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What's a Chakra? A Guide For Beginners

I’m often asked, “What is a chakra?” and what do they mean or do anyway? In this blog, we’re discussing these spinning vortices of energy. I'm giving you an overview of the seven chakras and how they can be detected in the body. Finally, we’ll look at the common imbalances and reasons chakras get blocked.

What Are Chakras?

The Chakras are often depicted as lotus flowers or spirals of energy. The word Chakra originates from the Sanskrit word “wheel”, and the concept of these energy centers is featured in yogic traditions dating back to the Hindu Vedas in 1500 BC. These holy scriptures go into detail about the life-influencing energy centers that are relative not to the physical body, but instead are an expression of our consciousness much in the same way our aura reflects the condition of our consciousness.

There is no consensus on the total number of chakras that we have in or around our bodies. Some Buddhist traditions believe there are as many as 340,000! Almost everyone intimately involved in this spiritual practice agrees there are seven main chakras. They start at the base of the spine and continue up the torso and into the top of the head.

Each of the seven chakras is linked to a plexus or endocrine gland and

has its own color, correspondence, and functions.

The Root Chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is red and located at the base of the spine. It is masculine in nature and associated with the adrenal glands. Primary characteristics include survival, security, stability, and the ability to meet your basic needs.

The Sacral Chakra, or Svadhisthana, is orange and located below the navel. It is feminine in nature and associated with the reproduction glands. Primary characteristics include sexuality, creativity, reproduction, emotionality, and adaptability.

The Solar Plexus, or Manipura, is yellow and located below the breast bone. It is masculine in nature and associated with the pancreas. Primary characteristics include personal power, confidence, and mental agility.

The Heart Chakra, or Anahata, is green and located where? You guessed it, at the heart level. It has feminine qualities and is associated with the thymus gland. Primary characteristics include loving yourself and others, compassion, kindness, and a sense of peace.

The Throat Chakra, or Vishuddha, is blue and is located in the throat center. The throat chakra carries masculine qualities and is associated with the thyroid. Primary characteristics include standing for and speaking your truths, expressing yourself creatively, and maintaining integrity in all areas of living.

The Third Eye, or Ajna, is indigo in color and located at the brow, between the eyes. Feminine in nature, and associated with the pineal gland, the primary characteristics of the brow chakra include wisdom, imagination, vision, perception, and intuition.

The Crown Chakra, or Sahasrara, is violet or white, located just above the crown of the head, and is associated with the pituitary gland. Since this is not a “bodily” chakra, it is unified, rather than associated with feminine or masculine aspects. The primary characteristic of the crown chakra is a connection to the divine or universal life force.

There are other minor chakras, including the ears (associated with clairaudience). The Seat of the Soul (also known as the 8th chakra) holds information about karma and past (or linear) lives. Reiki healers are very familiar with the chakras in their hands. There are thousands more chakras from various cultural traditions if you’re interested in studying more! I find that working with the seven main chakras is effective, and trying to give you information about the hundreds or thousands of other chakras could confuse things in an already broad subject.

How Can I Find My Chakras?

Chakras are the openings through which life energy flows in and out of our aura, powering our physical, mental and emotional health, and while we can’t cut someone open and find a chakra, we can detect them. I check chakras before and after Reiki treatments with my pendulum.

Chakras can also be perceived as a long funnel. The small end of the funnel is attached to the nerves or glands, and the wide end of the funnel reaches just outside of the body. Blockages or abnormalities can be detected with a pendulum held slightly above the body at each point. Check out this video I created about working with the chakras with pendulums.*

Ancient teachings say the directional flow of energy differs between men and women. Like interlocking gears rotating clockwise and counterclockwise, energy flows through the chakras from the root to the crown.

For women, the root chakra spins clockwise, and for men, it spins counterclockwise. Through the years of my practice and working with transgender and gender-fluid clients we discovered that whatever gender you associate with will be depicted in your energy flow. This means if you're born a biological male, and identify as feminine, your energy will flow in feminine nature when in balance!

Our flow can be disrupted, causing some chakras to spin at irregular speeds, stop spinning completely, or even spin in the opposite direction when overactive.

We know the adage “Where Attention Goes Energy Flows.” It can also be said, “Where Energy Doesn’t Flow, Sickness Goes.” Blockages lead to dis-ease in the body, and without attention will lead to disease. Here are blockages commonly associated with each of the seven chakras.

The Root Chakra that deals with Survival is blocked by fear. It can manifest as scattered energy, anxiety, fear for safety or life, and suicidal ideology.

The Sacral Chakra that deals with Pleasure is blocked by guilt. It can manifest as a loss of creativity, withheld intimacy, sexual dysfunction, and emotional isolation.

The Solar Plexus Chakra that deals with Willpower is blocked by shame. It can manifest as low self-esteem, control issues, manipulative tendencies, and misuse of power.

The Heart Chakra that deals with Love is blocked by grief. It can manifest as depression, relationship issues, and the inability to control yourself.

The Throat Chakra that deals with Truth is blocked by lies. It can manifest in the personality as shyness or arrogance. It can also lead you to withdraw from life and increase anxiety.

The Third Eye Chakra that deals with Insight is blocked by illusion. It can manifest as a lack of clarity and insight. It can also cause headaches.

The Crown Chakra deals with pure Cosmic Energy and is blocked by earthly attachments. It can manifest as a disregard for the sacred and a lack of spiritual connection and can show up in the form of cynicism.

The Chakra Lesson

Our chakras work together holistically to provide health in the mind, body, and soul. An imbalance that is let go can lead to issues, and eventually disease, but with mindfulness, we can find our way back into a healthy flow.


*This video does require an update that I will be putting out soon that goes into the topic of the influence of intent!

See Also

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