What are the Chakras?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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In the Hindu tradition, chakras are centers of metaphysical or biophysical energy in the human body. There are generally considered to be seven basic chakras, although some believe in additional minor chakras. Some modern believers in chakras have drawn parallels between the chakra system and the major organs of the endocrine system.

The seven main chakras are visualised as a series of lotus flowers ascending the spine to the crown of the head. Each lotus has a specific number of petals, and each chakra has an associated color, element(s), and source(s) of energy. As the chakras progress from the lowest to the highest, they govern increasingly spiritual functions. As a person becomes more spiritually aware, he or she becomes in touch with the higher chakras one by one, while the lowest chakra relates only to the most basic physical concerns. A brief description of each of the chakras, from lowest to highest, can be found below.

Root 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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