Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates as “wheel”. A chakra is a wheel of energy that is part of the subtle, or spiritual, body. There are seven chakras and they are located at various points along the spine. The location of each chakra coincides with either an endocrine gland or a nerve bundle in our physical body. Each chakra is represented by a color and sound. If we are in perfect mental and physical health, all of our chakras are said to be balanced and unblocked. This is, of course, unusual for most of us and so you may have been to a Yoga class which focused on balancing or opening a particular chakra. Various asanas, pranayama and meditation will facilitate this. In future posts we’ll discuss each of the seven chakras and talk about Yoga practices for balancing each one. For an easy introduction to the chakras that includes how they relate to Yoga practice, I would recommend something like The Chakra Bible: The Definitive Guide to Chakra Energy. And as a final tidbit before I go, you may find it interesting that some people claim that our eighth chakra is our aura…cha, cha, cha.