What is a chakra?

A chakra is a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy. The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bio-energetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column. There are seven of these wheels stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the top of the head. There are also minor chakras in the hands, feet, fingertips, and shoulders. Literally, any vortex of activity could be called a chakra. It is the seven major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness.

In other words, chakra are energy centers in the body located at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning with the base of the spinal column and moving upward. Chakras are considered to be a touch point or nexus of metaphysical and/or biophysical energy of the human body.

Chakra are explained in different ways, depending on who is doing the explaining. In Chinese medicine, they are often explained in relation to acupuncture points. In some Eastern thought, chakras are considered to be gradations of consciousness and reflect states of the soul–these systems rely less on proof than on experience (under the assumption that ‘proving’ the existence of chakras is asking to ‘prove’ the existence of the thought process). A mystic may deal with chakra as a model for their internal and external experience, and when talking about ‘energy centers’, may be talking about subtle electromagnetic forces which connect to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a person.

The Chakra System

Base – 1st Chakra

  • Location: base of the spine
  • Colour: red
  • Physical governance: skeletal structure, lower body
  • Spiritual governance: physical survival; ambition; security

Navel – 2nd Chakra

  • Location: just below the navel
  • Colour: orange
  • Physical governance: bladder, circulation
  • Spiritual governance: sexuality; creativity; feelings; emotions; pleasure

Solar Plexus – 3rd Chakra

  • Location: just below rib cage
  • Colour: yellow
  • Physical governance: adrenal glands, stomach
  • Spiritual governance: identity; self-confidence; personal power; desires and wishes

Heart – 4th Chakra

  • Location: centre of the chest
  • Colour: green
  • Physical governance: immune system, lungs
  • Spiritual governance: relationships, compassion; personal development

Throat – 5th Chakra

  • Location: at the throat
  • Colour: bue / turquoise
  • Physical governance: lymphatic, immune and neurological systems
  • Spiritual governance: self-expression; communication; trust

Third Eye – 6th Chakra

  • Location: at the centre of the brow
  • Colour: indigo
  • Physical governance: pituitary gland, central nervous system
  • Spiritual governance: understanding; perception; intuition; spiritual knowing; psychic abilities

Crown – 7th Chakra

  • Location: top of the head
  • Colour: violet, also magenta
  • Physical governance: pineal gland, ancient mammalian gland
  • Spiritual governance: openness; connection to higher energies and spiritual realms; self-realisation

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