A Beginner's Guide To The 7 Main Chakras

Chakras are a central principal to many practices in Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda. No doubt, you've heard of Chakras or you may have seen them on prayer flags, decorations and even tattooed on peoples' skin and wondered what their significance was. 

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates as wheel or disk. They are seen as spinning wheels of energy or light that reside within your subtle body and are often artistically represented as lotus flowers.

It is said that there are numerous Chakras throughout your entire body, but in Indian Yoga, there are seven main Chakras that run from the base of your spine, to the crown of your head. Yogis believe that Chakras store the energy of thoughts, emotions, feelings, memories and actions. When you meditate you can use these Chakras as focal points of awareness.

When it comes to Chakras, it gets pretty esoteric and to confuse things further, there are many modern day and new age interpretations of the Chakras. In this blog, we will provide you with a beginner's guide to the seven main Chakras of Indian Yoga.

The 7 Main Chakras

What Does Each Chakra Mean?

It is said that our Chakras regulate, maintain, and manage the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our beings on this physical plane. If you have a blocked or unbalanced Chakra, you may experience physical or emotional symptoms related to a particular Chakra. Here is a brief overview of each, starting at the base, or Root Chakra, and working our way higher.

1. The Muladhara "Root" Chakra

  • Sanskrit name meaning: Muladhara (मूलाधार) means root.
  • Location: Base of the spine
  • Element: Earth
  • Color: Red
  • Seed Syllable: Lam
  • Number of Petals: 4

The Root Chakra corresponds with the earth element, as such it is the foundational Chakra and is all about safety and having our needs met. When this Chakra is balanced, it leads to feelings of being grounded, solidity and safety. When it is not balanced, it leads to feelings of instability and danger and impedes one's growth and development as a person. This is because it is believed to have dormant Kundalini energy in it, waiting to be activated, so that it can rise up through the other Charkas.

2. The Svadhisthana "Sacral" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Svadhisthana (स्वाधिष्ठान) means sweetness or one's own abode.
  • Location: In the pelvis, above the pubic bone, but below the navel.
  • Element: Water
  • Color: Orange
  • Seed Syllable: Vam
  • Number of Petals: 6

The second Chakra is your Sacral Chakra and it is located in your pelivis. It is all about creation, creativity and sexual energy. It is said that when this Chakra is balanced, it leads to feelings of emotional wellness, positive sexuality, abundance and pleasure and when it is out of balance, it can lead to feelings of fear, emotional unrest, sexual issues, depression and addiction.

3. The Manipura "Solar Plexus" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Manipura (मणिपूर) means lustrous gem or jewel city.
  • Location: Around your navel, below your rib cage.
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Yellow
  • Seed Syllable: Ram
  • Number of Petals: 10

The Solar Plexus Chakra is all about our own personal power. When this Chakra is balanced, one feels high levels of self esteem, purpose and motivation. When this Chakra is unbalanced, it can lead to the extremes of poor self esteem and lack of motivation or narcissism and the need to dominate and control. 

4. The Anahata "Heart" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Anahata (अनाहत) means unstruck.
  • Location: Center of the chest.
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Green
  • Seed Syllable: Yam
  • Number of Petals: 12

The Heart Chakra is located in the center of your chest. It is all about love and connection. It serves as a bridge between the lower three Chakras and the higher three Chakras, as well as body, mind and spirit. When this Chakra is balanced, people are open, loving, accepting and empathetic. When it is not balanced, it leads to negative thoughts and feelings about oneself and others, they become closed off.

5. The Vishuddha "Throat" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Vishuddha (विशुद्ध) means purest or purification.
  • Location: The throat.
  • Element: Ether or space in the form of sound.
  • Color: Sky Blue
  • Seed Syllable: Ham
  • Number of Petals: 16

The Throat Chakra is about the ability to express oneself and to speak your highest truth. When this Chakra is balanced, people are able to effectively communicate their desires, thoughts, emotions, needs and opinions confidently, without fear of rejection or judgement. When it is not balanced, they cannot do these things and this may stem from an unbalanced lower Chakra (For example, they have an unbalanced or closed Root Chakra, so they speak from a place of fear and uncertainty). 

6. The Ajna "Third Eye" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Ajna (आज्ञा) means to perceive or to command.
  • Location: The third eye between the eyebrows.
  • Element: Ether or space in the form of light.
  • Color: Indigo Blue
  • Seed Syllable: Om
  • Number of Petals: 2

The Ajna Chakra pertains to intuition and wisdom. When this Chakra is balanced, one is able to trust their internal feelings and listen to them. This Chakra is also sometimes called the "Guru Chakra," as it is related to spiritual development and is part of some initiation and spiritual practices.

7. The Sahaswara "Crown" Chakra
  • Sanskrit name meaning: Sahaswara (सहस्रार) means thousand petaled lotus.
  • Location: The top or crown of the head.
  • Element: None, sometimes thought of as the element of thought.
  • Color: Violet, Multi-colored or white (all colors)
  • Seed Syllable: None
  • Number of Petals: 1,000

The Sahaswara Chakra floats above your head and is the Chakra of pure consciousness, containing neither object nor subject. It is about our spiritual connection to our highest selves, every other being and the divine energy that created everything and is everything. When this Chakra is open, it is the realization that you are that pure awareness that encompasses everything, the drop and the ocean. How beautiful is that?   

Final Thoughts

The Chakra system provides us with a  holistic roadmap of the body, mind and spirit. The key to working with your Chakras is becoming aware of their balance and identifying which may be blocked, so that you can bring them back into alignment. 

It is often best to start with your Root Chakra and work your way up towards your Crown Chakra, as the lower Chakras provide us with a stable foundation to feel safe and secure before trying to open the higher Chakras. Without a stable foundation to build on, opening the higher Chakras is considered dangerous and might seem abrupt and jolting. 




*This blog is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.