Your Chakra / Energy System

and Why You Need to Care

“If you open up your body, mind, and emotions your life will be pretty good.
It you open up your energy system, it will become magical.”
  ~ Sadhguru

Although well documented in yogic texts, and reflected in other spiritual traditions, for thousands of years the chakra system remained in obscurity. In recent decades, as our consciousness evolved, that knowledge became available to us. Anodea Judith was one of those early pioneers who revealed its role in facilitating and fueling our current evolutionary journey.

Human beings are multidimensional.

What are these dimensions?

4 Dimensions of the Chakra System  - Vertical Display
  • Physical Dimension, The Body ~ You know you have a body because of your senses. You can see, touch, smell it, it has substance, density, You know it’s “real”.
  • Emotional Dimension ~  You can’t see or touch your emotions, their substance is not perceived through your eyes. Their nature is “subtle”, yet their impact is anything but. They have the power to determine how you experience life. Are you happy? Are you miserable? Do you want to live? Do you want to die…? Though unseen, emotions are also “real”.
  • Mental DimensionYou can’t see or touch your thoughts either. They’re even more “subtle” than feelings. Yet you have thoughts, you are aware of them and of how essential they are. They direct and bring meaning to your life. If there was no mental activity, you’d be a vegetable. Again…”real”.
  • Spiritual Dimension ~ Most of us acknowledge this dimension because there’s been moments in our lives when we’ve experienced something that goes beyond our other realms. These experiences transcend the limitations our day-to-day reality. They lift us to “higher” ground and we access our “higher awareness”. Though we may not be aware of this, this dimension is the most “real” of all.

The human “being” is designed to function in a way that is true to its nature, with all these dimensions fully integrated as an indivisible whole. We know a great deal about how the human body functions, and in more recent years we’ve also learned a lot about our more subtle dimensions. Science now affirms that wellness is a body, mind, spirit process.

We know the human body has 70 trillion cells, and each cell performs a few million complicated functions per second. In addition, each cell must also know what every other cell is doing, or the human body falls apart…WOW!

The body can only function if all its parts are operating synchronistically and in rhythm. In other words, if it is not fragmented. When there is a disruption in one or more of these rhythms (fragmentation) there is disease. This happens because the essential nature of the human “body” is interconnectedness, not fragmentation. Equally important is the connection and synchronistic rhythm between our physical and subtle bodies. This interconnectedness is essential to the health and wellness of the human “being”.

The vehicle through which all this happens is the Chakra system. It receives, integrates/transmutes and distributes our consciousness and life energy through both our physical and subtle bodies. The more science explores this, the more it substantiates it.

The same is true of the natural world and the cosmos. Their vast level of organized activity is the result of the constant interaction of consciousness, and energy between them. 

The chakra system holds both the blueprint of our wholeness – our essential nature and potential – and an imprint of every life experience. Through it we access our life wounds and all the resources required to heal them…

When an experience is positive/life-affirming, the imprint is positive and enhances the flow of life energy and consciousness. When an experience is negative, it inhibits this flow and creates blocks in the system. This can have a profound effect on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and vitality. In short…these imprints often determine our experience of life. Dis-ease at any one of these levels is the result of an imbalance/disconnect between our different dimensions caused by these blocks/imprints. If we think of the body as a living computer, it would  be our “hardware” and the chakras our “software”. Blocks are the equivalent of viruses in our software.

This amazing system is comprised of seven major centers/chakras arranged vertically from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, and runs through the center of the body. Each chakra has specific functions, and is responsible for aspects of our development and wellbeing at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Each corresponds to specific organs, nerve ganglia, life themes, and every other aspect of the human experience.

Here is a glimpse at the unique nature of each chakra…

Chakra development in not fixed and varies with each individual, everything stated here is an approximation. Also, a chakra can be excessive, deficient, or both. That’s why some of the symptoms listed can seem contradictory, they show up differently in different areas of our lives. You may be very confident in your work and extremely uncomfortable in social situations.

Chakra 1 – Our Root – Muladhara
Element: Earth

Chakra 1 - Our Root - Muladhara Element: Earth

The first stage of human development begins with the Root chakra.  This image shows part of a tree’s massive root system and the equally large canopy it sustains. In the same way a healthy tree requires a healthy root system, a healthy human being requires a healthy root chakra. We are an integral part of nature, and we cannot survive without it. The earth provides the ground we stand on, food, water, air, shelter ~ it meets our needs. Our root chakra provides this connection.

Chakra 1 begins to develop in the womb until about 12 months. It’s our first experience of life ~ that simple state of “being” that is so precious and obvious in a newborn. It’s completely instinctual, and it’s responsible for the development of our motor function and everything we need to survive. A healthy Root chakra provides a strong foundation for life.

The themes of the root chakra include health, family, career, finances. When we find ourselves struggling in any of these areas, working directly with the energy of Chakra 1 is essential.

Benefits of a balanced Root chakra: Groundedness, health, a sense of safety and security, stability, prosperity, a sense of belonging and being at home, the ability to be still and fully present.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Root chakra: Resistance to change, overeating, obesity, anorexia, fear, workaholism, excessive spending, anxiety, spaciness, difficulty manifesting, auto-immune problems.

Chakra 2 – Sacral – Svadhistana
Element: Water

The second or Sacral chakra develops from 6-12 months. Take this video in, see the movement, clarity, abundant flow, and power of water. It can be still, and it can be turbulent, it reflects perfectly the nature of our emotional life.

From the stillness and stability of the Root chakra, the child enters the movement and flow of the second. S/he moves into the “feeling” realm of life and the awakening of pleasure and desire… which are the catalyst for movement in the child and the adult. It also governs our sexual energy.

Benefits of a balanced Sacral chakra: graceful movement, the ability to embrace change, enjoy pleasure, nurture the self and others, emotional intelligence, healthy boundaries, passion for life.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Sacral chakra: Obsessive attachments, mood swings, addiction, excessive sensitivity, emotional numbness, rigidity, poor or excessive boundaries, fear of change, lack of desire, OBGYN/colon problems

Chakra 3 – Solar Plexus – Manipura-
Element: Fire

Chakra 3 - Solar Plexus - Manipura- Element: Fire

The third or Solar Plexus chakra develops from 18-42 months, and marks the development of the ego and the will.

This is a “fiery” stage for the child. Now able to physically move away from her/his caregivers, and full of energy, the toddler begins to experience a sense of “self” and “other”. This is the stage we begin to individuate.

We’ve all heard of the “terrible two’s”. Saying “no” is a way of asserting one’s personal will and, and however difficult for the parents, it’s important to honor this emerging experience of personal power in the child. It will determine her/his ability to overcome peer pressure, to walk away from an abusive relationship, to confidently look for a better job. Interestingly, toilet training plays an important role here.

Benefits of a balanced Solar Plexus chakra: Responsible, good self-discipline, positive sense of self, warm, confident, energetic, spontaneous, playful, humorous, able to take risks.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Solar Plexus chakra: Controlling or passive, ambitious, hyperactive, or lacking energy, stubborn, poor digestion, blaming, can have an overblown sense of self or low self-esteem, stubborn or weak willed, diabetes.

Chakra 4 – Heart – Anahata
Element: Air

Chakra 4 - Heart - Anahata Element: Air

The fourth or Heart chakra develops between 3.5-7 years. We now enter the center of our energy system…the sacred place where the practical details of our physical experience come together with the more expanded experiences of creativity, intuition, and spirituality of the upper chakras. Here we access balance, happiness and wellbeing. If things have progressed relatively well for the child, they enter the Heart chakra with a sense of systemic fullness and resourcefulness that naturally overflows into their relationship with the world around them.

Their interests begins to include their peers and those outside their immediate circle. They move from the awareness of their own needs to an awareness of the needs of others. The subconscious experience of oneness in the Root chakra becomes a conscious awareness of connectedness and inclusivity. The personal power of the ego becomes the power of friendship and community, of collaboration and co-creation.

Benefits of a balanced Heart chakra: Caring, compassionate, empathetic, accepting, self-loving, peaceful, centered, content.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Heart chakra: Codependency, poor boundaries, jealousy, being a pleaser, withdrawn, critical, intolerant, lonely, lack of empathy, fear of intimacy, heart and lung problems.

Chakra 5 – Throat – Vishuda
Element: Sound

Chakra 5 – Throat – Vishuda Element: Sound

The fifth or Throat chakra develops between 7-12 years. Having crossed the midpoint of our energy system (our heart chakra), we now move beyond the physical and into the subtle realms of spirit.

Our first destination is the throat chakra ~ the center of communication, expression, conscious creativity, the seat of our authentic voice and our personal truth. Here our expression in the world blossoms into a genuine sharing of our gifts, our unique contribution to life. For those of us who grew up having to restrain or even repress these faculties, restoring the health of this chakra allows us to fully access and express our power in our lives and in the world.

Benefits of a balanced Throat chakra: Resonant, full voice, good communication with self, clear communication with others, good listener, good sense of timing, lives life creatively.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Throat chakra: Talking too much, loudly, or inappropriately, can’t keep confidences, gossiping, fear of speaking, secretiveness, shyness, thyroid problems.


Chakra 6 – Third Eye/ Brow – Ajna
Element: Light

Chakra 6 - Third Eye/ Brow - Ajna Element: Light

The sixth or Third Eye chakra develops throughout puberty. It is considered our “command center”. Here we make a great leap in consciousness and access a frequency of light that can shine even in the darkest corners of our subconscious mind.

We finally “see” and access our gifts of intuition, imagination, dreams, insights, inner vision, clairvoyance and much more. Our perception of life expands to include all living beings and the Earth, revealing the intricate and powerful connections between all life. We become aware of archetypal themes we share and the role they play in our lives and in the world.

We access the ability to learn from our mistakes so we don’t have to repeat them. The third eye allows us to see the big picture, to perceive the larger patterns in the cosmos, and our own lives as subsets of those patterns. ~ we perceive the macrocosm within the microcosm.

We remember our vision for life and align with it, no longer floundering, unsure of how to move forward.

Benefits of a balanced Third Eye chakra: Strong intuition and insight, creative imagination, good memory and dream recall, ability to visualize, has a guiding vision for life.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Third Eye: Obsessions, delusions, nightmares, difficulty concentrating or visualizing, insensitivity, denial, inability to see alternatives, vision and learning problems.

Chakra 7 – Crown – Sahasrara
Element: Thought

Chakra 7 – Crown – Sahasrara<br />
Element: Thought

The seventh or Crown chakra develops throughout life. It represents sovereignty and the ruling principle of life. Free from the bonds of the physical realm we can finally experience our divine nature. We’ve arrived at the summit, where our human journey culminates in an experience of unity consciousness, and we reconnect to our universal identity. We are no longer alone, we know ourselves to be one with all humanity, nature, the universe.

This state of being cannot be defined with words, it can only be experienced through the beauty and power of our Crown chakra. This is our ultimate destination and the fulfillment of all our desires. It is where we find liberation.

It is also where consciousness first enters the physical realm as the element of “thought” – the seed of our creative impulses. As such, it is the starting point for the downward journey through the chakras – the sacred process of manifestation.

Benefits of a balanced Crown chakra: Spiritual connection, wisdom, mastery, intelligence, presence, open-mindedness, ability to question, assimilate and analyze information.

Symptoms of imbalance in the Crown chakra: Disassociation from the body, confusion, spiritual fanaticism, rigid beliefs, over-intellectualizing, apathy, disconnection from spirit, problems with the central nervous system.

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