Physicists define energy as, “the ability to do work,” and “the movement of an object against an opposing force.” The entire universe is made up of energy and our bodies are no exception. Trillions of cells are at constant work in the material system of the body.
Right now, at this very moment, as you sit here, reading, you are literally glowing. Your glow is weak, faint…but nonetheless, you glimmer. The intensity of the light you omit is 1000 times weaker than the sensitivity of the naked eye. The discovery was made in 2009 by Japanese researchers from Tohoku Institute of Technology.
This is just one, very recent, example of the body as energy.
But what about beyond the material system? Is it possible that the human body contains an invisible, energetic system as well? Long before modern technology and science, many ancient cultures knew that all living things carried a life force within them. One such system is the chakras. The chakras were first described in the ancient Indian text, the Vedas, over 3000 years ago and are still a staple of Ayurvedic medicine with parallels in traditional Chinese medicine.
I’ll admit that I do not understand the chakras well at all. I’m not even sure I fully believe in this imperceptible energy system of the body. And I’m not alone. Many, especially in the western world, see it as New Age hippie hoopla. But there is a growing number of folks in the scientific community who are offering some interesting research into the mind-body (physical/energetic) connection, including the late neuroscientist, Dr. Candace Pert. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult to argue against the mystery and wonder of the human being, even as science continues to explain the complexity of what makes us who we are.
What I do know is that by studying the chakras and using them as a tool in my yoga and meditation practice, I am able to achieve greater awareness and connection with my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states of being. And that’s enough for me.
Chakra is an old Sanskrit word for “wheel.” This is because the life force, or prana, that moves inside of you is spinning and rotating. This spinning energy has 7 centers in your body, starting at the base of your spine and moving all the way up to the top of your head.In a healthy, balanced person, the 7 chakras provide the right balance of energy to every part of your body, mind, and spirit.
In her book, The Chakra Project, Georgia Coleridge describes the physical body as a house, with your surrounding energy field as a garden and the chakras as windows. “Windows need to be sparkling clean to let in light and air. In the same way, our chakras need to be clear and bright so the different energies that make up our life force – the magic stuff that makes everything work – can flow freely through our bodies and minds.” When energy is stuck, she likens it to a river where leaves, twigs and branches have collected. “It may be stagnant on one side and racing too fast on the other. Similarly, a chakra may be under- or overpowered,” she says.
By learning about the 7 chakras, I believe we can become more in tune with the natural energy cycles of your body. This knowledge can help us connect physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances with the chakras that empower them. And with those discoveries, we can begin to balance our chakras and live a healthy and harmonious life.
I invite you to take a few moments to tune into the body and feel the chakras at work through this guided meditation. You may sense the prana energy centers very lightly, very intensely, or not at all. Just remember that whatever happens, is okay.