The 7 Chakras: Overview, Meanings & Chakra Color Charts
The 7 Chakras: History & Overview
The 7 Chakras were first introduced in the most ancient of Hindu texts known as the Vedas between 1500 to 500 BC. The term Chakra (originally spelled cakra) refers to spinning wheels of energy that run along your spine. These “wheels” start at the crown of your head and end at the tip of your tailbone.
While the 7 Chakras that run along your spine are the most commonly known, it is believed that there are as many as 114 throughout your body. This has led to the distinction between “Major” and “Minor” Chakras over time. The seven Chakras that run along your spine are referred to as “Major” Chakras, while the remaining Chakras are known as the “Minor” chakras.
It is important to note that although healing and meditation via focusing on Chakras is considered a New Age practice, that this is actually a system seeped in oral and ancient traditions. While it is important to explore and be curious about different cultures, it is just as important to treat them with respect. However, if you can take any information that I have gathered and put it to use to become more fulfilled or open minded, then you will be respecting the traditions of this practice.
Chakra Chart & Chakra Colors
Each Chakra has a specific set of physical body systems that it rules over, as well as a set of emotions. Because of this each Chakra has been assigned a color that is believed to reflect the systems that it is responsible for. (Such as the pelvic chakra being responsible for joy, and being colored a bright orange) These associations will be explained further on each individual page pertaining to each chakra, but in the meantime, you may view the chart below for some basic insight:
Chakra Color Chart
Third Eye Chakra
Solar Plexus Chakra
So, What is a Chakra? Why are the Seven Chakras Important?
Essentially, a Chakra is a center of energy located within your body that acts as a bridge between your spiritual self and the physical self. Each main Chakra has both a physical and an emotional focus and provides energy to these focuses unless you are experiencing a blockage. These “chakra blockages” can manifest as emotional issues, physical maladies or both.
Physically they are responsible for making sure that certain organs and body systems are in proper working order. When an issue arises with a particular part of the body it is believed that it may be caused by a “chakra blockage”. Relieving the blockage through meditation or cleansing would then be needed to allow the energy to once again flow freely to that part of the body.
Example: The Muladhara (or Root) Chakra is responsible for our skeletal system. If there is a blockage or damage to this chakra, then you might experience joint pain.
Emotionally & Spiritually each chakra has what is referred to as “a function”. Each function can in turn be blocked by a corresponding flaw. An emotionally blocked chakra then shows symptoms in our actions and feelings.
Example: The Sacral (or Pelvic) Chakra’s function is “To feel & To Want” when this chakra is blocked by feelings of guilt this can manifest as fear and jealously.
The 7 Chakras in the Human Body
While minor chakras can be found all over the body, major chakras are spaced along the spine. It is worth noting that major chakras are also located near major nerve clusters. Each chakra has an Sanskrit name, and a more common name based off of it’s physical location. Generally when one refers to a chakra, they use the common name. (Such as “Root Chakra” when referring to the Muladhara).
When counting chakras, we start at the “Root Chakra”, and then count up along the spine, ending with the crown chakra. This is also the order & direction in which energy is believed to flow through our bodies. Furthermore, this is also the customary order in which Chakras should be meditated on and in turn, opened.
The functions of these chakras can be directly correlated with how we, as humans interact with the world. (Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) Only when we satisfy our need for survival (the root chakra) and overcome fear, are we able to focus on the pleasant things in life (ruled by the pelvic chakra).
7 Chakra Meditation, Chakra Healing & Chakra Balancing
I wanted to take a moment to note, that none of my gathered information deals with meditation, healing or balancing your chakras. My interest in this subject is purely out of spiritual interest and scholarly research. If you are dealing with what you believe to be a blockage, or some physical ailment that you believe may be caused by a chakra blockage, then I strongly suggest you first seek out a clinical physician or psychologist (if necessary) and only then speak with a certified yogi or Hindu temple in your area.
While I do not personally ascribe to the belief in chakras or their healing power, I hope that I am able to provide you with the information you might be seeking to satisfy any curiosity that you might have on the subject. If you have a question please feel free to comment below or send me a message via twitter. I promise that if I do not know the answer to your question, that I will at least try to point you in the right direction to better answer it.