Chakra, meaning “wheel” in Sanskrit, is a term that yogis use to describe energy points in the body that start at the base of the spine and travel past the crown of the head. The seven main chakras that you might have heard about from your yoga teachers – the ones you might focus on during asana or physical practice or in active mediation practices – are usually depicted as series of lotus flowers with various colors and number of petals.
Yogis and spiritual healers believe that chakras correspond to the health of certain body parts, functions of the nervous system, and a variety of bodily processes, such as breathing, digesting, or procreating.
They also represent the elemental forces of earth, water, fire, air, sound, light, and thought. As the chakras progress from the lowest to the highest along the spine, they start with survival needs and become more spiritual in nature.
As a person becomes more spiritually developed, he or she learns to correctly balance all these centers and more focused on the hear chakra and beyond.
The Seven Chakras
Root or muladhara chakra: This chakra is believed to be located at the base of the spine and governs basic instincts, survival, and feelings of security. It is said to be associated with the color red and the element of earth, and it is visualized as a four-petaled lotus.
Sacral or swadhisthana chakra: The sacral chakra is said to reside in the groin or pelvis, and is related to sexual energy, emotions, and creativity. It is thought to be associated with the color orange and the element of water. The sacral chakra is symbolized by a six-petaled lotus.
Solar plexus or manipura chakra: The solar plexus is the region where the abdomen and the thorax meet. The chakra associated with this area governs digestion, mental function, and power. Its color is yellow and its element is fire. The solar plexus chakra is represented by a ten-petaled lotus.
Heart or anahata chakra: This chakra is said to govern love and compassion. It is associated with the entire chest area, including the lungs. The heart chakra is said to be related to the color green and the element of air, and its lotus has 12 petals.
Throat and vishuddha chakra: The throat chakra is believed to be related to communication, self-expression, and growth. It is symbolized by a lotus with 16 petals and associated with the color blue and the element of sound or life.
Brow chakra: This chakra, also known as the third eye, is symbolised by a two-petaled lotus. It is said to govern intuition and perception. Its color is indigo and it is related to the element of light or time.
Crown and sahasrara chakra: The crown chakra is said to represent the pinnacle of spiritual awareness, or connection to the divine. It is symbolized as a violet or white lotus with a thousand petals and its associated element is space or thought..