An Easy Guide for Understanding Your 7 Chakras
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.
Chakra 1: Muladhara (Root)
Definition: Root or source of support
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
Are my basic needs met?
How do I know when I feel safe?
What are my deepest fears?
Chakra 2: Svadisthana (Sacral)
Definition: One’s own dwelling place
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
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?
Chakra 3: Manipura (Solar Plexus)
Definition: The city of jewels
Location: Solar plexus
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
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?
Chakra 4: Anahata (Heart)
Definition: Unstruck sound; that which is self-sustaining
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
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?
Chakra 5: Vishuddha (Throat)
Element: Space (ether)
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
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?
Chakra 6: Ajna (Third Eye)
Definition: Command or perceive
Location: Third eye (space between eyebrows)
Element: Space (ether)
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
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?
Chakra 7: Sahasrara (Crown)
Location: Crown of the head
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
Am I trusting or distrusting of life?
Do I feel separate or connected with the greater existence? Why?
What are my thoughts on death?