In Hindu tradition, the Sanskrit word Chakra refers to the seven energy centers of the body.  It literally means “wheel” because it is believed that the body is made up of seven wheels or spirals of energy that is moving upwards from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.

Each of these vortex or spirals of energy emits a different light that represents seven different parts of the body.  It is important for a yoga practitioner to achieve a balance of these chakras in order to obtain inner peace.

The seven chakras are:

1. Root Chakra (Muladra)

This energy center is located at the base of the spine, at the tailbone in the back and the pubic bone in front.  It is symbolized by the color red.

The root chakra is the center for a person’s basic needs for survival.  It is also considered as the source of a person’s energy to succeed.

A blocked root chakra may contribute to a person’s fear, anxiety, insecurity and frustration.  It is also associated with illnesses like anorexia nervosa and obesity.  The body parts involved in this chakra include the hips, legs, sesual organs and lower back.

2. Sacral or Belly Chakra (Svadhistana)

The second energy center is located in the abdomen and about one or two inches below the navel.  It is associated with the creative and reproductive aspects of a person and it holds the basic needs for sexuality and self-worth.  It also regulates a person’s ability to make friends with other people.

The sacral chakra is represented by the color orange.

3. Solar Plexus or Power Chakra (Manipura)

The solar plexus chakra is located in the upper abdomen and around the belly.   It represents our power and ability to be confident and to be in control of our lives and destiny.   This energy center has a connection with our self-esteem, self-confidence, and with the element of fire.

The power chakra is represented by the color yellow.

4. Love or Heart chakra (Anahata)

Located at the center of the chest, the love chakra represents and regulates our power and ability to love.  This energy center involves the heart, lungs and arms. It is also connected to love, joy and inner peace.

The love chakra is represented by the color green.

5. Throat or Communication Chakra (Visuddha)

The throat chakra is located in the throat and it represents our ability to communicate with others and our inner self.  It is associated with self-expression, our sense of hearing, and truth.

The love chakra is represented by the color blue.

6. Third Eye or Intuition Chakra (Ajna)

It is located at the forehead and in between the eyes.  It represents our ability to focus or see the big picture.  It is connected to our imagination, wisdom, and our capacity to think and make decisions.

The third eye chakra is represented by the color purple.

7. Crown or Divine Chakra (Sahasrara)

This energy center is positioned at the crown of the head and it represents our ability to spiritually connect with divinity.  It is associated to inner and outer beauty and it establishes a connection with the soul.

The crown chakra is represented by the color white.