According to the Hindu religion, a chakra is an energy point in the body. It is that point where the energy of the body is very powerful and can be harnessed through appropriate methods.
The term ‘chakra’ is a Sanskrit word that means wheel. It is often said that these chakras are actually spinning wheels of energy, located in the subtle body and not in the physical body. The sources or chakras are connected through a channel known as ‘Nadi’. The vital force of life, known in Sanskrit as ‘Prana’, is believed to travel through these Nadis.
A study of ancient scriptures confirms the existence of 7 known chakras in the human body. There are 11 other chakras in addition to the 7 vital chakras, bringing the number to 18. These 18 chakras, when used correctly, are said to have the ability to heal any ailment faced by the human body.
Let’s look at some basic facts about these chakras:
• There are 7 major chakras and 11 minor chakras.
• These chakras are all vertically aligned along the central channel.
• Along with the Nadi (canal) and Vayu (wind), they are the power stations.
• All are circular in shape and are said to have rays or petals.
• Everyone is related or associated with a different deity and governs a different bodily function.
• The chakras are also called magnetic points in the Western study school and are taken to perform the same functions mentioned in the Eastern study school.
• The chakras are not a concept of groundless belief. There has been an extensive study and there is sufficient evidence to support the existence of such “magnetic points” throughout the human body.
• Yoga practitioners, such as the renowned Yoga Guru, BKS Iyengar, were often called upon to discuss the medical importance of these chakras. With the help of people like Guru Iyengar, the importance of these chakras was studied in detail.
Let’s now move on to the main topic of this article, which are the 18 Chakras of life and their healing power.
Below is a list of the 18 chakras in order of their position in the human body, their respective functions, and how they support healing.
1. Sahasrara (Sanskrit for ‘thousand petals)
Position: crown of the head or above the crown of the head.
Deity – Dhruva
The Sahasrara Chakra is often called the fundamental life chakra. It is said to be the highest energy source that begins to flow from the top of the head. It works in a similar way to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland secretes hormones to communicate with all the other endocrine systems and also controls the central nervous system. Similarly, the energy of the Sahasrara chakra passes from the top of the head, all through the central nervous system and reaches the next chakra through the brain, via a nadi.
Helps align life.
2. Ajna (Sanskrit for command)
Position: between the eyebrows. Positioned as a third eye (as Lord Shiva has done)
Deity – Ardhanarishwara (Sanskrit: God – half man, half woman. Shiva / Shakti)
The Ajna Chakra, is placed like the third eye, between the eyebrows. Traditionally, this is part of Hindu mythology, where Lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil, was said to open his third eye when in extreme rage. When the Lord opened his third eye, everything that fell in his path was reduced to ashes.
Fun fact, it is often said that the entire third eye burning things to ash is the reason why Lord Shiva was depicted as an ascetic. He meditated for long periods of time to control his anger. So it was generally quiet. But when he got mad, well, ash to ash, dust to dust!
Regardless, the Ajna chakra is concerned with bringing clarity at a higher intuitive level. It is the very center of attention. In fact, while practicing Pranayama (breath control) in Yoga, people are always asked to focus on the Ajna chakra and keep it as their center of concentration. This helps increase attention span and provides excellent concentration skills.
3. Vishuddha (Sanskrit for ‘especially pure’)
Position: Throat (parallel to the thyroid)
Color: pale blue or turquoise
Deity – Dyaus
The Vishuddha chakra is associated with communication and growth. It is about expression, whether it is spoken, written or otherwise. Its location near the thyroid gland, which is responsible for growth and maturation, further explains its importance in that sphere.
This chakra also helps with voice control and modulation. That is why when performing Yoga, the chanting of the holy ‘OM’ is performed in a way that reverberates in the throat. Stimulates the chakra and increases energy levels.
4. Anahata (Sanskrit for ‘unstruck’)
Position – center of chest
Color: green or pink
Deity – Ishana Rudra Shiva
The Anahata chakra is related to the thymus, an element located in the chest that is part of the immune and endocrine system and is the site of maturation of T cells.
T cells are the cells that help the body fight disease. So aptly named Anahata or Unstruck. It is also called the heart chakra, due to its proximity to the organ. It is about the circulation of energy associated with complex emotions, empathy, compassion, etc.
5. Manipura (Sanskrit for Jewel City)
Position: navel or near the pancreas
Deity – Agni
Manipura is one of the essential chakras as it deals with the pancreatic functions and the adrenaline glands. It is associated with the basic digestive process, which is in fact the most important, since digestion converts food matter into energy.
The chakra deals with this type of energy. It also deals, on an emotional level, with the spirit of expression. That’s probably why they say ‘No guts, no glory!’
6. Svadhisthana (Sanskrit for own base)
Position – Sacral
Deity – Bramha
This chakra is primarily functional in the testicles or ovaries. It governs the flow of energy through the sexual organs, allowing the organs to be reproductively strong.
If you have noticed, the Deity associated with this Chakra is Bramha.
According to Hinduism, Lord Bramha was the Creator or progenitor of life. Therefore, it seems almost appropriate that this organ is associated with nothing less than the proposed life-giver!
The key issues that the Svadhisthana chakra deals with are reproduction, relationships, and also addictions. Human “drives” are supposed to govern and control this chakra.
7. Muladhara (Sanskrit for root support)
Position: base of the spine
Deity – Ganesh
It is related to basic human potentiality, security and survival. As we all know, any damage to the spinal cord can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system or even lead to death.
Therefore, it is appropriate to call this chakra Muladhara or Root Support.
The importance of this chakra is that it basically governs stability: emotional, physical, mental, and all other types of stability.
That’s where you get the phrase “I need to have a spine!”
It is often called the last point of the nadi, where the source of energy ends and the cycle repeats.
Now that we’ve covered the 7 major chakras, let’s take a look at the 11 minor chakras. Keep in mind that these main chakras are the fundamental ones. The remaining 11 chakras act as a support system for these.
Located 2 finger spaces to the left of the Anahata Chakra and then 2 fingers down, the Hridhaya chakra is basically the chakra from which the heartbeat is said to resonate.
It helps the Anahata chakra and helps control the functioning of the heart through proper energy flow.
9. Secret Chakras (Golata, Lalata, Lalana)
The 9th, 10th and 11th chakras, namely the Golata, Lalata and Lalana chakras, are located at the back of the throat, in alignment with the Vishuddha chakra. They control the paddle and also the flow of energy through the nadi from the chakra, through the throat.
12. Atala – located on the lower hip, rules fear and lust
13. Vitala – located on the thigh, governs anger and resentment
14. Sutala – located on the knees, rules jealousy
15. Talatala – localized in calves, governs prolonged stubbornness
16. Rasatala – located in the ankles, center of egoism and animal instinct
17. Mahatala – located in the feet, considered the kingdom without consciousness
18. Patala – located on the soles of the feet, kingdom of malice, torture, murder, etc.
Chakras 12-18 are part of the Muladhara Chakra section. They fall below the muladhara chakra and are therefore considered the minor or minor chakras.
These 18 chakras, together form the 18 chakras of healing. The power of these 18 chakras can be harnessed through the practice of Yoga, Pranayam, Kundalini, etc. Once aligned, these chakras have the power to heal from within any ailment that one may suffer. They are the source of energy in the human body on a spiritual level.