When it comes to feeling a better sense of spiritual and emotional energy, we often speak of working to unblock our chakras. What does this mean?
The word chakra comes from Sanskrit cakra, meaning “wheel”; these are the convergence points for channels of subtle energy (called nadis, which is Sanskrit for “channel”), and they move energy throughout the body. As we unblock them through self-exploration and activities like meditation and yoga, we can improve the flow of energy through our nadis.
It’s important to learn the location of each of the seven Chakras and what they do for the subtle energy flowing through our bodies. It can improve the exercises we do to open our chakras and understand what’s inhibiting the healthy flow of energy!
The Muladhara, or Root Chakra
The Root Chakra sits at the base of the spine around your tailbone, which is very fitting: it gives us the feeling of being grounded. This chakra controls how we handle parts of our life that relate to our most primal needs: food, sleep, sex, and security. When the Muladhara (meaning “root support”) is open, we feel assured and can better withstand any challenges to what’s important to our well-being.
Depiction: Four-petaled lotus
The Svadhisthana, or Sacral Chakra
The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra, and it is located at the pelvis. It is associated with adaptability, well-being, sexual energy, and the unconscious. Svadhisthana means “her own abode,” and when it is open, we feel more control over our lives and less governed by our emotions and desires.
Depiction: Six-petaled lotus
The Manipura, or Solar Plexus Chakra
Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach when feeling shame, doubt, or when in an uncomfortable position? That is a sign your Solar Plexus Chakra is blocked! The Manipura (meaning “city of jewels”) is at the navel, and it controls our feelings of confidence and self-worth. When it’s open and strong, many feel the confidence needed to understand, get rid of, and let go that which doesn’t serve our true self.
Depiction: Downward or upward-facing triangle
The Anahata, or Heart Chakra
Anahata means “unstuck,” and this chakra is said to be the home of that part of our spirit that is unstuck from the physical: the higher, indestructible self that is associated with emotions such as love, peace, and openness. A healthy Heart Chakra helps us tap into unconditional love – both in giving and receiving it!
Depiction: Six-pointed star surrounded by 12 lotus petals
The Vishudda, or Throat Chakra
The throat chakra gives a voice to the Heart Chakra, controlling our ability to communicate the power within us. The energetic purpose of this chakra is to help us find a vocalize real, true self-expression. Vishuddha means “purify,” which makes sense: when it is open, we can truly, clearly communicate what’s inside!
Colour: Light blue or turquoise
Depiction: Blue downward-facing triangle inside a 16-petaled lotus
Element: Sound or music
The Ajna, or Third-Eye Chakra
Located between the eyebrows, the Third-Eye Chakra is the seat of the mind. It controls imagination, vision, inner knowledge, and even prophecy, and an open Third Eye helps us better understand our spiritual and emotional selves. When the Ajna is open, visions and higher intuition are not uncommon experiences.
Depiction: Clear lotus with two white petals
Element: Light, though it’s considered to be beyond the physical elements entirely!
The Sahasrara, or Crown Chakra
The final and highest chakra, the Sahasrara (“thousand-petaled lotus”), is the doorway into pure consciousness. It’s how we connect with the “divine,” and if it is strong, we feel better about our higher selves. It can also give us a greater sense of enlightenment and mastery over the self. Fully opening it is a long journey, but if you can attain it, you can access the higher consciousness!
Depiction: Thousand-petaled lotus
Element: Divine Consciousness, though like the Ajna, is considered beyond the physical.