The Seven Chakras – An Overview
The chakras are especially renowned from the yoga tradition. However, the energy centres through which life energy flows in humans, exist not only in Asian philosophies and practices, but also in Native American and African cultures, such as the Hopi, Inka, and Zulu. We have compiled an overview of the seven chakras, their meaning and characteristics and their influence on your well-being.
What are chakras?
Chakras are energy points, which provide physical, mental and energetic balance. The term chakra comes from Sanskrit and means "circle" or "disc". You can imagine the seven energy centres as spinning disks. They act as "valves", which regulate the energy flow, and vary in their vibration and speed depending on the situation.
In India, it is believed that the air we breathe with each breath (known as prana) is the energy that flows through the body and gives power to the energy centres. The chakras receive, collect and distribute the prana to optimise the functions of different body parts.
Where are the seven chakras?
The chakras penetrate our physical body and connect it to our energetic body. They are aligned from the base of the spine to the top of the head. These energy centres are therefore counted in six body areas from bottom to top. The seventh chakra is outside the physical body, just above the head. In addition to the seven main chakras, there are also other chakras, the so-called minor chakras. However, these are less well known.
The energy flow in the chakras
When our feelings or habits are not healthy, the chakras begin to close and there is an imbalance in the flow of life energy. This not only affects our physical and mental health, but also the relationship we have with other people and the environment.
When your chakras are open, you feel content and at ease. You sleep well at night and wake up refreshed in the morning. You feel balanced both physically and mentally. Your mind is clear and you have a good energy level throughout the day. You can concentrate well, relax and feel completely comfortable in your skin and your environment. Frequently, however, the chakras are blocked, which can lead to physical, emotional and psychological ailments. Read on, get to know the meaning and characteristics of the seven chakras, and learn how to solve potential blockages.
Meaning and properties of the seven chakras
The root chakra is located at the lower end of the spine, between the pubis and coccyx. Its colour is ruby red and its element is the earth. Fear closes it and trust opens it. Therefore, it is important not to suppress fears, but to be aware of them and not to shy away from expressing them. Because only then can you overcome them and let them go.
The root chakra connects you to the earth. Early childhood trauma often damages the Muladhara and thus impairs the development of basic trust. Problems of the root chakra are often visible in ailments of the foundation and lower half of the body, the feet, legs and the skeleton in general.
The sacral chakra is located a handbreadth below the belly button. In a healthy state, it shines in bright orange. The assigned element is water. It is blocked by feelings of shame and guilt. For the energy to flow in Svadhisthana, it is important to forgive yourself and others.
The second chakra connects you to the people. Interpersonal conflicts, relationship problems and the world of feelings in general are associated with the sacral chakra. It also stands for sexuality, passion and sensuality. Anger, fear of criticism and failure can cause blockages. If the energy flow in the sacral chakra is disturbed, it causes problems in the hip and lower back, the kidney bladder tract as well as the genitals.
The Manipura is two fingers above the belly button, in the area of the solar plexus. Its colour is bright yellow and fire is its element. It is associated with the gastrointestinal tract, bile and liver. It can be blocked by anger, fear of failure and fear of criticism.
The third chakra is the personal power centre, home of self-confidence and personality. It connects you to yourself and your gut feeling. In a balanced state, it ensures a healthy self-esteem, willpower and healthy personal boundaries.
The Anahata is located in the region of the heart. Its colour is bright green and the assigned element is air. It is blocked by hate, emotional pain and grief, because it is in direct contact with the feelings of the heart.
An open heart is capable of love, compassion, and joy. Through rejection, loss and grief the heart chakra closes. Fear of further pain and injury blocks it even more. Cardiovascular problems, lung diseases and ailments of the arms and hands are associated with a disturbed energy flow in the Anahata.
The fifth chakra is in the area of your throat. Its colour is sky blue and its element is the ether. It is blocked by fear of expressing yourself, fear of conflict and rejection.
Physically, it is related to the throat, neck, jaw and thyroid gland. The Vishuddha allows self-expression and communication. When it is open, your creativity flows and you speak your truth, without fear of what others might think about you.
Between the two eyebrows lies the Ajna, also called the third eye. Its colour is violet or indigo blue and it is connected with the intuition as well as the sense of taste. Illusions and the fear of introspection can block it.
The Ajna is the seat of the soul, wisdom and intuition. It is associated with vision and clairvoyance. Problems with the sinuses, eyes and headaches can be a sign of energy blockages in the third eye chakra.
The crown chakra is located just above the head. Its colour is white or gold and violet. It stands for the connection to the cosmos. It can block if you are too attached to the material world and scared the universe will let you down.
The seventh chakra is associated with the pituitary gland and the connection to the Higher Self. Mental disorders as well as problems of the nervous system are due to the blocked energy flow in the crown chakra.
Overview of the seven chakras and their areas
Chakra Colour Area Body parts Blockage
life energy security basic trust relationship to the material world
bones and skeleton,
feet and legs, skin, spleen, adrenal glands
relationships feelings sensuality sexuality joie de vivre
blame and shame
kidneys, spleen, gonads, lower back, hips
sense of identity personal boundaries willpower, self-confidence
anger fear of failure fear of criticism
metabolism, stomach, intestine, bile, spleen, liver, hair and nails, muscles
love empathy joy devotion
lungs, heart, blood pressure, thymus, thoracic spine, arms and hands
emotional painHeart Chakra
neck thyroid, spine
fear fear fear oneself
of of to rejection conflict express
seat of the soul intuition higher consciousness clairvoyance imagination
fear of introspection illusions
head, eyes, indigo
nose, ears, brain, memory, pineal gland
the material world
wisdom connection cosmos
system, immune system
fear of being left alone by the universe
How can you solve blockages in the chakras?
There are several therapeutic methods to solve energy blockages in the chakras. Yoga assists life energy to flow. Certain yoga postures act on the chakras, solve energetic blockages and release physical tension at the same time.
Meditation and breathing exercises are also suitable for balancing the chakras. Focus on the corresponding areas of the body and visualise the colours of the chakras. Furthermore, there are certain gemstones, which have a positive effect on the chakras. If you wear them in the area of the affected chakra or place them on your body in meditation, they can release blockages.
There are many more methods. In general, overcoming any fear, as well as other negative feelings such as shame and anger, should be the goal, while at the same time strengthening trust in life, the earth, and the cosmos so that energy can flow.
As you have seen, the chakras have a great impact on our well-being. The balance between the energy centres increases our life energy. Therefore, it is important that they are open and in balance. Only then can we enjoy the pleasant feeling of physical and mental well-being that we generally call health.