You have probably heard the term ‘chakra’ many times before. People often talk about ‘unblocking’ or ‘clearing’ them. But have you ever wondered what the chakras actually are? In this ultimate beginner’s guide to the chakras, we will not only define exactly what they are, but also how they relate to your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Additionally, we will discuss how to balance chakras for wellbeing and peace, what you can expect to feel when each chakra is clear.
Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel.’ Spiritual philosophy states that the human body has 114 chakras, connected by a network of 72,000 nadis. The nadis serve as the pathways through which our prana (life-force energy) travels around the body. The chakras are the centers of purification and distribution of prana and consciousness. When these energy vortices are blocked, the prana cannot circulate throughout the body effectively, resulting in dis-ease and disharmony in the body, mind, and emotional state, and often a feeling of being spiritually disconnected.
In this beginner’s guide to the chakras, we will be focusing on the seven main energy centers; Muladhara (root or base), Svadhisthana (sacral), Manipura (solar plexus), Anahata (heart), Vishuddha (throat), Ajna (third eye or brow), and Sahasrara (crown).
The seven main chakras run in a vertical line up the body, from the base of the spine (Muladhara) to the crown of the head (Sahasrara). The chakras spin at different speeds in ascending order. Muladhara is slowest and Sahasrara fastest. Because each chakra spins at a different rate, each has its own vibrational frequency.
When the frequency of the chakra is not resonating correctly, we say that the chakra is out of balance. This imbalance manifests as physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms unique to each chakra. The vibrational frequency of the chakras can be affected by specific colors, sounds, crystals, foods, and mantras – all excellent ways to help balance chakras and restore harmony in the body. In this beginner’s guide to the chakras, you will learn more about how to bring your energy centers back into harmony.
Physical and Emotional Health
When each chakra is clear, they draw etheric, astral, and higher vibration energy into the body and translate it into the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of hormone-producing glands that govern many different aspects of bodily function, including growth, development, energy, digestion, reproduction, detoxification, metabolism, healing, and mood.
Each chakra is associated with a particular gland or glands of the endocrine system. This association explains why an imbalance or blockage in a specific chakra can manifest as physical and emotional symptoms. When we balance chakras so that they enable energy to flow freely, we allow the endocrine system to function optimally too.
As this is a beginner’s guide to the chakras, let’s examine each chakra individually:
The first chakra in our beginner’s guide to the chakras is Muladhara. Also known as the root or base, this is the foundation of the entire chakra system. It has the slowest vibrational frequency.
Location: Base of the spine
Power word: Survival
Physical associations: Adrenals, bones, teeth, nails, large intestine, and rectum
Muladhara relates to our basic needs and primal instincts, such as security and the fundamental elements needed to survive, e.g., financial stability, shelter, food, and warmth. Muladhara relates to our sense of belonging and our roots in social and family groups. Muladhara also facilitates our connection with Mother Earth and nature, providing stability and grounding energy that is essential in our often turbulent lives.
When this chakra is functioning correctly, we feel grounded, connected to nature, secure in our social and family circles, and confident in our ability to withstand the challenges of life. When it is out of balance, we may feel insecure, lonely, and like we are walking on unstable terrain.
As we rise from solid, secure Muladhara and enter Svadhisthana, we experience fluidity and change. As individuals, we move from the self-preservation of Muladhara to an intimate awareness of others.
Location: Lower abdomen, approximately 2 inches below the navel
Power word: Pleasure
Physical associations: The reproductive system, the bladder, kidneys, and lymphatic system
Svadhisthana provokes a need to unite with others and overcome our perceived separateness. It is the root of emotional security, pleasure, sexuality, creativity, control, and self-respect. As it is associated with the reproductive system and creativity, it governs our primal desire to create – whether that be the formulation of new projects and ideas, or the creation of life itself. It is also the driver for our sensual connection with the world – allowing us to receive pleasure through the senses of taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight.
When this chakra is clear, we can flow freely through life and are connected to our emotions, of unity with others. We are bursting with new ideas, and a desire to birth new creative projects into the world. When it is blocked, we experience emotional detachment, a lack of control, apathy, and loss of libido.
In Svadhisthana, we were developing relationships with others. As we move to Manipura, we develop a relationship with the self. The solar plexus chakra is the seat of our personal power and sense of self-worth.
Location: Upper abdomen, approximately two inches above the navel
Power word: Empowerment
Physical associations: Pancreas, stomach, liver, gallbladder, spleen and small intestine
The Manipura chakra is the source of our ambition, willpower, and personal development. It is easy to become wrapped up in the demands of other people and what they expect of us. We can lose sight of who we really are. A strong Manipura helps us to balance our inner needs with the external demands of others. It assists us in staying true to ourselves and saying ‘no’ when we need to. If the Manipura chakra is blocked, we may experience feelings of self-doubt, neediness, and low self-esteem.
The Anahata chakra is the center of the chakra system. It is the gateway between the lower chakras that govern the material aspects of life and the higher chakras that govern the spiritual realms.
Location: Center of the chest
Power word: Love
Physical associations: Thymus gland heart, circulatory system, and skin
As the name suggests, the heart chakra relates to aspects of unconditional love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, altruism, and Metta (loving-kindness). Anahata is not only the source of love for others, but it also powers self-love and self-forgiveness. Additionally, it enables us to receive love and nurturing from others. Through the Anahata chakra, we experience love on a deeper and more universal scale. We feel this when our heart reaches out to others who are affected by some tragic event on the other side of the world. If Anahata is blocked, we may have trouble giving and receiving love. When this chakra is clear, we experience deep compassion and empathy for others and ourselves.
The Vishuddha chakra controls, creates, receives, and transmits communication. It is the seat of our self-expression, which we can sublimate from Anahata and express through Vishuddha.
Location: Center of throat
Power word: Communication
Physical associations: Thyroid and parathyroid glands, lungs, throat, neck, and voice
Vishuddha facilitates communication and self-expression through all channels – speaking, singing, chanting, listening, writing, and the arts. It is here that we express the creativity born from the Svadhisthana chakra. If this chakra is blocked, we may have issues with expressing our truth and our ideas. This can manifest physically as in loss of voice, or emotionally, as in clamming up and not talking about our feelings, or not being able to find the right words to say how we feel. If this chakra is balanced, we can clearly express ourselves and share our truth with others.
Also known as the brow or third eye chakra, Ajna is the seat of our intuition, inner knowing, and imagination. As we ascend the chakras, we get closer to communication with source energy and the higher self.
Location: Between the eyebrows
Power word: Intuition
Physical associations: Pituitary gland, brain, face, eyes, nose, sinuses, and hearing
Ajna relates to our dreams and our inner-vision, and as such, is known as the gateway to our inner world, or the eye of the soul. Meditators concentrate on this chakra to help them journey within. When this chakra is clear, we feel a deep sense of inner knowing and can rely on our intuition to guide us. If it is blocked, we may have trouble connecting with our inner wisdom, causing us to feel lost and disconnected from our higher selves.
The 7th chakra is our direct connection to divine source energy. Sahasrara is also known as ‘the thousand petal lotus’ because it is the embodiment of enlightenment.
Location: Just above the crown of the head
Color: Violet and white
Element: Divine consciousness
Power word: Connection
Physical associations: Pineal gland and Ajna chakra
While Ajna is the center for inner spirituality, Sahasrara is the seat of cosmic consciousness. When this chakra is open, we can connect more fully with divine source energy, the universe, god, or whichever term you prefer to use. When it is blocked, we may feel spiritually disconnected, doubtful, and stuck.
How to Balance Chakras
In this beginner’s guide to the chakras, you have discovered what chakras are, how they work, and some of the symptoms of balance and imbalance of each chakra. Fortunately, there are many different ways in which we can balance chakras so that we can experience better physical, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.
Harmonizing the Chakras with Sound
Sound is an excellent way to bring the chakras back into balance because sound vibration can directly alter the energetic frequency of each chakra. Each chakra aligns with a different sound frequency. Mantras and affirmations are also very effective tools with which to balance chakras. Each chakra has its own mantra and affirmation.
Muladhara resonates with keynote C, the Solfeggio frequency of 396 Hz, the mantra ‘Lam,’ the nature sound of thunder, and the affirmation ‘I feel secure, stable, and grounded.’
Svadhisthana resonates with keynote D, the Solfeggio frequency of 417 Hz, the mantra ‘Vam,’ the nature sound of running water, and the affirmation “I feel pleasure, creativity, and connection with others.’
Manipura resonates with keynote E, the Solfeggio frequency of 528 Hz, the mantra ‘Ram,’ the nature sound of fire, and the affirmation ‘I feel empowered, strong and confident to be myself.’
Anahata resonates with keynote F, the Solfeggio frequency of 639 Hz, the mantra ‘Yam,’ the nature sound of the wind, and the affirmation ‘I feel able to love and forgive myself and others.’
Vishuddha resonates with keynote G, the Solfeggio frequency of 741 Hz, the mantra ‘Ham,’ nature sounds of singing insects and songbirds, and the affirmation ‘I feel able to speak my truth.’
Ajna resonates with keynote A, the Solfeggio frequency of 852 Hz, the mantra’ Sham,’ the nature sound of space or ethereal realms, and the affirmation ‘I feel connected to my intuition and inner wisdom.’
Sahasrara resonates with keynote B, the Solfeggio frequency of 963 Hz, the mantra ‘Aum,’ the nature sound of silence, and the affirmation ‘I feel connected to divine consciousness.’
How to Balance Chakras with Colors, Crystals, and Food
You can balance your chakras by using colored clothing, food, and crystals that correspond to the color of the chakra you wish to work with. Simply refer to the color of the chakra and select clothing, scarves, crystals, and foods that match the color.
Note: Muladhara can also be balanced with the color black; hematite, tourmaline, onyx and obsidian crystals, and black foods such as blackberries, black olives, black beans, and activated charcoal.
This beginner’s guide to the chakras has given you a brief overview of each chakra and an introduction to chakra balancing techniques. There are many more ways to balance chakras, including meditation, yoga, additional mantras, visualization, and energy healing techniques. We go into much more depth with all these techniques on the individual pages for each chakra. We hope this information has proved useful to you and that you will use it to enhance your spiritual practice and your physical and emotional wellbeing.