The Seven Chakras

What are chakras? Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "wheel" and refers to one of the seven basic energy vortexes (nerve ganglia; think rotating wheel of energy) along the spinal cord. When energy becomes blocked or stagnant and is no longer flowing freely through or between the chakras, our systems can fall out of balance, and problems may arise with both our physical health and mental well-being. All forms of yoga assist with opening chakras.

the seven chakras

There are seven major chakras in the body. These are counted from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head. Each one is connected to an aspect of awareness that correlates with the natural energy from that region of the body. Each chakra vibrates at a different speed. The chakras are therefore commonly depicted with a colored symbol that represents the type of energy emanating from that point. The "root chakra" (number one, at the bottom) is red and, like a rainbow, the colors move up the spine toward violet.

Restoring balance. Most of us block feelings about negative experiences, creating disruptions in our chakras. By understanding the power and function of each chakra, we can begin to evaluate our own challenges and work to open energy flow for more holistic health. As you read the descriptions below, you are sure to find chakras that resonate with your personality, strengths and abilities. Others may seem more foreign or intimidating.

The goal of any yogi is to strive for balance between all the chakras. Yoga classes help open and balance the chakras. Proper diet & nutrition are also important. By facing fears with a nurturing spirit and restoring our weakest chakras, we can each find greater internal peace and physical longevity.

Chakra Seven – "crown chakra"

I understand. Located at the top of the head, this chakra is linked to wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment.


Sanskrit: Sahasrara
Energy: meditative
Color: violet
Planet: Uranus
Element: air

Chakra Six – "third eye" or "brow chakra"

I see. This chakra, positioned in the middle of the forehead, is linked to clarity of vision.


Sanskrit: Ajna
Energy: intuitive
Color: indigo
Planet: Jupiter
Element: air

Chakra Five – "throat chakra"

I speak. Found in the throat at the V of the collarbone, this chakra is linked to communication and creativity.


Sanskrit: Vishuddha
Energy: creative
Color: blue
Planets: Mercury and Neptune
Element: water

Chakra Four – "heart chakra"

I love. Centered in the chest, this chakra is linked to hope and love, both for oneself and for others.


Sanskrit: Anahata
Energy: compassionate
Color: green
Planet: Venus
Element: water

Chakra Three – "solar plexus"

I do. Located two inches below the breastbone, behind the stomach, this chakra is linked to vitality, power, ego and metabolism.


Sanskrit: Manipura
Energy: energizing
Color: yellow
Planet: Mars (and the Sun)
Element: fire

Chakra Two – "sacral chakra"

I feel. This chakra is found just below the belly button and is linked to emotions, sexuality and intimacy.


Sanskrit: Svadhisthana
Energy: fluidity
Color: orange
Celestial Body: the Moon
Element: fire

Chakra One – "root chakra"

I am. At the base of the spine, this chakra is linked to survival, prosperity and security.


Sanskrit: Muladhara
Energy: grounding
Color: red
Planets: Earth and Saturn
Element: earth