A chakra is an energetic centre within the auric and physical body of every human. They are also referred to as discs or nodes, and serve as the nonphysical highway through which cosmic energy travels, connecting this energy with the physical body. This cosmic energy is what we call Life Force or Prana. Although there are over 100 chakras total in the body (according to the tantric texts – and there is still debate about the exact number), there are only seven that are considered major. These seven align with specific, vertically stacked key points along the midline of the physical body, and are the main centres that yogis and energy workers tend to focus in on. Chakras are circles of energy, flowing all the way through our body these circles of energy assist in the running of our body, mind and soul. If a chakra is not performing correctly, this could cause our physical health, mental health and our spiritual selves to suffer. Although there are hundreds of chakras in our body we will only introduce the seven major chakras below. These chakras start at the base of the spine and move upwards to the last one at the crown of the head. They coincide with the positions along the spinal cord of the major nerve ganglia in our physical body. are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, Prana, is a vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
What Does a Chakra Do?
Chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “cycle.” These nodes are depicted as spinning discs of light that govern our psychological experience as affected by both mental and emotional stimuli. Depending on whether a chakra is open or closed, aligned or misaligned, active or inactive, each spinning disc can drastically alter one’s energetic, physical, or spiritual state of being. Achieving a balance among the chakras and working to release blockages within these energetic points allows Prana to flow through easily, for a healthy, balanced, and enlightened existence. When the chakra system is in balance, we are balanced. Chakra imbalances can manifest in behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and physical illnesses and issues.
Each chakra also has an association with a specific color, a certain group of emotions or feelings,behaviors, physical organs, and a precise location in the physical body. The chakras and their associations are as follows:
The Root Chakra
This is considered the first chakra, located between the legs, at the base of the spine. Its colour correspondences are red and brown. The Root Chakra resonates with groundedness, stability, and security. This is the chakra to focus on in meditation if you are feeling afraid or unsafe. And if you are too stuck in your ways, unwilling to accept change or transition, your Root Chakra may be overactive. This chakra governs reproductive glands and organs, kidneys, and spine.
The first chakra is associated with the following functions or behavioural characteristics:
Physicality, physical identity and aspects of self
Support and foundation for living our lives
The root chakra provides the foundation on which we build our life. It supports us in growing and feeling safe into exploring all the aspects of life. It is related to our feeling of safety and security, whether it is physical or regarding our bodily needs or metaphorical regarding housing and financial safety. To sum it up, the first chakra questions are around the idea of survival and safety. The root chakra is where we ground ourselves into the earth and anchor our energy into the manifest world.
The Sacral Chakra
This is considered the second chakra, located above the pelvis, between the hips. Its colour correspondence is orange. The Sacral Chakra resonates with sexuality, passion, and creativity. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling emotionally rigid, apathetic, creatively stumped, or closed off to intimacy. And if you tend to be hyper-sexual or get emotionally attached easily, your Sacral Chakra may be overactive.This chakra governs the adrenals, immune system, gall bladder, metabolism, waste organs, and spleen.
The sacral chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioural functions:
Expression of sexuality, sensual pleasure
Feeling the outer and inner worlds
The sacral chakra is associated with the realm of emotions. It’s the center of our feelings and sensations. It’s particularly active in our sexuality and the expression of our sensual and sexual desires.
Motivated by pleasure, it’s the driving force for the enjoyment of life through the senses, whether it’s auditory, through taste, touch, or sight. Opening your sacral chakra allows you to “feel” the world around and in us. As such, it’s an important chakra at the foundation of our feeling of well-being.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
This is considered the third chakra, located above the belly button. Its colour correspondence is yellow, or gold. The Solar Plexus Chakra resonates with personal power, self-confidence, and force of will. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling powerless or timid. And if you tend to be domineering, bordering on aggressive behavior, your Solar Plexus Chakra may be overactive. Self-esteem issues often arise here. This chakra governs the liver, upper spine, pancreas, stomach, and helps with metabolism.
The Solar Plexus chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioural functions:
Expression of will
The “accounting mind” that categorises everything, assesses the pluses and minuses in life
Ability to establish ideas and plans into reality
At higher levels, it conveys wisdom
The main function of this energy center is to provide actual momentum to move forward and realize personal desires and intentions in the world. It plays a fundamental role in the development of personal power. It feeds one’s direction in life and the actions taken in order to reach your goals. It influences preoccupations about social status and self-image.
The Heart Chakra
This is considered the fourth chakra, located at the heart. Its colour correspondences are green and pink. The Heart Chakra resonates with love and compassion. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling closed off, cold, and lacking kindness towards yourself and/or others. And if you tend to smother people with your affection, your Heart Chakra may be overactive. This chakra governs the thymus, heart, and lungs.
The main meanings or functions associated with the heart chakra are:
Love for oneself and others
Ability to grieve and reach peace
Centre of awareness, integration of insights
When the heart chakra is open, you may feel being deeply connected, the harmonious exchange of energy with all that is around you, and the appreciation of beauty. However, when there’s a blockage in the heart chakra, you may experience difficulties in your relating with others, such as excessive jealousy, codependency, or being closed down, withdrawn.
The Throat Chakra
This is considered the fifth chakra, located at the throat. Its colour correspondence is blue. The Throat Chakra resonates with self-expression and honest communication. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling withdrawn, and aren’t able to speak from a place of truth. And if you tend to speak too freely and openly, bordering on dictatorial or offensive, or if you tend to be a bad listener, your Throat Chakra may be overactive. This chakra governs the thyroid, respiratory system, and organs of the mouth and throat. The Throat chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioural characteristics:
Expression, in particular ability to express your truth, to speak out
Communication, whether it’s verbal or non-verbal, external or internal
Connection with the etheric realm, the more subtle realms of spirit and intuitive abilities
Propensity to create, projecting ideas and blueprints into reality
Realizing your vocation, purpose
Good sense of timing
The Throat chakra is about the expression of yourself: Your truth, purpose in life, creativity. Note that this chakra has a natural connection with the second chakra or sacral chakra, center of emotions and creativity as well. The throat chakra’s emphasis is on expressing and projecting the creativity into the world according to its perfect form or authenticity. Another function of the throat chakra is to connect you to spirit. Because of its location, it’s often seen as the “bottleneck” of the movement of energy in the body. It sits just before the upper chakras of the head. Opening the throat chakra can greatly help align your vision with reality and release pressure that may affect the heart chakra that is located just below. The throat chakra is associated with the etheric body, which is said to hold the blueprint or perfect template of the other dimensions of the body. It’s an important reference point to align the energy through the whole chakra system.
The Third Eye Chakra
This is considered the sixth chakra, located on the forehead, between the eyes. Its colour correspondence is indigo. The Third Eye Chakra resonates with intuition, insight, and psychic vision. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling lost out of touch with your instincts. And if you tend to carry a sense of paranoia about what your gut tells you, or overanalyse ordinary experiences, your Third Eye Chakra may be overactive. This chakra governs the pituitary and pineal glands, hormones, eyes, and brain.
The third eye chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioural characteristics:
Perception of subtle dimensions and movements of energy
Psychic abilities related to clairvoyance and clairaudience especially
Access to mystical states, illumination
Connection to wisdom, insight
Motivates inspiration and creativity
The third eye chakra is an instrument to perceive the more subtle qualities of reality. It goes beyond the more physical senses into the realm of subtle energies. Awakening your third eye allows you to open up to an intuitive sensibility and inner perception.
Because it connects us with a different way of seeing and perceiving, the third eye chakra’s images are often hard to describe verbal. It puts us in touch with the ineffable and the intangible more closely. Third eye visions are also often more subtle than regular visions: They may appear a bit “blurry”, cloudy, or dream-like. Sometimes however, the inner visions might be clear like a movie playing in front of your eyes.
Sustaining awareness of third eye chakra energy might require focus and the ability to relax into a different way of seeing. When we focus our mind and consciousness, we can see beyond the distractions and illusions that stand before us and have more insight to live and create more deeply aligned with our highest good.
The Crown Chakra
This is considered the seventh chakra, located at the top of the head. Its colour correspondence is purple. The Crown Chakra resonates with wisdom, connection to the spiritual realm, and attunement with the Universe. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling spiritually disconnected or making foolish decisions. And if you tend to be “in the clouds” all the time, your Crown Chakra may be overactive and you may need grounding in your lower chakras. This chakra governs the pineal gland, brain stem, spinal cord, and biological cycles – including sleep.
The crown chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioural characteristics:
Awareness of higher consciousness, wisdom, of what is sacred
Connection with the formless, the limitless
Realisation, liberation from limiting patterns
Communion with higher states of consciousness, with
The crown chakra is associated with the transcendence of our limitations, whether they are personal or bound to space and time. It is where the paradox becomes norm, where seemingly opposites are one. The quality of awareness that comes with the crown chakra is universal, transcendent. As we are immersed in the energy of the crown chakra, we feel a state of blissful union with all that is, of spiritual ecstasy. This chakra allows access to the upmost clarity and enlightened wisdom.
Some describe this chakra as the gateway to the cosmic self or the divine self, to universal consciousness. It’s linked to the infinite, the universal.
How to Begin Working with the Chakras to Achieve Energetic Balance
To achieve energetic balance and alignment of the mind, body, and soul, a good place to start is in a yoga class. For example, a hip opening yoga pose would activate the Root Chakra. Another way to work with these vibrational discs is to simply close your eyes, drop into a quiet meditation, and visualise each one spinning in the light of its associated colour. Start from the Root and make your way to the Crown in this visualisation. Or you can simply focus your visualisation on the one that feels blocked. Your chakras will show you what they need – if you find the place of stillness to listen. Let your intuition be your guide.