For many people, the concept of chakras may be entirely new, while for others, especially those who practice yoga, it is a familiar term. Do you know! Our bodies possess energy centers that connect us to our environment and the universe.
Each individual can receive varying energy frequencies and vibrations. To facilitate the flow of energy in and out of the body, there are gateways called chakras. Among numerous energy centers, there are seven major chakras that originate from the base of the spine and ascend to the top of the head. So, what exactly are chakras, and how can one unlock them within the human body? In this article, LotusBuddhas invite you to explore and gain a deeper understanding of chakras with us.
What are chakras?
Chakras are a central concept in ancient Indian thought, particularly in the fields of yoga, tantra and Ayurveda. They represent focal points of spiritual energy within the human body, forming a complex system that is believed to govern various aspects of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The term “chakra” is derived from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “disk”, which symbolizes the spinning, vortex-like nature of these energy centers.
There are seven primary chakras, each corresponding to a specific region of the body and associated with a specific color, element and set of qualities. They are aligned along the spine, starting from the base and ascending to the crown of the head:
- Root Chakra (Muladhara): Located at the base of the spine, this chakra is associated with the color red and the element of earth. It governs our sense of stability, security and basic needs.
- Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana): Situated just below the navel, this chakra is connected to the color orange and the element of water. It is responsible for creativity, sensuality and our ability to accept new experiences.
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura): Positioned at the upper abdomen, this chakra is linked to the color yellow and the element of fire. It manages our self-esteem, personal power and assertiveness.
- Heart Chakra (Anahata): Located at the center of the chest, this chakra is associated with the color green and the element of air. It governs love, compassion and emotional balance.
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha): Situated at the throat, this chakra is connected to the color blue and the element of ether. It is responsible for communication, self-expression, and truth.
- Third Eye Chakra (Ajna): Positioned between the eyebrows, this chakra is linked to the color indigo and the element of light. It manages intuition, imagination, and our ability to see beyond the physical realm.
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara): Located at the top of the head, this chakra is associated with the color violet and the element of pure consciousness. It governs our spiritual connection, enlightenment and unity with the cosmos.
In order to maintain optimal health and well-being, it is believed that the chakras must be balanced and in harmony with one another. Imbalances in the chakra system can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual issues. Various practices, such as meditation, yoga, and energy healing techniques, aim to restore balance to the chakras and promote overall health and well-being.
In addition, chakras and Kundalini meditation are intricately connected in the realm of spiritual practices, particularly within the context of yoga and ancient Indian traditions. Kundalini meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on awakening the Kundalini energy, a dormant, powerful energy believed to reside at the base of the spine. This energy is often symbolized as a coiled serpent, waiting to be awakened and released.
The relationship between chakras and Kundalini meditation lies in the way the Kundalini energy moves through the chakra system when activated. As Kundalini energy rises from the base of the spine, it travels through the seven primary chakras, stimulating and energizing them in the process. Each chakra is associated with specific aspects of our physical, emotional, spiritual well-being, the activation of these energy centers can lead to heightened self-awareness, personal growth and spiritual development.
Kundalini meditation aims to unblock and balance the chakras, allowing the Kundalini energy to flow freely and harmoniously throughout the body. This process is believed to lead to a state of spiritual awakening, self-realization, and enlightenment, as the practitioner experiences a profound connection with the divine and a heightened sense of consciousness.
LotusBuddhas will share with you detailed information about each chakra and how to balance them in another article. For now, let us explore the meaning of the 7 chakras in the human body!
Where are chakras located?
The chakras are said to be the psycho-spiritual energy centers distributed along the human body. According to these traditions, the human body is believed to host seven primary chakras, each possessing its unique characteristics and associations.
The understanding of chakras is fundamentally rooted in metaphysical concepts that cannot be visually discerned or physically manifested. Accordingly, there is scant scientific substantiation affirming their physical existence or effect. As emphasized by Garcia, chakras do not have a tangible presence in the physical domain; rather, they reside within the metaphysical stratum, often referred to as the astral or spiritual realm. Despite their ethereal existence, it is proposed that they exert considerable influence on our overall health and life trajectory.
Meaning of 7 chakras in the Body
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
|Location||At the base of the spine, in the coccygeal region|
|Symbol||A four-petaled lotus with a square and a downward-pointing triangle|
|Associated Body Parts||Spine, legs, feet, large intestine, adrenal glands|
|Key Qualities||Stability, survival, physical health, prosperity, trust|
|Emotional Issues||Fear, anxiety, insecurity, survival concerns|
|Balanced State||Feeling grounded, secure, connected to the earth, and capable of stillness and patience|
|Imbalanced State||Fearfulness, resistance to change, insecurity, disconnectedness from the body, materialism|
Root Chakra, also known as Muladhara in Sanskrit, is the first of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Situated at the base of the spine, near the coccyx or tailbone, it forms the foundation of our energy system and is associated with the color red and the element of earth. Its name is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Mula,” meaning “root” or “base,” and “Adhara,” meaning “support” or “foundation.”
Muladhara is responsible for our sense of stability, security, and grounding. It governs our most basic needs, such as food, shelter, and safety, and is closely connected to our physical and emotional well-being. When the Root Chakra is balanced and functioning optimally, it helps us feel secure, grounded, and confident in our ability to navigate the challenges of life.
An imbalanced or blocked Root Chakra may manifest in various physical, emotional and mental issues. These can include anxiety, insecurity, fearfulness, materialism, or an inability to trust oneself or others. Physically, it may be linked to problems in the lower back, legs, feet and the immune system.
2. Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)
|Location||Located in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in|
|Symbol||A six-petaled lotus with a white crescent moon|
|Associated Body Parts||Reproductive organs, kidneys, bladder, circulatory system|
|Key Qualities||Creativity, pleasure, sexuality, emotional fluidity, adaptability|
|Emotional Issues||Guilt, pleasure, sexuality, creativity, control|
|Balanced State||Ability to take risks, creative, committed, sexually vibrant, outgoing, emotionally intelligent|
|Imbalanced State||Sexual dysfunction, fear of pleasure or change, emotional instability, lack of creativity or passion|
Sacral Chakra known as Svadhisthana in Sanskrit, is the second of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Located just below the navel in the lower abdomen, it is associated with the color orange and the element of water. The term “Svadhisthana” comes from two Sanskrit words: “Swa”, meaning “one’s own” or “self,” and “Adhisthana,” meaning “abode” or “dwelling place.”
Svadhisthana governs our creativity, sensuality, and emotional expression. It is responsible for our ability to experience pleasure, form connections with others and embrace change. A balanced Sacral Chakra allows us to be open to new experiences, cultivate healthy relationships, and express our emotions in a harmonious manner.
An imbalanced or blocked Sacral Chakra may lead to various emotional, mental and physical issues. These can include emotional instability, difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, a lack of creativity, sexual dysfunction, or feelings of guilt and shame. Physically, it may be related to problems with the reproductive system, lower back pain, or urinary tract issues. Engaging in creative activities, cultivating nurturing connections, and embracing change can also contribute to a balanced and healthy Svadhisthana.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
|Location||In the solar plexus area (upper part of the belly, where your diaphragm rests)|
|Symbol||A ten-petaled lotus with a downward-pointing triangle enclosing a t-shaped figure|
|Associated Body Parts||Digestive system, liver, pancreas|
|Key Qualities||Personal power, self-esteem, willpower, responsibility, reliability, confidence|
|Emotional Issues||Self-esteem issues, self-criticism, fear of rejection, oversensitivity to criticism|
|Balanced State||Feeling of inner harmony, self-acceptance, respect for the nature of oneself and others, feeling of inner peace|
|Imbalanced State||Low self-esteem, lack of willpower, fear of rejection, oversensitivity to criticism, lack of ambition|
Solar Plexus Chakra, known as Manipura in Sanskrit, is the third of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Located in the upper abdomen around the area of the diaphragm, it is associated with the color yellow and the element of fire. The term “Manipura” is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Mani,” meaning “gem” or “jewel,” and “Pura,” meaning “city” or “place.”
Manipura governs our personal power, self-esteem, and assertiveness. It is responsible for our ability to take decisive action, set boundaries, and express our authentic selves. A balanced Solar Plexus Chakra enables us to have a strong sense of self, confidence in our abilities, and the motivation to pursue our goals and aspirations.
An imbalanced or blocked Solar Plexus Chakra may manifest in various emotional, mental, and physical issues. These can include feelings of powerlessness, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, or a tendency to be overly controlling or aggressive. Physically, it may be related to digestive problems, liver issues, or chronic fatigue.
Fostering self-awareness, setting healthy boundaries, and engaging in activities that promote personal growth and self-confidence can also contribute to a balanced and healthy Manipura.
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
|Location||Center of the chest, just above the heart|
|Symbol||A twelve-petaled lotus with a hexagram (two interlaced triangles forming a six-pointed star)|
|Associated Body Parts||Heart, lungs, upper chest, shoulders, arms|
|Key Qualities||Love, compassion, altruism, empathy, forgiveness, harmony|
|Emotional Issues||Love (for self and others), relationships, compassion, forgiveness, trust|
|Balanced State||Unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, balanced relationships, inner peace|
|Imbalanced State||Difficulty with love, lack of hope, despair, jealousy, fear of intimacy, loneliness, heart disease|
Heart Chakra known as Anahata in Sanskrit, is the fourth of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Located at the center of the chest, near the physical heart, it is associated with the color green and the element of air. The term “Anahata” is derived from the Sanskrit words “an,” meaning “not” or “un,” and “ahata,” meaning “struck” or “beaten,” signifying its association with an unstruck or unwounded state of being.
Anahata governs our capacity for love, compassion, and emotional balance. It is responsible for our ability to form deep connections with others, empathize with their feelings, and express unconditional love. A balanced Heart Chakra enables us to experience a sense of inner peace, forgiveness, emotional harmony with ourselves and others.
An imbalanced or blocked Heart Chakra may manifest in various emotional, mental, and physical issues. These can include feelings of jealousy, resentment, lack of self-love, difficulty trusting others, or an inability to let go of past emotional wounds. Physically, it may be related to problems with the heart, lungs, or circulatory system. Engaging in acts of self-care, forgiveness, and compassion, as well as forming nurturing relationships, can also contribute to a balanced and healthy Anahata.
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
|Associated Color||Light blue or turquoise|
|Element||Ether (also referred to as “Space”)|
|Symbol||A sixteen-petaled lotus with a circle containing a downward-pointing triangle|
|Associated Body Parts||Throat, neck, thyroid gland, vocal cords, respiratory system|
|Key Qualities||Communication, self-expression, truth, integrity, wisdom, diplomacy, artistic expression|
|Emotional Issues||Communication, self-expression, fear of no power or control, honesty, wisdom, truth|
|Balanced State||Open and clear communication, active listening, truthful expression, creativity, peace of mind|
|Imbalanced State||Communication issues, fear of speaking, poor listening skills, gossiping, lying, throat issues|
Throat Chakra known as Vishuddha in Sanskrit, is the fifth of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Located at the throat, it is associated with the color blue and the element of ether or space. The term “Vishuddha” is derived from two Sanskrit words: “vi,” meaning “distinct” or “pure,” and “shuddha,” meaning “clear” or “purified,” signifying its association with clarity and purity of expression.
Vishuddha governs communication, self-expression and truth. It is responsible for our ability to express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas effectively, as well as to listen to and understand the perspectives of others. A balanced Throat Chakra enables us to speak with honesty, clarity, and confidence, fostering open and authentic communication in our personal and professional relationships.
An imbalanced or blocked Throat Chakra may manifest in various emotional, mental, and physical issues. These can include difficulty expressing oneself, fear of speaking up, dishonesty, or an inability to listen effectively. Physically, it may be related to problems with the throat, thyroid, neck, or vocal cords.
6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
|Location||Forehead, between the eyebrows|
|Symbol||A two-petaled lotus with a downward-pointing triangle enclosing a circle with a point in the center|
|Associated Body Parts||Eyes, base of skull, brow|
|Key Qualities||Intuition, insight, awareness, inner guidance, clarity, wisdom, imagination|
|Emotional Issues||Intuition, fear of truth, confusion, judgement, insight, self-realization, open-mindedness|
|Balanced State||Clear vision, intuition, perception beyond dualism, wisdom, ability to see the big picture|
|Imbalanced State||Lack of clarity, confusion, rejection of spirituality, overanalyzing, illusion, blindness, headaches|
|Mantra||“OM” or “AUM”|
Third Eye Chakra, known as Ajna in Sanskrit, is the sixth of the seven primary chakras in the human energy system. Located between the eyebrows, slightly above the bridge of the nose, it is associated with the color indigo and the element of light. The term “Ajna” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Agya,” meaning “command” or “perception,” signifying its association with intuition, insight, and inner guidance.
Ajna governs our intuition, imagination, and ability to see beyond the physical realm. It is responsible for our capacity to perceive and interpret subtle energies, access higher states of consciousness, and connect with our inner wisdom. A balanced Third Eye Chakra enables us to cultivate a strong sense of intuition, develop psychic abilities, and experience greater clarity in our thoughts and decision-making.
An imbalanced or blocked Third Eye Chakra may manifest in various emotional, mental, and physical issues. These can include confusion, lack of clarity, difficulty concentrating, or an inability to trust one’s intuition. Physically, it may be related to problems with the eyes, sinuses, or headaches. Engaging in activities that promote inner reflection, intuition development, and mental clarity can also contribute to a balanced and healthy Ajna.
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
|Location||Top of the head|
|Associated Color||Violet or white|
|Element||Thought or pure consciousness|
|Symbol||A thousand-petaled lotus|
|Associated Body Parts||Brain, nervous system|
|Key Qualities||Enlightenment, spiritual connection, self-knowledge, universal consciousness, wisdom|
|Emotional Issues||Spirituality, selflessness, enlightenment, peace, divine wisdom|
|Balanced State||Enlightened, universal, self-knowing, wise, aware of the world around us, spiritually connected|
|Imbalanced State||Spiritual cynicism, learning difficulties, rigid thought patterns, apathy, materialism, greed|
|Mantra||“OM” or “AUM”|
Crown Chakra known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit, is the seventh and final primary chakra in the human energy system. Located at the top of the head, it is associated with the color violet or sometimes white, and the element of pure consciousness. The term “Sahasrara” is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Sahasra,” meaning “thousand,” and “ara,” meaning “petal,” signifying its depiction as a thousand-petaled lotus and its connection to the highest state of spiritual awareness.
Sahasrara governs our spiritual connection, enlightenment, and unity with the cosmos. It is responsible for our ability to access higher states of consciousness, transcend the limitations of the ego, and experience oneness with all that exists. A balanced Crown Chakra enables us to cultivate a deep sense of inner peace, spiritual wisdom, and divine connection.
An imbalanced or blocked Crown Chakra may manifest in various emotional, mental and physical issues. These can include feelings of disconnection, spiritual disinterest, lack of inspiration, or an inability to access one’s higher self. Physically, it may be related to problems with the nervous system, brain function, or psychological disorders.
What causes chakras to be blocked?
Chakras are understood to be intricate energy centers. Their optimal functioning is believed to be susceptible to a multitude of influences, and any imbalance in these can lead to what is often referred to as “blockages” or “imbalances” in the chakras. These influences, manifesting from the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms of our being, may contribute to the disruption of the seamless flow of energy or “prana” through the chakras.
- Emotional imbalances: The state of our emotional health greatly influences the chakras. Persistent emotional distress, unresolved emotions, or exposure to traumatic experiences can lead to energy blockages. For instance, enduring anger might obstruct the harmonious functioning of the Manipura (Solar Plexus) chakra, while consistent communication challenges could cause an imbalance in the Vishuddha (Throat) chakra.
- Physical disruptions: The physical body, being intimately connected with the chakra system, can influence its balance. Factors like poor diet, lack of physical exercise, chronic illness, or substance misuse can disrupt the equilibrium of the chakras.
- Spiritual disharmony: As the chakras also represent our spiritual self, a lack of spiritual alignment, such as feelings of disconnection or absence of life purpose, may cause blockages in the higher chakras such as the Ajna (Third Eye) and the Sahasrara (Crown) chakras.
- Environmental factors: Our surroundings and the energy they emanate also impact the chakras. Persistent exposure to negative environments or toxic relationships can lead to chakra blockages.
In the chakra system’s philosophy, a holistic approach to well-being is emphasized, considering physical, emotional, and spiritual health as interconnected aspects of the human experience. Thus, maintaining a balanced lifestyle, positive emotional health, and spiritual alignment is believed to facilitate an unimpeded flow of energy through the chakras.
How to activate or unblock your chakras
Activating or unblocking chakras refers to the process of restoring and enhancing the flow of energy or “prana” through these energy centers. Several practices and methods, steeped in these spiritual and metaphysical traditions, are considered helpful in achieving this aim.
- Meditation: Chakra meditations, often involving visualizations and mantras specific to each chakra, are widely practiced. By focusing one’s attention on a particular chakra and its associated characteristics, one is believed to stimulate energy flow and resolve blockages in that area.
- Yoga: Various yoga postures or “asanas” are believed to be associated with specific chakras. Practicing these asanas, along with controlled breathing or “pranayama”, can help restore balance and enhance the energy flow through the chakras.
- Healing therapies: Energy healing modalities such as Reiki, acupuncture, and crystal healing are said to help in clearing chakra blockages and restoring energy balance.
- Diet and lifestyle: A balanced, nutritious diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices are considered beneficial for maintaining overall energy balance, including the chakras.
- Emotional work: Emotional self-care, including stress management, psychological therapy, and emotional release practices, can assist in unblocking chakras associated with specific emotional issues.
- Spiritual practices: Maintaining spiritual alignment through practices such as prayer, mindfulness, and connection with nature can help balance the higher chakras.
You must to remember that the concept of chakras, their activation, and unblocking is fundamentally spiritual and metaphysical in nature. These practices are not recognized or substantiated by conventional Western medical science. Therefore, while they may be seen as contributing to one’s overall well-being from the perspective of these spiritual traditions, they should not replace professional medical advice or treatment when required.