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When we look at a tree, we see its trunk, branching into leaves and flowers, gathering energy

from the sun that dances through the vastness we call sky. Yet deep below that trunk is a
network of intertwining roots, gathering nutrients and the support it needs to grow sturdy and
tall from the sweet nectar of Mother Earth. Her branches could never blossom into decadent
fruits if it were not for the strength gathered deep below. We can see muladhara chakra
within our own beings like those roots. Just from the name, ‘mula’/’moola,’ meaning ‘root’
and ‘adhara’ meaning ‘support,’ we can clearly see this truth; the base chakra, muladhara, is
our ‘root support.’35 Physically, muladhara chakra resides just inside the perineum (in men)
and at the cervix (in women).36 Through the tantric/yogic lenses, we can visualize this
chakra as a lotus of four, deep crimson petals, enveloping a golden square, its four corners
like that of the four directions—a symbol for the element of Earth. Standing strong within
this lotus is the seven trunked elephant, Airavata, teaching us of strength, support, and
grounded stability, her seven trunks symbolizing the seven dhatus (tissues) of the physical
body, “which are nourished on a cellular level by the earth element.”37 Rising up from her
back rests a red triangle of creative energy, and within it lies kundalini-shakti, in a coil of
three and a half; the number three represents the three gunas [the three states of matter—
tamas (inertia), rajas (motion), and sattva (harmony)] and the one half symbolizes her ascent
to the crown.38 Thus it is here in muladhara that our infinite potential of pure conscious
existence begins to blossom—awaken. Through our sense organ of the nose, we perceive
smell, our most primitive human sense,39 and with the downward-moving wind of apana
vayu,40 we eliminate earthly waste through the action organ of the anus. This vayu of apana,
this downward motion, also allows for the birth of a child, who is only able to grow with
protection and nourishment from the womb’s earthly tissue. And if we listen, we hear the
bija mantra of the earth element—‘Lum,’ ‘Lum,’ ‘Lum,’ vibrating steadily
within.41 Changing our lenses to that of which some healers of modern time refer to as
“The Rainbow System,”42 (relating to the visible light spectrum) we can see muladhara as a
red, glowing light. Recalling that all is vibration, the color red has the slowest frequency of
the seven colors we perceive with our human eyes.43 Again we are filled with this earth
energy: slow, dense, heavy, grounded. Any system we choose, new, ancient, or not yet
imagined, we always come back to this one element—Earth. Muladhara is Earth. And thus,
its functions within our being are that of Earth. Muladhara chakra serves as the energy of
security, survival, and form. In the physical sense, muladhara governs aspects of building as
well as eliminating; when properly working, muladhara allows for strong asthi dhatu (bones),
healthy elimination of waste, healthy ejaculation and ovulation, and a healthy sense of
smell.44 We can correlate muladhara with the legs and feet (connecting us to the earthly
force of gravity) as well as with the sciatic nerve, running down through the legs,
“function[ing] much like a root for the nervous system.”45 In our mental/emotional body,
muladhara chakra “is the centre of primitive and deep-rooted [survival] instincts,” ruling our
sexual drive in its most basic sense: for “recreation and continuity of [the species] in the
material world.”46 When muladhara functions in harmony with the universe, we experience
security, “physical vitality, grounding and stability.”46 On a deeply spiritual level, “[a]ll of
the passions are stored in mooladhara, all the guilt, every complex and every agony has its
root here.”47 In awareness of this, the aspirant of spiritual transformation takes steps to
purify lower vibrational, potentially detrimental thought patterns from the psyche, so that
healing and growth may unfold, as kundalini rises toward Divine awareness. In a balanced
state, muladhara creates the container for spiritual ascension—“the springboard to more
elevated levels of [consciousness].”48 When muladhara chakra is functioning out of
harmony, we may see this manifestation physically in the legs, feet, sciatic nerve, large
intestine, sexual organs, bones, teeth, hair, nails, and sensory perception of
smell. Psychologically, we can see this imbalance manifested as fear, instability, or being
overly “stuck” in the material realm. Spiritually, one may be unaware that anything other
than the physical world exists, creating limitation in his or her ability to blossom; contrarily,
one may become lost in the ethers of spiritual transcendence and lose the earth needed to
maintain physical health and balance.49

‘Vum,’ ‘Vum,’ ‘Vum,’50 vibrates within as we remember the rivers, the oceans, the lakes,
the streams, the fluids of our bodies, the tears we cry, the rains that renew—water, “a symbol
of the soul,” “the prime substance of the universe.”51 Even the roots of muladhara could not
sustain without water, and thus we journey up the sushumna to svadisthana chakra—the six-
petaled, vividly colored, red-orange lotus flower. Within the lotus is a silver crescent moon,
symbol of the water element, the feminine aspect of creation. The female body is intertwined
in a deep connection with the moon; her monthly cycle aligns with the lunar phases, allowing
for creation of new life—new life that is nourished through the fluids and waters of the
womb. And it is through the water element that we feel the depths of emotions, flowing and
shifting like the ocean waves. Looking to the name, ‘svadisthana’ breaks into ‘sva’ meaning
‘self’ and ‘adisthana’ meaning ‘dwelling place;’ thus, svadisthana is the resting place of the
self. 52 We find deep spiritual meaning in this ‘self-abode’ by looking to the vayu of
svadisthana—prana, the inward moving air.53 Prana is contained within the water element,
and within svadisthana chakra, we hold “the seeds of birth and rebirth.”54 As “the seat of the
unconscious mind” and “the storehouse of karmas,”55 svadisthana chakra essentially collects
and retains vibratory imprints of our actions, patterns, and tendencies, storing them within
this water element of the second chakra. Masaru Emoto elaborates upon this concept through
his studies of water; by exposing water to words, images, music, etc., he observed and
photographed physical changes to their molecular structure. For instance, water given
positive intention through words such as ‘love’ formed beautiful, snowflake-shaped crystal
structures, and when exposed to more negative vibrations such as hateful words or music, the
water shifted into patterns of disarray.56 Just as a lake can become murky with mud, our
unconscious minds can become clouded with vibrational blockages, inhibiting our pure,
sattvic potential. However, by “[w]itnessing the deep-rooted samskaras […] and realizing
them one at a time,” we begin to “[awaken] the unconscious mind,”57 allowing for the
release of negative vibrations and the open space for higher frequency energy patterns to
emerge. At the level of the senses, we see svadisthana associated with the tongue, awaking
the sense of taste. This water element, saliva (rasa), flows through our mouth, enlivening the
taste buds and the subsequent pleasure we feel. Next, we look to the organ of action, the
genitals, and we see again that svadisthana is the center of sensory pleasure. Moving past
muladhara, which relates to sexuality purely for survival of the species, svadisthana brings
desire for sexual union with another. Here, is the force of duality, attraction, and
connection. Physically, svadisthana is located at the coccyx or tailbone, while its chakra
kshetram (contact point in the front of the body) lies just above the pubic
bone.58 Svadisthana relates to the shukra dhatu (egg and sperm), the prostate gland, testes,
ovaries, as well as the kidneys, which assist in water regulation in the body.59 Thus when
balanced, we see healthy egg and sperm, urination, and a well-functioning sense of
taste. Imbalances can occur physically in any of these regions. In the mental/emotional
realm, we see sexual desire, feeling, emotion, creativity, and attachments.60 To assess the
state of balance psychologically, we can look within and observe our own subtle state of
water. Do we desire in excess? Are we nourished on a soul level by our sexual
relationships? Do we love conditionally, creating judgment around what does or does not
deserve love; or do we love unconditionally? Are we overly attached to the physical
world? Are we able to channel creativity? Asking such questions can help one to recognize
the state of pranic flow through svadisthana chakra, and consciously shift the energy to a
harmonic state.61 “The rishis say that the same energy which flows through passion, when
channeled, manifests as devotion. Channel this same energy again and it manifests as
spiritual experience.”62 In accordance with spiritual growth, it is important to address the
role of sexual energy. Some schools of thought encourage the idea that celibacy is necessary
for spiritual ascension; however, according to tantric ideals, this is not necessarily the
case. Unless someone chooses celibacy entirely by personal choice, unwillingly suppressing
this energy can lead to far greater imbalance. As explained by Swami Satyananda Saraswati,
“Sexual relationships are not a sin, but the consciousness must awaken and the purpose of the
whole act must be transmuted…If you think that to be a yogi you must give up sex, why
don’t you also give up eating and sleeping? Yoga has nothing to do with giving up these
things; it is only concerned with transforming their purpose and meaning.”63

It starts as a spark, then a flicker of blue light, slowly traveling up to a center of pale, golden
yellow, finally shifting to pure white light at the tip: a flame; growing, leaving red and orange
embers in its tracks, as it burns, transforms. Just as the earth holds a core center of glowing
yellow, burning hot iron, we hold in our bodies a core center of heat, light and power—
manipura chakra, a bright yellow lotus64 with ten blue petals. Inside the lotus is a red
triangle, holding a ram—a symbol of fire. ‘Mani’ means ‘gem’ or ‘jewel,’ and ‘pura’ means
‘city;’ thus, manipura is the ‘city of gems.’65 Through our sense organ of eyes, we perceive
sight, only made reality through light—the light of fire. And with our organ of action, feet,
we walk our path with clarity. Physically, manipura rests in the center of the spine, behind
the navel center, where the bija mantra of fire, ‘Rum,’ pulsates within this solar plexus: our
core.66 The wind that rules is samana vayu, moving from periphery to center,67 stimulating
our inner fire, our digestive force (agni), “responsible for the absorption of nutrients and
distribution of [energy] to the entire system.”68 Manipura, related to our red blood cells
(rakta), the small intestine, liver, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, and eyes, “is the centre of
vitality in the physical body, where the heat necessary to maintain and support life is
generated.”68 It is here in our third chakra that the fire element transforms earth and water
(inherent in all food) into energy (nutrients). When physically balanced in manipura, these
body tissues function optimally: agni (force of metabolism) digests food completely, keeps
our body temperature stable, and functions in harmony with samana vayu, which absorbs
prana and vital nutrients from food. However, imbalance in manipura chakra may result in
numerous forms of digestive disturbance or disease as well as issues of the eyes and
blood.69 The mental/emotional influence of manipura relates to “dynamism, power, control,
status and ego identity,”70 words often viewed in negative context, because of the cultural
power systems that have influenced our relationship to inner strength. Essentially, as Anodea
Judith explains, there is a collective imbalance of the manipura chakra:

 When our world is ruled by strangers, we see only through machines; when our voice
seems too small to be heard, estrangement is reinforced. It makes individuals easy to
control, easily manipulated into serving some larger body that promises to return
elements of our lost power to us piecemeal[.][…]We are taught from a very young
age to submit our will to another[.][…]With an absence of power within, we may
constantly seek stimulation, excitement, and activity, afraid to slow down, to feel the
emptiness inside.71

However, we can cleanse and harmonize manipura by fully embracing and embodying inner
strength in its highest sense. “True will requires deep communication with the self, trust in
your own volition, and the willingness to take risks and accept responsibility for those risks
[…] Power within is an openness to the flow of power around us, and our wills wrap
themselves around our purpose gracefully when these powers [within and around] are
aligned.”71 That is, when our own will is “in harmony with the greater Cosmic Will,”71
manipura radiates with the quality of light needed to “manifest [our] dreams and
desires.”72 “According to Buddhist tradition and many of the tantric texts[,] mooladhara is
the seat of kundalini, swadisthana is the abode, and the awakening takes place in
manipura. This is because from manipura the awakening becomes ongoing […] Up to this
point, kundalini may awaken and arise many times, only to recede again, but awakening of
manipura is what we call a confirmed awakening.”73 And so we begin to see that in a
spiritual sense, if our consciousness is able to rise from the density of earth, and work through
the unconscious layers of our karmic waters, then “fire [will] ignit[e] the light of
consciousness,” and “as we activate our power, we direct our activites toward a higher
purpose.”74 Through this we “[gain] the ability to discern truth from illusion. The mind
becomes single pointed on the highest goals of the soul.”75 It is in this space of conscious,
high vibrational existence that manipura truly shines like a ‘city of gems.’

“Breathe in deeply, drawing in the air . . . as softness, depth and wisdom. As you breathe,
spirit comes within your heart and touches you . . . moving you . . . changing you [. . .] Be
thankful for this vessel that receives […] Anahata, Anahata, Anahata, Anahata. The sound of
love.”76 Anahata means ‘unstruck,’ referring to unstruck sound or “the cosmic sound
(shabdha brahman) . . . a sound that does not arise as a result of two objects hitting each other
as do other sounds. [This sound] is uncaused.”77 It is “the internal, unborn and undying
vibration, the pulse of the universe,”78 “AUM, the seed of all sounds.”79 Hence, it is here in
the heart center, anahata chakra, that “the jivatma or individual soul resides.”80 The heart is
the first organ to form in a budding fetus;81 in Ayurveda, it is the “seat of consciousness.”82
Within the symbol of anahata (a lotus of twelve deep red or blue petals), rests a six pointed
star, two overlapping “colorless, gray or smoky green” triangles—a symbol of Air, “which
moves in all four directions as well as upward and downward.”83 The upward-pointing
triangle represents Shiva while the downward-facing one is symbolic of Shakti, joined
together in harmony in anahata, the central chakra between the three above and the three
below.84 Physically, anahata chakra lays “directly behind the centre of the
chest.”85 Related to the heart, thymus, and lungs, states of physical imbalance of anahata
chakra may manifest as asthma, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or other ailments
related to these tissues.86 However, Swami Satyananda Saraswati reminds us that, “although
its physiological component is the cardiac plexus of nerves, the nature of this centre is far
beyond the physiological dimension.”87 Some texts relate anahata to prana vayu, others to
vyana vayu; both hold significance. Prana vayu, the inward moving air,88 flows down into
the chest, drawing life-force energy into the body; through prana, we are reminded of the
importance of this breath of life that sustains.89 Through vyana, “the all-pervasive force [of
circulation90] which moves in every direction throughout the body,” we see anahata’s role in
circulating this life-force throughout our beings; “if any prana becomes depleted, vyana steps
in and maintains the balance.”91 Therefore, we see that, physically, psychologically, and
spiritually, a major key to harmonizing the heart center is this force of balance: “balance
between mind and body, inner and outer realms, self and other, giving and receiving.”92 It is
through balance that the true essence of anahata emerges—that of unconditional love,
compassion, serenity, patience, unity, artistic creativity, and inspiration.93 Relationships
become no longer about duality and ego, but pure love and unity: “[ego] can never be
subdued or eliminated unless you develop the highest form of love. Just as the sun removes
darkness, love removes ego.”94 In opening the heart chakra, “one begins to love people and
the objects of the world for what they are…,” accepting one’s own “nature, with its faults and
positive qualities,” realizing “that everyone and everything is [perfect].”95 Perhaps easier
said in words than truly embodied, we must begin the journey toward embracing
unconditional love by first cultivating self-love. Anodea Judith beautifully conveys a
message about harmonizing the heart center:

 Many people lose their alignment by giving too much, losing their ground, or giving
when their energy is depleted. We are taught that selfishness is bad[.][…] In balance
between all things, we need to get out of the polarities of ‘good’ and ‘evil.’ We need
not be puritanically good to stroke our delicate egos, nor need we be selfishly
evil. True love flows from one center to another, allowing each the freedom to dance
their own part in their own unique way[.][…] Love is not something that is attached to
an object. Love is a state of being in harmony with oneself[.][…] We need only to
believe that it is around us at all times and in all things to find it within ourselves.96

As pure love resonates deeply within our own personal heart space, bija mantra ‘Yum’
singing sweetly within anahata chakra, we can then bring the associated sense (touch), sense
organ (skin), and organ of action (hands) to a higher place of healing not only ourselves, but
healing others as well.97 “Opening the heart chakra and developing compassion, connection,
and understanding for those around [us] naturally gives rise to the urge to heal. The
realization that we are all one dictates that, like a Bodhisattva, we cannot advance alone while
others are ailing.”98

What is the medium that sound must travel across to reach our ears? Is it air? Or something
that came before it? If I cup my hands to my mouth and breathe in all the air, what is
left? Not air, you see. So certainly there must be an element even subtler. We know it as
ether, akasha, or space; it is “the substratum of sound,”99 the source of all matter, the
container of life. Vishuddha chakra, meaning ‘purification centre,’100 is portrayed as a
lavender gray,101 sixteen petaled lotus. Within the petals, a white elephant rests inside of a
circle that is “white like the full moon,”102 symbolizing ether. Through our sense organ of
the ears, we hear the whispers of the bija mantra of ether: ‘Hum.’103 Then with the action
organ of the mouth and wind of udana vayu (upward, outward moving air),104 we speak our
Truth. Located just behind the pit of the throat, vishuddha chakra relates to the thyroid and
parathyroid glands, larynx, pharynx, throat,105 mouth, vocal cords, and bronchi.106 Thus,
one may experience physical imbalance of vishuddha through manifestations such as hearing,
speech or breathing problems, neck or throat pain, thyroid disorders, as well as issues of self-
expression. On a mental level, vishuddha is the “centre of communication and self
expression.”107 “To enter the fifth chakra is to tune our consciousness into the subtle
vibrational field that is all around us.”108 In doing so, we “begin to flow with the current of
life,”109 surrendering as it unfolds in its own perfect way. When aligned to the high
frequency potential of vishuddha, this ‘purification centre’ truly becomes pure, and hence
“arises the ability to discriminate between the lower mind and the higher mind, vidya and
avidya, and thus to speak the truth.”110 To gain a clear and vivid understanding of a
harmoniously functioning throat chakra, we can look to the words of Shalila Sharamon and
Bodo J. Baginski:

 With a completely open throat chakra you express your feelings, thoughts and inner
knowledge freely and without fear, […] capable of revealing your weaknesses or […]
your strengths. Your […] honesty towards yourself and others is expressed by your
upright posture. […] If appropriate, you can also remain silent and listen to others
with all your heart and understanding. Your speech is imaginative and colorful, yet at
the same time perfectly clear. It communicates your intentions in the most effective
way for achieving the fulfillment of your wishes. Your voice is full and
melodious. When faced with difficulties and resistance, you remain true to yourself
and are able to say “no”, if that’s what you mean. Other people’s opinions do not
sway or manipulate you; instead you maintain your independence, freedom and self-
determination. Being free of prejudices and possessing great inner spaciousness, you
are open to the reality of subtle dimensions. From them you [trustingly] receive the
guidance of your inner voice, which leads you on your way through life. […] You
recognize that all manifestations in Creation have their own individual message[.][…]
All the means you employ for creative expression […] convey wisdom and truth. Out
of your inner independence and the free expression of your entire being arise deep joy
and a feeling of completeness and integrity.111

Take a moment to imagine that you are in a magical forest. Surrounded by enchantingly
sweet-scented flowers, you hear the dancing footsteps of birds, as they sing soft melodies;
feathered wings emerge from your back, a warm breeze lifts you up, and you gracefully fly
into a violet sky. Surely in reality you sit here with black letters before your eyes, but for a
moment, you were able to embrace, perhaps even see, a fantastical reality. It is through this
eye of the mind that we are able to think, to imagine, to perceive that which is beyond the
physical dimension. We know it as the Third Eye—“the eye that looks inwards instead of
outwards:”112 ajna chakra. Depicted as a “luminescent white”113 lotus of two petals, one
petal holds a symbol of the moon (representing ida nadi), while the other holds a symbol of
the sun (pingala nadi). “Ajna is the point of confluence where ida, pingala and sushumna
merge into one stream of consciousness. The merging of these three forces represents the
transcendence of duality, and hence of ego and individuality.”114 As ajna chakra transcends
physical matter, its element can be thought of as “subtle ether,”115 essentially, the mind. It is
here that bija mantra, “Aum,” reminds us of “the source of all sounds.”116 ‘Ajna’ means
‘command,’ as the functions of this energy center are both “to perceive and to command;”117
through ajna, we access the window of perception, where we are able to visualize and thus
create, or command, our reality.118 Physically, ajna chakra is located “directly behind the
eyebrow centre.”119 While some texts relate ajna chakra with the pituitary gland and the
hypothalamus (as these are the master glands of the endocrine system),120 others link ajna
with the pineal gland (often referred to as ‘the third eye’), which helps regulate the body’s
internal cycles, or circadian rhythms.121 Specifically, the pineal receives information from
light entering the eyes, which in turn regulates the production of melatonin.122 It is
interesting to note that sleep disorders are highly prevalent in the blind;123 that is, without
the physical eyes to relay light messages, the pineal cannot properly regulate melatonin, and
consequently, sleep cycles. Thus, with a physical imbalance of the ajna chakra, we may
experience issues with sleep, vision, headaches, or other disorders related to malfunction of
the pineal gland;124 in terms of the pituitary and hypothalamus, we may experience issues
related to hormonal imbalance.125 However, with a highly developed ajna chakra, the
functions of the physical body become irrelevant to the wisdom that lies within.126 “Like a
doorway, [ajna] opens into higher realms of awareness beyond the manifest
dimension.”127 “Ajna chakra is the centre of wisdom. It represents the level of awareness
where one begins to see and realize the hidden essence behind all visible things. It is the
centre of intuition where one tunes in with the underlying essence, rather than the manifested
forms[.] […] Ajna is the witnessing centre. One becomes the unmoving witness of all events,
including those of one’s own mind and body. Though involved, passively or intensely, in the
play of life, one merely observes.”128 As ajna chakra blossoms, we may become more
attuned with the clairvoyant potential within: “to be clairvoyant, we need to look in the
spaces that are clear—to look at the fields of energy, not at the objects themselves; to look at
relationships, not things; to see the world as a whole, and to reach with our minds directly
and clearly for the information we want. The more clarity we have within ourselves, the
better we’re able to see the subtle properties of the world around us.”129

Sahasrara is everything and yet also nothing. It is Consciousness. It is Oneness. It is Higher


Self. It is Soul. It is Spirit. It is the Universe. It is the Divine. It is God. It is Brahman. It is
All That Is. Depicted as the ‘one thousand’ petaled lotus at the crown of the head, sahasrara
is the home of Shiva and Shakti, as they unite as one, in enlightenment:
nirvana.130 Sahasrara is not really a chakra,131 rather a gateway to the Infinite: “[it]
transcends all concepts and yet is the source of all concepts.”132 Sahasrara can be seen as
the “causal ether:”133 the seed from which all things manifest. Ajna chakra is the gateway to
this center, and all the preceding chakras like rings of a ladder, waiting for us to
ascend.134 “The chakras are only switches. All the potential lies in sahasrara.”135 Here,
we recognize that we are all one; all individual manifestations are simply pieces of the greater
whole.136 A seed begins in its potential form, then starts to sprout, becoming a stalk, then a
bud, finally bursting open to meet the light, where it radiates in its full potential. The flower
will eventually descend and decay, returning to the Earth, but now, with the knowledge that it
is in essence, a flower, and can carry this energy through its infinite layers of potential
existence. We are just as this flower. Within us, a seed, the seed of universal consciousness,
waiting to be remembered, so we may plant it and allow it to grow into its highest potential of
pure, infinite bliss.

“As soon as frequencies flow into the chakras that are higher and purer than the energies
present in the chakra itself, they begin to vibrate faster, and the slower frequencies of the
blockages dissolve step by step. […] It is as if a fresh breeze were blowing through our
energy system. […] The nadis […] pulse with vital energy, and body, mind and soul begin to
vibrate on a higher plane and radiate with health and joy.”137 Surely health and joy are
common goals, although it seems not a simple task. Collectively, our world is full of
imbalances at each chakra level. By gaining awareness of the cultural influences so deeply
ingrained into our subtle bodies, we open the door for growth individually, and ultimately, as
a whole species. In brief observation of the societal chakra system, we see the following
imbalances:

Muladhara: we are disconnected from Mother Earth, abusing her resources, consuming
denatured food, and most have forgotten the sacredness of the land

Svadisthana: sex is advertized as a commodity, shamed, suppressed, and exploited; we are


not taught how to process our emotions or channel our creativity in healthy ways

Manipura: we are exposed to wars, violence, manipulation, control and greed, while our
personal power is repressed

Anahata: we love others conditionally because self-love is not valued; our breathing is
shallow (which inhibits fresh prana from rejuvenating our beings)

Vishuddha: we are surrounded with lies and massive overuse of technology; we are “lost” in
the ethers, with no stable ground to support us, and thus we are unable to express our true and
highest selves
Ajna: society provides little encouragement to go within or develop our intuition; we are
unaware of our true abilities to visualize, manifest, and create the reality we truly desire
Sahasrara: many religions and belief systems are skewed, enforcing fear and placing power
outside of the self; hence we are disconnected from Oneness

With such surroundings and teachings as these to shape us, it is no surprise that most
individuals have deep-seated imbalances in the chakras. However, through awareness, we
can understand our own set of blockages and work through them to establish inner
balance. Despite living in a tumultuous world, we are blessed with a multitude of tools to
guide us on the healing journey, including aroma, touch, light, color, sound, crystals, herbs,
flowers, foods, affirmations, yoga, meditation, breath work, and the list is essentially
endless. As the chakras are an interconnected network, any healing technique can affect any
or all of the chakras. However, using their related element and sense can provide more
specific healing. The following is a small introduction to the plethora of chakra healing
techniques:

Earth : Muladhara : Smell


Aromatherapy: Scents, especially pure essential oils (abbreviated as EOs) of plants and
flowers, have profound healing effects. Studies show that EOs decrease anxiety,138 promote
relaxation, relieve stress, “have an effect on brainwaves and can also alter behavior.”139 Just
as every human emits their own energy, so do plants, and thus, each type of essential oil has a
particular gift to offer our chakras. Ways to incorporate include: putting EO drops into base
oil (like sesame, sunflower, etc.) and massaging onto the chakra points, bathing with drops of
EO in water, spraying aromatherapy mister on/around the body, using an aromatherapy
diffuser in the home, etc.
Gem Therapy: “[Crystals] have been used for centuries to act as catalysts and to assist one
in becoming re-united with [the universal source of perfection].”140 Taking millions of
years to form “out of the elements of […] Mother Earth, [crystals] connect us with the
protecting, fortifying and nourishing energy of this earth.”141 Again, like people, plants, and
all that exists, each crystal carries a unique energy, and thus certain types can be used to help
heal different imbalances. Ways to incorporate include: lying down and placing crystals on
the chakra points (this allows the crystal to clear blockages and re-harmonize one’s energy),
holding them, meditating with them, wearing crystals as jewelry, etc.
Time in Nature: “Nature operates…via relationships…, constantly communicating,
balancing, altering, merging, evolving, creating, and transmuting. When aligned, and not
resistant, to the nature of Nature, we enter into the dynamic creative flow of
life.”142 Therefore, when we commune with the flowers, the grasses, the mud, the birds, the
leaves, the branches, the roots, and all the wonders of the earth, we allow our energy bodies
to realign with the harmonic resonance of the Universe. Ways to incorporate include:
walking in nature, camping/backpacking, hiking, gardening, etc.

Water : Svadisthana : Taste


Diet / Food: We are what we eat. Many roots of imbalance come from the mass produced,
packaged, denatured food we habitually consume. How can our chakras vibrate at their
highest frequency if we feed ourselves low frequency food? Ayurveda strongly values both
what we eat and how we eat. Shifting our diet to embrace whole, local, organic foods
prepared and consumed with gratitude and LOVE is a key factor in balancing the chakras.
Water Therapy: Studies prove that water retains and responds to our thoughts and
intentions,143 and thus can be an incredibly powerful tool in healing. Ways to incorporate
include: drinking water that we infuse with a positive intention/affirmation (ie. ‘Thank you’
or ‘I love you’), cleansing in oceans or rivers, setting intentions at the time of the new moon
and full moon, using flower essences, gem essences, etc.

Fire : Manipura : Sight


Chromotherapy: “Chromotheraphy provides colors to the electromagnetic body or the aura
(energy field) around the body, which in turn transfers energy to the physical body.” Thus,
“colors have a profound effect on us at all levels—physical, mental, and
emotional.”145 According to the “Rainbow System,” the colors of the visible light spectrum
relate to the chakras: muladhara / red, svadisthana / orange, manipura / yellow, anahata /
green, vishuddha / blue, ajna / indigo, and sahasrara / violet. The specific vibrational
frequency of each color can be used to treat imbalance. For instance, “when the first chakra
has excess energy it manifests in conditions that we associate […] with red, such as
inflammation, […] body heat, anger, jealousy, and rage. Blue […] can be used to calm and
cool the energy.”145 Ways to incorporate include: colored lamps/light bulbs directed onto
the body, wearing a certain color, color meditation, drinking color-charged water, wearing
colored sunglasses, choosing foods based on color, exposure to sunlight, candle-gazing
(trataka), spending time in nature, etc.

Air : Anahata : Touch


Touch Therapies: Countless methods of touch therapy (massage, marma, shirodhara, reiki,
reflexology, etc.) can be of great assistance in balancing mind, body, and spirit. The
Ayurvedic treatment known as Chakra Basti can be especially beneficial, as it works directly
with the chakra points and allows for the “release of deep seated emotions”146 that may be
causing blockages in the subtle body.
Breathing / Pranayama: Breath is the bridge between the body and the mind;147 “[it] is
one of our most powerful tools for transforming ourselves: for burning up toxins, releasing
stored emotions, changing body structure and changing consciousness.”148 As said in the
ancient text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, “[A] person who only half breathes, only half lives. He
who breathes correctly acquires control of the whole being.”149 Most of us breathe on
autopilot, allowing shallow breaths to guide us through life. By bringing awareness to the
breath, whether through the various yogic techniques of pranayama (breath control) or by
simply taking conscious and complete inhalations and exhalations, we can create a space of
great harmony within.

Yoga Asana (Body Postures): There are many forms of yoga asana practice (Kundalini,
Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa, etc.), but their basic principle is the same. “Asanas aim at
influencing [body, mind, and consciousness] and molding and yoking them into one
harmonious whole…Asanas loosen up the joints of the body, stretch and tone the muscles[,]
remove [accumulated] poisons[,] harmonize the nervous [and endocrine] system[s]
and…improve the functioning of all the internal organs…As such the uninhibited flow of
prana brought about by asanas, leads to mental equilibrium and calmness…When the aches
and pains and ailments of the body are removed and one is emotionally and mentally relaxed,
then…the fetters of individuality can be released and one’s true nature – pure, infinite, all
pervasive consciousness – can be realized.”150

Ether : Vishuddha : Sound


Sound Therapies: “Scientific findings confirm that all the particles in the universe…are
determined by musical structures, frequencies and patterns.”151 “Everything has a peak
range of vibration, and that range is known as resonance. When we are in balance, we are in
resonance.”152 To relate, we can think of the common phrase, ‘that resonates with me;’
when we say this, we are indicating that our frequency is in harmony with that frequency, and
it ‘feels right.’ Thus, we can use resonant sound frequencies to bring our chakras into
alignment. Sound healing techniques include: chanting bija mantras (elemental seed sounds:
Lum, Vum, Rum, Yum, Hum, Aum), repeating positive affirmations, listening to harmonious
music such as classical, Indian ragas or nature sounds, singing, using singing bowls, tuning
forks, etc.

Subtle and Causal Ether : Ajna and Sahasrara


Meditation: “People wander all over the world trying to find themselves, not realizing that
the greatest marvel lies within…It is only by knowing the depths of the mind that we can
really know ourselves as well as the world around us.”153 The purpose of meditation is to
“enhance, soothe, and harmonize the vibrational aspects of the mind and body, cleansing the
mind of its habitual clutter,” and ultimately, to attain self-realization—“the…act through
which consciousness realizes itself.”154 While there are countless techniques of meditation
(ie. Transcendental Meditation, creative visualization, chakra meditations, color meditation,
yoga nidra, etc.), the true state of meditation cannot be taught. “It is only the personal
experience of mediation, even if it is the faintest glimmer, that can make us realize the power,
knowledge and joy that are our heritage.”155

Collectively, it is apparent that we have a great deal of growth and healing to do. But in
nurturance of our heart chakras, it is wise to remember that all is perfect just as it is, right
now. And through awareness, intention, and love, we each hold the power to realign with the
Oneness that binds us all. As each of us journey further within, taking responsibility for our
own selves, working to harmonize our inner chakra centers, we will find the strength to assist
our fellow beings along the healing journey; and some day, the chakra system of the
collective consciousness will begin to shine in its True state of Pure, Blissful Harmony.