Chakras literally mean “wheel” or “disk”. Chakras are considered to be sphere shaped energy centers of the human body that when activated allow the life force energy to flow. Often energy becomes stuck, blocking the flow of energy that the body requires to be healthy. Identifying the location of the centers of energy is the first step to help the body regain its balance.
There is a co-relation between Chakras, for the Yogic and Ayurvedic Tradition, and Dan Tiens which are the energy centers for Traditional Chinese Medicine used in practices of Qigong or Kung Fu. I’ve mentioned this relation in this video, as well as the location of the glands in the human body.
The role of Chakras is to spread Prana (vital energy) in their local regions. As each Chakra relates to a specific spiritual, psychological and physical issues, the conscious awareness and the balancing of these energy centers lead to overall wellbeing. A particularity is that the Chakras don’t have any color of their own, rather they reflect the colors of their surroundings.
So let’s take a closer look at each Chakra:
Root Chakra or Muladhara
Where: the very base of the spine, the perineum along the first three vertebrae at the pelvic plexus. It is related with kidneys, bladder, adrenals, hips, bones, vertebral column.
What: This is the foundation on which we build life. The root is associated with basic needs and survival instinct, the feeling of belonging and the connection to a tribe. When imbalanced, you may experience insecurity, eating disorders (check Emotional Eating), aggression, depression, lethargy, negativity and greedy. Balancing this Chakra translates into security, safety, balance, stability and grounding.
Sound: Lam or Lang
Meeting place of the three main nadis: Ida, Pingala and Sushumma
The Nadis are the network of tubular channels of energy flow (similar to the concept of vessels for Traditional Chinese Medicine) throughout the body.
Essential oils: Grounding oils or root oils such as the ones from the trees. The trees live in the present moment: they have absolutely no hurry and they don’t rush through anything. These oils will help you ground your energy and manifest your intentions with the patience of a tree.
Examples: Patchouli, Cinnamon, Balance, Vetiver, White Fir, Cedarwood.
Where to apply: Under the feet (our roots) or the legs
Lower or Sacral Chakra or Suadhisthana
Where: Just above the genitals in the lower abdomen (4 fingers below the belly button).
What: This Chakra helps us connect to the physical world and enjoy its pleasures. It represents the doors to creation. This is the center of creativity, self-love, being authentic, feeling happy or expressing sexuality and sensuality. When imbalanced it can lead to addiction, frustration, compulsion, repression, depression, self-deprivation and apathy. When balanced an overall feeling of joy and harmony is experienced and an enhanced ability to relate to others.
Sound: Vam or Vang
Essential Oils: happy oils like the citrus family or flower oils that bring out your inner child. These oils inspire happiness and freedom, they bring you into a positive mood, restoring energy and inspiring abundance. They also help you reconnect with your inner child, bringing creativity and spontaneity.
Examples: Wild Orange, Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang, Jasmim
Where to apply: Directly beneath the navel
Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura
Where: Directly above the navel, between belly button and bottom of rib cage, it’s the power center. Liver, stomach, spleen and small intestine are the organs associated with this Chakra.
What: This energy center is associated with confidence, Self-Worth, Value and Self-Acceptance. When in balance, a strong sense of motivation and direction is present. An imbalance here can lead to sarcasm, pessimism, overly analytical or dictatorial personality, abuse of authority, naïve passiveness, fatigue and feeling of inferiority.
Sound: Ram or Rang
Essential Oils: Oils that have a cleansing effect on stagnant feelings and limiting belief systems. Oils that generate movement. Oils that ignite self-love, self-acceptance, connection with the body and flow.
Examples: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Patchouli, Rosemary and Cypress
Where to apply: Directly above the navel
Heart Chakra or Anahata
Where: This energy center is located right in the center of your heart. And the heart is the organ associated with it. Indirectly the lungs are also associated with it.
What: This is the place where we hold the vibration of love, compassion, tenderness, patience, connection, forgiveness, generosity and kindness. When out of balance, we experience impatience, bitterness, resentment, cruelty, attachment, loneliness and isolation. This chakra is a transition between the lower and higher chakras, between body and spirit. It’s the seat of balance within the body.
Essential Oils: oils that address the heart and that possess great emotional healing properties. Oils that restore confidence in the world and in the self. Oils that encourage love, forgiveness and trust and that enhance feelings of connection and support.
Examples: Geranium, Rose, Frankincense, Sandalwood and Neroli.
Where to apply: Over the heart area and/or palms of hands.
Throat Chakra or Visuddha
Where: in the throat. Thyroid, lungs, upper digestive tract.
What: This is often where power is expressed since this Chakra is closely connected to the Solar Plexus and the Heart Chakra. It’s through throat that we express and speak up or that we hold down and swallow what we don’t express. Through the vibrations of the voice we communicate with the world. We express what is going on in the inner world with the other Chakras. An imbalance can lead to self-righteousness, negative self-talk, repression, being overly critical, destructive, confusion and disorientation.
Essential Oils: Oils that support self-expression, verbal expression, communication, transformation and flow. Oils that support the breathing system. Oils that are calming and release insecurities.
Examples: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Ravensara or Melaleuca
Where to apply: On the neck, especially in the throat area or inhaling.
Third Eye Chakra or Ajna
Where: Located right between the eyebrows, it is the center of intuition and intellectual enlightenment. Eyes, sinuses, lower head.
What: When balanced, you experience peace regardless of the world around you. When imbalanced, it translates into self-absorption, lack of imagination, insensitivity, headaches, a scattered mind or impaired vision. It is also associated with psychic perception, intuition and conscience.
Essential oils: oils that open clarity and vision and promote creativity, imagination and decision making. Oils that encourage individuals to be open to the new.
Examples: Lavender, Clary Sage and Marjoram.
Where to apply: Between eyebrows , forehead or inhaling.
Crown Chakra or Sahasrara
Where: At the top center of the head, in the brain, the center for spiritual awakening, wisdom and enlightenment.
What: Once you’ve nurtured your other six chakras and the energy is flowing, you are likely feeling a great sense of peace, purpose, and flow. When this Chakra is out of balance, people can experience depression, schizophrenia, feelings of superiority, lack of contact with reality, lack of concern for others. It is associated with awareness, spirituality, purpose, enlightenment, dynamic thought, cosmic consciousness, the Divine, a total access to the unconscious and the subconscious.
Sahasrara literally means “lotus of the thousand petals”.
Essential Oils: oils that connect with the inner spiritual self, reveal deceptions and false truths. That help let go of lower vibrations, lies and negativity, creating new perspectives based on the understandings of the soul, spiritual awakening and connection to the Divine.
Examples: Frankincense, Myrrh and Cedarwood.
Where to apply: top of head , hair, forehead or inhaling. It works mostly with breathing the properties of these oils, rather than topical application.