When it comes to health and nutrition, our Indian tradition goes way back in terms of scientific and metaphysical advances in the study of the human body, mind, and soul. According to Ayurveda, the body, mind and soul (spirit) form one single working unit, and if any one of these components is not working well, it will affect the other two. The human body contains the Shata Chakras which regulate the physical as well as the psychic energy of every individual. The word ‘Shata’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘seven’. There are in total seven chakras that govern the vital energies of our body.
Ayurveda says that the whole universe, including all the living organism are made up of 5 elements:
The 7 chakras are governed by these 5 elements and the core extension of the seven chakras lie between the base of sacral bone and the brain. These 7 chakras are related to your psychic and spiritual energy and are not visible to eyes. They do have a bearing on the physical energy as they control and impact the various bodily functions. They represent the entire summation of the Pranashakti (life-force). One will be able to feel and understand these chakras during deep meditation and core concentration.
There are two types of Prana or life force:
- Suksham prana – This is present in our spiritual body.
- Sthool prana – This is present in our physical body.
Now let’s try and understand the 7 Chakras:
- Mooladhar Chakra (Pelvic Plexus)
As the name “mool” (meaning root or base) suggests, this focal point is located at the base of the spine. All the other 5 chakras rest on this chakra. It is a region of earth element therefore it helps to give stability to other 5 chakras. According to Garud Pooran, the deity of this chakra is Lord Ganesha. This chakra governs the urinary and reproductive systems and also control your physical desires.
- Swadhisthan Chakra (Hypo-gastric Plexus)
The seat of this chakra is at the base of the genital organs. It is a region governed by the water element, so it governs the action of the reproductive organs like ovulation, sperm movement, menstruation cycles etc. The deity of this chakra is Lord Bramha.
- Manipur Chakra (Solar plexus)
Located at the umbilical region, it’s a region of the fire element, which according to Ayurveda helps in conversion of food to body nutrients. It also has an effect on the secretion of the adrenal gland, the pancreas, and the operation of other gastrointestinal activities. The deity of this chakra is Lord Vishnu.
- Anahat Chakra (Cardiac Plexus)
Located at the heart region, it is a region of the air element, which helps in the distribution of oxygenated blood to the whole body through the heart. Thus the area of work of this chakra is the heart, lungs, and the bronchi. The deity of this chakra is Lord Shiva.
- Vishudha Chakra (Laryngo Pharyngeal Plexus)
Located at the base of the throat, it is an element of space, therefore regulating the action of the thyroid and the air pathway. The deity of this Chakra is Lord Rudra.
- Adnya Chakra (Medullary Plexus)
Located between our eyebrows, it’s a region of the air element. It helps with the storage of memory and recalling of memory. Meditation has a good effect on this chakra and it helps in the sharpening of memory. The deity of this chakra is Lord Brahma.
- Sahastra Chakra
Located in the brain, it maintains the equilibrium of psycho physiology, i.e., anything related to sleep and psychological problems. The divine energy of every human being comes from this chakra. The deity of this chakra is Lord Parabrahma.
It is the cardinal belief our vedic religion that it is really important to maintain equilibrium in all these seven chakras in order to lead a healthy life. To maintain the equilibrium of all these chakras, we have to concentrate on spiritual as well as physical factors. In terms of fitness, this kind of understanding of the human body certainly has a corollary – take care of your body physically, and all these chakras will be maintained automatically!
Article Credits – Dr. Aniket Jadhav