The word chakra in Sanskrit directly translates to wheel. But in more refined language of Yogic science, it means vortex or whirlpool of something rotating or vibrating rapidly. Yogic definition of a body also comprise subtle or non physical elements of which the Chakras form a very important part. If compared to the modern medical science, the chakras can be loosely compared to the nerve plexus in the human body. The body of a human being is constituted of many such chakras or energy centers of which the seven primary chakras are located on the spine, from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Here, in the location of the chakras a network of Nadis or subtle energy channels meet and intersect. Interestingly, when studied very closely, it is proved that near all the chakras, there are situated crucial endocrine glands secreting hormones which are vital for life to sustain.
Coming to the chakras and their characteristics according to yogic science, each chakra is identified with its own set of specific features. Primary among them are the human qualities of functioning which is directly determined by the activation of the particular chakra. The objective of Chakras in yogic practice is to balance them so a practitioner can lead a very poised life in terms of his/her energy body.
The entire practice of Hatha Yoga postures is in a way designed to work and stimulate the chakras of the human body. All information to the human brain travels through the chakras and the brain sends signal in return and a person acts accordingly.
The following illustration shows the associated qualities determined by the specific chakras along with the basic information:
SANSKRIT NAME ENGLISH NAME COLOUR SEED MANTRA QUALITIES
Sahasrara Crown Purple Om Bliss, spiritual enlightenment
Ajna Third Eye Indigo Om Wisdom, awareness, knowledge
Visuddha Throat Blue Ham Communication, expression
Anahata Heart Green Yam Emotions, feelings, compassion, love
Manipura Solar Plexus Yellow Ram Courage, will, risk taking, power
Swadhisthana Sacral Orange Vam Creativity and outer growth
Muladhara Root Red Lam Basic survival, security- family and social
It is a very striking yet common phenomena that it is due to the functioning of an energy centre or chakra at a particular moment and situation which cause different individuals to behave differently to the same external provocation. The practice of Yoga can help immensely balance the functioning energies in the human body thus leading to a very composed personality development oriented for higher growth. R