The chakras can seem a little…well, out there. Whirling wheels of energy? Rainbow light? Huh?
But if we think about the body and its functions, the chakras do seem to match up pretty well to how we work.
The root chakra – muladhara – is at our pelvic floor and deals with earth, downward energy, and groundedness. If we think of our hips and legs as what connects us to the earth and literally roots us, well, it makes sense. If people are “ungrounded,” they tend to be light, frenetic, “in their heads,” and not connected to their lower body.
The second chakra below the navel – svadisthana – is a water center and deals with sexuality and creativity. Sure, the kidneys and the sexual organs. Makes sense, right?
The third chakra at the solar plexus – manipura – is a fire center and deals with our will power, transformation, and heat. Sure, the stomach, digestion, core power, the adrenals. Hmmm, things are still matching up….
The fourth chakra, anahata, is our heart center and deals with our relationship to ourselve and other and our capacity for compassion. Anyone who’s had a broken heart has probably had that terrible “heavy-heartedness” or collapsed feeling in the chest. Similary, “open-hearted” people often meet the world with a physically expanded chest. Sensibly, the element of this chakra is air, which relates to the lungs and heart.
The fifth chakra in the throat, vishuddha, deals with space and communication. Literally the home of our vocal cords, this chakra’s energy reflects our capacity for self-expression.
The sixth chakra at our forehead, ajna, relates to our ability to visualize. We are entering into the land of imagination and are leaving the world of physical sensation. Not surprisingly these final two chakras have to do with the higher functions of our mind.
The seventh chakra at the crown of our head, sahasrara, is the least physical – the furthest away from our feet – and involves self-realization and our connection to a higher power. Whether we think of this connection as relating to a higher spirit or Heaven, we usually relate spiritual expression to something “above” or “beyond”. Not unusual then, to find the home of this chakra at the highest point in the body.
Though at first the chakras can seem esoteric, some of these practical connections between the individual chakras and our physical body may give us pause. Here are things that make you go “hmmmmm….” If some of these parallels pique your interest, check out one of my favorite books: “Eastern Body, Western Mind” by Anodea Judith. She offers fascinating correlations between developmental psychology, jungian archetypse, and the chakra system.