The Chakras are energy centres in your 'subtle body', that is the energy structures of the self that interact with and extend beyond the physical body. The word Chakra is Sanskrit and means 'wheel' or 'disc', referring to the idea that our Chakras each spin at a particular frequency.
The Different Chakras
There are many Chakras in your body, but the major ones are the seven Chakras that run from the base of the spine up to the top of the head. Each of the seven major Chakras affects different aspects of the physical body, such as the different hormonal glands, the senses and parts of the physical body such as skin and muscle.
Connecting these Chakras and running through the body are thousands of energy channels called Nadis, which translates as 'flowing water'. These are similar to veins, except they govern the circulation of energy through your body.
Benefits of Chakra Knowledge
For both exercise and alternative healing, knowledge of the Chakras is of great benefit. In Yoga, the Asanas, the breath control and mantras all stimulare the different Chakras and help keep them synchronised and in harmony.
This is one of the main reasons for practising Yoga, though it's not often given the attention that it rightly deserves. Healing crystals, laying on of hands, Reiki and other forms of alternative healing all work on focusing energy so as to balance areas of the subtle body, i.e. the seven Chakras.
Diet also affects the Chakras and is important, as excesses of certain types of foods can throw the Chakras out of balance with each other.
The earliest known mention of the word 'Chakra' dates back to 2500BC in the Hindu holy books, the Vedas. It relates to seven main centres said to act as valves for subtle energy. Although not physically detectable, each Chakra is closely linked with a particular organ or hormone regulator in the body.
To understand how they work, imagine a garden hose attached to a tap. Once it is turned on, water should flow smoothly through the system. However, if the hose gets a kink in it, this affects the flow of the water coming out the other end. If this is left unattended for any length of time, it can cause damage to the entire system because of the build-up in pressure. The same is believed to apply to the Chakras. When these subtle energy valves or discs are spinning freely we enjoy good physical, mental and emotional health. When they are blocked or dysfunctional we may experience symptoms of disease.
Unbalanced Chakras may be caused by unhappy childhood experiences, or even karma - from previous lives - you are reincarnated from. Often they reflect unresolved psychological or emotional issues, such as low self esteem.
The Rainbow Chakra System
As with crystals, each Chakra vibrates at a particular frequency associated with a different colour of the rainbow. That is why crystals and Chakras are linked therapeutically. By knowing which crystal to place on which Chakra to bring it back into balance you can help deal with various physical, mental and emotional problems.
Stimulate Your Chakras
You can use a variety of techniques to stabilise your Chakras, including listening to music, healing with crystals and regular exercise.
Activate with Crytals
One of the most popular ways of working with crystals is for healing. This is because crystals work well with a wide range of frequencies and energies, and so specific crystals can be particularly beneficial to the different Chakras of the body.
If your Chakras are working well, energy flows through the Nadis easily, but if you feel lethargic and down, then your channels are becoming blocked and you need to use crystals to restore balance. For example, you can harmonise the area surrounding your heart Chakra by using stones and crystals that are coloured pink and green or you can bring balance to your throat Chakra by using blue stones.
Holding an appropriate crystal in your hand when you perform healing can focus the energies you are raising like a lens and concentrate the stone's healing energies on the source of your problems.
Physical exercise isn't just good for the physical body. Exercise also helps to stimulate your Chakras, and maintain their harmony.
Righting the Balance
Activities such as Yoga, swimming, aerobics, tai chi and tantric sex are all good for balancing Chakras. As the subtle body affects the physical, so too does the physical affect the subtle body. If you are having health problems that you know are linked with a particular Chakra imbalance, you can do exercises which work on the associated parts of the body to help restore the balance as well as using the other methods described here.
Focusing with Music
As the Chakras are subtle energy centres, it's not surprising that they should be affected by sound, especially music.
The Right Note
Each of the seven major Chakras responds to one of the notes of the music scale. Hence listening to music that is keyed to one of the notes will help stimulate the associated Chakra.
Fragrances and Scents
Smell and fragrance have a powerful effect on you. Your olfactory perceptions tend to affect your unconscious views of people and situations for good and bad, as well as causing long-forgotten memories to resurface.
Perfume companies use musk in many of the fragrances because it stimulates the Base Chakra and your sexual instincts.
Other scents are also linked with different Chakras. Juniper and rosemary can stimulate your Brow Chakra while sandalwood and jasmine invigorate the Sacral Chakra. Try anointing your Chakras with oils, bathing in a perfumed bath and adding scent to a room to stimulate any of your seven Chkaras.