What are Chakras?
Most people have probably heard the term, but we aim to give you a little more insight into understanding them, and of course, how they relate to our yoga mats!
The word originated from Sanskrit, an ancient Indo-European language, and literally means “wheel”. It is pronounced as “cha-kra” with the emphasis on “cha” like the “ch” in “chair”, although it can be pronounced as “sh”.
One of the earliest written mentions of Chakras can be found in texts called the Vedas that originated in India between 1500 and 500BC, and is associated with religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism as well as Jainism, and of course with the teachings of Yoga.
According to Ambika Wauters, “the chakra system is a model for the flow of subtle energy that runs through all life and through the human energy system. It is like a ladder that takes us from the physical realm of substance up through the workings of the higher mind and spirit, and into the realm of divine consciousness”.
The 7 Wheels of Chakra
There are seven wheels of Chakra all represented by a different colour, that are positioned along the centre of our body all along our spine, with the last one at the crown or top of our heads. They are connected to different glands and organs in the body and are responsible for uniform distribution of Praana, or life energy, through them.
No 1 – The Root Chakra – also known as Muladhara and Root and Support: is based at the very bottom of our spine. It relates to keeping life sustainable and exciting. It is also associated with survival, self-preservation and the desire to live. It is also associated with being patient enough to see our dreams come true.
The Root Chakra is represented by the colour red, representing Earth and its energy. It is the colour of passion, courage, but also despair and anger when we feel overwhelmed. Although this negative can be turned into positive by turning the anger and despair into passion for achieving better things and embracing change.
No 2 – The Sacral Chakra – also known as Svadhishana and My own sweet abode – is based slightly below the naval. It relates to our creativity and sexuality. It is where we develop an inward sense of self and an outward awareness of others. To achieve the best emotional side of this Chakra we need to learn to be grateful for what we have got.
The Sacral Chakra is represented by the colour orange. Orange colour represents strength, balance, warmth, security and sustenance.
No 3 – The Solar Plexus Chakra – also known as Manipura and the lustrous gem: is based between our naval area and breastbone. It represents our personal identity, self-esteem, who we are and our ego. It is a source of our personal power. It is only when we know who we are and when we show respect to ourselves we can use our personal power to make choices that are right for us.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is represented by the yellow colour, which is associated with the sun. This colour lifts us and gives us hope.
No 4 – The Heart Chakra – also known as Anahata or Unstruck – is located in the centre of our chests. It represents our heart and lungs. Sharing love and genuine care for others is at the centre of this Chakra. When our own sense of worthiness is challenged this can turn into loving others in a conditional way/having unrealistic expectations of others. We can overcome this by learning to love with our hearts rather than heads.
The Heart Chakra is represented by the green colour. This colour brings balance, peace and tranquillity.
No 5 – The Throat Chakra – also known as Vishuddha or Purification is located within the neck area. This Chakra enables us to put our emotional feelings into words thorough sound. It enables us to tell the truth and stand up for ourselves. When we feel fear or shame we are unable to express our true feelings or say no. Positive affirmation of our own worthiness enables us to make positive contributions to ours and others lives.
The Throat Chakra is represented by the blue colour. This colour sooths the soul, represents truth, willpower and has calming effect on our bodies.
No 6 – The Brow Chakra – also known as Ajna or To perceive, to know or the Third Eye. It is located in-between our brow area. It represents our control centre as it concentrates on nurturing a strong and independent mind. It provides energy to enlarge our inner picture of how we see ourselves within the world. Sometimes we can only rely on rational and analytical thinking. The key to enlightenment within this Chakra is to embrace spiritual and emotional aspect of life so we can become truly wise.
The Brow Chakra is represented by the indigo colour. It represents cool and clear level of consciousness, which connects us to spiritual world. It is antidote to anger and frustration.
No 7 – The Crown Chakra – also known as Sahasrara or Thousand fold is located on the crown of our heads. This Chakra acts as a ladder to love, spirituality and healing. Ability to access this Chakra coincides with a time when we are faced with a great challenge or difficulty in our lives. It enables us to discover what we are capable of and what we could become as well as experience bliss. Although this can only be achieved when we apply humility for goodness and lose egotistical beliefs.
The Crown Chakra is represented by the violet colour. It is a colour of oneness, healing and spirituality. It shields us from negativity and enables us to dissolve the egoistical thinking.
So how does all this relate to our Yoga mats?
Well, here at Evergreen Yogi we believe in practising Yoga not only as a form of exercise (which in our Western society it is often perceived as), but as enabling our physical bodies to connect with our mind and spirit (or in other words our souls) to achieve “divine consciousness”.
But we are not stopping there, “oh no” as our two year old son would say.
We believe that in order to achieve this we need to cleanse our world from unnecessary materials that impact negatively on us, other people and generations to come as well as the environment we live in. When we think about how long we have left on this earth, we do not just think about our physical form, but the impact we are making on our planet and life of our children, your children and their children.
And that is where our Yoga mats come into it. We do not want to contribute to an ever increasing non-recyclable or non-biodegradable world of plastic that is destroying our oceans and nature around us.
We want to offer you a product that is affordable yet guilt free so you can practice Yoga (or any other form of exercise as you wish) on a mat that you know will not harm the environment once it comes to an end of its life. And, if you cannot decide on which colour mat to go for why not look at Chakra colours and chose one that you either identify with the most or one that you would like to achieve.
We also offer cork yoga mats, which comes in its most natural form on a TPE base. It is our favourite mat, as it radiates warmth and has such a natural feel to it that you really experience connection to the Mother Earth when practising yoga or any other exercise on it.