Meaning and Medicine of the Seven Chakras

Meaning and Medicine of the Seven Chakras

In the wisdom traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda, ancient Indian holistic systems developed for the maintenance of spiritual and physical health, the concept of the seven chakras plays a central role.

Chakra literally translates to "wheel" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. The name reflects the form of these centers; where energy is said to move in a vortex. These seven points, arranged along the center of the spine, are energy centers where the physical, psychological and spiritual bodies intersect; highly potent places governing all aspects of our physical, mental and spiritual well being.

Understanding the chakras; how to identify imbalance and create the necessary conditions for alignment is a powerful tool in the journey of health and Self realization through the integration of all aspects of our being.

The Seven Chakras: A Spectrum of Energy

In order to connect with the concept of the chakras; we can visualize a vibrant rainbow flowing from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each color represents a chakra, with a unique location, function, and physical/psychological and spiritual influence. Let's delve into each chakra, exploring its essence and how it can impact your life.

Muladhara (Root Chakra): 

Located at the base of the spine in connection with the sacral plexus, the root chakra is the foundation of our being. ‘Mula’ means root and ‘Dhara’ means to hold, in Sanskrit; so that which holds the root. The root chakra has a red color and is predominant in the Earth element. It governs our survival instinct, sense of security, stability, and groundedness. When balanced, we feel rooted and confident and the reproductive system functions well. Imbalances can manifest as feelings of ungroundedness, fear and insecurity.

Svadhisthana (Sacral Chakra):

Residing below the navel in connection with the pelvic nerve plexus, Svadhisthana chakra is the center of our creativity, sensuality, and emotional well-being. “Sva” means self and “adisthana” is established; where the being is established. The color orange and the water element are predominant here. A balanced sacral chakra allows us to have healthy self esteem, embrace our desires and create. Blockages can manifest as difficulty with intimacy, low creativity, or emotional repression with associated genitourinary and adrenal concerns.

Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra):

Located in the upper abdomen, the solar plexus chakra is the seat of our willpower, confidence, and personal power. Manipura translated to “city of gems” and this chakra is associated with a golden yellow color and the fire element. A balanced Manipura allows us to have a healthy dose of ambition, take action and pursue our goals with determination. Imbalances can show as anger, hatred, indecisiveness, or difficulty setting boundaries.

Anahata (Heart Chakra): 

Situated in the center of the chest at the cardiac plexus, the heart chakra is the wellspring of love, compassion, and forgiveness. The heart chakra has the color green and is associated with the air element. “Anahata” means unstruck in Sanskrit, alluding to the celestial sound Om that permeates all existence and unites us all in origin. When balanced, we experience feelings of love and connection towards ourselves and others. Blockages can manifest as difficulty with forgiveness, holding onto resentment and problems with immunity.

Vishuddha (Throat Chakra): 

Located in the throat, the Vishuddha chakra is the center of communication, self-expression, and truth. Vishuddha means purity, it has a blue color and is associated with the space element. A balanced Vishuddha allows us to express ourselves clearly and authentically. Misalignment of the throat chakra can show up as difficulty speaking our truth, shyness, or feeling unheard as well as thyroid imbalances.

Ajna (Third Eye Chakra): 

Located between the eyebrows, the third eye chakra is the center of intuition, wisdom, and imagination. Ajna means order and its color is indigo. A balanced Ajna allows us to see beyond the physical and tap into our inner knowing. Imbalances can manifest as difficulty trusting our intuition, lack of focus, not wanting to see the reality as well as hormonal imbalances related to the pituitary gland. Ajna chakra is beyond the five elements; it is associated with consciousness itself.

Sahasrara (Crown Chakra): 

Located at the crown of the head, the Sahasrara chakra is the center of spirituality and connection to the divine. Sahasrara is described as a violet colored thousand petalled lotus. A balanced Sahasrara allows us to feel a sense of oneness with the universe and it is, like Ajna, beyond the elements and associated with bliss. Imbalances can manifest as feeling disconnected from something greater than ourselves or a lack of purpose, hormonal imbalances associated with the pineal gland as well as various mental health issues like depression. 

Balancing Your Chakras for a Vibrant Life

The beauty of the chakra system is that it offers a framework for self-exploration and healing. By understanding which chakra might be imbalanced, we can explore practices to bring it back into harmony. Here are some ways to support your chakras:

  • Yoga: Specific yoga postures can stimulate and balance the chakras.
  • Meditation: Meditation helps quiet the mind and reconnect with your inner energy.
  • Ayurvedic Practices: Herbs, diet, and lifestyle modifications can be suggested by an Ayurvedic practitioner.
  • Crystals and color therapy: Certain crystals and colored lights are believed to resonate with specific chakras.

A Final Note

The chakra system is a vast and intricate concept. This beginner's guide is intended to provide a springboard for your continued exploration. If you're interested in learning more about how to balance your chakras and achieve optimal well-being, join our Living Wisdom Membership before April 15th to participate in a five day immersion on the chakras lead by Mitesh Raichada, CAP.

Click here to learn more about Living Wisdom


By Beatrice Voss, CAP, RYT 200

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