|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 511 ]
Starting at the base of the spine we find muladhara chakra, literally the "root support chakra," often called simply the "root chakra."
Just above the genitals is svadhisthana chakra. Svadhisthana means "the place of the self" in Sanskrit. It is often known as the "sacral chakra."
Next is manipura, "the city of jewels," slightly below the physical navel, also referred to as the "navel chakra."
At the level of the centre of the chest is anahata, "the centre of un-struck sound," which is usually referred to as the "heart chakra."
At the base of the throat is vishuddha, "the great purity," also known as the "throat chakra."
In the middle of the forehead is the famous "third eye of Shiva," ajna chakra.
And finally, though not technically considered a chakra in the same respect as the previous six, is the "thousand-petalled lotus" known as sahasrara padma. This is the "crown centre."
The first of the seven chakras, muladhara chakra lies at the base of the spine in the area between the anus and the genitals (rooted at the tip of the coccyx). This centre of force symbolises the objective consciousness, the awareness in the physical, terrestrial universe. It symbolises all of the energies that are mechanical (and therefore primitive).
In the human being it is the source of vitality or the battery for physical energy. It is represented by the vahana (vehicle) of an elephant with seven trunks (representing the channels that flow to/through the seven chakras). Ancient yogic texts state that it is at this level that we find the mysterious kundalini power...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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