences our emotional, energetic, physical and mental wellbeing.
Parana is present all around is in the sky, and the earth. Because of this, we can transfer it to, and receive it from the earth, the sky and others around us.
Parana is received and given in energy centres throughout our bodies called chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word that can be directly translated to ‘wheel,’ ‘disk,’ or ‘circle.’ However, from a yogic context, it is more accurately described as a ‘vortex’ or ‘whirlpool’. Imagine a whirlpool, or vortex of energy.
In our body we have seven chakras, each located on the central axis (spine) of the body. Each chakra has a role, and connection to a different element (e.g. earth, fire, water).
Further, our chakras can be blocked or overactive based on how much we use them. The integration of yoga and breath helps us to balance our chakras. This, allowing our Parana to flow more evenly and freely.
The first chakra is called Muladhara (our root chakra) and is located at the base of our spine. Muladhara connects us with the earth element, and provides stability to our basic human urges (e.g. sex, hunger, sleep).
Svadhishana is our second chakra (Sacral Chakra). This Chakara is located right under the belly button and is associated with the element water. Svadhishana gives us the means to manage our pleasure driven desires, such as dietary and sexual moderation.
The next chakra is named Manipura (the navel chakra) and connects with the fire element. The navel chakra extends from the centre of the belly button up to the breastbone (where your left and right ribs connect), and gives us our self-confidence, vitality and courage.
The fourth and heart chakra is named Anhata and is located in the centre of our chests. Anhata governs our heart and lungs, and is associated with the element air. Through this chakra empowers our compassion, unconditional love, and kindness.
The fifth chakra is named Vishaddha (our throat chakra) and is located right between the collar bones. Vishadda gives rise to creative expression and nourishment, and connects us the element space. Ajna also known as the eyebrow chakra or third eye, and is located in between the eyebrows. This chakra opens your mind to information outside of the five senses.
The seventh and final chakra is called Sahasrara or the crown chakra. Sahasrara is located in the very centre of the top of the head, and can be described as ‘pure consciousness energy’. This chakra connects all seven of our chakras.
Therefore, when the crown chakra is balanced, the other six chakras are also balanced.