I think most people, unless you live under a rock (which is totally cool, but my question is twofold: a.) how do you breathe under there and b.) isn't it cramped?), have heard of chakras.
Chakras are very simply energy vortices inside and around the human energy system that help us transmute incoming information about the world. Many cultures have identified these vortices and worked with the wisdom of the body this way for centuries. They are slowly becoming more popularized in the Western world as we get hip to the wisdom of ancient traditions.
Understanding how each chakra can be a doorway into health and healing and deepening our personal conception of spirituality is a great shorthand way to ensure we are caring for our whole selves.
In fact, very little knowledge about those little human energy tornadoes can go a long way. There's no right way or wrong way to nurture your chakra centers, but I guarantee you if you find a way to tend to all of them in some positive, healthy way, you'll find greater balance.
So put down the iPhone for a second and get your hippy on and see if you're tending to the 7 chakra needs. You may find that the issues of one or two chakras are more developed than others, that's totally normal. The chakras are arranged from the bottom (under the perineum to the top of the head).
1.) Physical - Tending to our physical vessel through Yoga or exercise, eating healthy foods and caring for the body's health and well-being. Tuning into this chakra allows us to acknowledge our right to exist and our fears about truly physically being "here".
2.) Emotional - Dealing with and taking responsibility for our emotional health. Tending to our "darker" emotional content such as anger, resentment, depression, shame, sexuality, etc. . Tuning into this chakra allows us to see our emotional selves and our reactions to others through those emotions.
3.) Power - Acknowledging our power and ability to be willful in the world. Tending to our positive sense of movement in the world and our ability to "get things done" and make things happen. Typically this is well-developed in Western countries, however women in particular tend to have this chakra suppressed, while men typically overdo this one.
4.) Love - I'm not talking about relationship love (that's more for the 2nd chakra) but a larger, more inclusive sense of universal love. Tending to this chakra means opening our heart through empathy and a sense of service to our fellow human beings. Working with 4th chakra energy makes us pay attention to how our personal choices affect the well being of those around us. Typically when we're feeling generous (without the desire for recognition or payment, which means our heart is open).
5.) Voice - I don't mean that talent show on NBC. I'm talking about developing a voice: speaking our ideas, and seeking to understand and develop our creative imprint on the world. Working with this chakra allows us to creatively express ourselves and bring, or speak, new ideas into existence. An open 5th chakra means ideas flow easily and we are open to incoming intellectual and creative information.
6.) Vision - This is about acknowledging our intuition and creative vision. That part of us that can "see" the interconnectedness of things, or at the very least that can visualize possibilities. If this chakra is well-developed you will have a healthy relationship with your intuition and be struck with clear vision about how to solve problems and help others.
7.) Spirit - Accessing this chakra is about opening to something larger than the finite self. When this chakra is developed we develop a sense of connection with the Universe/God/Spirit etc., We are able to entertain that there is a divine weave to everything that happens and recognize our simultaneous minuscule and immense part in that play.
So, which chakra center do you work with the most? Which ones are open, or closed? What still needs work?