[This is part of a new blog series called “Know yourSELF” that explains some foundation spiritual science concepts in preparation for the Global Conference of Spiritual Scientists 2015]

Our well-being is governed by a powerful energy system regulated by 7 ‘Chakras’. Chakras are wheel like vortices, associated with major nerve plexuses and endocrine glands in the body. However, since they are located in the subtle bodies and are not revealed in autopsies, the medical fraternity considers them as mere imagination of fertile minds; but all long-term meditators can experience the power of these chakras.

Knowing about the 7 chakras and practices that keep them in balance is essential for a healthy and harmonious living.

Seventh Chakra- The Sahasrara State or Crown Chakra

The Crown Chakra is located at the crown of the head – the soft spot of a newborn baby. On physical level, Sahasrara is related to the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system.

Imbalances in this chakra create headaches, photosensitivity, mental illness, neuralgia, senility, epilepsy, co-ordination problems, and skin rashes.

An activated Crown chakra gives us the right to aspire, know, dedicate to divine consciousness, and trust the universe.

Meditation, focusing on our dreams, writing down our visions, and spending time in silence opens up this thousand-petalled chakra.

Sixth chakra – Ajna or Third Eye chakra

The Third Eye chakra is located at the center of the forehead, about one finger-breadth above the bridge of the nose, between the eyebrows. It is not linked to any element. On physical level, Ajna charka is related to the pineal gland.

If this chakra is under-active, we experience a lack of energy, and think negative thoughts. Imbalances in this chakra also create learning disabilities, co-ordination problems and sleep disorders. If this chakra is over-active, we live in a world of fantasy; in some cases hallucinations are also possible.
A balanced Third Eye chakra helps us trust our intuitions and insights, develop psychic abilities, release hidden and repressed negativity, add greater depth to our perceptions, and attain self-realization.
Meditation is the greatest tool to activate the Third Eye. Besides that, stargazing is helpful as well.

Fifth chakra – Vishuddhi or Throat chakra

 The Throat chakra is located between the depression in the neck and the larynx, behind the Adam’s apple. It is associated with the element Ether. It affects the thyroid and parathyroid glands, lungs, rate of metabolism, vocal cords, hearing, pharynx, and esophagus.

Physically it governs communication; emotionally it ensures independence; mentally it creates fluent thought; and spiritually it provides a sense of security.

Underactive Throat chakra creates colds, coughs, poor communication skills, thyroid problems, mood swings, hormonal disorders, fevers, infections and problems of mouth, jaw, tongue, neck and shoulder. Over active Throat chakra makes us speak too much and become domineering -keeping people at a distance. It creates feelings of inferiority, superiority and jealousy.

A balanced Throat chakra enhances our creativity, makes us plan and think better, helps us speak our truth and become charismatic.

Singing in the shower, having meaningful conversations, journaling, doing neck and shoulder rolls, besides meditating help activate and cleanse this chakra.

Fourth chakra – Anahata or Heart chakra

The Heart chakra is located in the center of the chest. It is associated with the element Air. It affects the functioning of the thymus gland, heart, lungs, blood, and the circulatory system.

Physically it governs circulation; emotionally it ensures unconditional love; mentally it creates passion; and spiritually it is responsible for devotion.

When this chakra is underactive, it creates asthma, heart and breathing disorders, breast cancer, and high blood pressure. When it is over active, we suffocate people with our selfish, conditional love.

A balanced Heart chakra allows us to love unconditionally and creates feelings of selflessness, universal brotherhood, tolerance, compassion, devotion and a deep sense of centeredness.

Along with meditation practice, walking in nature, spending time with people we love, surrounding ourselves with plants, reading romantic novels or watching romantic movies are activities that keep this chakra healthy.

Third chakra – Manipura or Solar Plexus chakra

The Solar plexus chakra is located just above the navel and is associated with the element of Fire. It affects the functioning of spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and the digestive system.
Physically it governs digestion; mentally it ensures personal power; emotionally it controls expansiveness, and spiritually it is concerned with complete growth.

Underactive Manipura creates sluggish digestion, stomach ulcers, intestine and colon problems, diabetes, constipation, nervousness, and poor memory. Overactive Manipura makes us domineering and aggressive.

Balanced Solar Plexus chakra brings energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power. It helps us release accumulated stress and tension.

Meditation, reading informative books, doing mind puzzles, and soaking sunshine help balance this chakra. Crying and vomiting are natural activities, which massage this chakra and re-establish its balance.

Second chakra – Swadhishtana or Sacral chakra

Swadhishthana is located in the lower abdomen, just below the navel.  It is associated with the element Water.
Physically, it affects the functioning of gonads, testes, ovaries, kidneys and lymphatic system.   Mentally it governs creativity; emotionally it regulates joy, and spiritually it creates enthusiasm.

Underactive Sacral chakra leads to eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, asthma and allergies, fungal infections, urinary problems, impotence and frigidity. Overactive Sacral makes us emotionally attached to people, putting undue focus on sex.

Balanced Sacral chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, and sexual fulfillment.

Meditation, massage, and hot aromatic baths keep this chakra in good working order.

First Chakra – Muladhara or Root chakra

The Root chakra is located between the anus and the genitals and is connected with the base of the spine. It is associated with element Earth, and affects the functioning of adrenal glands, kidneys and the spinal column.

Physically it governs sexuality; mentally it ensures stability; emotionally it is connected with sensuality, and spiritually it creates a sense of security.

An under-active root chakra causes anemia, fatigue, lower back ache, depression, sciatica, constipation, piles, knee problems, body pains, varicose veins, cold extremities, inability to accomplish goals, and lack of supportive relationships. An over active root chakra makes us resist change and become materialistic, and greedy.

Balanced root chakra brings us health, inner stability, balance, and prosperity.

Meditation, physical exercise, restful sleep, gardening, and walking barefoot ensure smooth functioning of this chakra.

At the Global Conference of Spiritual Scientists each year, spiritual scientists dive deeper into such topics that enable us to understand and connect to our true SELF. The 4-day conference includes meditation, workshops, lectures and interactions that help us experience the peace of ‘being’ ourSELF. More information is available at www.spiritualcongress.org.

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