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Chakras for Beginners

Updated on January 11, 2008

Chakras are energy centers that run from the base of your spine out the top, or crown, of your head. The word chakra is a Sanskrit word, meaning wheel or disc. There are seven major chakras, each a circular wheel of light spinning in your energetic system, associated with certain body parts, a color, stone, element, and function. By learning to tune into the energy of your chakras, you can begin to embrace the fullness of who you truly are.

Seven main chakras and their placement along the spine
Seven main chakras and their placement along the spine

Muladhara, or Root, Chakra

This deep red chakra grounds and connects us to the earth. When our root chakra is open, we feel a sense of belonging. We deserve to be here and to be happy. This chakra focuses on our needs. Basic needs like food, shelter, and water are necessary in order for this chakra to feel balanced. Beyond that, we can use food (both “real” food and all of the things that feed us that don’t come on our plate) in our lives to help us feel more present in our bodies.

Stones: Ruby, Bloodstone, Hematite

Element: Earth

Body Part(s): Adrenal Glands, associated with survival (fight or flight) instincts

Svadhisthana, or Sacral, Chakra

This calming orange wheel goes round in our lower abdomen, right below the navel. This chakra is associated with health, pleasure, feelings, and sexuality. When the sacral chakra is balanced, we feel abundant, we know that we are deserving of pleasure in all areas of our lives. It is this chakra that helps us feel free to let our emotions flow through our lives, taking them as they come and knowing that they will pass, knowing that just as emotions are fluid, so is life. When we are able to find ways to accept and express our emotions, then we are able to keep our emotional, as well as physical, bodies healthy.

Stones: Carnelian, Tiger’s Eye, Onyx

Element: Water

Body Part(s): Testicles, Ovaries, in charge of sexual development

Manipura, or Solar Plexus, Chakra

This bright yellow ball of fire heats up our personal sense of power. Located at the solar plexus, this chakra helps to center us. It is our power center where we develop our autonomy and sense of self. When this chakra is open, we feel worthy of all that life has to offer us. We realize the power we possess to create the life of our dreams is already alive inside of us. When we harness the energy of the solar plexus chakra, we find the strength to conquer our dreams and goals.

Stones: Topaz, Citrine, Amber

Element: Fire

Body Part(s): Pancreas, controls digestion

Anahata, or Heart, Chakra

Our heart center creates balance in our lives. When we move into our heart chakra, we feel love and compassion toward ourselves. Once we have learned to be kind to ourselves, then we are able to extend that kindness to others. The heart chakra allows us to live our lives from an understanding, considerate, and peaceful place. It connects us to others, our surroundings, and the universe. When we tap into our heart chakra, love radiates around us and out into the world.

Stones: Rose Quartz, Diamond, Peridot

Element: Air

Body Part(s): Thymus, helps build immune system

Visuddha, or Throat, Chakra

The blue of this energy center spins its truth in our throat, helping us to be authentic in the way we live our lives. The throat chakra is where we communicate, where we are able to openly share our life perspective. Part of speaking truthfully involves carefully considering our words and the effect they will have once they have been spoken, causing us to consciously choose what we say to others. This, however, does not mean that we bottle our words up inside. It means that we try to look at all perspectives and find a respectful way to present our voice. Be clear, ask for what you want.

Stones: Turquoise, Blue Agate, Aquamarine

Element: Sound

Body Part(s): Thyroid, controls metabolism

Ajna, or Third Eye, Chakra

The violet light of this chakra makes its mark on our forehead, between the eyebrows and slightly above. This is where we see, where our inner eye lives. When we have an important decision to make or are feeling uncertain in our lives, it helps to focus on the third eye and to seek guidance. Everything we need to know is inside of us. Each one of us has all of the answers to all of the questions that we ask. What we need to do is slow down, take some time out, listen and trust in our own wisdom.

Stones: Sapphire, Tanzanite, Lapis Lazuli

Element: Light

Body Part(s): Pituitary Gland, influences growth and hormones

Sahasrara, or Crown, Chakra

Bright white light glows at the top of our head, radiating upward, reaching its rays out into the world beyond us. When we are grounded in our bodies, we are able to accept the ever-changing world that moves around us. Once we have accepted that change, we can work on building a strong sense of self, knowing that we deserve to fulfill our dreams. Having learned to love ourselves, we can then let that love move beyond the boundaries of our self and enter into our interactions with others. When we know how to love ourselves and others, then we are able to speak our truth from a place of integrity and respect for all involved in the conversation. When we are able to openly be honest, we can then go inside and listen quietly to our inner voice, which guides us. Going inside, we discover that though it often seems we are alone in this journey of life, we are really connected to everything. The white light radiates out from our crown and blends into the rest of the light that flows from all other beings. We are all one.

Stones: Amathyst, Alexandrite

Element: Thought

Body Part(s): Pineal Gland, regulates natural body rhythms

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