While there are many different concepts and terms you will come across during your yoga journey, nothing will pop up more than the seven chakras, energy centers spread out across the body which all have their own unique functionalities, attributes, and symbolic meanings.
Not only is it essential to know about each of the body chakras in order for you to understand how to direct your physical and mental energy, but it’s also important to understand their symbols since these can help grant a person a deeper understanding of what exactly the chakra means, and how it can benefit our body and mind.
With that being said, let’s take a look at each of the seven chakra symbols, what they mean, and why the chakra points play such an important part in the practice of yoga.
Why Are The Seven Chakras Important?
Chakras are the symbolic nodes of energy that are planted throughout the body, with each of them being dedicated to fuelling our actions and emotions, while also representing a sense of unity and connection with ourselves, others, and higher beings.
Acknowledging and learning how to incorporate the seven chakras into daily life is already very beneficial for an individual, but it is especially important for yoga because it grants a person the ability to increase or decrease how much energy is being passed through their body at a given time, directly influencing your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
As many of us already know, while yoga is great for encouraging flexibility and strength in the body, a lot of the technique also centers around mindfulness, and more specifically, being able to escape from the busy nature and harsher realities of the real world so that we can manage our stress and anxiety levels much easier.
Therefore, when you have thoughts constantly racing through your mind, and energy surging through your body which can make it hard to sit still, acknowledging the chakras makes it far easier to create a sense of serenity and peace within the body and mind, which is crucial for getting the most you can out of yoga and meditation.
Why Do The Chakra Symbols Matter?
The colorful symbols associated with each of the seven chakras are not simply random designs, but they actually contain a tremendous amount of symbolism that many people will use as a meditative prop during a yoga session when they are trying to awaken or energize a particular chakra in the body (Also check out What Is Hamsa Hand: Meaning, Uses And More) (Also check out What Is Hamsa Hand: Meaning, Uses And More) (Also check out What Is Hamsa Hand: Meaning, Uses And More).
When you focus on a chakra symbol while doing yoga or meditating, you are directing all of your mental and physical energy toward acknowledging the purpose of these energy spots and how they function, which can accelerate your transformation and make it a lot easier to achieve mindfulness.
How Old Is The Chakra System?
The chakra system has its roots in India between the years 500 and 1500 BC, which gives you an idea of just how ancient it really is, but even back then, it was still being used as part of yoga exercises and teachings, specifically in the Yogashika Upanishad which is one of the twenty Yoga Upanishads in the four Vedas.
It was therefore first mentioned in the ancient Vedas texts that discussed spiritual knowledge and awareness, and despite beginning so long ago, the chakra system has remained a core concept in the world of yoga to this day.
The symbols actually first started appearing in Ancient Tantric Buddhist texts at the same time and were created with great care and detail to be emblematic of the chakra they were based on.
Each Of The Seven Chakra Symbols
Now that you know a bit about the background of chakra, and why the system is so highly-valued and important within the practice of yoga, it’s time to take a deeper look at each of the seven “wheels” that direct energy throughout our body and their symbols.
Also known as the Root Chakra, Muladhara is located at the very base of the spine and is associated with stability, organization, and remaining grounded when the world around us is trying to push us into disarray or confusion.
In this sense, many people see it as the chakra most associated with the feeling of being focused and realistic, and this is reflected in the symbol of Muldhara which shows an upside-down triangle that is actually the alchemical symbol used to represent the earth, reinforcing the idea of planting your feet to the ground and feeling centered and grounded at all times.
The four petals which can be seen surrounding the symbol represent the four different aspects of consciousness; mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego.
Additionally, the red color used to represent Muladhara is closely related to loyalty and passion, and is the color spectrum most visible to the human eye, making it one of the easier chakras to acknowledge.
Svadhisthana is known as the Sacral Chakra, and it forms the core of our creativity and imagination.
It is located just below the naval and serves to form our passions, desires, and imaginative ideas, which may be used anywhere in the world, whether it’s school, a work presentation, or just some simple arts and crafts.
The symbol for Svadhisthana actually contains a lot of very small and peculiar details that can give us a deeper insight into this chakra, and how it works.
For example, if you look at the inside circle, you will see a silver crescent moon, which signifies the connection between creativity and lunar phases, along with the connection between our own emotions and the moon.
This chakra also contains a lot of natural symbolism, specifically in its connection to water, which can be seen through the orange circle, which is commonly used to represent the water element.
If you notice the six orange petals sprouting around the outside, these represent anger, jealousy, desire, hatred, pride, and cruelty, all the things that can block our imaginative tendencies and which we must overcome in order to finally purify this chakra.
Manipura, the personal expression of confidence and determination, is seen as a very fiery and slightly more intense type of chakra compared to the others, and it is located three fingers above your navel and is the chakra closest to the core of your body.
The bright yellow symbolism is closely related to the sun and indicates a burning passion that we all must learn to harness in order to live our daily lives to the fullest.
The inverted triangle symbol at the center symbolizes transformative power and the convergence of the energy provided by the lower chakras gradually reaching the higher chakras in our body.
When your Manipura chakra is energized and strong, you will feel a sense of confidence and motivation within yourself, along with inner lightness and a sense of clarity in your mind.
While a lot of the chakras are based on our own personal well-being and mindfulness, the Heart Chakra is entirely dedicated to encouraging feelings of love and compassion which we can share with those around us, due to the potent energy which emanates from its core.
It is found within the chest right next to the heart, and it is actually a very unique chakra because while it has a particular purpose and functionality on its own, it also acts as the bridge between the three base chakras and the three higher ones, which you can see symbolized by the two triangles facing each way in the Heart Chakra symbol.
These overlapping triangles are also emblematic of the convergence of masculine and feminine energy which occurs when we fall in love.
If you were wondering why the entire symbol isn’t made up of triangles, it is actually because the overarching circle is a nod to the concept of karma, and more specifically, the idea that if we direct the empathy from our heart chakra to others, we will receive it back.
When we are trying to muster up the courage to speak in front of a large audience, the chakra giving us that motivation and willpower is Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra.
This chakra houses not only our physical ability to speak with confidence, but also the clarity of our mind and focus needed to be able to speak fluently, clearly, and precisely.
The 16 tiny petals surrounding the inner triangle of the symbol are actually associated with the 16 vowels found in the sacred Hindu Sanskrit language, and if you were wondering about the full moon symbol at the center, this symbolizes a pure and clear mind removed from any anxieties or worries which could make it harder for us to express what we mean verbally.
Out of all the chakras we have mentioned so far, Ajna, also known as the Third Eye Chakra, is probably the one you’re already most familiar with, and this is because it is the one most closely associated with knowledge and consciousness, with it being mentioned very frequently in spiritual circles.
It is at the very seat of our intuition, and while it may not act as the direct connection to true enlightenment as the next chakra on our list does, Ajna is still associated with expanding our knowledge and wisdom, along with acknowledging ourselves and how much we can actually learn.
The Third Eye chakra is found between the eyebrows and the center of your head, and the reason it is referred to as the ‘Third eye’ is because while our two physical eyes are able to see the present moment, the third eye symbolizes the knowledge we have obtained to understand and predict the future.
The triangle found in the symbol is faced down because it represents the lessons and knowledge found in the lower six chakras being extracted and directed towards our divine consciousness.
Associated with our connection to divine unity and true enlightenment, the Crown Chakra can be found right at the top of your head, and just like the design of a crown, its energy radiates upwards.
Because of where it is located, it is the chakra most linked to the brain and the nervous system and is seen to be the gateway to spiritual enlightenment, with it being incredibly important for finding spiritual peace and being able to connect to a higher consciousness or an elevated state of being.
The violet lotus flower seen in the symbol represents prosperity, eternity, and happiness, and the divine circle surrounding it reminds us of our personal and spiritual connection to the Divine within.
How To Activate The Chakras
Each chakra point will require you to take a different bodily position, practice a certain mantra, and have specific crystals nearby if you commonly use them in your yoga and meditation sessions.
For example, if you were determined to activate and acknowledge your Muladhara Root Chakra, you would be advised to take a tree pose, repeat the lam mantra, and focus your mind on your bodies connection to the earth beneath your feet while having the scent of vetiver nearby to facilitate your mindfulness during the practice.
While you should take your time learning to acknowledge and feel the effects of the seven chakras throughout your yoga experience, if you’re interested in focusing on a specific one that you feel could improve your day-to-day life, be sure to ask your yoga instructor and they will assist you in reaching your full potential.
The next time you’re trying to focus on activating a specific chakra, or when you are simply practicing some yoga or meditation and want something in front of you to keep you focused and clear-headed, make use of the chakra symbols and acknowledge what they are trying to represent so that you can awaken the energy nodes found throughout your body.
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