Chakras at a Glance
The 7 primary chakras that relate to yogic tradition are energy centers which exist in each of us. These "wheels" of bioenergetic activity are located along our axis, where the major nerve ganglia branches forward from the spinal column. Along this axis the spiritual realm and material world meet; mind and body are connected. When all chakras are embraced at once, we experience a sense of wholeness and balance. Each individual chakra is associated with various states of consciousness, psychological health, physical ailments, and archetypal constructs. The summary of each below is only a speck of the information available on this topic.
First Chakra, Muladhara (Root)
Base of spine
Coccygeal Plexus When the root chakra is balanced, it provides us a solid sense of foundation, groundedness, and a knowing of our right to be here. We feel comfortable in our bodies, safe and secure within the world, and are able to relax and be still. With a healthy root, there can be stability, prosperity, and a general sense of "right livelihood."
Second Chakra, Svadhisthana (Sweetness)
This chakra is all about feeling - emotions and physical sensations. When the second chakra is balanced, we can truly connect to our bodies - we know what it needs, and we're are able to meet those needs without unnecessary guilt. We allow ourselves physical pleasure, can move gracefully, and experience attunement with our emotional world. Balance here allows us to nurture ourselves and others, be open to change, and maintain healthy physical and emotional boundaries.
Third Chakra, Manipura (Lustrous Gem)
Between the navel and lower chest area
The solar plexus chakra, when in a balanced state, lends itself to self-definition or ego identity. We need a strong sense of self to cultivate inner-authority and take action with confidence. Healthy ego-strength manifests as empowerment, responsibility, reliability, good self-esteem, warmth in personality, playfulness and good humor, appropriate self-discipline, and the ability to meet challenges.
Fourth Chakra, Anahata (Unstruck/Unbeaten)
When we feel secure in our sense of belonging and connection, our heart chakra is in a balanced state. Love is the language of this chakra - love for ourselves and for others. From this place, compassion and empathy can be called upon with greater ease. We feel peaceful and balanced. Our immune system is doing its job, our shoulders and chest area feel relaxed and open, and the breath can flow easily and deeply.
Fifth Chakra, Vissudha (Purification)
A balanced throat chakra allows us to engage in effective, clear communication and express ourselves creatively. It also lends itself to good listening skills, giving others room for their voice. A resonant voice and sense of ease with timing and rhythm contribute to healthy 5th chakras. To be sure, the physical voice is only one way to create vibration and communicate - a strong throat chakra allows us to tap into creative means of expression as well.
Sixth Chakra, Ajna (To Perceive)
"To see" is the basic right of this chakra. From a balanced state, intuition is strong and trusted, there is little difficulty with concentration, and denial is rarely an issue. The third eye provides fertile ground for the imagination, good memory and dream recall, symbolic thinking, insight, perception, and the ability to visualize. Self-reflection and pattern recognition come naturally when this chakra is healthy and strong.
Seventh Chakra, Sahasrara (Thousandfold)
Crown of head
Cerebral Cortex A balanced 7th chakra allows us the ability to perceive, analyze, and assimilate information with greater ease and understanding. We approach life with thoughtful awareness, open-mindedness, and the ability to question. When the crown chakra is fully developed, one can be spiritually connected without cynicism or rigidity.