The 7 Chakras Explained

The 7 Chakras Explained
I have officially started Kundalini teacher training and I am on my way to becoming a more awakened and alive version of myself. Since I was a young adult I have been on an existential journey of trying to understand who am I and why am I here. Over the past couple of years, that journey has gotten rather sticky, complex, and quite frankly, confusing. I suppose the pandemic swirling around has surely played its part and I am grateful that the chrysalises I found myself in last fall is starting to break open and reveal a magical butterfly. I truly believe that there are no coincidences. Rather, what you might perceive as a coincidence, is a message from the Goddess that deserves a closer look. For example, in September I was at a Kundalini yoga retreat and a woman I had just met in that sacred space told me she saw Phoenix’s rising from flames in my eyes, Dang! So as I ascend into the world of Kundalini yoga as this new Phoenix Butterfly, I will be sharing with you things I learn along the way that I find interesting, expansive, and useful and I hope you do too!

Last week we started studying anatomy and the chakras. To re-cap a bit the 7 chakras are energy centers in the body that start at the base of your spine and move up to the crown of your head. It is said that when the feminine or the spiritual, and the masculine or the physical, energies inside of us are in balance something happens at the base of the spine and the Kundalini energy is awoken. Through the Sushumna, the main energy channel of the body, the energy moves up the spine through each chakra to enlighten us to higher consciousness.

So what happens in our bodies and our minds when the Kundalini energy begins to move through the chakras? And why would the Kundalini not awaken and let the energy flow? The answers to these questions lead me back to that lifelong quest of who am I, why do I think and do the things I do and how do I become more awake and aware?

The chakra system in your body has been developing since the day you were born and the chakras come to life or develop in the body in 7-year cycles. Each chakra correlates to an endocrine gland or an organ of the body that produces hormones. Hormones determine how you feel and control functions in the body like your temperature, your growth, your hunger, your ability to sleep, your sex drive, and your mood to name a few. So id like to take you on a little journey through the chakras and share with you what I have learned about what happens in the development of each chakra as you grow up in the world.

The Root Chakra or the Muladhara is located at the base of the spine, its color is red and it develops in the body between birth and 7 years of age. It represents safety, grounding, and stability. Ideally, you were raised in a family or community where the environment felt safe and secure and all of your needs were met. You grew up feeling grounded, looked after, and free to be because you were loved. However, If your world did not feel safe and stable during the development of your Root Chakra your little body would have created tension in and around the pelvic floor. This tension affects blood circulation to the kidneys and the adrenal glands which are connected to the Root Chakra. As a result, the tension, fear, or trauma causes your adrenals to over-produce adrenaline and if you go through years of overproduction of adrenaline in the body you start to develop a sense that you are always on guard, stressed out, and in fight or flight mode constantly. You may be scared of being rejected or judged and ultimately, you simply will not thrive. Babies, toddlers, and young children need love and affection to thrive and often their caretakers are too stressed out themselves to focus on the fragile needs of these little souls. Sad but true and devastating consequences for all involved.

The Sacral Chakra or the Suadhisthana is located below the navel in your sexual organs, is the color orange and it develops in the body between the ages of 7 to 14. It represents creative and sexual energies and your relationship to pleasure. By the time you are around 7 years old you know how to do things like run, get dressed and brush your teeth. Now it is time for you to begin exploring the world around you with a bit more curiosity and to begin to learn what gives you pleasure. You start to try out different things in movement and play and you even begin to explore your own body. You are developing a range of emotions like sadness, playfulness, joy, anger, confusion, and even arousal. If you grew up in a grounded loving family your caretakers would start to see these bubbling emotions rise up in you and they would encourage you to feel everything. They would laugh with you and hold you when you cried and they would allow you to explore without shame for being a human that feels. If you grew up surrounded by this sort of support your Sacral Chakra would awaken and open. Conversely, if you did not have this sort of caring environment around you, you would develop physical tensions around your genitals that would reduce the flow of blood to your ovaries as a girl or testicles as a boy. This inability to express your emotions because you didn’t feel safe to do so results in a person who is not in touch with their emotions. When we push our emotions aside, we bury our deeper knowing. As a child we end up with emotions and feelings we don’t dare feel or are ashamed of and ultimately we are confused about our relationship to our pleasure.

The Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura is located below the chest in the abdomen, is the color yellow, and develops between the ages of 14 to 21. This chakra represents self-esteem, personal responsibility, willpower, and pleasure. At 14 you are starting to develop your personality even more and working with your emotions to understand what brings you pleasure to create a perfectly tailored, emotionally balanced life for you. Ideally, your community has your back and your gifts are encouraged and appreciated. You are being propped up with truths like, "there is no such thing as failure" and, "everything you need exists inside of you". It is important at this age to be told that we have the power within ourselves to create our lives. Conversely, if you did not grow up with this sort of support and you were worried you didn’t have what it takes to live a joyful and pleasurable life, always preparing for a negative outcome, you were creating stagnation in the Pancreas. Your Pancreas is connected to the Solar Plexus Chakra and is responsible for your digestive and metabolic function. Self-doubt and a slow metabolism are low vibrational states and ones that can take the ship down if left unchecked.

The Heart Chakra or the Anahata is located in the center of the chest, is the color green and develops between the ages of 21 to 28. This chakra represents love, self-love and governs our relationships. By now you have spent your youth loving a lot of people, places, and things, and it's time to fall deeply in love and to notice that your ability to love is tremendous, deep, and unconditional. Your Heart Chakra is balanced and you are learning that you don’t need to receive anything to love, that love in and of itself is a blessing and flows freely. Perhaps this love inspires you to marry and have a family. Hopefully, these types of things were your experience but not everyone has those types of experiences when learning about love. Sometimes people are taught that love only comes as a reward for being good, well-behaved, subservient, rich, or pretty. Or maybe you put yourself out there and deeply loved but were shut down and made to feel stupid or rejected. All of these experiences can cause contractions in the tissues around the heart. Your Heart Chakra, which is connected to the Thymus gland and the circulatory system, if under-active will most likely leave you feeling cold and distant and if over-active you can be suffocating with your love, and your love can have selfish reasons and undertones.

The Throat Chakra or the Vissudha is located at the center of the neck, is the color blue, and is developed between the ages of 28 to 35. It represents the ability to speak and communicate clearly and effectively. Ideally, by this age you are mature enough to have lived a life that has taught you how to trust yourself, speak your truth and ask for what you want, need, and desire. The inability to speak your truth, your desires, or your pleasure will result in tension in your throat and on the Thyroid Gland. The Thyroid Gland regulates the body’s metabolic rate controlling the heart muscle and digestive function so she is not one you want to shut down! A good indication of your Throat Chakra being blocked is feeling a lump in your throat when you go to have a hard conversation or one in which you think you don’t deserve a voice. We all deserve a seat at the table to speak our truth. If you feel tired and unmotivated all the time there’s a good chance your Throat Chakra is blocked and your thyroid is circling the drain. It could be time to speak up.

The Third Eye Chakra or the Ajna is located at the center of the forehead between the eyebrows, is the color purple, and fully develops between the ages of 35 to 42. This chakra represents intuition and foresight and is driven by openness and imagination. The Third Eye Chakra is connected to the Pineal Gland considered to be the organ of supreme universal connection. It is said that the illusion between self and spirit dissolves when the Third Eye connection is cultivated. The Pineal Gland secretes serotonin the feel-good hormone and then when night falls it turns it into melatonin to help your body sleep. While you sleep the Pineal Gland secretes small amounts of DMT which opens the portal to the dream state, the shamanic realms, or the portal to the divine. When one becomes tuned into practices that activate the Third Eye energies, like tantra, it is possible while awake to stimulate DMT production by the Pineal Gland. GOALS! When your Third Eye Chakra is blocked or closed you cannot access your intuition and so you experience a lack of purpose, uncertainty, pessimism, and a, "me against the world", kind of existence. You can open that doorway to your spiritual communication through Reiki, meditation, yoga, or even just being in nature and it is your soul's purpose.

The Crown Chakra or the Sahasrara is located at the top of the head, is the color violet, and is really always nudging you to tune in but most deeply after the age of 40. This chakra represents states of higher consciousness, the inter-connectivity of all things, divine connection, and oneness with the universe. When we acknowledge that we are all beings of the universe, connected together with an energy we cannot really comprehend, we are at our best. When we meditate on the crown chakra we are reaching for that indescribable energy that binds the universe together. And just as the Root Chakra exists to remind us of our earthly roots the Crown Chakra exists to remind us to reach for that which we do not have the words to describe. The things we just know in our spirit to be true. If you are unable to access your Crown Chakra or don’t spend time working with it you will experience disconnection of your spiritual possibilities AKA disconnection to anything greater than yourself. For me, knowing that I am part of something so much greater than just me, that I am part of the universal fabric and divinely guided takes so much weight off my shoulders in the human experience. For this understanding, I am filled with reverence.

I hope as you took this little journey through the development of the chakras you had some ah-ha moments of deeper understanding and compassion for yourself, I know I did. I invite you to use this material to practice a self-guided meditation of moving up through the chakras and clearing any blocked energy or limiting beliefs you find along the way. If you have never worked with the chakras and are feeling you need more guidance connect with a shamanic practitioner or Reiki master. And be kind to yourself, this work is powerful but it is also fragile, sacred, and a lifelong journey in my humble opinion. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step”

Stay fluid, stay juicy!

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