Copyright 2013 Tantra.com
Lesson: The Chakras
by Anodea Judith
The chakras of the subtle body are considered the seats of the core energies that we work with in life. They are situated along the spine and the energy that flows through them and up the spine is called kundalini. There are symbols, colors, sounds, elements, drives and gestures that accompany each chakra. As we extend our practices of Tantra and other sciences relating to the body, we begin to see where we flow and where we get stuck in life. These areas can be pin-pointed in the chakras and can further aid us in recognizing and working with the areas where we need growth and revitalization.
FIRST CHAKRA - Muladhara
Pelvis Area - Perineum
The first chakra represents being grounded and secure in the basic physical comforts of life: food, shelter and the basic needs of our animal nature. Its element is Earth. Its color is red. A secure first chakra enables us to feel confident in our abilities to care for ourselves. We can hold a job that brings us enough money to survive. We have a good concept of what our physical, bodily needs are. Stability and a sense of being grounded are the essential attributes that accompany this chakra.
SECOND CHAKRA - Svadhishthana
The second chakra represents our sexual urges, family, procreation and fantasies. Its element is water. Its color is orange. Sensations, pleasure, sexuality and emotions are all associated with this chakra. The element of water is often equated with emotions and sex. The chemicals our bodies produce in response to strong emotions are said to anchor our memories. Touch and love are an essential part of well-being, stable emotions, gracefulness and self-acceptance.
THIRD CHAKRA - Manapura
Solar Plexus - Navel
The third chakra represents our powerfulness, will, energy, authority and longevity. Its element is fire. Its color is yellow as the sun is yellow. Ego identity and self-esteem are the products of a healthy third chakra. Confidence, reliability and autonomy without domination and manipulation produce the fire necessary to live a powerful yet compassionate life. Butterflies in the stomach are a sign of both energy, excitement and fear – more elements that describe the third chakra.
FOURTH CHAKRA - Anahata
Heart - Chest Area
The fourth chakra represents our heart and all that is associated with it. Sharing, love, service, compassion and devotion. Its element is air and its color is green. The heart is often considered the seat of the soul because, when it is open, it embodies the qualities mentioned above. We can all recognize the times when our heart feels shutdown: when we are mad, hurt, pitying ourselves or when we don’t feel loved. We actually can feel it as a stuck or tight area in the chest. Jealousy has been called the Green-Eyed Monster in honor of the Heart Chakra and its color green. We say that our heart aches when we feel it’s been broken.
FIFTH CHAKRA - Vishuddha
The fifth chakra represents knowledge and speaking the truth of that knowledge. Its element is ether or space. Its color is violet. The Throat Chakra builds upon the knowledge garnered from the previous four chakras. It takes all that we know and have learned and dares to synthesize and speak what we know. When was the last time you had a "lump" in your throat? That is your fifth chakra telling you that you don’t know all of the facts or you aren’t in integrity with what you are saying. Stop, breathe deeply and tell the truth.
SIXTH CHAKRA - Ajna
Pineal Gland - The Third Eye
The sixth chakra represents enlightenment and self-realization. It has no element as it is beyond the elements as they have merged back to the Source, Mahat. Its color is bluish white. Self-mastery, intuition and insight are marks of the sixth chakra. Symbolic and archetypal meaning is integrated into self-reflection. We can move to and through old, recurring patterns in our lives when our sixth chakra is healthy. Often this chakra awakens through a spiritual emergence or awakening.
SEVENTH CHAKRA - Sahasrara
Cranium - Top of the Head
The seventh chakra represents the guru within, the empty void. Immortality is achieved at this level. Golden white light and the thousand-petaled lotus are symbols of this uppermost chakra. Mindfulness and awareness of all that is around us is a hallmark feature of the Seventh Chakra. A supremely conscious human being who exhibits compassion and self-awareness has a very evolved Seventh Chakra.
First Chakra Practice
Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor with a small pillow tucked under the edge of your tailbone. Sit up straight but in a relaxed, natural manner. Feel the floor. Feel your bottom on the floor. Relax your pelvic muscles completely and simply sit for five minutes or more. Feel the support the Earth and life gives you.
Second Chakra Practice
Sitting in this position, begin to tighten and relax your PC muscles. As you tighten each time imagine the Earth’s healing essence drawing upward into your body. As you breathe out release the energy back to the Earth and relax completely. Feel the energy flow to your pelvis and your genitals. Stay at this for four to five minutes, pacing your self and resting if need be.
Third Chakra Practice
Lie on your back and practice deep breathing into your belly. Feel your belly rise softly and fall back with each breath. When one has achieved balance in this region of the body they breathe easily and effortlessly. They stand balanced; willing to back their word and deed and to do it with fire (third chakra) and passion (second chakra) and security (first chakra).
Fourth Chakra Practice
Sit or lie on the floor and relax. Take a few deep breaths. Place your left hand in the center of your chest between your breasts. Place your right hand over your left and let them rest there. Begin to softly breathe into your belly. Put your attention on your heart as you breathe. Gently repeat to yourself as you breathe in: "I receive love". As you breathe out repeat: "I give love." Do this meditation/mantra for about five minutes.
Fifth Chakra Practice
Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor with a small pillow tucked under the edge of your tailbone. Sit up straight but in a relaxed, natural manner. Feel the floor. Feel your bottom on the floor. Begin a round of three tones of the Sanskrit seed word OM (A - U - M). Take a deep breath and begin the O part on the out breath saving 1/2 the breath for the M part. Open the lips wide and really let the sound out. Repeat three times.
Sixth Chakra Practice
Sit in a meditative posture and begin going inward. Visualize your Third Eye in the area of your brow as you focus inward. You can actually look up at your brow. Keep your eyes soft and your breath constant. You may visualise something if you wish. Possibly a favorite Goddess, a concept like Love, God, White Light, Space, Abundance or anything that you hold in gratitude or reverence.
Seventh Chakra Practice
Practice little acts of generosity and compassion in your life. Consciously give something to another that might be hard for you. This is not a gift of an item but a gift that comes from your soul and your spirit, such as an opening, a clearing or a possibility that another might cherish.
- Can you identify any areas in your life, through the use of the chakra system, where you may struggle?
- Can you identify any areas in your body that may give you clues to your struggle?
- Does your breath get "stuck" anywhere in your body?
- Is this associated with a particular chakra?
- How were the simple practices for you?
- Did you balk at trying any of them? Why?
Read and study more about your chakras. An excellent book to reference is Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
PARTIAL reposting only permitted with link back to original article on tantra.com