The traditional name for the first chakra is muladhara, which means the “root.” This chakra, at the base of the spine at the sacrum, is the foundation of the entire system. It relates to our basic needs and our sense of security and survival. When a baby is born, the first few weeks relate to the first chakra as the child adjusts to its environment. When you travel to an unknown place, you might have first chakra issues as you no longer have the same sense of security as when you are in your own environment. Focus on the first chakra whenever you are stressed, traveling, juggling too many things, feeling overwhelmed, or just need a sense of security or groundedness.
The pleasure chakra is called svadhisthana, which means “sweetness.” It is located a few fingers’ width inferior to the navel. After your basic needs are met, you can move out into the world to explore with the five senses. Through these senses, we bring nourishment and vitality to ourselves. Once a baby has settled after the first few weeks and months, he moves into second chakra mode, exploring the world around him. His eyes begin to focus, he starts to touch and pick up objects, and he responds to sounds from his parents.
The power center is called manipura, which means “lustrous gem.” Located in the solar plexus superior to the navel, this is where we establish our identity and what we want to do with our life. If your actions in life do not match your intentions for your life, you feel it in your gut. However, if you can align your intentions with your actions, you establish a strong sense of identity. You will be confident and will interact with others in a different way. College students are dealing often with third chakra issues. With babies, the “terrible twos” relates to this chakra. In their second year, babies learn the word “no” and begin to recognize and act on their own desires. They are establishing their unique identity separate from their parents.
The heart center is called anahata and is in the center of the chest. When translated, anahata means “the sound which issues without the striking of any two things together.” The heart chakra relates to everything one stereotypically associates with the heart: love, compassion, sympathy, empathy, and relationships. For a 2-year-old, it is hard to see outside their own point of view as they have not learned the concept of other. At around 3–4 years old, a child moves into the heart chakra and begins to grasp the concept of other. At that point, he begins to feel compassion and sympathy.
The throat center is traditionally called visuddha, which means “free from impurities.” Located at the throat, this is our center of expression and communication. If you are not saying the things you need to say, you might feel “choked up.” As you learn to communicate effectively, this allows creativity to thrive. This is a useful center on which massage therapists should focus. One of the most difficult aspects of being a therapist has little to do with actually giving a massage; it’s learning to effectively and efficiently communicate with clients.
The third eye chakra is called ajna, which means “communication from above.” Found between the eyebrows, this chakra is the center of imagination, intuition, and perception. When you let go of thoughts that are holding you back and instead let your imagination roam free, you are connecting to your sixth chakra. Any intuitive feelings you have, as well as your ability to read between the lines and understand nonverbal communication, arise from the sixth chakra.
The crown center is called sahasrara, which means “thousand petaled.” Located at the crown of the head, the seventh chakra relates to wisdom and enlightenment. The seventh chakra, sometimes called the “master chakra,” brings purpose and meaning to you and the other chakras. If the third chakra is about what you want to do with life, the seventh chakra is why you want to do it. The crown center helps you connect to a higher purpose and something greater than yourself. When you connect to this center, you connect to a sense of joy or bliss that is not related to a specific person or event but is rather connecting to the joy of the universe.