Chakras and their meaning - Part 1
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
The question I often get asked from my Power reflexology and Indian Head Massage clients, is 'what is chakra', 'what are the signs when it is blocked', and 'what can I do to open up my chakras?' To offer advice on this, the first step is to understand the meaning of chakra and what different chakras symbolise.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disk. The term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. According to the 'Chopra center', there are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualise a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
1. The root chakra (Muladhara)
Meaning: Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded. It is the chakra of stability, security and our basic needs.
Location: Base of spine in tailbone area. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon.
Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money and food.
Physical association: Spine, rectum, legs, arms, circulatory system.
When it is open: We feel safe and fearless.
When it is blocked: A variety of ailments can occur from blockages, including anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physically, it is associated with problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues.
2. The sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)
Meaning: Represents our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It is the chakra of our creativity and sexual centre, responsible for our creative expression.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in.
Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, wellbeing, sexuality, pleasure.
Physical association: Reproductive organs, kidneys, bowels, immune system.
When it is open: You will likely feel great. You’re friendly, passionate, and successfully fulfilled while also eliciting feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy.
When it is blocked: You will likely be feeling uninspired creatively or have some emotional instability. It can also be associated with physical sexual dysfunction, experiencing fear of change, depression, or addiction-like behaviours.
3. The solar plexus chakra (Manipura)
Meaning: Represents our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. It means 'lustrous gem' and it is our source of personal power. It is the action and balance chakra that focuses on individual willpower, personal power, and commitment.
Location: It is the area from the navel to the breastbone, governing all things metabolic, digestive, and stomach-related.
Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.
Physical association: Central nervous system, pancreas, liver, digestive tract, skin.
When it is open: You will feel in control, in power, active and in-balance.
When it is blocked: You are likely to feel bad about yourself, can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, may have anger or control issues. Possibly likely to be suffering from physical symptoms such as a tummy ache, digestive issues, bloating or gas.
4. The heart chakra (Anahata)
Meaning: Represents our ability to love. It is also associated with relationship and self acceptance.
Location: It is the area at the centre of the chest, just above the heart.
Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.
Physical association: Heart, thymus, lower lungs, circulatory system, immune system.
When it is open: When your heart chakra is aligned and balanced, love and compassion are flowing freely, both in terms of giving it out and getting it back.
When it is blocked: You are likely to feel hurt and have negative feelings of grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
5. The throat chakra (Vishuddha)
Meaning: Represents our ability for self-expression and to communicate our inner truth.
Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.
Physical association: Thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, respiratory system, teeth, vocal cords.
When it is open: When this chakra is in balance, you are most likely able to fully listen as well as speak and express yourself clearly.
When it is blocked: You are likely to have trouble speaking your truth, find it hard to pay attention and stay focused. Physically, this blockage can manifest itself as a sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder stiffness, or tension headaches.
6. The third eye chakra (Anja)
Meaning: Represents our ability to focus and see the bigger picture.
Location: Forehead between the eyes.
Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.
Physical association: Pituitary gland, eyes, sinuses.
When it is open: When this chakra is in balance, you are most likely able to tap into your intuition, and see things between yourself and the outside world.
When it is blocked: You may have trouble accessing your intuition, trusting your inner voice, recalling important facts, or learning new skills. If your lower chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus, and heart chakras) are unbalanced, your third eye will likely be as well, which may cause you to act more judgmental, dismissive, and introverted. A third-eye blockage is associated with a broad range of issues, including depression, anxiety, while physically, it is said to cause headaches, dizziness.
7. The crown chakra (Sahasrara)
Meaning: The highest chakra, represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
Location: The very top of the head.
Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.
Physical association: Pineal gland, brain, nervous system.
When it is open: When aligned, the realisations that occur within you are said to be along the lines of pure awareness, consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Unlike the other chakras, the crown chakra is often only opened up fully through specific yogic or meditative exercises, through daily practices, anything from meditation, prayer, to moments of silence and gratitude.
When it is blocked: You may have feelings of isolation or emotional distress, feeling disconnected from everyone and everything.