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  • Hayley Wilson

A Beginner's Guide to the Chakra System

Updated: Apr 30

In Sanskrit, the word chakra (pronounced chaa-kruh) means wheel or disc. Chakras are thought to be portals in which the main energetic channels of the body flow. There are more than 72,000 energetic channels in the body, called nadis (pronounced nah-dees). In Chinese Medicine, these nadis are referred to as meridians, which you may recognize if you have received acupuncture or acupressure.


Nadi's are essentially pathways that carry life force energy throughout the body. This life force energy is referred to as prana, also known as qi (pronounced as chee) in Chinese Medicine. It is important to note that prana is not necessarily breath, but the life force energy that rides along the breath. The three main nadis are ida, pingala, and sushumna. Ida (left) and pingala (right) intersect on the sushumna (center) nadi seven times, these intersection points are known as the chakras.

According to Damla Aktekin, "Chakras are electromagnetic vortices that take in and redistribute subtle life force energy in and around the body. Understanding this system can give you a roadmap for what areas of your body and your life need attention and care right now.”

The goal is to maintain balance within each chakra. When balanced, energy can flow freely throughout the body. A blocked or overactive chakra can prevent this flow, which is why equilibrium is key.

Each chakra represents and governs different themes, characteristics, and body parts. Here is a brief overview of the chakras to get a better understanding of their properties.


Muladhara Chakra - Root

Location: Perinium, base of spine, coccygeal plexus

Sanskrit Meaning: Root of Existence

Color: Red

Sense: Smell

Element: Earth

Function: Grounding

Governs: Physical safety, roots

Body Parts: Hips, legs, feet, teeth, bones, adrenals

Affirmation: I am, I have

Svadhisthana Chakra - Sacral

Location: Lower abdomen, genitals, womb

Sanskrit Meaning: Seat of the Self, Sweetness

Color: Orange

Sense: Taste

Element: Water

Function: Procreation, Creation

Governs: Desire, pleasure, sexuality, creativity, emotions

Body Parts: Genitals, womb, bladder, kidney, circulatory system

Affirmation: I feel

Manipura Chakra - Solar Plexus

Location: Naval to solar plexus Sanskrit Meaning: Lustrous gem, City of jewels

Color: Yellow

Sense: Sight

Element: Fire

Function: Will, assertiveness

Governs: Personal power, individuality, uniqueness

Body Parts: Digestive systeem, pancreas, muscles

Affirmation: I can

Anahata Chakra - Heart

Location: Heart

Sanskrit Meaning: Unhurt, Unstruck, Unbeaten

Color: Green

Sense: Touch

Element: Air

Function: Compassion, love

Governs: Giving and receiving love, compassion, community

Body Parts: Lungs, heart, arms, hands

Affirmation: I love

Vishuddha Chakra - Throat

Location: Throat

Sanskrit Meaning: Pure

Color: Blue

Sense: Hearing

Element: Sound

Function: Communication, gratitude

Governs: Listening and being heard, refined artistic expression, voicing your needs

Body Parts: Throat, thyroid, neck, shoulders

Affirmation: I speak

Ajna Chakra - Third Eye

Location: Center of the head slightly above eye level

Sanskrit Meaning: Command

Color: Indigo

Sense: Intuition

Element: Light

Function: Seeing, intuition, clarity

Governs: Listening to your insight, tapping into your intuition, choosing your thoughts

Body Parts: Eyes, pineal gland, face

Affirmation: I see

Sahasrara Chakra - Crown

Location: Top of head

Sanskrit Meaning: Thousand Petaled

Color: Purple/White

Sense: All senses

Element: Thought

Function: Wisdom, information, awareness

Governs: Relationship to all life, consciousness, purpose, the element of vibrations

Body Parts: Pituitary gland, cerebral cortex, central nervous system

Affirmation: I know


I love this image created by The Ascension Healer, that demonstrates each chakra in a balanced and unbalanced state. Now that you know a little more about each chakra, do you notice areas in which you may be blocked or overactive? How can you find more stability here?

Know that balancing the chakras is a constant practice. The chakra that you place more focus on can change overtime, or sometimes you may just be focusing on overall maintenance. The purpose is to be aware of what is coming up and intentional about moving towards balance, in order to support optimal wellness and vitality.

I hope this brief overview of the chakra system provides you with more information and gives you and idea of what needs a little more attention and TLC in your life. If you are eager to learn more, I highly recommend the book Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, PhD.

If you want to connect with your chakras, I have a series of guided yoga nidra practices on the free meditation app, Insight Timer. You can learn more about yoga nidra in this post. Please reach out if you have any questions. I would love to hear about your experience if you feel like sharing.

With love and gratitude,



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