Meditation is a wonderful tool to both calm and heal your mind, body and spirit. However, if you want to focus your meditation to target certain parts of your being that may feel hurt, “stuck” or confused, chakra meditation may be an especially useful method to try, even if you don’t subscribe to the spiritual philosophy behind it.
The original definition of the word “chakra” is wheel. It can also be seen as a metaphor for the sun, which is apt because the sun is a glowing ball of light and energy. The concept of chakras dates way back to the Vedas of ancient India, and they have been mentioned in many texts since, from the Yoga Upanishads to the Yoga Sutras. Chakra meditation is part of the Tantric tradition, which dates back thousands of years. This is not a new age practice — it has been followed for many generations.
What is chakra meditation?
In essence, chakras are defined as energy centers in the body (or centers of consciousness), each governing certain aspects of our being. There are seven main chakras described in ancient texts (although there are minor chakras described, as well). The following is a very brief and general rundown on the symbolism of each of the primary chakras:
1. Root chakra (Muladhara)
Located at the lower end of your spine, at the base of your body, the root chakra is associated with primal instincts, groundedness and your connection to the Earth.
2. Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)
Located just below your belly button, this chakra is associated with creativity and spontaneity.
3. Solar plexus chakra (Manipura)
Located just over your diaphragm, the solar plexus chakra is associated with your connection to yourself, your individuality and everything that makes you uniquely “you.”
4. Heart chakra (Anahata)
Located in the middle of your chest, your heart chakra is the center of your compassion and the love that you give and receive.
5. Throat chakra (Vishuddha)
Located at the base of your throat, the throat chakra is associated with choice, communication and responsibility for oneself.
6. Third eye chakra (Ajna)
Located between your eyes in the middle of your forehead, the third eye chakra is the center of intuition and elevated perspective. It is the region of “sight beyond seeing.”
7. Crown chakra (Sahasrara)
Located at the top of your head, the crown chakra is associated with your connection to the universe. It is also symbolic of the center of the present moment.
How chakra meditation can aid in healing
Chakra meditation can facilitate healing by allowing you to focus on specific areas of your life and being, one at a time. You are able to focus your energy on a specific region, for example, your heart chakra and center your attention on it. This can allow pain, blockages or overactivity to come to the surface of your consciousness, thus teaching you more about yourself and giving you a starting point to address any issues.
There are many ways of doing chakra meditation and some practices have specific guidelines. However, if you wish to do a very basic one at home, lie on your back on the floor, on a yoga mat or on your bed with your head propped up on a pillow so you are comfortable. Close your eyes, focus on your breath and consciously relax each part of your body. Start from your feet and go all the way up to the top of your head.
Then, once you are in a relaxed, meditative state, start focusing on each chakra, one by one, as you breathe. Start at the bottom with your root chakra. Feel the energy in this part of your body. Zero in on it. Does the energy feel calm or erratic? Does it feel healthy or is it hurting? Are you able to get a clear picture of it in your mind or is it muddled? Stay with each chakra for as long as you need to in order to get in touch with the energy there before moving onto the next one.
Focus on healing each chakra
In an exploratory meditation, you may simply observe each chakra and make mental notes (or notes in a notebook, if you prefer) of what you find. For a healing meditation, work on consciously relaxing each chakra. Visualize filling each one with loving kindness and wish it well. Tell any negative energy that you hold there that it is free to exit. Visualize exhaling this negativity and replacing it with loving kindness on the inhale. Do this with each chakra, focusing especially on ones that are hurting or feeling off.
Whether you are interested in the spiritual philosophy behind chakra meditation or not, zeroing in on these areas of yourself during meditation can be a great way to guide your body to healing, from the inside out.
– Meditation Daily