What are Chakras?

Chakras are energy vortexes (wheels) that connect your physical body to your energy body. There are seven main chakras located in a line aligned with the spine & correspond to the colors of the rainbow and we also keep in mind an eighth chakra at the feet for grounding:  

                      1: crown: violet crown: violet
                      2: third eye: indigo
                      3: throat: blue
                      4: heart: green: pink
                      5: solar plexus: yellow
                      6: sacral: orange
                      7: root: red
                      feet: black: brown 

When the chakras are open, your physical body will be healthy. When there is a problem, it will first develop in the energy body before they reach your physical body. If you are not a clairvoyant who can see the aura and the chakras, it is effective to clean and balance the chakras every once in a while to prevent blockages.

Chakra knowledge was once handed down from spiritual teacher to student, a highly guarded secret so that it would not be abused by those who weren’t ready for the knowledge. In the West, sacred knowledge is now freely available and we can readily learn about the chakras, but let’s just keep in mind that intellectual knowledge is no substitute for a spiritual teacher’s guidance and your own personal experience.

Science has now confirmed what spiritual teachers have taught for ages – the existence of the energy field. Kirlian photography is able to capture the subtle energy field of plants, trees, animals and humans. If a leaf has its own energy field, you can only imagine how complex the human’s energy field is.

Within this energy field, chakras play a major role. Life energy travels like river through our energy field, also known as our aura. Where many rivers meet, a confluence is formed. It is a powerful pooling of energies, a whirling vortex of force. This is chakra – a confluence where life energies meet. It is a wheel of life.

Indian Sanskrit word Chakra = wheel. Chakras are energy wheels that are spinning like vortexes though our aura. Outside energy is absorbed through our front, processed and emitted through the back.

All physical matter produces a subtle counterpart, a subtle energy. Our physical bodies have the aura, our personal space. Our nerves have a subtle counterpart called meridians. Meridians feed our chakras, which can be likened to our energy organs. The major chakras are all connected to one another via the Sushumna Meridian which is the subtle energy within the spine, so we always want to make sure that meridian is clear as well.

Each chakra is described as a lotus. Lotuses are rooted in the mud, rise through the waters and blooms upon the surface, symbolizes the journey from earth to spirit. Each chakra is symbolized with a certain number of petals, the Root chakra having 4 petals symbolizing the earth and materialism up to the Crown chakra which has a thousand petals for the spiritual realm.

Read more about each of the major chakras below or Learn How to Open and Balance the Chakras.

There are seven major chakras

1. Root Chakra – Base of Spine

SANSKRIT: Muladhara – Mula=root, adhara=support

We are like trees, we need to have strong deep roots to grow. Our social roots are so complex and chaotic these days that we must lie our roots in the Earth to have a sense of place and meaning and stability.

The Root Chakra keeps us rooted to earth, but we don’t want to live only in this chakra which would lead to the ruling of power, territory, violence and ego. We want a balance of all the chakras.

We need to be rooted to earth and realize that we are dependent on earth, we are nourished by contact with nature. Represents primitive instinct, survival

Red = first color of the rainbow, lowest color of the spectrum, color of blood, life.

Associated with adrenal gland which generates fight of flight response

Physically – legs, feet, bones and large intestines, Excretion

Malfunctions – obesity, hemorrhoids, constipation, find a sense of belonging through belongings because we are not rooted to earth, greed and waste and destruction of nature

When Open– ability to let go of past feelings, repressed anger, feel a part of nature and connected to other people, sense of belonging.

Energizing this Chakra (besides meditation, pranayama and energy healing sessions):

* Crystals – Red – Jasper, Bloodstone
* Physical Exercise
* Walking on the earth (beach, dirt, etc)

Earth – at feet to align your aura to your physical body 
Brown – Tigers Eye, Smoky Quartz, Mocchi Balls
Black – Obsidian, Tourmaline, Hematite

2. Sacral Chakra – Reproductive Area

SANSKRIT: Svadisthana = one’s own abode = your most intimate space

Connects with Intimacy, not just sexual exchange, but a feeling of connection with others.

Also connected to the unconscious. This is where we store pleasure and pains.

Connected to the element of water, fluid and mobile like your emotional life.

Like the Heart chakra, opening this chakra can be a draining experience as it houses both the sexual center and unconscious memories.

Orange = warm blend of red from the base chakra and yellow from the Solar Plexus

Associated with the reproductive functions

Malfunctions – impotence, frigidity due to unconscious fears and memories concealed in this chakra.

When Open - Ideas, imagination and desires will stimulate your mind, powerful force of human creativity will rule. You will be open to intimacy with others (sexual and non-sexual). Your senses will sharpen and your psychic energies will open.

Energizing this Chakra:

* Crystals – orange – Carnelian, Calcite
* Creativity Crystals – Unakite
* Reproductive Crystals - Moonstone
* Expressing yourself creatively – art, writing, crafting, making music
* Physical contact and intimacy

3. Solar Plexus Chakra – Abdomen

SANSKRIT: Manipura = city of jewels = process of transformation through fire.

Connected to the element of fire.

Gemstones are often formed by the fires of the inner earth. Physically food is turned into fuel by extracting energy from what we eat.

Solar Plexus is our personal sun. Whereas the sun is the center of the universe, the Solar Plexus chakras is our center of power – our willpower. This center is transforming us both physically (through food) and emotionally (through willpower).

Our personal fire is our ambition and determination. This is our place of empowerment.

Whereas the Sacral stores emotions, the Solar is where we create the emotions. Stomach is highly sensitive to our emotional state. We feel panic, fear, shock, anxiety, sick, feeling a knot, joy. So we do want to feel all the emotions, we just don’t want them to overpower our senses – we want to learn our lessons from these emotions. Powerful emotions can cloud our insight.

Yellow = warming energy of the sun

Associated with Digestive System

Physically - liver, spleen, stomach and small intestines

Malfunctioning = ulcers, diabetes, eating disorders, distortion of will power

Eating disorders occur when the body becomes a battleground for conflict of power – when we are not in control of our own willpower – whether it be our parents, partners or authority figures who have taken away this power.

When Open: You are emotionally balanced, you learn from your emotional states rather than be consumed by them. You are confident. You are in charge of your own life.

Energizing this Chakra:

* Crystals – yellow – Citrine, Tiger's Eye, Calcite
* Emotional balance and release – Moonstone, Malachite, Rhodochrosite
* Absorb or visualize the power of the sun
* Accepting yourself and taking responsibility for yourself

Most people move together with the humankind through the first three chakras – survival, reproduction and self-expression. Only a few move on to master universal love and the chakras above the Solar Plexus.

4. Heart Chakra – Middle of Chest

SANSKRIT: Anahata = unstruck = hearing sounds that are not actually “struck”, more cosmic level, listening to the universe, noticing the signs from the universe, hearing the subtle sounds of nature

This is the center for love and the most important chakra because it encompasses our hearts, the very essence of our physical lives.

Unconditional love – transcendent, seeks nothing in return

Also the center of manifestation, Wishes will spontaneously be filled when the desire for personal gain has been transcended.

Element of Air – as we move through the chakras we move from solid to the abstract. Air is invisible yet omnipresent like love.

Green = rebirth – birth of new level of feelings within ourselves
Associated with Circulation
Physically = Heart, Immune System

Malfunctioning = limited in idea of love, heartaches, relationship problems, heart problems, immune problems.

Open chakra = big hearted, open hearted, warm hearted – brings generosity and openness, able to direct healing energy to others. It allows for healthy relationships when you are open to give and receive love. Realize the balance of falling in love and out of love are as inevitable as life and death

Energizing this Chakra:

* Crystals – green – Aventurine, Serpentine, Malachite
* Love – pink – Rose Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Rhodonite, Ruby ( Ruby Fuchsite & Zoisite)
* Being of service to others
* Following your heart – your bliss – your passions, what makes you happy
* Living by the rule: if you love something set it free…

5. Throat - Communications

SANSKRIT: Vishuddi = purify = challenges us to purify our speech.

Consider the power of the words. Think before speaking. In our media-ridden culture, we are all too aware of the destructive force of words. We want to use words to unite, heal and reconcile.

We also want to listen to our inner voice – intuition. And hear what others are truly trying to communicate behind their actual words – like a cry for help or a white lie. We tend to only focus on things that interest us – if we hear our name spoken across the room, we’ll want to tune in!

This is also the chakra dedicated to the power of sound – the restorative power of music and sound is important for our well-being.

The Fifth element symbolizes the mystery of life itself. The throat is the gateway into the transcendent levels.

Blue = color of the sky and its limitless expanse, free from matter.

Associated with Communications
Physically = shoulders, neck, throat, thyroid gland

Malfunctioning = stiff neck, throat infection, tension in the shoulders, headaches, swallowing problems, frustration which leads to shouting or a complete withdrawal of communication

When Open= you choose your words wisely and are able to express yourself in a calm and rational manner. You are able to really hear what others are communicating, read their whole body language and energy they are sending you rather than just the words

Energizing this Chakra:

* Blue crystals – Azurite, Angelite, Hemimorphite, Turquoise, Aquamarine, Amazonite
* Filter out negative thoughts
* Singing, chanting, performing
* Teaching what you love to others
* Storytelling

6. Third Eye Chakra - Brow

SANSKRIT: Ajna = to know and to command

The physical eye sees, the mind’s eye or third eye knows

Visualizations, picture-making relates to higher consciousness and is far more powerful than empty words. Creative writers, artists and metaphysicians have always understood the power of the internal picture.

Connected to the five senses and the sixth sense – psychic connection, which everyone has, but most of us have blocked it.

This is where we receive and implement good ideas. When mentally balanced, we are able to think logically and calmly.

Indigo = High vibration color

Associated with Cognition
Physically = related to Mind, Brain, Eyes

Malfunctioning = we receive distorted ideas, dangerous logic that can lead to harming others, writer’s block, no follow through, overanalyzing, eye problems, confusion, indecision, headaches

When open = we are forced to question why we exist, the meaning of life, the passing of time and space – we are able to see the big picture rather than get caught up in the small details of every day life!

Energizing this Chakra:

* Crystal – indigo – Iolite, Lapis, Sodalite
* Third eye/intuition stones – Third eye Agate, Moldavite, Lepidolite
* Listening to your intuition
* Being fully aware of your surroundings
* Practice Psychometry – receiving impressions about an object, its history and owners.

7. Crown Chakra – Top of Head

SANSKRIT: Sahasrara = Thousandfold crown – qualities without number

From instinct (root) to transcendence, moving beyond the physical realm

Very few people have achieved this state of consciousness, so we may expect the unexpected here. Can only be achieved through a genuinely open mind – we must know that everything we think is false could be true.

Self-realization – the essence of all major religions – that we are one with everything around us.

Crown chakra is not like the other six, to describe it would only place limits on its energies and possibilities.

It connects us to our Higher Selves, to our path in this life, our place in this universe.

Violet = highly vibration color of the rainbow

Associated with Spiritual Consciousness
Physically connected with coordination

Malfunctions = clumsiness, poor balance, dyslexia, “bad luck”

When Open = you are spiritually coordinating with the universe – being somewhere at the right time, meeting the person you were supposed to meet, having “good luck”, manifesting what you are desiring. Everything aligns.

Energizing this Chakra:

* Crystal – violet - Amethyst, Lepidolite, Purple Jasper
* Spiritual stones – Apophyllite, Celestite, Selenite
* Complex exercises or following choreography or juggling for coordination
* Crystal ball gazing

Quartz, the Master Healer, can be used to balance all of the chakras.

How to Open Chakras

Like rivers, our meridians and the chakras may be blocked by obstruction, drained empty. As human beings we have both positive and negative energies depending on our moods and the situation. When obstacles are removed from our energy field, we will feel full and nourished. Ultimately we want to be open and balanced, so the chakras need to be constantly tuned like instruments. When energy fails to flow through certain chakras, there will be a block and it will show up in our physical bodies.

Meditation is the key to opening the chakras, as is Pranayama, breathing exercise best learned from a spiritual teacher. Prana is a subtle energy, same as life force, universal energy or chi or ki. It can be directed through the body by the concentrated use of the mind. Our energy fields are highly sensitive to directed breath. We can direct our energy to our chakras through focusing on our breath through pranayama and meditation. Energy follows thoughts.

Besides meditation we can also use healing crystals. Crystals are like tuning forks, they help our chakras to vibrate at a balanced energy. This you can do for your self or have a healer perform. Of course we have many classes to teach you how to effectively use crystal energy.

We can keep the chakras open and clear through meditation (there are many ways of meditating which include use of sound, sacred shapes, gazing, tai chi, group meditations, you will find the right method for you!), pranayama breathing and regular energy healing session, very important especially if you often find yourself in stressful states. Ultimately we want to remain balanced no matter what situation is presented to us!

Methods to keep the Chakras open

  • Meditation
  • Pranayam Breathing
  • Chakra Layouts
  • Chakra Jewelry
  • Chakra Plates with tuning forks
  • Chakra Generator Wands
  • Keep the meridians open with Copper, Magnetite or Hematite

Awakening the Kundalini

Only when all chakras are open can the Kundalini energy rise. The Root Chakra and the Crown Chakra are regarded as the two poles of magnetic force. When the chakras have been sufficiently awakened and purified, the Sushumna is clear for the forces of matter (Root) and spirit (Crown) to unite. The rising energies is known as the awakening of the Kundalini, flowering the seven chakras, bringing spiritual consciousness.