A Simple Guide to Chakras

You've probably seen necklaces that have different coloured gems through the central line of a seated silhouetted figure. Or simple bracelets of all different colours with little silver icons at the centre. These colours and icons represent the chakras.

Chakras originated in India between 1500 and 500BC. Chakra (pronounced chuck-ra) is a Sanskrit word that translates to wheel. They represent the energy centres at specific points of the human body that govern the energy flow through our system. There are 7 main chakras that you may recognise, but in total there are 114 that symbolise key points within the body.

Chakras can be considered points where the flow of energy or 'prana' can get trapped. This kind of trapped energy can cause disruption in the body, from a general sense of unrest to pain or discomfort, dependent on the chakra.

Many practices are done with the aim of creating a healthy and balanced flow, for example Reiki, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga. These aim to use the movements of the body in line with the breath to create positive energy flow.

There are more than just the seven chakras we see most often, there are hundred of chakras (or energy points) within the body. However, in yoga these seven are the most central to the practice. Each of these chakras relates to specific organs and glands, which tie closely to how we feel. This can be mentally, emotionally and spiritually, not just physically within our bodies.

Here's a brief run through of the seven chakras:

The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

Located at the top of the head. Just as the Root or First Chakra connects us to the Mother Earth, the Crown Chakra is our connection to the Universe. It i symbolised by the colour purple and controls the energy flow between the six chakras below it.


The Third Eye Chakra (Anja)

Sits at the very top of the spine and is our centre of intuition. It symbolises awareness of the world around us and our own body, mind and spirit. It is the colour indigo, and is associated with our sense of thought, our ability to rationalise, use logic and conduct an analysis to reach reasonable conclusions.


The Throat Chakra (Vishuddhi) 

Sits at the part of the spine behind the pit of the throat and relates directly to our centre of communication. It is represented by the colour blue, and is associated with our abilities to listen, empathise and communicate with others.


The Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Located directly behind the heart centre and is tied, unsurprisingly, to relationships and compassion. This chakra is denoted by the colour green, and controls our strongest emotions, including joy, elation and love but also negative ones such as jealousy, envy and anger.


The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)

Located behind the navel and is our 'fire' or 'power' centre. It controls our willpower, determination and confidence. The vibrant yellow of this chakra speaks to creativity, personality, intellect, and ego. It also empowers you not be distracted from your intended path.


The Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana)

Located at the sacrum or tailbone, and is our emotional centre relating closely to desires and attachments. It is represented by the colour orange, which tends to impact our ability to be happy and joyful, compassionate, creative and passionate.


The Root Chakra (Mooladhara)

Located just below the tailbone and relates to our connection with the physical and material aspects of life such as relation to work, home and the body. It influences our passion, creativity, youthfulness, vitality and most importantly, our basic survival instincts. It is represented by the colour red, which is also an indication for the need of logic, realistic thinking and order in our lives.