Chakras : What Are They ?
Updated: Jan 11
What Are Chakras?
Chakra translates as “spinning wheel.” You might think of them as focal points of energy that run along with the core of your being, from the tip of your head to the base of your spine. The 7 chakras can seem like a confusing concept- they’re not physicals; you can’t touch them, but rather power stations in the body through which physical and spiritual energy travels.
In this post, we’ll talk about the symbolism behind the chakras and what each energy center in the body governs. You’ll learn where each chakra manifests in the body and which systems they govern.
We’ll also address how those chakras can present negative symptoms. With a better understanding of what chakras are and how they work, you’ll have a better knowledge of how they play into your overall sense of well-being.
Let’s dive in.
Chakra 1: Muladhara, The Root Chakra
Our chakra nearest to the ground, the Muladhara is found at the base of the spine. Known as the root chakra, and represented by the color red, this energy center grounds us and connects us to our physical selves. It is associated with your legs and feet, adrenal glands, and excretory muscles.
The first chakra is the foundation of our physical existence and energies. Your fight or flight response, physical urges, desire for food, and sleep- all are seated in the first chakra. Well-being, survival, and security are all governed by the Muladhara.
The symbol for the root chakra is a four-petaled lotus containing a square and inverted triangle. It is associated with the earth and the sense of smell. Imbalance of this chakra results in fear, excessive focus on survival, paranoia, and impulsive instinctual behavior.
Chakra 2: Svadishthana, The Sacral Chakra
Represented by the color orange, the svadishthana (translated as “her own abode”) is the seat of passion and lust for life. Associated with reproduction, taste, desire, and pleasure, the sacral chakra also governs our kidneys and waste systems.
The symbol for this chakra is a six-petaled lotus with a moon. It is associated with the element of water. The second chakra is the place from which our physical pleasure manifests. Located above the pelvis, it helps shape our passionate desires and governs our cravings and physical sensations.
Blockage of the sacral chakra can lead to obsessive behavior, sexual dysfunction, reproductive issues, and a multitude of addictions.
Chakra 3: Manipura, The Solar Plexus
Manipura is represented by the color yellow and a ten petaled-lotus with an inverted triangle. A few inches above the navel, this chakra governs the digestive system, pancreas, adrenals, and the lumbar spine.
Associated with fire and vitality, Manipura is the seat of emotion. Courage, joy, enthusiasm, self-esteem; all of these energies arise from the solar plexus. A strong third chakra provides us with glowing health, ambition, and the strength to achieve.
Poor energy in Manipura can lead to issues with aggression, ego, digestion, and lack of direction.
Chakra 4: Anahata, The Heart
Governing the heart and lungs, the Anahata is represented by the color green. Known as the house of the soul, the heart chakra is the focal center of love. It is the intersection of the ascending forces of instinct and the descending forces of the divine in the body.
The symbol for the heart chakra is a twelve-petalled lotus surrounding the six-pointed star, which represents the union of male and female. We fall in love through this chakra and are empowered with compassion and connectedness to others through its power.
Associated with air, touch sensation, and the thoracic spine, a blocked Anahata can cause feelings of despair and isolation.
Memory issues, lack of foresight, depression, and mental blocks can all be associated with an unbalanced or blocked sixth chakra.
Chakra 5: Vishuddi, The Throat
Turquoise blue, the throat chakra is symbolized by sixteen-petaled lotus. Each of these petals represents a letter in the Sanskrit alphabet, which is appropriate for the chakra that governs communication and language.
Associated with communication, nourishment, expression, and hearing, the vishuddi is the energy center through which we are heard. Linked closely to the cervical spine, voice box, and neck region, this chakra also governs the thyroid and associated glands.
The throat chakra is the root of our metabolism and endocrine system. Through it, we find our voice of unique expression, our language, and the transmission of ideas.
Poor energy transmission through the throat chakra can lead to difficulty expressing our desires, lack of communication, dishonesty, and metabolic issues.
Chakra 6: Anja, The Third Eye
The third eye symbol with two lotus petals is also known as the eyebrow chakra, represented by the color indigo. Located just above eye level on the center forehead, this chakra governs the brain centers. Linked to our pituitary gland, anja holds the dreams for this life and the recollections of past lives.
A strong third eye leads to wisdom, intuition, and knowledge. Anja is the holder of deep inner consciousness and all aspects of our psyches. We rely on this chakra for growth and development.
Chakra 7: Sahasrara, The Crown
Represented by the color violet, the Crown is the manifestation of the entire human self and all that lies beyond it. It is the highest energy center of the body and our connection to pure consciousness.
Located at the top of the head, the Crown is associated with our central nerves and cerebral cortex. This chakra governs our connection to the divine, our higher levels of understanding, and it is the gateway to self-awareness.
The symbol for the seventh chakra is the thousand-petaled lotus. While it is the path to enlightenment, blockage of the Sahasrara can lead to psychological problems, disassociations, emotional imbalance, and mental illness.