Ever wondered what the seven chakras of the body are and what they mean? We have the answers! “Chakra” is a Hindu word to describe an energy center in the body. If you’ve ever felt mentally tired but physically well, encountered newfound energy through rage, or just wanted to give someone the biggest hug in the world, then you have experienced chakras in you.
While these abstract concepts are hard to pin down in English-speaking Western culture, these centers have a name and a home in the Indian world. Chakras are located at key physical points in the body, forming an undulating chain of spaces that link together right down our spine. According to Hindu thought, the energy generated at these chakra points moves around the body. Unbalanced chakras prevent energy from moving around in equilibrium.
This wisdom is not just limited to India though. We express it in English idioms sometimes. For example, when something makes you feel disgust and impotence, you say “it made me sick to my stomach.” Guess where the chakra that has to do with personal power is: the solar plexus, that is, around where your stomach and viscera are.
Chakras aren’t good or bad, they just are. They are part of you. Each one can be expressed positively or negatively, the result of either too much (bottled up) energy or too little (a chakra you don’t connect with). The goal is to bring them all into balance so that energy flows through you as a whole, coordinated being.
Exploring the Seven Chakras of the body
You don’t have to be Hindu to tap into this wisdom. You too can connect your physical self to your emotional, mental and spiritual sides. Let’s take a look:
The Root Chakra (Hindu name: Muladhara)
The locus of your vital energy is found at the perianal area at the base of your spine. When you sit down, that spot between your “sit” bones is your foundation; it keeps you stable. This bright red, raw energy moves down through your legs and feet to root you to the fundamentals of life itself: security, stability, survival, will, trust and vibrancy.
The Sacral Chakra (Hindu name: Svadhishthana)
This vivid orange center is your hub for creativity, sensuality, pleasure and union. The Western world would associate this open space with a woman’s uterus, but this center doesn’t only exist for women. All humans share this space, which can be activated by moving your hips in a fluid, circular motion. In other words: dance!
The Solar Plexus Chakra (Hindu name: Manipura)
This energy center is found at the nexus of your diaphragm where your esophagus meets your stomach. Bright yellow symbolizes personal power, responsibility, self-discipline and self-esteem. Manifestations of an imbalanced third chakra are manipulation, judgment and control issues.
The Heart Chakra (Hindu name: Anahata)
Present, direct and pulsing green, the heart chakra is self-explanatory: no hiding, no games, just genuine acceptance. This pure energy center extends out from the heart and reaches through your arms and fingertips to express love, empathy, joy and compassion, with anxiety and jealousy on the flip side. A healthy heart is a big open space and there can never be too little room for one more person.
The Throat Chakra (Hindu name: Vishuddha)
Bright blue, this narrow passageway between the heart and the mind is the perfect link between feeling and thinking. The throat is where expression thrives. It is the home of communication. Signs of an unhealthy fifth energy center are withdrawal or arrogance.
The Third Eye Chakra (Hindu name: Ajna)
The marketing world has tapped into Hindu wisdom by acknowledging that the color of trust and calm is a deep blue: indigo. This energy center is the key spot where your intuition, knowledge, foresight, imagination and clarity reside, as well as assumption. This chakra connects to the energy center that links you to the rest of the universe:
The Crown Chakra (Hindu name: Sahasrara)
Royal purple is the color associated with this chakra, which should come as no surprise, since this is the center for spiritual connection. When you connect with this center, you access the divine understanding that we are actually part of something much bigger than ourselves. Indian thought closely links the physical body that you can see and feel to the non-physical body of energy and chakras. One way to work on balancing physical and spiritual energy is through practicing yoga. The next time you’re striking a pose, think about what centers you might be activating. Listen to your body as it asks you to move or to stop. See what you can learn from your spiritual and emotional body as you open up to a new source of wisdom in your life. If you´ve enjoyed this article, do not hesitate to read our articles about yoga benefits and meditation benefits.