The chakras are always fun to teach to kids as they represent the spiritual part of us, are colorful, and play host to a wide variety of ideas to learn about yoga.  Each chakra has a specific meaning and is responsible for a specific characteristic within us.  Chakra literally means wheel, circle, or cycle.  Some people think that they represent us humans as spinning circles of light.  You don’t have to belong to a certain religion to appreciate their symbolism or how to apply their beauty to your life.

            The seven major chakras are said to align with our shushumna channel, or what we’d call our spinal cord.  It is interesting to note that the spinal cord is essential to life, contains the beginning pathways of all of our nerves, and connects our brain to the rest of our body.  It is quite literally our energy channel. The seven main chakras each have a purpose along that lifeline.  Each one could be characterized as having its own personality and purpose.

            Our most basic needs for safety and love are rooted (get it?) in our root chakra, which is represented as red.  Our survival is dependent on our having shelter, food, air, water, and love.  It’s what connects us to this earth and allows us to live.  The root chakra, based in the very bottom of the spine in the tailbone, represents our very basic needs.  Like Maslow’s hierarchy, if our basic needs are not met, we cannot fathom moving to a “higher” level. It says “I live”.

            Next, our ability to accept people and adapt to change is represented by the sacral chakra which resides in our lower belly and is orange.  It seems strange but have you ever felt complete happiness and simply overjoyed when you had a really great meal?  It wasn’t a meal intended to just quell hunger, but a meal that you savored and enjoyed.  The sacral chakra represents that feeling. It says, “I embrace”.

            Our solar plexus chakra, which is yellow like the sun, is what drives us, gives us energy, and allows us to go.  Located in the upper abdomen, where much of our strength and balance is focused, it represents all that it means to be confident.  In here, you find positive feelings of self and motivation.  It says, “I can”.

            The heart chakra, located in the chest’s center near the heart, represents our ability to love and to give.  Everything that love is comprised of, all that it entails-compassion, empathy, etc. – is housed here.  Like the annual and perennial flora and fauna, it is green, fresh, and as natural to us as the plants are to the earth.  It says, “I love”.

            The throat chakra, which is blue, represents another important human aspect and ability: the art of communication. Creating and maintaining relationships, vocalizing about injustice, and teaching others are all under the guidance and direction of the throat chakra. Our truth and the way in which we express ourselves is signified by the throat chakra. It says, “I speak”.

            The third eye chakra, which is often drawn with a beautiful purple and is located on the forehead between the eyes, is the chakra that is responsible for our ability to focus, yet simultaneously appreciate the grand panoramic view of things.  It guidesaself-awareness and a fulfillment of the needs of each of the others chakras.  It says, “I see”.

            Lastly, the crown chakra, located at the top of the head and represented by a prismatic blend of all the colors, is us at our highest selves.  As being connected to each other, the earth, and the universe, the crown chakra embodies all that we strive to be and the capabilities that we have to achieve pure bliss.  It says, “I am, as We are”.

            To teach children about chakras in a hands-on way, make a fun rainbow craft together. String rainbow beads into a necklace or zipper pull. Glue a rainbow of pompoms on a piece of paper. Make a wand of rainbow colored ribbons. Then say these “I …” statements together.

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