• Allie Beckmann

An Easy Guide for Understanding Your 7 Chakras


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

The ancient Indian Chakra system illuminates the power and wisdom within the seven major energy centers inside of our bodies. “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “spinning wheel or disc.” The first known mention of Chakras was in the ancient Vedic texts, The Upanishads. While there are many definitions and various schools of thought, we can generally think of these “wheels” as energy in motion, spinning and spiraling vortexes of transformation and consciousness.





There are seven major Chakras, starting at the base of the spine and running vertically through the center of the body to the crown of the head, correlating with a specific set of nerve clusters and glands in the physical body. Each Chakra has its own unique set of qualities and associated elements, while they are also in relationship and communication with each other.


But before we can begin to explore how the Chakras impact each other and function as a whole, first we must have a basic understanding of each as an individual.



root chakra

Chakra 1: Muladhara (Root)

  • Definition: Root or source of support

  • Location: Perineum

  • Color: Red

  • Element: Earth

  • Mantra: Lam

  • When in balance: secure, calm, safe, grounded, stable, able to meet one’s basic needs, healthy elimination

  • When out of balance: insecure, spaced out, fearful, aggressive, depressed, angry, elimination problems, greedy, possessive

  • Reflection Questions:

  • Are my basic needs met?

  • How do I know when I feel safe?

  • What are my deepest fears?



sacral chakra

Chakra 2: Svadisthana (Sacral)

  • Definition: One’s own dwelling place

  • Location: Sacrum/coccyx

  • Color: Orange

  • Element: Water

  • Mantra: Vam

  • When in balance: unlimited creativity, flexible, vulnerable, healthy sexual functioning, loving, secure and balanced relationships, healthy boundaries

  • When out of balance: jealousy, anger, promiscuous, co-dependent, rigid emotions, guilt, obsessiveness, low back pain, sciatica, urinary or fertility issues

  • Reflection Questions:

  • Am I processing my emotions? Or suppressing them?

  • How are my relationships functioning? What feels secure and what feels toxic?

  • What is my relationship to my creativity, and how can I foster it?



solar plexus chakra

Chakra 3: Manipura (Solar Plexus)

  • Definition: The city of jewels

  • Location: Solar plexus

  • Color: Yellow

  • Element: Fire

  • Mantra: Ram

  • When in balance: powerful self-expression, the authentic identity of self, willpower, leadership, confidence, high self-esteem and self-worth, strong metabolism and digestion

  • When out of balance: big ego, overly assertive, aggressive, anger, greed, shame, feeling worthless, lack of identity or self-direction, low energy, problems with digestion, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas

  • Reflection Questions:

  • Am I comfortable and clear in my sense of self?

  • When do I feel confident? When do I feel a lack of confidence?

  • What is my relationship to my ego? How does it show up in my life and relationships?



heart chakra

Chakra 4: Anahata (Heart)

  • Definition: Unstruck sound; that which is self-sustaining

  • Location: Heart

  • Color: Green

  • Element: Air

  • Mantra: Yam

  • When in balance: unconditional love, gratitude, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, service, balance, purity, peace, empathy, joy

  • When out of balance: sadness, grief, hatred, resentment, attachment, self-centeredness, loneliness, fear of rejection, heart and lung problems, blood pressure problems

  • Reflection Questions:

  • Do I practice empathy with others?

  • Am I connected to compassion?

  • Am I holding on to any past resentments or pain? If so, what would it take to find forgiveness?



throat chakra

Chakra 5: Vishuddha (Throat)

  • Definition: Purity

  • Location: Throat

  • Color: Blue

  • Element: Space (ether)

  • Mantra: Ham

  • When in balance: truthful communication, clear language, creative, integrity, authentic self-expression, listening, connected to truth

  • When out of balance: insecurity, lethargy, weak or false expressive abilities, judgmental, overly critical, exaggerating, lying, suppression, voice, throat and thyroid problems

  • Reflection Questions:

  • What is my communication style?

  • Am I able to speak my truth? If not, what’s getting in the way?

  • What kind of listener am I? Do I impose my own thoughts and judgments on others’ words?



third eye chakra

Chakra 6: Ajna (Third Eye)

  • Definition: Command or perceive

  • Location: Third eye (space between eyebrows)

  • Color: Indigo

  • Element: Space (ether)

  • Mantra: Om

  • When in balance: insightful, intuitive, awareness, discernment, imagination, visualizing, concentration, transforming life experiences into wisdom, connected to spirituality and the Divine

  • When out of balance: confused, depressed, rejection of spirituality, overly analytical, lack of faith, lack of focus, trouble learning, headaches, eye or ear problems

  • Reflection Questions:

  • What is my relationship to spirituality or faith (of any kind)?

  • How do I know when I am connected to my intuition?

  • What is my perception like? Is it overly analytical, scattered, clear, intuitive?



crown chakra

Chakra 7: Sahasrara (Crown)

  • Definition: Thousand

  • Location: Crown of the head

  • Color: Violet

  • Element: Space (ether)

  • Mantra: Om (silent)

  • When in balance: united with the Divine, merged into oneness with universal life, completion, freedom, transcendence, realization, enlightenment, serenity, connected to Highest Self, bliss

  • When out of balance: fear of death, grief, limited ideas of self and the universe, feeling separate from existence, lack of trust in life, lacking values or ethics

  • Reflection Questions:

  • Am I trusting or distrusting of life?

  • Do I feel separate or connected with the greater existence? Why?

  • What are my thoughts on death?

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