We can use chakra meditation to help understand the nuances of our body, pinpoint our areas of weakness or overuse, and bring healing to those specific energetic centers.
Each of the chakras has traditional meanings that help us focus on tendencies that characterize the specific energy center. If we meditate upon each center in a progressive fashion from bottom to top, we become acquainted with a more nuanced understanding of our deepest self. By accessing each center or wheel, we activate its innate dynamism which propels us to a new level of vibrancy.
The first chakra, Muladhara or Root Chakra, originates from the base of our spine and governs down through the bottom of our feet. Muladhara, which means “root-support,” is traditionally pictured as red. By breathing deeply into this chakra with love and healing light, we both wash away any impurities and also strengthen our sense of stability and groundedness in our lives. By focusing on the root chakra, we gain confidence and serenity and a foundation of security.
The second chakra, Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra, is situated just below the navel and the small of the back. Svadhistana is translated as “one’s home,” “loveliness,” or “sweetness.” It is conceived as an orange energy. By nurturing the “sweetness” in our sacral chakra, we can heal sexual woundedness and cultivate our natural sensuality, creativity, and enthusiasm for life itself. This home of “sweetness” is the wellspring of vitality.
The third chakra, Manipura or Stomach Chakra, oversees our will and is lit by the color yellow, like the sun. Manipura is often translated as the “place of jewels.” Instead of overusing our will and willpower by pushing ourselves or others around, we can learn to breath in the yellow light of the sun to remind ourselves to release the will and willfulness. When we relinquish our pushiness, we activate a subtle—more gracious and yet more effective—source of power. Manipura is the cache of our life’s purpose and that is why it is called the “place of jewels.” When we breath into this chakra, we allow our destiny to manifest easily instead of rushing around chaotically.
The fourth chakra, the Heart Chakra or Anahata, is visualized with the color green. Green is the color of nature—its peacefulness, growth, and verdancy. The word Anahata means “whole” or “unbroken.” By breathing into our heart center, we can heal all brokenness, bitterness, and loneliness. The heart chakra’s intrinsic “unbrokenness” promises us that whatever happens in this life, we can always return to the heart chakra to become whole again. We can even regrow our innocence here.
The fifth chakra, Vishuddha or Throat Chakra, directs the voice and the breath with its sky-blue light. Vishuddha means “pure,” so as we breath into this chakra, we purify our lives. The throat chakra is the passageway from the central body to the head; therefore, when we heal the throat chakra, we become more cognizant of our bodies and the wisdom that is housed there—an embodied form of integrity. Sending healing and loving breath to our throat chakra brings us into honesty as well as authenticity. Through the breath, we clarify ourselves, which is why many meditation practices focus on the breath. Vishuddha is the hall of purified communication.
Depicted as the blue violet of the night sky, the sixth chakra, Ajna, often called the Third Eye, is located on the forehead and between the eyebrows. Ajna means “knowing” or “perception.” Here is the seat of our imagistic eye. By opening our third eye, we begin to see and know deeply into the lives of others and into the nature of reality itself. Imagination and empathy are married in this chakra, showing us the real meaning of insight. Our intuition and wisdom emerge when we allow our third eye to open. By breathing light and love into Ajna, we activate an ability to perceive the inner workings of other humans, nonhuman animals, plants, and the material world.
On the crown of the head or slightly above the crown, the seventh chakra is called the Crown Chakra or Sahasrara. Sahasrara means “thousand-petalled,” “thousand-spoked,” or “thousand.” Thousand traditionally is the number of infinity: in other words, this chakra refers to our Infinite Nature. The Crown Chakra is often experienced as infused with lavender or white light. As we move up into our highest chakra, bringing lucidity and openness through our breath, we can clear our sense of confusion and awaken our awareness of what is sometimes called “cosmic consciousness,” “enlightenment,” or “knowledge of God.” Regardless, the cleansing of our crown chakra brings a profound experience of serenity and even bliss.
As we practice chakra meditation, we will notice areas that we overuse or that feel weak. By breathing gently into the particular chakra, we can ease the burden of that chakra and learn to balance our personalities. Through balance and purification of the chakra energy centers, we access and increase our internal strength and health.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Dr. Kaiya Ansorge. Dr. Ansorge is academically trained in psychology, philosophical theology, and religion. She began practicing chakra meditation while living in India and found the practice transformative. She now leads chakra meditations regularly for groups and individuals in addition to other workshops, classes, and life coaching. You can find her and her free videos and audio pieces at www.kaiyaansorge.com. You can connect with her through Facebook or Twitter.