A rookie’s guide to the seven basic chakras

What are chakras, and why might they be vital to our wellbeing?

Unless you practise yoga, you may not be too familiar with the concept of chakras – part of an ancient energy system originating from India.

Translating to “wheel”, chakras are energy centres within the physical body, says intuitive mentor Courtney Jones.

“We see them like spinning discs or even vortexes. The chakras act to send and receive energy and help us to assimilate information or become aware of emotions,” Courtney says.

Yoga and meditation teacher Fiona Noonan likens a chakra to a squeaky link in the chain.

She says if one energy centre is blocked, especially the base chakra, it can affect your whole being.

“We want this free-flowing energy through the body so if one gets stuck… it’s going to be hard to flow across the body,” Fiona says.

So how do chakras work?

Fiona says crystals, yoga poses and mantras are common ways to align chakras.

“For example with your base chakra, you could say ‘I am grounded’, or ‘I am steady’. And you might use poses that are grounding, like warrior one or warrior two,” she says.

Chakras are also said to each have their own colour, which can be a focus during meditation.

Practitioners work from the root or base chakra, located at the base of the spine, all the way up to the crown, at the top of the head.

What are the seven chakras?

  1. Root chakra

Courtney says this chakra relates to material and survival issues. 

“It’s all about grounding energy, the physical body – and is connected to security, career, money,” she says.

A blockage in this chakra can apparently manifest in physical issues such as arthritis, constipation and bladder problems.

  1. Sacral chakra

Located just below the belly button, this chakra relates to creativity, pleasure and relationships with others, says Courtney. 

A blockage in this chakra is said to lead to substance abuse, feelings of boredom, a lack of direction or sex drive issues.

  1. Solar plexus chakra

Said to be the centre for personal power, this chakra is in the upper abdomen area, and represented by a yellow light.

Any imbalance might lead to anxiety disorders, a lack of self-esteem, difficulties socialising or skin conditions, says Courtney.

  1. Heart chakra

Fiona says this is the most popular of the chakras.

“It all relates to love and to joy, so opening up that area,” she says. “It’s not just love and joy to others but within yourself.”

Those wanting to focus on the heart centre often carry around rose quartz.

  1. Throat chakra

No surprises that this chakra relates to communication and self-expression.

“It is believed a blueprint of the entire body is held here,” says Courtney.

  1. Third eye chakra

Represented by the colour purple, this one’s all about intuition and imagination, and if blocked, is said to cause problems such as headaches, and issues with sight and concentration.

  1. Crown chakra

Last but certainly not least, the crown is believed to be the centre of enlightenment.

Courtney says that when in alignment, this chakra can bring inspiration, patience and intelligence.

Written by Larissa Ham.