As we move higher up the sushumna (the passage that runs along the spine through which the chakras are interspersed in the subtle body), we find the chakras are considered less earthly and more spiritual.
I would like to add that ‘earthly’ and ‘spiritual’ are not opposites, neither is one better than the other. Yoga is about balance – we need to have a balance of energy flowing through the sushumna.
Check out the blog posts on the first, second, third and fourth chakras below:
The chakras help me understand many aspects about myself, Shortcomings and imbalances are rectified through through practice- whether yoga, meditation or reiki.
Let’s explore the fifth, sixth and seventh major chakras, the energy wheels that help us to express, intuit and gain enlightenment respectively.
Also known as vishuddhi chakra or the throat chakra, this wheel of energy is the centre of expression for us. “Vishuddha” means ‘pure’, ‘clear’ or ‘virtuous’. It is our communication hub, where we find our voice (however we express it), The vishuddha chakra is said to be associated with truth and responsibility.
The throat chakra is located in the throat centre, and its element is ether or space. The sense associated with it is hearing, which indicates that part of expression is also listening. The colour associated with the vishuddha is blue, and its bija mantra is “ham”.
Once, when I was a regular columnist, I found an inability to come up with ideas for my column, or I would write a column halfway and discard it because I felt it wasn’t appropriate, or not good enough, or just find reasons not to send it off to the editor.
I was wondering what was wrong with me, and I worked on my throat chakra through reiki and yoga, and before I knew it, I was hammering out columns again!
Expression is important to us, especially so when we experience trauma or grief in our lives. Whether we talk to someone, or draw, paint, dance or write, our experience needs to be let out into the world for us to proceed and advance beyond our trauma / grief.
If you find you are unable to express yourself, have neck / shoulder / throat soreness, are experiencing ulcers in the gums, you may possibly have an imbalance in your throat chakra.
Yoga postures to support your throat chakra include those that open up or compresses the throat and neck. As such, because the neck is actually quite a fragile portion of the spine, and is vital for the nervous system and brain function, we need to be careful when practising these yoga asana (check out blog post here).
Essential oils I use for the throat are:
Meditation practice that may support your throat chakra include mantra practise with the bija mantra “ham”, or focusing on the colour blue and the sense of spaciousness inside and outside of you.
The ajna chakra is also known as the third eye chakra, placed at the centre of the forehead. So it is placed above vishuddha and below sahasrara chakras. The ajna chakra is said to be the centre of wisdom and insight, associated with higher knowledge and intuition.
‘Ajna’ in Sanskrit means ‘command’ or ‘authority’ and therefore is considered the command centre of all chakras sitting underneath it in the sushumna.
The colour associated with the third eye chakra is indigo, a colour associated with wisdom and deep inner knowledge. Its symbol is of two lotus petals (symbolising the ida and pingala) with a downward-facing triangle (representing enlightenment).
For yoga practitioners, it is the highest point where the sun and moon energies merge.
Its bija mantra is “Om” / “Aum” and that symbol is inside the downward-facing triangle. The element associated with the ajna is light.
When energy is flowing well, the ajna allows you to trust your inner wisdom. You have clarity of thought, trust your gut and are able to view life events without bias or prejudice. You have discernment. When there is imbalance, you may feel close-minded, or experience headaches, migraines, or have memory issues, anxiety or confusion.
Essential oils you can use to support your third eye chakra is lavender, juniper berry or clary sage.
Check out the blog post on a meditation on the third eye. Another form of concentration practice that helps the ajna chakra is trataka (learn more below).
The seventh chakra is positioned at the crown of the head, which explains why it is also known as the crown chakra. ‘The seventh chakra, the crown chakra or sahasrara, is located at the top of the head. ‘Sahasrara’”’ means “thousand-petals” and represents a thousand-petaled lotus flower.
Sahasrara is associated with the element of thought, it is the centre that connects to spirit and universal consciousness. The colour associated to it is violet.
The sahasrara chakra is your gateway towards seeing that there is no duality: you/me, they, others/us. This allows you to have an openness in your life that helps you to embrace differences, have compassionate understanding – even to those who have wronged you.
A constant good flow of energy in the sahasrara will drive you to find your higher purpose and have that aligned with how you could help others.
Those with a weak flow of energy at the crown will avoid spiritual matters and perhaps have a narrow view of spirituality, or may be entrenched in ‘other’ing practices (e.g. blaming others for their own shortcomings, or having strong beliefs that what they do / practise / believe is better than what others do / practise / believe).
Too much energy at the crown make cause lack of focus or too spiritualised activities (e.g. loads of meditation at the expense of other responsibilities).
If you have too much energy flow in your crown chakra, you may want to practise some grounding yoga movement, see below:
If the flow of energy is weak though, you may want to consider more sitting practices, or more inversions and backbends (or backbends that are inversions!). Essential oils to support your sahasrara are Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose oils.
Express, discern, be enlightened.
These three chakras help you express / create, discern and thereby get enlightened. Keep in mind that getting enlightened means getting enlightened about something – whether it be life, or work, or our place in this world or universe. Enlightenment isn’t permanent, at lease not in this mortal coil.
I hope these blog posts on the basics of the chakras are useful to you. Please contact me if you have any questions, or if you want to work 1:1 on your chakras.
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