What are Chakras?

What are Chakras? Chakra is an ancient meditation practice and originates from the Sanskrit word for ‘wheel’. Think of each chakra as a spinning vortex of energy located at different sections along your spine.

There are seven main chakras (22 in all) and though each one represents a different part of the body, they all connect together. Each represents an emotional state and has a corresponding number, name and colour.

The chakras begin at the base of your spine, below the pelvic region. (Some say the first chakra also connects down into the ground providing a spiritual connection with the Earth.) The chakra points then move up the spine, up and out of the top of your head. (Some say the seventh chakra extends beyond your head and connects to the sky or universal consciousness.)

To function at their best, your chakras need to stay open, or balanced. If they get blocked, you may experience physical or emotional symptoms related to a particular chakra.

Chakra stones are gemstones and crystals that activate or amplify the energy of the chakras and can be used for clearing, revitalising, and healing. There are different stones that resonate with each chakra. They can be used together, or in combinations to focus on certain chakras, areas or emotions that need the most attention.

Read on for more information on each chakra.

Figure showing seven chakras

Root Chakra – Muladhara 

Colour: Red
Position: Base of the spine
Element: Earth

Translation:  The phrase Muladhara translates to mula – root and adhara – base or foundation.

Aspects: self-preservation (food and shelter), security, and physical awareness/focus.

This is the ‘base’ chakra, and provides us with stability and grounding – connecting us with the foundation centre of being human.

This chakra helps us to communicate and express ourselves. It aids honest communication and helps us speak the truth.

When this chakra is blocked or out of balance, you can become needy, have low self-esteem, or be self-destructive. When in balance, you feel strong and confident, can stand up on your own two feet and take care of yourself.

Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana

Colour: Orange
Position: Lower abdomen
Element: Water

Translation:  Svadhisthana means ‘your own place’.

Aspects: Creativity, healing, sexuality and reproduction, desire, emotion, intuition.

Emotionally, this chakra helps us find a connection with others and brings happiness, pleasure, and creativity.

When this chakra is out of blocked or out of balance, you can feel emotionally unstable, guilty, or hard on yourself. When in balance, you feel creative, positive, and receptive to change.

Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura

Colour: Yellow
Position: Below Breast Bone
Element: Fire

Translation:  Manipura is Sanskrit for ‘city of jewels’ or ‘seat of gems’.

Aspects: Intellect, ambition, personal power, protective.

This chakra helps us with boosting self-confidence and self-worth and being in control of our actions. It is like the body’s energy powerhouse.

When the Manipura is in balance, you feel alive and have the self-confidence to seize the day and be productive. When it’s blocked, you lack courage, have low self-esteem, and feel stagnant and inert. By working on this chakra, you can awaken your true personal inner power and work through your fear of taking risks.

Heart Chakra – Anahata

Colour: Pink, Green
Position: Heart
Element: Air

Translation:  Anhata in Sanskrit means unhurt and unbeaten.

Aspects: love, kindness, empathy, selflessness.

This chakra helps us be loving and gentle (to ourselves and others), opening our hearts to love, compassion and joy.

As with the other chakras, blocked energy here can manifest in both physical and emotional issues. When the heart chakra is blocked, you become possessive, can form dysfunctional relationships and may stay isolated for fear of rejection. When balanced, you can heal past wounds, reopen your heart, learn to love unconditionally, and form healthy relationships.

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha

Colour: Blue
Position: Throat
Element: Ether

Translation: The phrase vishuddha translates to visha – ‘impurity’ or ‘poison’ and suddhi – ‘purify’.

Aspects: Purity, intuition, harmony, serenity, 

This Chakra helps us with communication, both speaking and hearing. It also controls the glands that control metabolism.

When blocked, this chakra can affect your voice, in that you may feel you can’t communicate with others, which can cause feelings of depression and anxiety. You may also find that you talk too much which means you are not listening to others. When this chakra is open, you will find you can talk honestly and openly, can more clearly articulate your ideas and desires and can listen to others with empathy and compassion.

Third Eye Chakra – Ajna

Colour: Indigo
Position: Centre of the brain
Element: Light

Translation: Aina means ‘perceive’, ‘command’ or ‘beyond wisdom’ in Sanskrit.

Aspects: Spiritual awareness, psychic power, intuition.

This chakra enhances our connection with our higher self and the universe. Gently relaxing the physical body and allowing things to feel calm and soothed. It sits at the point of the convergence of energies between mind and body. Physically, it is connected to the pituitary gland, growth, and development.

When Aina chakra is balanced, you have insight, and will trust your inner wisdom to make choices.  When blocked, you feel close-minded, untrusting, and cynical. Working on the sixth chakra opens your mind to different perspectives and seeing the bigger picture and, and helps you receive the wisdom that cannot be felt by the ordinary senses.

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara

Colour: Violet/Golden white
Position: Top of the head
Element: Cosmic Energy

Aspects; Inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection

Translation:   The phrase Sahasrara is the Sanskrit meaning for infinite, literally translated as ‘a thousand petals’.

The highest chakra represents our spirituality, our visions and helps us reach a higher state of consciousness. It connects to beauty itself and the spiritual realm. It helps us to understand who we are beyond the physical self, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Note: some say that the crown chakra is not a chakra but a portal towards Oneness.

When the crown chakra is blocked, you think happiness can only come from the outside, and you suffer. Working on this chakra helps you to feel free in any situation. It takes us beyond our own ego and is the gateway to enlightenment.

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