What is a Chakra? | What are the 7 Chakras?

What is a Chakra? | What are the 7 Chakras


What is a Chakra and what are the 7 Chakras?

So what is a chakra exactly and what does chakra mean?

Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word which translates to ‘wheel’, or ‘circle’ and refers to the non-physical energy centers that exists within and around the human body. The 7 chakras of the human body are responsible for regulating every process within the human body, including your physical, mental and emotional health.

These 7 chakras form a core part of many ancient healing techniques and spiritual practices, including Reiki, Kriya Yoga, Tummo Yoga, Tantra, Qui Gong, and different meditation practices. Historical recordings of the human chakra system can be seen in early Hinduism and Buddhism where each chakra is seen to be an individual vortex of spinning energy which one can interact with for healing purposes, psychic development and spiritual growth.

Depending upon the practice and tradition, one can interact with their chakras using a variety of breathing techniques, creative visualizations, mantras, mudras and hands on healing practices to open each chakra and release blocked energy so one can heal.

The spine is the main energy channel within the human body which is also known as the Sushumna Energy Channel. From here, each of the 7 chakras connect to the spine and channels of energy, known as meridians, connect each chakra to specific organs and parts of the human body.

Life force energy, also known as Prana, Chi, Ki, Universal Energy or spiritual energy, flows into our Sushumna energy channel, through each of our chakras and around our bodies. When this flow of energy is balanced and healthy, a person will be in a harmonious physical, mental and emotional state of being.

When these 7 chakras are blocked they become unbalanced and either over-active or under-active. This can cause any of the chakra vortexes to spin too quickly, or too slowly. When one chakra is unbalanced this has a ripple effect which unbalances the bodies other chakras. If left unchecked, over time this can result in poor mental, emotional and physical health.


Most people are familiar with the 7 chakras, however we have many more!

The 7 chakras most people are familiar with are known as the 7 major chakras that are positioned at specific locations along the human spine. Each of these 7 chakras are positioned from the root of the spine to the top of the head and each chakra is responsible for governing a specific aspect of human health.

As energy flows throughout the human body, there are hundreds of minor chakras at various locations of the body which connect to the 7 main chakras. Although the exact number of chakras are different depending upon what esoteric system or school you refer to, there are known to be several hundred chakra within the body and around the body.

In acupuncture, over 400 documented energy points have been described and used in the practice. However the exact number of these and their locations differ among different acupuncture schools.

In this article however, I will be dealing with the most important and relevant chakras that we use for energy healing and spiritual growth which are the 7 chakras. Plus I’ll briefly mention the additional 5 Divine chakras which exist beyond those, as well as their use and purpose, towards the end of this article.

So what are the 7 chakras?


What are the 7 chakras mostly used in healing practices such as Reiki?


Location: Base of Spine | Colour: Red | Petals: 4

root chakraThe root chakra is the lowest chakra point on the spine and is located near the very tip of the tailbone. Also known as the Muladhara chakra, which comes from Mula (Root) and Dhara (Support), the root chakra connects one with the grounding energy flowing from the core of the Earth.

The root chakra relates to Earthly matters, matters of survival and relates to all the things a person feels they need to live a secure, balanced, anxious free life. As the root chakra relates to ones ‘root support’, this chakra refers to the root foundations one has laid in their life. So a persons security, financial stability, home environment and support structure are all key aspects of what the root chakra relates to.

In a deeper spiritual sense, when the root chakra is balanced we lay the necessary foundation onto which we can begin to balance the other 6 major chakras of the Sushumna energy channel.


Location: Root of Sexual Organs | Colour: Orange | Petals: 6

sacral chakraThe sacral chakra is the second lowest chakra on the spine and is located an inch below the belly button. Also known as the Svadhishthana chakra, which comes from Swa (Self) and Adhishthana (Established), the sacral chakra refers to ‘the establishment of the Self’, or ‘the place of the Self’ in other words.

The sacral chakra refers to ones emotions, creativity and sensuality. The function of the sacral chakra is guided by the principle of pleasure. So sex, pleasure, emotion, feelings and the connection and enjoyment one feels with life are all related to this chakra.

As with all the chakras, being aware of imbalances in each chakra can offer us insights into how we are using the corresponding energy of that chakra in our own life. For example, an over-active imbalance in the sacral chakra can be a sign that we are desiring and seeking after too much pleasure, when we would be better finding a healthy balance in our life.

An over-active sacral chakra can refer to an over-indulgence in anything from drugs and alcohol to food and sex or any other addiction or compulsive behaviour.


Location: Naval | Colour: Yellow | Petals: 10

solar plexus chakraThe solar plexus chakra is the third lowest chakra on the spine and is located on the abdomen, just below the rib cage. Also known as the Manipura chakra, which means ‘resplendent gem’ or ‘lustrous gem’, the solar plexus chakra is associated with fire and transformation.

Dynamism, energy and will power are all key attributes of the solar plexus chakra and this is the location of the body we refer to when we say we have a ‘gut feeling’ about something or someone.

It’s the solar plexus chakra that connects to our intuition, our inner wisdom, and our sense of confidence and is the chakra which governs our impulse control.


Location: Heart | Colour: Green | Petals: 12

Heart chakraThe heart chakra is the center chakra on the spine and is located in the middle of the chest, in line with the underarm. Also known as the Anahata chakra, which means ‘unhurt’, ‘unstruck’ and ‘unbeaten’, which refers to ‘unstruck sound’, the Vedic concept of the sound of the Divine realm which connects with our hearts.

While all chakras are important in their own right, the heart chakra is especially important as it is within the heart that we find our ‘Inner Heart’. The Inner Heart is the essence of our Spirit and a spark of the Divine Source, our Creator.

The heart chakra relates to Love, kindness and compassion and it is through the heart that we are able to connect directly with The Divine Source, our Creator, and achieve spiritual growth and deep insight and wisdom.

When the heart chakra is opened appropriately, genuine feelings of deep, profound and unconditional love for Self and all others fills our whole heart and being. It is this special connection within our hearts that purifies our Soul and realigns our Spirit so we can turn towards the Light and journey back to The Source.

This is what is known as achieving Yoga, which means achieving Union with The Divine, which is the true purpose of life.


Location: Throat | Colour: Blue | Petals: 16

Throat chakraThe throat chakra is the 5th lowest chakra on the spine and is located just above the adams apple on the throat. Also known as the Vishuddhi chakra, which means ‘especially pure’, the throat chakra deals primarily with communication and ones personal voice and ability to be heard in life.

Standing up for your own principles, making yourself heard, and speaking your own truth and mind are all important aspects of what the throat chakra relates to.

As self expression is a key part of what the throat chakra relates to, emotion is also closely connected with the throat chakra as well as how well one is able to communicate and express themselves.


Location: Between the Eyebrows | Colour: Indigo | Petals: 2

Third eye chakraThe third eye chakra is the 6th chakra on the spine and is located on the forehead between the eyebrows. Also known as the Ajna chakra, or guru chakra, the third eye chakra means ‘higher wisdom’.

Psychic ability, extrasensory perception, intuition, and clairvoyance are all associated with the third eye chakra.

This third eye connects to what is known as the pineal gland, which is a small pea sized gland in the center of your brain which is made of a crystalline structure. The third eye chakra is referred to as the third eye because the pineal gland it connects to is literally a third eye that has a lens, cornea and retina that reacts to light.

As the third eye chakra begins to heal and open more, one becomes more attuned with the subtle energies that we cannot otherwise experience using our physical five senses. As we develop this chakra, we become increasingly aware of the true nature of reality that is always around us, yet normally beyond our awareness.

Learn more about the pineal gland and the crystal in your head


Location: Top of Head | Colour: Violet or Multi-Coloured | Petals: 1000

crown chakraThe crown chakra is the 7th major chakra that is located above the spine and on top of the head. Also known as the Sahasrana chakra, which means ‘a thousands names’, or ‘a thousand petals’, the crown chakra is the highest spiritual center within the human body. The crown chakra is the gateway to pure Consciousness and governs our connection with the Divine.

The crown chakra is the final gateway of the physical body that Consciousness passes through before gaining access to the higher Divine chakras.

When our crown chakra is opened and balanced, our connection to each other, nature, the Universe, and The Divine is heightened, amplified and refined.


The first of the higher Divine chakras!

While opening the 7 chakras on the Sushumna energy channel is a big step to take in your spiritual growth, it is nevertheless only an initial preparation for achieving a deeper spiritual connection with The Divine.

There are a further 5 chakras which are found not on the physical body, but around it. These additional 5 chakras connect your physical body and mind to the greater Universe and The Source, our Creator.

While there are various websites and Sources found on the internet that attach many physical and spiritual attributes to these extra 5 chakras, in this article I am only going to share what I known through my own direct experience of working with these chakras.

After the crown chakra we have the 8th chakra. The 8th chakra is located within the aura and every human being has their own personal 8th chakra. Activating the 8th chakra is done by a properly trained master once the other 7 chakras have been opened and the kundalini energy has been activated.

When the 8th chakra is open and active, your connection to the Divine improves significantly, as does the balance of the other 7 chakras. The 8th chakra is also experienced as a higher vibration of energy that one can channel from to heal oneself and others.

In advanced healing practices one can simply intend to channel energy from their 8th chakra and this will instantly begin the flow of energy from the 8th chakra, down into the crown chakra, and down the Sushumna and arm meridians and out the palm chakras. This can then be channelled through any one of the chakras on your body or on others with the intention to heal.

The 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th CHAKRAS

The next 4 significant Divine chakras!

These further four chakras can be activated by a trained master to enhance your energy channelling capabilities, speed healing, and advance your spiritual development. Every human being has their own set of 8 chakras, from the root chakra all the way up the spine to the 8th chakra above the crown.

The 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th chakras however are not personal chakras. They are collective chakras that the whole of humanity share with each other which can be connected to, and used, for specific purposes.

These further 4 advanced chakras significantly improve ones connection to The Source, The Creator, and allow an individual to directly communicate with The Source. That communication is a two-way communication that connects human Consciousness and God Consciousness through the medium of the Inner Heart.

In a deeper spiritual sense, these advanced Divine chakras connect the multi-dimensional aspects of the human being to their relative dimensions. As such, attaching literal explanations to such things serves little purpose as such matters are beyond our limited human ability to intellectually understand them.

The 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th chakras are not aspects of our being we are required to understand from an intellectual point of view to benefit from them, or to use them. When these chakras are activate and open, the human person will undergo a direct experience that is beyond words. It is that direct experience that offers all the insight and realization necessary.

Similar to the 8th chakra one can channel energy from the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th chakras for healing and spiritual development. Each higher chakra allows the practitioner to access a finer vibration of spiritual energy which enhances healing and manifestation. As these chakras continually open further, our connection to The Divine improves and our relationship with The Source deepens.

It is this deepening of our relationship with The Source that enhances all forms of psychic ability while allowing the love energy of the heart to expand. As we re-connect with the wisdom, intelligence and awareness of the Heart, Consciousness gradually expands into a larger field of knowledge, intelligence and awareness that is not restricted by the confines of the physical human body.


What's the purpose of chakras and what do they do?

Students and practitioners of Reiki and some forms of Yoga open the chakras in order to heal. Every human being has trapped negative energy within each of their chakras, and especially the heart chakra, which has resulted from lifetimes of pain, suffering and trauma.

When ones chakras are opened, these deep blockages are allowed to rise to the surface in a controlled manner that is unique for each individual. This allows those blockages to be released which helps that person to heal, grow and develop spiritually.

This rising and releasing of negative energy from within our chakras helps to deeply cleanse and purify our human person on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level. This helps the practitioner to realize a firm foundation where they can feel calm, happy and balanced, in preparation for more advanced spiritual training.

In a deeper spiritual sense, opening our chakras offers us an opportunity to access deeper parts of our being that are not normally accessible or within our conscious awareness.

When a persons chakras are activated and opened, including the palm chakras, one is able to channel and transmit healing energy out their palm chakras which can be directed into their own body or the bodies of others. This ability all humans have, however one must willfully intend to have this deeper aspect of themselves activated before they can make use of it.

When these chakra energy centers are opened, an automatic re-balancing occurs within the practitioner which guides each person towards achieving true lasting peace, happiness and joy.

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