This article will take us through each of the eight chakras, offering a brief explanation with a Kundalini Yoga kriya and meditation to help bring each of these energy centers back into balance.
What are Chakras?
Chakras are energy centers that exist within the human body. These energy centers are mapped to different emotional and psychological issues and can be used to help identify imbalances and to establish internal harmony.
The combined effect of our chakra systems become who we are, how we feel, how we behave, and how we change.
In simple terms, the word “chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or circle. These whirlpools of energy are mapped along the spine. In most forms of yoga, there are seven recognized chakras. These are:
In Kundalini Yoga, an eighth chakra, the Electromagnetic Field, is recognized.
Muladhara means “root, support.”
The first chakra is about survival, support, and feeling grounded and safe in our environment. It relates to our ability to focus, project, and manifest worldly, practical needs. When the first chakra is balanced, it manifests as a feeling of security.
When the first chakra is out of balance or blocked, it results in feelings of instability, insecurity, grief, and depression. There can be themes of self-centeredness and self-indulgence as the ego works hard to get its needs met. In extreme imbalance, this can look like a very self-serving person.
First chakra questions:
Kundalini Yoga Classes for the First Chakra:
Svadhisthana means “sweetness.”
The second chakra is about sexuality, creativity, inspiration, and energy storage. This is the chakra of polarities (opposites), and these polarities create movement. Pleasure is one of the essential features of the second chakra, and the second chakra is where we gain a degree of freedom and complexity. When in balance, this chakra manifests as the ability to experience pleasure, creativity, and inspiration in an open, yet tempered way.
When the second chakra is out of balance, you may have a hard time experiencing pleasure, expressing yourself, and relaxing. Pleasure is a double-edged sword and being out of balance in this chakra can manifest as avoiding pleasure or indulging in it too much. Imbalances can result in frustration, attachment, anxiety, fear, or overindulgence, and excessive hedonism.
Second Chakra Questions:
Kundalini Yoga for the Second Chakra:
Manipura means “lustrous gem.”
The third chakra is about personal power, a strong will, self-motivation, the ability to make decisions, and the ability to inspire other people. When in balance, this manifests as the ability to confidently pursue your goals, to project powerfully into a situation, and your personal grit to keep going in difficult circumstances.
When the third chakra is out of balance, you may lack initiative, and you may not pursue your goals. You may feel victimized by life circumstances and have feelings of powerlessness.
Third Chakra Questions:
Kundalini Yoga for the Third Chakra:
Anahata means “unstruck” (as in the sound made without two things striking).
The fourth chakra is about love and the infinite patterns of interdependence between all things. When the heart chakra is open and balanced, we perceive the world as unity, not separation. When in balance, you can easily and consistently access compassion, accept others in a non-judgemental way, and feel joy, happiness, and bliss.
When the fourth chakra is out of balance, you cannot access compassion. You may be afraid to give or you give to those who don’t deserve it and share with those who don’t want it. You may be blocked from feelings of joy and happiness, and you may feel isolated.
Fourth Chakra Questions:
Visuddha means “purification.”
The fifth chakra is about sound, communication, creativity, connection, expression, and interactions. When the fifth chakra is open and balanced, we communicate our truth clearly and compassionately. We can both speak effectively and listen actively. Purification is an aspect of this chakra.
When the fifth chakra is out of balance, communication is ineffective. This may manifest as a lack of expression or as bitterness. You may have something you want to say but you have difficulty speaking or communicating in a way others can hear. It may be difficult to say your truth.
Fifth Chakra Questions:
Ajna means “to perceive.”
The sixth chakra is about intuition, visualization, imagination, perception, and dreaming. The sixth chakra is the center of seeing the unseen and tuning into the subtle undercurrents of a situation. When in balance, your intuition is strong and clear. You can visualize situations and access inner wisdom.
When the sixth chakra is out of balance, you may experience detachment, confused thinking, or ongoing nightmares. You may feel confused and experience a lack of clarity.
Sixth Chakra Questions:
Saharsrar means “thousandfold.”
The seventh chakra is about thoughts, information, and understanding. It represents our conscious and unconscious thought structures and belief systems. The function of this chakra is knowing and when in balance, we take in and understand full information. Knowing is a complex process that requires continual transcendence and shedding of the old. To be in balance, we must constantly discover and assimilate new information.
If the seventh chakra is out of balance, we may become close-minded, rigid in our thinking, depressed, confused, and anxious.
Seventh Chakra Questions:
This eighth chakra is a chakra recognized in Kundalini Yoga but generally not in other forms of yoga.
The eighth chakra is about the aura, the energy field that surrounds you, and your subtle body. It is used to filter all vibrations that come into your field. The aura is the center of consciousness, where our exchange of energy takes place with our environment. When in balance, it provides a protective shield against negative energies and helps project radiance. Your aura and electromagnetic field are your first line of energetic defense.
When the eighth chakra is out of balance, you may feel weak, vulnerable, overwhelmed, and unable to protect yourself from negative energies, harm, and disease. You may be particularly sensitive and overwhelmed by negative situations and low vibration energy.
Eighth Chakra Questions:
You’ve now taken a journey through the chakras, but the journey never really ends. Maintaining balance of these energy centers requires conscious work and ongoing maintenance.
A few things you can do to keep your chakras open and in balance include:
If you notice you are out of balance in any of the eight chakras, you can begin to restore balance by doing the corresponding Kundalini Yoga kriya and/or meditation for 40 days.
This post is based on the books “Energy Maps: A Journey Through the Chakras” by Gurudarshan Kaur Khalsa and Meditation as Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa.