You may have heard the chakras referred to in a yoga class, during guided meditation practice, or seen them on our lovely clothing and homeware items - but what exactly are they?
The Chakras are energy centres in the body that help to regulate its functions and processes, including organ function, immune system function and the emotions.
The most common interpretation of the Chakra system states that there are 7 chakras in the human body, from the base of your spine all the way up to the crown of your head, with each chakra governing different functions and organs, with its own vibrational frequency and colour.
However, in the original tradition, there is not just one chakra system, there are many! There are 5-Chakra, 6- Chakra, 7- Chakra, 8- Chakra, … 21-Chakra systems (you get the idea) depending on which text and what lineage you’re looking at. But the 7 Chakra systems is the most widely adopted and taught.
Before we get into the meaning and function of each chakra, it is important that you know one thing: you are energy.
Where did the chakra system originate?
The origins of the Chakra system lie in India between 1500 and 500 BC, in the world’s most ancient text - the Vedas. Knowledge of the chakra system was passed down generations through oral tradition. The concept derives from the Tantrik traditions, which considers chakras the focal points for meditation within the human body, visualized as pools of energy resembling discs or flowers at those points where several meridians lines converge. Although the Chakras are conceptual, they are phenomenologically based as they are located where human beings experience emotional and spiritual energy.
What is the role of each Chakra?
The root chakra - Mūlādhāra
The first chakra is the root chakra, located at the base of the spine. It is represented and symbolised by the colour red and a four-petaled lotus flower. It is the foundation and represents the centre of instincts, stability, support, survival and keeping everything safely connected as long as it’s functioning properly.
How you’ll know if it's positively balanced: Mental and physical health and prosperity
How to know when it's blocked: Mental disorders such as anxiety, experiencing fear or nightmares, problems in the colon, bladder, lower back, leg, or feet.
The sacral chakra - Svadhisthana (sweetness)
This Chakra is located at the lower abdomen, above the pubic bone and below the navel. It is symbolised by the colour orange and a six-petaled lotus flower. This Charka is related to the reproductive system and is associated with issues of creativity, pain and pleasure, emotions, and relationships.
How to know when it’s balanced: experiencing feelings of stability in your sexuality, sensuality and emotions.
How to know when it's blocked: feeling uninspired creatively or feeling emotionally unstable, suffering from physical sexual dysfunction, and potentially fear of change, depression, or addiction-like behaviours.
Solar plexus chakra - Manipura (“lustrous gem”)
This chakra is located from the navel to about the ribcage and is represented symbolically by the colour yellow, and a triangle inside a 10 petaled lotus. This Chakra deals with issues of individual power, ruling over self-esteem and wisdom. It is related to the metabolic and digestive systems
How to know when it's balanced: a feeling of motivation, confidence, and purpose.
How to know when it's blocked: suffering from low self-esteem, struggling with making decisions and may have anger or control issues. You may also have a tummy ache of some kind such as digestive issues or gas.
Heart Chakra – Anahata (“not struck”)
Your heart chakra is found at the chest centre, representing where the spiritual and the physical meet. It is symbolised by a 12 petaled lotus and the colour green. The heart chakra is responsible for dealing with issue of love, meaning, acceptance and trust. On a physical level, it encapsulates the heart, the thymus gland, the lungs, and the breasts.
How to know when it’s balanced: showing sensitively, love and compassion are flowing freely to yourself and others
How to know when it's blocked: experiencing grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others—particularly in the form of holding grudges against something or someone.
Throat chakra – Vissudha
This chakra is located at the throat and is the ruling communication centre of your body, represented by the colour blue and a crescent within a 16-petaled lotus. It is concerned with you speaking your inner truth—or more specifically, ensuring that your inner truths are properly communicated. The throat chakra is the first of the three solely spiritual chakras, whereas the four lower ones manifest themselves in a more physical way.
How to know if it's balanced: experiencing fluent and clear thought, creative written and spoken expression, and wisdom.
How to know if it's blocked: having difficulty with speaking your truth, finding it hard to stay focused and pay attention, or fearing judgment from others.
Third eye chakra - Ajna (“to perceive”)
The third eye chakra is located between your eyebrows, symbolised by a deep indigo blue and a lotus with two petals. The two petaled lotus represents this chakra because Ajna is thought to be the point at which Ida and Pingala (the two energy channels) merge, making it the centre that controls all higher mental activities such as insight, intuition, awareness, and psychic, emotional, and mental intelligence. It is related to the pineal gland which is responsible for producing the hormones serotonin and melatonin.
How to know if it's balanced: you will have a strong imagination, intellect and intuition, and deep spiritual awareness.
How to know if it's blocked: unable to feel and follow intuition, trust your inner voice, recall important facts, or learn new skills. If your low chakras aren’t aligned, its most likely that your 6th chakra won’t be either – which can cause you to act more judgmental, dismissive, and introverted.
The crown chakra – Sahaswara (“thousand petal lotus”)
This chakra, located at the crown of your head, is the centre of enlightenment and our spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and the divine.
How to know when it's balanced – the realisations that occur within you are said to be along the lines of pure awareness, consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. This chakra is often only opened up fully through specific yogic or meditative practices.
How to know if it's blocked: if you are experiencing feelings of isolation or emotional distress and feeling disconnected from everyone and everything.
We have a huge range of clothing, gifts, and homeware that feature gorgeous Chakra designs, take a look!