According to the Yoga texts, the human being has different levels, or planes of existence. Our physical body is the densest and the grossest part. It is made of the food we are eating and is the grossest manifestation of Prakriti or matter. Within it, or better said, beyond it, there is a subtle body made of energy and represents the pranic, or energetic support of our physical body. It is in this subtle body that dwell the 7 centers - called chakras or wheels - each represented by a flower of lotus.
Six of them are distributed along the spine, the seventh being located at the top of the head. Being part of the subtle body, the chakras actually are formed there where the main NADIS (the life current channels) are crossing each other.
Even though they influence and impact our body they are not parts of it and do not have a particular location in our physical body.In the same time they are not just abstract notions, they are energetic centers and their outer functioning can be perceived in our everyday life if one pays a close attention to that aspect.
The seventh chakra or "the crown chakra" it is located at the top of the head. It is related to one's personal spiritual connection to the universe. Sahasrara is the seat of the self-luminescent soul, the essence of being. In the presence of the cosmic Self it is possible for anyone to feel the divine and indeed to realize the divinity within himself.
It is related to thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge. It relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing.
When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss. Its blockage manifests as psychological problems.
Physically it relates to the cerebrum, the voluntary nervous system and the pineal gland. Psychologically, it is the location of the Supreme self (Paramatman).
Located between the eyebrows, this chakra is the seat of intuition and awareness. It is also known as the eye brow chakra or the third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such, it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. It governs intuition, thought, inner and outer sight, visions and dreams. It is the seat of the mind and the mental ether.
It relates to the cerebellum and is the force behind the involuntary nervous system.
When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us "see the big picture." When worked upon, it helps us become a neutral observer. It gives us mercy, honesty and forgiveness and telepathy. Its blockage manifests as sinus or eye problems.
Located in the throat it is directly tied to creativity and communication. It is thus related to communication and creativity. It governs speech, hearing, communication and self expression. It is the seat of ether. The main problem encountered in the fifth chakra is negative intellect, which may occur through the ignorance of using knowledge unwisely.
Vishudda chakra governs between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-five. One who enters the plane of Vishudda chakra follows knowledge, being is established in pure consciousness.
It governs the respiratory system and it works through the thyroid. Psychologically, it is the site of inspiration and expression.
When worked upon it improves the self expression and the communication. The person whose Vishuddha chakra is active and in harmony will seek the true knowledge that is beyond time and cultural limitations. Its blockage manifests as problems like laryngitis or sore throats, creative blocks or general problems communicating with others.
The heart chakra gives us the ability to express love. It governs love, compassion, mediates between higher and lower planes of being, healing and the area of relationships in your life. It is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. It is related to the element air
On a physical level, it controls the circulatory system and the heart plexus. It is motor behind the thymus gland. Psychologically, it governs devotion and spiritual aspiration.
From twenty-one to twenty-eight years of age one vibrates in Anahata chakra. One becomes aware of his karma, his life's actions.
A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness. Its blockage can manifest as immune system or heart problems, or a lack of compassion. When in off balance, it gives restlessness.
Located behind the solar plexus, it gives us a sense of personal power in the world. It rules our determination, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. It governs accomplishments, ego projections, vital energies, control, and our freedom to be ourselves. Among the five elements, it corresponds to the fire.
Between the ages of fourteen to twenty-one a person is ruled by Manipura chakra. The motivation energy of this chakra impels the person to develop his ego, his identity in the world.
On a physical level, it coordinates the digestive system and it relates to the pancreas. Psychologically, it is related to the Ego and the will.
A person dominated by the third chakra will strive for personal power and recognition, even to the detriment of family and friends. Its blockage manifests as anger or a sense of victimization. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
The second chakra is located just beneath the navel and is related to our sexual and reproductive capacity. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. It is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It is linked to our relationship with family and friends. Among the five elements it corresponds to the water.
Normally a person between the ages of eight and fourteen acts from second chakra motivation. Instead of standing alone and defensive, as he did under the influence of the first chakra, the child begins to reach out to his family and friends for physical contact.
Physically, it controls the genital and the urinary systems. Psychologically, it is the site of desire
Its blockage manifests as emotional problems or sexual guilt. When off balance, Svadhisthana chakra encompasses fantasy, nullity, jealousy, and envy. Ideally, when worked upon, this chakra brings us mercy, joy, fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It is linked to our survival instincts and our ability to ground ourselves in the physical world. Related to our survival instincts and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Our relationship with money, home, and job. It is connected with the lowest and the densest forms of energy. Among the five elements it corresponds to the earth.
Normally a child from the ages of one to seven years acts out of "first-chakra" motivations. Under its influence, the young child is self-centered and highly concerned with his own physical survival.
On a physical level, it relates to the excretory system and the adrenals; psychologically, is related to ignorance and fear.
When blocked, it manifests as paranoia, and defensiveness. If unbalanced, this chakra encompasses the planes of illusion, anger, greed, delusion and avarice. Ideally, when worked upon, this chakra brings us patience, dynamic presence, survival, security and trust.
In times of danger there is usually a convulsive contraction of Muladhara Chakra; in case of acute danger, it intensifies as the often mentionned experience of "seeing the whole life flash through the mind". In sexual excitement, the Svadistana Chakra is noticeable.Best known is the influence of Manipura chakra on crying and laughter, which are related to the region of the diaphragm. One speaks of loving devotion as coming from the heart; it really involves the neighbouring of Anahata chakra.
The well knowing choking sensation when a speaker is "blocked" relates to the Vishudda chakra. The index finger on the brow means that the Ajna chakra has spoken and the halo of a saint has its center in Sahasrara chakra.