Friday, February 08, 2013

Chakra Basics 101

As our view of other cultures and their health practices widens, it is important for birth professionals to become aware of elements that could impact a womans labor and birth.  This is true of Chakras.
Why talk about Chakras?  I believe that we are only scratching the surface of knowledge about our health, our bodies and reproduction.  It is not always about incorporation of ideas, rather it is more about keeping knowledge at hand in case it is needed as reference during a situation.  This became true of aromatherapy and birth, herbs and birth, hydrotherapy and birth – well, I think you see where I’m going with this: things that were not usually associated with childbirth are now associated with birth!

What are Chakras?
According to Hinduist and other belief systems, chakras are centers of PrĂ£na or life forces – vital energies that swirl in the body and correspond to points in the body.  Directly translated from Sanskrit, chakra means wheel or vortex and thus refers to the seven energy centers.  These centers function as pump stations to the energy flow in our system.  We, ourselves, and the conditions we face can open or close the valves in the pump stations.  Blockage of the energy in any of the seven chakras can lead to illness so it may be important to understand what each chakra represents and what to do to keep energy flowing freely.

Root Chakra
Color associated:  Red
Shape associated: Lotus with four petals
Stones: Ruby or Red Coral
Location: Base of the spine in the coccygeal area
Physical: Through this chakra, a child feels that strong connection with the birth mother and the nuclear family.
Known as the grounding chakra or earth energy.

Sacral Chakra
Color associated:  Orange/white
Shape associated: White lotus with a crescent moon with six vermillion or orange petals.
Stones: Moonstone
Location: Sacrum
Physical: Acknowledge issues of control and making changes/personal choices.
Emotional: The sexual center and where individual creativity is birthed.

Solar Plexas Chakra
Color associated:  Yellow
Shape associated: downward pointing triangle with 10 petals along with the color yellow.
Stone: Yellow Topaz or Citrine.
Location: Solar plexus
Physical: Our gut helps us take action or avoid something
Emotional: Self-esteem and personal power; gut feelings.

Heart Chakra
Color associated:  Green
Shape associated: Symbolized by a circular flower with twelve green petals.
Stones: Rose quartz, Malachite, Love Stones.
Location: Heart
Physical: Learn self-love and self-care
Emotional: The love center: heartbreak, grief, pain and fear.

Throat Chakra
Color associated:  Sky Blue
Shape associated: Silver crescent within a white circle with 16 light or pale blue or turquoise petals.
Stones: Kyanite and Sodalite.
Location: Throat
Physical: Repressing anger or displeasure often results in laryngitis, strep throat, etc.
Emotional: The voice center: expressing ourselves openly and honestly.

Brow Chakra
Color associated:  Violet, indigo or deep blue
Shape associated: Lotus with two petals 
Stones: Lapis and Apatite
Location: Brow
Physical: Mental calculations and thinking process.
Emotional: Taking past experiences and life happenings and put them into perspectives.

Crown Chakra
Color associated:  Lavender or cranberry color
Shape associated: A Sahasrara or 100 petalled lotus
Stones: Diamond, Iolite, Serpentine
Location: Top of the head
Physical: Spreads life force to other chakras
Emotional: Inner communications and spiritual awakening.  Entryway for life force and relationship with God.

The next blog entry will discuss why these may be of interest during pregnancy, labor and birth.

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