At some point of time, we all must have heard about chakras, probably in our yoga classes or in some spiritual discourses. Most of us know what these chakras are and how they affect our overall health. For the uninitiated, chakras are nothing but energy centers of our body. They are like entrance and exit points for energy flow and are responsible for our emotional, mental, and physical health.
In the human body, there are 7 primary chakras and several other small chakras. The smaller points of chakras are called meridians and these are the points that are used in healing by the Chinese methods of acupuncture. These chakras have been mentioned in almost all religious and spiritual texts, in one form or the other. These energy centers are specifically related to some individual organ and they regulate the health of that organ.
The word 'anahata' means 'unstruck sound' and it is known by that name, because it is believed to be the center of nada, the Hindu center of inner voice. Anahata chakra, or heart chakra, is the fourth chakra of the body and like other chakras, it is connected to the brain. The part of the brain that fosters creative abilities within us like that of music, dancing, writing etc., is linked to this chakra.
According to the tantric philosophy, the heart chakra is the seat of Shiva and Shakti. These two deities depict the forces of consciousness and creativity. Shiva is depicted as an upward triangle (raising of the consciousness) and Shakti is depicted by inverted triangle, that is the source of creativity. When the level of anahata chakra is attained, the person is said to touch heights of creativity. For youth that lies in the age group of 20 to 28 years, it is the anahata chakra that is mostly dominant and one begins to experience powerful emotions of love and compassion. It is this center that helps a person realize that although all human beings are different and have their own karmic cycle, at the core, all are the manifestation of the universal power.
The tantric scriptures call anahata chakra as the wish fulfilling center and when one is at par with it, they find that all their wishes come true, if they resolve to fulfill them. This chakra also helps us express love and the blockage of this chakra leads to lack of compassion and heart diseases. The anahata chakra helps us maintain a balance in the midst of all the craziness. It helps us integrate our mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity, and various other dualities. It helps us perceive our feelings from a state of compassion and acceptance.
Cobra (Bhujangasana), Sunbird (Chakravakasana), Bridge pose (Setu bandhasana), and Frog (Mandukasana) are some of the asanas suitable for improving the effectiveness of this vital chakra. Before trying out any of theses asanas, make sure you are trained well by an expert yogi or yoga trainer. It is advised that you never start any tantric yoga asanas without the guidance of a spiritual guru.
In Yogic healing, it is customary to balance the various chakras in the quest to achieve holistic health. Any kind of disturbances in the energy flow of any of the chakras, manifests itself in the form of diseases or other complications. Each chakra has its unique frequency of vibration, symbol, color, and sound that it is tuned to. This is the reason why music and various religious hymns have a soothing effect on us. When any of our unbalanced chakra attains balance, we feel healthy and fit, while if there is an obstruction in the energy flow of the chakra, it leads to problems.
Is it possible for us to see the chakras with the naked eye? The answer is no. However, spiritual seekers who are on the path of a spiritual journey, have mentioned of having seen them during their advanced level of consciousness. Chakras are mere forms of energy in our body rather than physical entities, so to see them, we have to raise our level of consciousness by practicing various tantric forms of yoga and meditation.
It is said that once you gain control of all the chakras, you can attain 'enlightenment' or the ultimate aim of human soul. Regular practice of yoga exercises can keep our energy centers balanced. It is not possible, and not even necessary, for a layman to get involved in higher forms of yogic meditation, so just a few breathing exercises can help us maintain a stable mental and physical state of self.