by Jen Warakomski: If you have been to a yoga class or yoga themed workshop, you may have heard the teacher using the word ‘Chakra’…
Or, perhaps you have seen images of Chakras tattoed on a yogi’s back while checking out your neighbor in side plank during class. Either way, if you are curious about these things we call Chakras, or even if you are familiar and would like to know more, let’s first unveil the basics.
The Chakras are seven main energy points in the body that run vertically from bottom to top along the spine. They are considered ‘wheels’ of energy that regulate the flow of energy within our body.
Chakras are not visible to the human eye, because they are energy. However, especially here in the West, you may have seen illustrations of Chakras in the form of ‘yantras’, or geometric symbols, which represent each particular Chakra. In addition to its yantra illustration, each Chakra is represented by many other details ranging from a specific color, Mantra Sound, Hand Mudra, Earth Element, Crystal, Essential Oil and other correlations.
Our Chakras are even directly linked to a specific endocrine gland and organ within our bodies. Since they are the major energy locations of the body, the Chakras are directly associated with our physical, mental and emotional interactions and expressions. Therefore, one can say that all of our senses, all of our perceptions and insights, all of our possible states of awareness—everything that is possible for us to experience—can be divided into one of the seven Chakra categories.
Each of the seven Chakras can become blocked or imbalanced as we experience both normal and irregular life events, sometimes stemming all the way back to birth. Through meditation, Reiki, yoga, various healing art therapies and life & style adjustments, our Chakras can be cleansed, unblocked and rebalanced.
To begin your study, review the Chakra associations and characteristics below. Then, start to observe or meditate on each Chakra—first, by simply focusing on the location and color. You can also utilize each Chakra’s descriptive associations as tools to navigate and, quite possibly, discover more depth within yourself. Are you ready? Let’s begin at the base of the spine and work our way up:
The First Chakra: Root Chakra
- Sanskrit: Muldhara
- Color: red
- Element: earth
- Development: from womb to 12 months of age.
- Location: base of the spine
- Balanced Qualities: groundedness, stability
- Imbalanced Qualities: unsettled feelings and tendencies
- Main Right: to have and to be present
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: legs and feet
A balanced or clear Root Chakra is steady and grounded. If unbalanced or blocked, one can have issues with survival—both financially and domestic. Trust and appropriate boundaries can also be challenged.
The main right of your First Chakra is for you to find more safety and grounding so that you can trust in the wisdom of your body with your surroundings.
The Second Chakra: Sacral Chakra
- Sanskrit Name: Svadhishthana
- Color: orange
- Element: water
- Development: 6 months – 2 years
- Location: lower abdomen, below the navel
- Balanced Qualities: sensuality, sexuality
- Imbalanced Qualities: sexual dysfunction, lack of sensation
- Main Right: To Feel
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: reproductive organs
Our Sacral Chakra deals with our needs and desires, both sexually and emotionally. This Chakra is also linked to our innate Creativity. An imbalance in our second Chakra can leave us feeling insecureand unable to deeply feel or enjoy physical or emotional sensations.
The main right of your Second Chakra is to be able to feel, and to enjoy the sensations of experiencing feeling, and like water, go with the flow.
The Third Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra
- Sanskrit Name: Manipura
- Color: yellow
- Element: fire
- Development: 18 months – 4 years
- Location: Solar Plexus
- Balanced Qualities: confidence
- Imbalanced Qualities: low self esteem, lack of vision
- Main Right: to be
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: intestines, stomach
The Solar Plexus Chakra defines our personality as how we perceive and are perceived in the world. If this Chakra is unbalanced, one can experience issues with self-esteem, confidence, willpower, personal power and autonomy.
The Third Chakra’s main rights are to act and to be an individual. Once one honors their ability and “can do” capabilities, the Fire within their Third Chakra can burn through all blocks, hesitations and fears.
The Fourth Chakra: Heart Chakra
- Sanskrit Name: Anahata
- Color: green
- Element: air
- Development: 4 – 7 years
- Location: heart center
- Balanced Qualities: love for oneself
- Imbalanced Qualities: depression, seclusion
- Main Right: to love and be loved
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: circulatory system, heart
The Heart Chakra embodies our ability for Self-Love. When we are open to loving ourselves and loving others, we are living in balance with the world. Challenges or blockages within the Heart Chakra will express themselves in the form of lack of compassion towards oneself and/or others, or the inability to offer unconditional love to someone, or something.
The Fourth Chakra’s main right is to accept that you can love and that you are worthy of love, and like air, love is all around.
Fifth Chakra: Throat Chakra
Sanskrit Name: Vishudda
Development: 7 – 12 years
Balanced Qualities: open communication
Imbalanced Qualities: withdrawn
Main Right: to express oneself
Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: throat, lungs, sinuses
An open Throat Chakra allows us to express ourselves and communicate with others. Challenges or imbalances can leave us with issues with communication, resonance or even the ability to speak the truth.
The Fifth Chakra’s main right, in order to survive, is to recognize that you must express yourself and do so with sound and clear intentions.
Sixth Chakra: Third Eye Chakra
- Sanskrit Name: Ajna
- Color: indigo
- Element: light
- Development: adolescence
- Location: Third Eye (space between eyebrows)
- Balanced Qualities: intention and intuition
- Imbalanced Qualities: lack of direction
- Main Right: to see
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: eyes and ears
Our Third Eye Chakra is the center of our intuition and defines our connection to our own inner guidance. Issues within the Ajna Chakra can arise in the form of lack of ability to make decisions. One may feel that their imagination, intuition or dreams are challenged or dim.
The Sixth Chakra’s main right is to harness the ability to manifest your vision, your light. This will allow you to “see” things with greater clarity.
Seventh Chakra: Crown Chakra
- Sanskrit Name: Sahasrara
- Color: white/violet
- Element: space
- Development: early adulthood onwards
- Location: crown of the head (cerebral cortex)
- Balanced Qualities: connection with divine
- Imbalanced Qualities: negativity, separation, duality
- Main Right: to know, to Learn
- Body Location Where Physical Issues May Occur: brain
The Crown Chakra deals with Spiritual Connectivity. Blockages or imbalances can manifest in the forms of duality, or lack of oneness. An open approach to new ideas, experiences and individuals allows the introduction and verification that the world is your teacher.
The Seventh Chakra’s main right is to connect to and be guided by your own wisdom.
As we explore the Chakras in depth in subsequent articles, we will continue to demystify these powerful energies within our bodies and discuss avenues to seek balance and harmony within your own innate energy and power that lies within your own Chakra System. From yoga poses to guided meditations, we are here to help you navigate and find your center[s]. If you have any questions, or would like to see something specific covered here in this series, please let us know below.