According to yogic, Ayurvedic and Hindu teachings, the body is composed of 7 main chakras – or 7 main energy centres.
Chakras are pools of energy in our bodies, which govern our psychological qualities. These main chakras are contained within the body beginning at the base of the spine and moving out through the top of our heads. The four in the upper body govern our mental properties and the three in the lower body govern our instinctual properties.
Each chakra is characterized by a specific colour and element and reflects a specific aspect of what makes us unique individuals. We can experience issues in our body and with our emotions when we have either a deficient or excessive flow through the chakras. (In some cases you may find instances of both).
The first chakra is our root support – the Muladhara and it resides in the base of the spine. It represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded and gets blocked by fear. The root chakra represents our physical and psychological stability, health and wellness, family and early social environments, interpersonal connections, tribal identity, a sense of belonging, safety and trust in the world.
Its colour is red and its element is earth.
Deficient flow: fear, disembodiment, underweight, anxiety, restlessness, poor focus and discipline, difficulty setting boundaries, financial problems, disorganization.
Excessive flow: overeating, obesity, hoarding, hyper-materialism, greed, laziness, chronic fatigue, fear of change, inflexible boundaries.
In balance: feel secure, grounded, stable, firmly rooted in the physical world.
The second chakra is the Svadhisthana. It’s the sacral chakra and means sweetness or a place of one’s own. It resides in our lower abdominal region. It represents our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences – it gets blocked by guilt. The sacral chakra represents movement and fluidity, beauty, pleasure, desire, creative and vast expressions within our sexuality.
Its colour is orange and its element is water.
Deficient flow: diminished libido, fear of sex, antisocial behaviour, repression of pleasure or desire, lack of creativity, lacklustre zeal for life.
Excessive flow: inappropriate sexual behaviour, pleasure addiction, inappropriately strong emotions, hypersensitivity, poor boundaries, emotional dependency, obsessive attachment.
In balance: emotional intelligence, ability to experience pleasure, creative flow, the ability to navigate seductive forces in the physical world that can include sex, money, drugs, alcohol without negotiating our sense of self or well-being.
The third chakra is the Manipura – the solar plexus chakra. It means lustrous gem. It represents our ability to be confident and in control of our lives and is blocked by shame. It represents our individuation and personal power and autonomy, this the seat of our self-confidence and our ego and attachments to the physical world.
Its colour is yellow and the element is fire.
Deficient flow: low energy, poor self-discipline and follow-through, low self-esteem, sluggish digestion, poor posture, victim mentality, blame, passivity and unreliability.
Excessive flow: overly aggressive and dominating, controlling and manipulative, extreme type-A tendencies, deceitfulness, high temper, violent, stubborn, overly ambitious, competitive, arrogant, hyperactive.
In balance: Motivated by a healthy ego, confident, empowered, take action, reliable, appropriate boundaries.
The fourth chakra is the Anahata or the heart chakra. It means unstruck. This is our ability to love and is blocked by grief. Our heart chakra represents our connection to the world and those around us through love, compassion and devotion.
Its colour is green and its element is air.
Deficient flow: anti-social tendencies, withdrawal, coldness, hyper-criticism, intolerance for self and others, loneliness, depression, fear of intimacy and relationship, lack of empathy, narcissism.
Excessive flow: codependency, poor boundaries a demanding nature, clinginess, jealousy, martyrdom.
In balance: available to the inevitable ebb and flow of life with acceptance, can explore the depths of our emotional well-being with compassion, are present to the experience of others with empathy, understanding and forgiveness.
The fifth chakra is the Visuddhi or throat chakra. It means purification. It represents our ability to communicate authentically and is blocked by lies. Our self-expression and co-creation with the universe is dependent on the words we use and the ideas they convey. Our authenticity is expressed when our thoughts are congruent with the heart centre.
Its element is sound and its colour is blue.
Deficient flow: fear of speaking, small and weak voice, difficulty communicating emotions, diminished self-expression, introversion, shyness, tone deafness, poor rhythm.
Excessive flow: talkative, talking as a defence, inability to listen, poor auditory understanding, gossiping, lying, interrupting, dominating voice.
In balance: words and actions match, fluid communication which is honest, empowered and thoughtful.
The sixth chakra is the Ajna or third eye chakra. It means to perceive or command. It represents our ability to see the whole picture and is blocked by the illusion of separation. This chakra is where we develop thoughts, ideas, intuitive knowing, vision and insight.
This chakra’s colour is indigo and its element is light.
Deficient flow: insensitivity, weak vision, poor memory, difficulty seeing the future, lack of imagination, difficulty remembering dreams, dogmatic or rigid thinking.
Excessive flow: fantastical thinking, excessive daydreaming, hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, difficulty concentrating, nightmares.
In balance: “see” beyond reason, become more intuitive, think symbolically, let go of literal perception, spiritual framework, trust our internal knowing and follow its guidance.
The seventh chakra is The Sahasrara or crown chakra and resides at the top of our head. Its means thousandfold. It represents our ability to be connected to our spirituality and is blocked by earthly attachment. This chakra represents our access point to the 8th chakra (prana or God), awakening to grace, transcending ego, attachments and the shadow self. True bliss resides here.
Its colour is violet and its element is thought or consciousness.
Deficient flow: spiritual cynicism, difficulty learning and grasping information, inability to be open to other belief systems, judgemental thinking, spiritual apathy.
Excessive flow: confusion or intellectualization, spiritual addition, religious fanaticism, disassociation from your body, spiritual narcissism.
In balance: wise, open-minded, spiritual connection and can experience ourselves, each other, the planet and God as one.