This post was first published on 9/23/2021 and was last updated on 6/28/2022
Becoming more aware of our relationship with the universe and others can help balance our minds and achieve mindfulness that otherwise would be out of reach. Learning more about the seven chakras and how to open them is one of many ways to become more mindful.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheels” this word refers to the wheels of energy flowing throughout our bodies and everything surrounding us. Understanding the relationships between us and the world around us can help create a sense of peace. You can live a more balanced life by living in the moment.
So, what do chakras do? What are the seven chakras? Why should I care? Well, I’m going to give you the lowdown on these incredible questions you’re asking! Starting with:
Why Should I Care About My Chakras?
If you don’t already meditate or practice some sort of mindfulness, you should. In all ways that it’s good to get eight hours of sleep, eat balanced meals, and find time to exercise, practicing mindfulness is just as healthy.
Chakras relate to our emotions, the way our bodies feel, and the universe around us. They are an ancient practice of mindfulness that can change your life. Understanding what they represent in our lives can help you (YES, YOU READING THIS) understand more about yourself.
You can find the answers to questions you might not even have known you were asking. Meditating and learning to open your chakras can help you understand your own purpose in life. If you have felt exiled and lonely, opening your chakras can help you feel more connected to everything. Deep down, we are all made out of the same atoms of the universe, we are all connected on some basic level.
Before I go over each chakra and all of its juicy little details, we’ll cover a basic understanding of what they are and how they work in our bodies. So, put on your seatbelts, and let’s head on down to Chakra town.
This sculpture above is of the Hindu God Vishnu and his consorts, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Vishnu is the protector of the universe and he keeps the balance between good and evil. I saw this statue in London, where I took this photo in 2018. The Met has more information on this sculpture.
Chakra Town: What are the Seven Chakras?
As mentioned earlier, chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel”. The idea is that these “wheels” (sometimes referred to as disks) are spiritual energy in our bodies that have relationships to the energy of the world around us. While there are many pools of energy in our bodies (114 total), there are seven main ones that connect us to the universe.
Until about the 1:30 mark in the video below, this clip explains how chakras work with each other in our bodies. The rest of the video shares interesting ideas on the emotions connected to each chakra. Although this may be true, there is an overall consensus on chakras that differs from the video below. I will be sharing details corresponding to the overall consensus. (It never hurts to get multiple perspectives!)
An important detail to note is that opening the charkas is not as high stakes as it is in this clip. So keep in mind, this is an act that will provide calamity, not stress.
As the video shows, chakras are meant to be flowing. They are within every person and connect us to each other, to the world, and further our understanding and relationship to the universe. The whole idea of them is to separate ourselves from our personable issues or materials and be aware of the bigger picture we are all a part of, no matter any differences we may have. Being more aware and mindful of chakras and how to get yours flowing is going to enhance your life, compassion, stress, and the way you make choices.
What Power Do the Chakras Have?
Some believe opening chakras can enhance your personal life in different manners, depending on which chakra(s) are blocked. Some believe the point of opening chakras is to separate yourself from worldly desires and connect to the cosmos. Unblocking your chakras is like exploring what our place in the universe is. No matter what you believe, understand that opening your chakras will create a healthier relationship between you and your mind as well as the way you connect with other people.
What are the Seven Chakras?
Well, I am just so darn glad you asked!
The seven chakras each have corresponding colors, symbols, and locations. In their own way, they represent different elements in nature. (Some of this is mentioned briefly in the video.) Many of the chakras are referred to like body parts rather than the original name, this helps to make locating the chakras easier, but this also supports the idea that chakras are tied to our bodies when in reality they are tied to the essence of life, not the physical aspect of bodies.
1. Muladhara (Root/ Base) Chakra
This is the first of the seven main chakras. It’s called the Muladhara (pronounced moo-la-daa-ra) chakra but some call it the Root chakra. Some say Mula means “root” and Dhara means “base” or “support” I have read that Muladhara may also mean “essence of life”. The natural element of this chakra is earth.
Its symbol is represented by a four-petal lotus flower which is shown to the right. It is symbolized by a bright red color. The location of the Muladhara is at the base of our spines, near our coccyx.
This chakra is the first instinct of all people, our natural animal instincts. It’s the home of survival and the fight, flight, or freeze responses. These instincts are our unconscious urges and egos. Some say it’s the karma of our lives and all our past lives. The actions we have made and will make are remembered and they determine our future paths for us.
Our root chakra is our foundation to balance. This is the basis of our identity, our feelings of stability, and our ability to stay grounded.
2. Svadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra
Svadhisthana (pronounced sva-dis-tana) means “where your being is established”. It’s also referred to as “the seat of the self” or “the seat of the soul”. More specifically, Sva means “self” and Adhisthana means “seat” or “residence”. This chakra is related to the natural element of water.
The symbol of this chakra is a six-petal lotus flower. Inside the flower is a crescent moon meant to symbolize its element of water. The color representation is orange. The Svadhistana is located in the lower abdomen a little bit below the belly button.
Here lies the essence of our creativity, sexuality, pleasure, and self-worth. When balanced, one should be able to acknowledge feelings with acceptance and let them flow away. Emotions are fleeting and judgments are unhelpful. Being aware of these statements alone can save many people stress and pain.
Some believe this chakra is also the home of purification, activity, joy, and hope. It’s meant to be the gateway to our personal destinies. This would relate to our life’s goals and desires and the path to self-realization. In this chakra, we may take the instincts from the unconscious and further them into creativity and conscious choices.
3. Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
Manipura (pronounces man-ee-poo-rah) is also referred to as the Solar Plexus chakra. Mani means “pearl” or “jewel” and Pura means “place”. Some say that Manipura means “a lustrous gem”. The natural element of this chakra is fire.
The symbol of this chakra is a ten-petal flower with a triangle that is typically red in the center of the flower. This triangle symbolizes fire and the yellow flower is the color of the Manipura chakra. This is located in the upper abdomen area near the navel.
Ultimately this chakra is a gateway to self-awareness and self-confidence. These qualities are the Mani’s (jewels) in our abdomen, waiting for our trust and intuition to bring them to light. Rage and aggression also stem from this chakra. The positive side of opening this chakra is that it gains insight into power, individuality, and identity.
Because this chakra is located in the stomach, people believe the food we put into our stomachs affects the purity of this chakra. Hence, our food affects the energies and vibrations to the cosmic ties of this chakra.
4. Anahata (Heart) Chakra
The Anahata (pronounced ann-ah-ha-ta) is also known as the Heart chakra. Anahata has been translated to mean “unstuck”, “unbeaten” “continuous” and “infinite”. All of these translations relate to this chakras main theme; love. The element of this chakra is air.
The symbol for this chakra is a twelve-petal flower with two interlocking triangles in the center. The color of the Anahata is green. When thinking of the heart, the color red comes to mind, however, because the love represented by this chakra is natural and peaceful, green is the most suitable color. Unsurprisingly, the Anahata chakra is located in the heart.
This chakra is meant to present divine love. Love that contains divinity is truly unconditional. It contains peace, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and purity. This love is non-possessive and in all ways healthy.
Truly, love is a natural feeling to give away in endless quantities. But feelings of resentment or hatred block us from divine love. So, when this chakra is open, we can give love endlessly and we feel the divine love surrounding us. This chakra is also related to feelings of serenity and calmness.
5. Vishuddhi (Throat) Chakra
Vishuddhi (pronounced Vish-uhd-high), sometimes spelled Vishuddha, is also referred to as the Throat chakra. Visha is known to mean “impurity” or “poison” and Shuddhi means “purification”. In other words, Vishuddhi means “purifying the body of poison”. The element of this is ether.
This chakra is symbolized by a sixteen-petal lotus flower. The center of the flower contains a triangle and a small circle inside of the triangle. The color associated with this chakra is bright light blue. This is due to blue being the color of the truth. The location of the Vishuddhi chakra can be found around the throat.
It represents communication, growth, inspiration, and expression. When we deny our true selves, we cause poison within ourselves. The way we can purify the poison in ourselves is to become our truest form. For this reason, we must acknowledge and accept sexuality, feelings, thoughts, opinions, and dreams.
We must learn to purify this poison in ourselves so as to not hurt others or ourselves. We cannot fully purify this chakra unless we understand what created the poison. Only then can we understand what the correct antidote is and begin the path of clarity and cleansing truth.
6. Agya (Third-Eye/ Eyebrow) Chakra
Agya (pronounced ah-gee-yuh), also spelled Ajna, is said to mean “command”, “wisdom”, and “knowledge”. Sometimes Agya is interpreted to mean “seat of the master”. The chakra is also referred to as the Third-Eye chakra because of its relationship with the mind. Correspondingly, the element of this chakra is the mind.
The color of this chakra is dark indigo blue. The symbol is a two-petal lotus flower with a triangle in the center. The symbol can be a representation of this chakra’s location being between the two eyes. For instance, the two petals on opposite sides are the eyes, and the center triangle is the chakra that lies between them.
This chakra brings harmony and balance to the troubles between the body and mind. This third eye is meant to open our view to that of the divine. Distance or blockages from this divine view causing doubt and ignorance. With the aid of this chakra, we recognize complete clarity of thought and relation to the universe.
Our relationship with our mind is often based on teachings and experiences. These are what make our choices for us. However, lessons and experiences are often biased and so with time and clarity, only then can we understand the divine thought.
7. Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra
The Sahasrara ( Sa-has-raaa-rah) chakra is also referred to as the Crown Chakra. It means ‘the door to god’ and is interpreted as ‘the source of light’. It’s believed to have a supernatural light that possesses the full power of divinity. It is comparable to the power of the sun because nothing is so bright as the sun. The natural element of this chakra is thought.
The symbol is a 1,000-petal lotus flower. Inside the lotus flower, there is sometimes the bija mantra, which is a representation of the mantra “OM”. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the symbol is sacred because it represents the supreme power of sound and the creation of the universe. The color of this chakra is violet and the bodily location is at the top of the head.
This chakra is representational of the original foundation of the universe. The chakras that come before this one flow into the chakra immediately following them, until they all combine into this final chakra that connects them all to the cosmic divine. Similarly, separate rivers combine until eventually, one final river connects all of them to the vast ocean.
The chakra represents the goal of ultimate self-realization. When we chase self-fulfillment it is because of this chakra guiding us whether we are conscious or unconscious of its power. The purpose of this chakra is to connect every individual soul to endless cosmic energies. This is where a soul becomes its divine self.
All of the chakra symbols came from this artist: https://pixabay.com/users/peter-lomas-5966639/
How Do I Open All Seven Chakras?
There are so many ways to open your chakras. For example, you can:
- Surround yourself with the colors of the chakras
- Eat foods that are the colors of the chakras
- Practice meditation (here’s one guided link & here’s a shorter one)
- Repeat mantras (here’s a video & an article)
- Practice yoga (here’s a great video)
Each chakra represents different essences of life. These essences are what make us individuals but show that every person is made of the same energies. The final chakra is that which connects us to the divinity in every soul, whether or not that connection is actually fulfilled is up to the deeds and actions of that soul. Understanding your chakras, what is blocking them, and meditating on these thoughts will only help you understand yourself and your relationship to the world. Doing this will only better yourself, and more than likely, you will be able to be more insightful for those close to you as well.