top of page

A Beginners Guide to Chakras

Chakra, it's a word/ concept many of us may have heard of, but what actually is a chakra & what do they do? Find out here in my beginners guide to chakras.

India is the birthplace of the chakra system & the word chakra (or cakra) comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "wheel". They are said to be energy centres spinning throughout the body, with the main seven chakras located from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. These seven chakras are often referred to as the "rainbow bridge" as they each have a different colour associated to them. You will not find a chakra in your body physical body, we can't cut someone open & pull out a chakra but rather they are energy centres, which you can feel energetically in your physical body as a subtle activation. An example of this would be butterflies in your stomach.

Each chakra has many things associated with it for example, elements (earth, air, fire etc), body parts (throat, heart, sacrum etc) & identities (physical, social, ego etc). These associations then act as a guidance system, giving us different aspects & areas to focus & work upon to create a more balanced life. How is this related to yoga I hear you ask? Through the use of yoga practices such as postures (asana), breath control (pranayama) & meditation we can cleanse, open & balance the energy centres. Hatha yoga asanas are often used in "chakra yoga" as there is a lot of focus on alignment/ keeping the spine straight & long, therefore keeping the energy pathways clear. Pranayama & meditation are used in the same way, to shift energy around the body, clearing anything that is stagnant & bringing energy & life back into the system.

Here is a brief look at each chakra in turn:

Muladhara - Root

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Location: Base of the spine

The first chakra, Muladhara (Root) is related to the Earth element. When we learn to ground ourselves this brings stability to our lives. Our root chakra is related to feelings of security & safety both in a physical & metaphorical sense. Linking to our survival instincts, this where we really feel if our basic needs are being met. If they are being met we feel grounded & secure enough with our lives to explore our interests & have the confidence & means to experience knew things both within & outside of ourselves. If we don't have our basic needs met, for example, lacking financial security, then we will have a shaky foundation from which the other chakras/ aspects of our lives will struggle to develop & grow.

Ways to help balance the root chakra are; connecting physically to the Earth by walking in nature (preferably with bare feet to the ground), creating a safe home environment within which you feel safe & comfortable, perhaps you can bring plants into your living space. Taking part in regular physical activity to get yourself back into your body, taking the time to sit down & think about what you really want from life & making small, actionable steps towards making that happen. Practice gratitude & positive affirmations to help take you from a lack mentality to a more prosperous one. just listing three things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how small can help this shift.

Svadhisthana - Sacral

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Location: Below the navel/ genitals/ sacrum

The Second chakra, Svadhisthana (Sacral) is related to the element Water. Related to your creative, sensual & emotional body, this chakra is governed by pleasure & energetically it's the chakra of flow & flexibility. Your intuition & creativity stem from this charka as well as your emotional responses to life's happenings. This is where you can feel desires both sexually & emotionally & harness your imagination to help bring dreams to fruition. The Sacral chakra is also associated with your ability to move with the ebbs & flows of life & links to your flexibility in situations. Emotional or physical trauma of any kind can cause this chakra to become deficient. Fantasising about life & getting stuck in a dream world can also cause this chakra to come out of balance. Truly living & feeling life with all that it throws at you is what this chakra is about.

Ways to help balance the Sacral charka are; using balancing essential oils such as sage, ylang-ylang & sandalwood to help cleanse your space. Meditation, swimming or relaxing near open water (preferably somewhere quiet in nature, although a bath can work well here too). Journaling, to help release any emotional stress or worries you may be harbouring over, or perhaps shaking to physically shift some of the negative energy from your energetic system. Hip opening yoga poses such as pigeon & cow face pose are also great for releasing held & heaviness as we store a lot of emotions in our hips.

Manipura - Solar Plexus

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Location: Abdomen

The third chakra is Manipura or Solar Plexus which related to the element Fire. This is the charka where you learn to harness & utilise your personal power, where direction in life is truly found & where the actions you need to take to move further forward become clear. Your ego, intellect, sense of will power, decision making & sense of judgement/ reasoning are also linked to your Solar Plexus. Someone breaking your trust or giving you negative feedback can cause this charka to tip out of balance. Another sign that it is off kilter could be a need to want to constantly control everything or someone who struggles to relax/ feels the need to constantly be working. The opposite side of this would be that you have no motivation to do anything, becoming almost sloth like with no self confidence or energy to get anything done.

Ways to balance the Solar Plexus chakra are; breaking away from your every day routine every once in a while to prove to yourself that good things can be found outside our comfort zones. Smiling more, even if you don't feel like it, by pulling our face muscles into a smile this sends signals to our brain that we are happy, triggering the release of happy hormones. Regular yoga & meditation practice (especially for those who struggle to slow down). Spending time in the sun to help reignite the fire element within us.

Anahata - Heart

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Location: Chest/ lungs/ heart

The fourth chakra, Anahata (heart) is associated with the Air element. It governs your love & compassion for others & yourself. It is where grief, peace, empathy, acceptance & forgiveness are all learnt & experienced. If you have a blocked heart chakra you will most likely feel deeply disconnected, even isolated from others & struggle with a sense of self worth/ love. Emotions such as jealousy can arise when blocked or off balance here & if this charka is over-active one may feel ruled by their emotions, unable to let go of past suffering. Traumatic life experiences such as death/ grieving, injustices & breaking of ones trust can all be reasons for a deficient heart charka. When balanced this charka helps us to truly accept & love ourselves, to connect with others deeply, to love truly/ fully & to find beauty & wonder in the world around us.

Ways to balance the heart chakra are; finding a way to forgive yourself or others for things in the past, this could be done through exercises such journaling, letter writing or meditation or by talking to the person concerned or a trained therapist/ professional. Practicing gratitude regularly, taking time out of your day/ week to do something that truly makes you happy just for the pure joy of it, spending time with a friend or loved one & making regular small acts of kindness towards yourself & others such as paying them/ yourself & compliment or treating them/ yourself to a coffee to help spread a little ripple of love & kindness around the world.

Visuddha - Throat

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Location: Neck/ throat/ jaw

The fifth charka, Visuddha or throat charka is associated with the Ether element. This is the charka of self-expression & communication, linked with vibrations & sounds that can not only been heard but also felt throughout our entire bodies. Truth speaking, good timing & your sense of life's purpose can all be found & cultivated here. The throat & sacral chakras are lined as both house our creativity & emotions but each allows us to explore & express them in different ways. The throat chakra allows us to receive information & communication from the outside world as well as allowing us to speak our truth out into it. If you struggle to speak your truth or do not yet know it you may experience blockages here. This might be felt energetically as a frog in your throat or it may manifest more physically in illness around the neck/ shoulders & throat. When the throat chakra is balance you can communicate/ speak clearly & find it easy to express yourself honestly & openly. When out of balance you may mumble or feel unable to say how you really feel. The opposite of this may be talking constantly, interrupting & not listening to what others have to say.

Ways to balance the throat chakra are; vocal toning using singing bowls or mantras, chanting/ singing. When you need to have an important or difficult conversation with someone ensuring you put time aside in a quiet space to calmly express how you're feeling, ensuring the other person also has equal opportunity to speak & be heard. Drink plenty of water, practice yoga regularly (especially hip opening postures), meditate, take a class in public speaking, journal.

Ajna - Third Eye

Colour: Indigo

Element: Light

Location: Centre of eyebrows

The sixth charka, Ajna (third eye) is associated with the element light. This is the part of the rainbow bridge where the physical & emotional bodies really connect to the spiritual. When in balance our intuition is felt strongly here, acting as our inner guidance system. Positive outlook & generosity towards others are also associated with the heart chakra as well as a deeper inner knowing of ourselves. Psychic abilities such as clairvoyance link to this chakra, allowing those who are open enough to see beyond the physical realms that lay before them. Self-reflection & the ability to visualise clearly are also found here. Emotional disturbances such as stress & anxiety can cause blockages in this chakra, clouding the mind so we cannot think clearly/ beyond the monkey mind. If you are not grounded enough the third eye may run away with you & dreamlike visions will become all-consuming or we may become overly attached to an idea or outcome. When balanced in the third eye chakra you can practice non-attachment to objects/ people & situational outcomes with ease.

Ways to balance the third eye chakra are; regular meditation especially on the topic of letting go/ releasing, yoga, acupuncture, reflexology or aromatherapy.

Sahasrara - Crown

Colour: Violet

Element: Consciousness

Location: Crown of the head

The seventh charka, Sahasrara or crown is associated with the element of consciousness. This is the top chakra in our rainbow bridge, the one connecting us to the universe/ source energy. This is the chakra where our inner knowing & interconnectedness come to fruition & we become truly aware to the oneness of all life forms. The yogic school of Vedanta refers to this as Atman (true self) & Brahman (universal consciousness) & explains how ultimately they are one & the same. When activated & balance pure joy, peace & happiness will be felt as the realisation that life has deeper meaning takes hold. When out of balance in the crown chakra you may experience depression, frustration or a deep feeling of isolation & will not be able to see/ feel or understand the concept on oneness. Greed, hypocrisy & wastefulness are also traits found in an unbalanced crown chakra.

Ways to balance the crown chakra are; reiki, aromatherapy, performing acts of loving kindness to yourself & others, getting out in nature (especially in the sun), yoga & meditation.

Hopefully this brief breakdown has opened you up to the world of charkas & sparked an interest to learn further. If you'd like to learn in more depth about the Chakra system these books are a great place to start:

- Chakras: Seven Keys to Awakening & Healing the Energy Body - Anodea Judith

- Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology & the Chakra System as a Path to the Self - Anodea Judith

Although written by the same author both books take a very different approach to this topic. Chakras: Seven Keys is definitely a lighter/ easier read to get you started but if you're looking for a really in-depth read where the Chakra system is actually explained alongside scientific & psychological research then Eastern Body, Western Mind is the one for you. Happy reading!



Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I share all about yoga & intentional & authentic living for a healthier mind, body, soul, Earth connection.

Have a blessed day ♡

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Spotify
bottom of page