Chakras, by definition, are energy centers within the human body that help to regulate all its processes, from organ function to to the immune system and emotions. Seven chakras are positioned throughout your body, from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. Each chakra has its own vibrational frequency, color, and governs specific functions that help make you, well, human.
Before we define chakras and explore the meaning of each, it is essential to understand one thing: You are energy. All living things are created by and comprised of energy.The ability of your energy centers to function optimally is what keeps you psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually balanced.
Chakra: A Brief Historical Definition
The term chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel.” Rightfully so, chakras are regularly depicted as spinning, colored wheels of energy. For millenia, chakras have been recognized as essential to life. Discussions about chakras originate in India around 1,500 B.C. and there is also mention of them in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, dating to circa 200 B.C. However, the West didn’t hear much about chakras until the subject was introduced by Sir John Woodroffe (aka Arthur Avalon) in the early 20th century.
What are the 7 Chakras?
When exploring the chakras, it’s best to start at the beginning. Below is a list of each chakra, starting with the base of the spine and moving up. Given is the chakra name, location, color, and function.
- Root (1st) — Base of the spine; red; governs survival instincts, grounding.
- Sacral (2nd) — Lower abdomen; orange; governs sexuality, intuition, self-worth/-esteem.
- Solar Plexus (3rd) — Upper abdomen; yellow; governs impulse control, ego.
- Heart (4th) — Center of the chest; green; governs compassion, spirituality.
- Throat (5th) — Throat; blue; governs communication, emotion.
- Third Eye (6th) — Between the eyes; purple; governs rationality, wisdom, imagination.
- Crown (7th) — Top of the head; indigo; governs connection with the Divine.
Anytime a chakra becomes blocked, underactive or overactive, it can throw you off balance physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
For instance, if you have ever experienced persistent trouble expressing yourself, felt like you’re walking around in an emotional “fog,” or suffered through several bouts of laryngitis or sore throats these are all signs you may have an imbalanced throat chakra.
Generally speaking, when chakras are “off,” the body is excellent about communicating what ones are affected. When you consider all the signs you are experiencing, be they physical or not, odds are they’re centered around the area of the affected chakra.
To restore balance to the chakras, cleansing is needed. In order to restore positive balance to the affected energy center, the entire blockage and/or negativity must be removed. The most common method to balance chakras is energy healing, which can include:
- Conscious breathing
- Tai Chi
- Chakra meditation
- Acupressure and acupuncture
Another common form of energy healing is the use of healing stones.