Understanding Chakras

A brief introduction

We are not just physical bodies, we also operate in a realm of subtle energies. In fact this realm is closer to the truth of us than our physical body. Our physical body is an outward manifestation of our energetic bodies, often referred to as our auras or energy fields, and skilled healers can often see a physical illness here before it manifests in our physical body. Our energy fields can be viewed as the bridge between our inner and outer reality.

Our energetic bodies hold all the information from this lifetime and all our previous lifetimes. It is a complex system of intertwining streams of energy constantly moving and changing in response to our every thought, action and experience. Our consciousness effects our energy system and vice versa. This may appear to belong in the realm of the mystics, but is a very real aspect of ourselves as human beings.

Our energy field holds a vast amount of information about our life path and our personality. Our energy bodies, though constantly in motion, have a framework which consists of meridians and chakras. The meridians are energy pathways and act as a transportation system for our energy much as our arteries provide a way for blood to travel around our physical bodies. Our meridians carry energy around our system in order to nourish and replenish the organs at their energetic level. Our chakras are more like energy stations and serve us by pulling in life force energy, sometimes referred to as prana or chi, from around us, providing us with fresh energy into our fields, just as our lungs provide us with fresh oxygen. The chakras also give us information about underlying themes or issues in our lives.

Our meridians are streams of energy whilst our chakras are like small whirlpools. The term chakra means vortex or spinning wheel. In order to function optimally our chakra system needs to be open and flowing, free of blockages. Our chakras are said to hold an imprint of every experience, and some more traumatic experiences can lead to our chakra closing down in some way, thereby restricting the flow of energy that we have available and affecting our physical body, our emotions and our beliefs.

Although there are many systems of understanding our chakras, most information is based on the Hindu teachings and a seven based chakra system. Although there are hundreds of lesser chakras in our aura, I shall concentrate on the seven major chakras. Each chakra relates to specific parts of the physical body and has specific associations with aspects of our mental and emotional wellbeing.

What follows is a overview of each chakra, with its related issues. We can use the chakra system as a way of understanding ourselves in a structured way. There is far more information available than we are able to present here. If you are interested in more detailed information I highly recommend the books - Energy Medicine by Donna Eden (a comprehensive guide to health and wellbeing by utilising your energy system) Healing Hands by Barbara Ann Brennan and the work and research of Valarie Hunt (for a more science based approach to the energy system).


Base or Root Chakra

Location: Base of the spine

Here is the energy that connects us to the earth and physical survival. It is related to our sense of belonging in the world, of being part of our family (present and ancestral) which supports the forming of our individuality. It is the chakra of foundation, providing the foundation to our believing that we have a place in the human race, in our family (or clan). As part of providing a foundation it is related to our relationship with money and our beliefs in abundance. It is the centre of the will to survive and exist in the world. When this chakra is flowing freely we are able to provide for life’s necessities and stand up for ourselves. We feel at home in the world and are able to thrive. It is also the place where we bond with the physical earth, feeling nurtured and provided for.

When this chakra is blocked it can result in problems with our relationship with money, our family, feelings of abandonment and feeling unsafe in the world. This is the chakra related to our core beliefs about the world and how we relate to it in terms of family beliefs - our tribal law. If we have a healthy detachment from family law that no longer serves us this chakra flows freely. If, however, we are in conflict with our family law, holding on to that which does not serve us out of a sense of loyalty or misdirected love, this chakra becomes split and we feel unable to fully stand up for ourselves and our beliefs.


Sacral Chakra

Location: Between the pubic bone and navel

The Sacral chakra is associated with creativity, joy, sexuality and sexual boundaries, our relationship with humanity, pleasure and the willingness to feel our emotions.
This is the centre of our passions, dreams, desires and how we chose to share them with others. Can we do this with integrity? If the root chakra is the connector to our family, to the earth, then the sacral chakra is the connection with our personal preferences.

This chakra holds our ability to have faith and trust in the bigger picture and is childlike rather than sophisticated in that faith. It’s where we can have a gut feeling about something where logic and reasoning alone would not work. It is from this centre that we can feel as though we are flowing timelessly in a river of freethinking. It is the chakra of poetry, of music, of dancing and dreaming.

A blockage here may leave us ill at ease with our sexuality and identity, uncomfortable with our masculinity or femininity.


Solar Plexus

Location: Above the navel

This is the chakra that maintains your individual identity, your sense of personal power. Who am I? Who am I not? It is the chakra where we take the spontaneous information of our passions, joys, dreams and desires of the sacral centre and birth them into our reality through action, planning and realising our goals.

In this chakra, parental messages about you are imprinted. It is where we deal with conflicts over social expectations versus who you want to be. It is the chakra that holds information about your sense of deserving and worthiness, your personal boundaries. Do you use your authority in a positive and empowering way? Are you self critical or judgemental of others?

The solar plexus is connected to the mental body and thinking. Emotional blocks in this area are quite often associated with guilt and suppressed anger and it is the chakra that most people I have seen in my healing practice have issues with. Disorders here may leave you feeling disempowered and unworthy, often leading to either Victim (weak and helpless) or Persecutor (critical and angry) behaviours.


Heart Chakra

Location: Chest area

The Heart chakra relates to how we give and receive love, how we handle relationships, including romantic relationships, and our connectedness to the rest of humanity. It is also where we deal with grief, loss and feeling unloved.

Here too is the bridge and the balance between body and spirit, masculine and feminine, self and others. Here is the harmony of unconditional love.

Disturbances of the heart chakra are those of love and hate, judgement and jealousy, anger and insecurity and, ultimately, the inability to love oneself.


Throat Chakra

Location: Throat Area

Here is your voice. The throat chakra is concerned with self expression, freedom of speech, choice and creativity - and how your creativity is expressed in the world. How do you express yourself in the world? Are you open or do you suppress your words? Are you living and speaking your truth? Are you doing work that you love? Do you live in the past, present or future? Are you open to new ideas? Do you embrace change?

There is also a connection here with your intuition and guidance. Are you open to receive? Can you hear the truth as well as speaking it?

Sometimes an imbalance in this chakra is expressed through speaking too much or using harsh words. Can you express yourself honestly when you need to?


Third Eye or Brow Chakra

Location: Forehead

At the third eye or brow chakra is the intuitive centre and home of our psychic and extrasensory abilities.

Do you trust your insights? Act upon them? Express them? Do you feel you are living in harmony with your spiritual beliefs?

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? The brow chakra invites exploration of these questions through a closer connection with spirit and the subconscious. Feelings of great clarity or confusion are associated with the third eye. Feelings of inadequacy or disempowerment may be the result of imbalances here.


Crown Chakra

Location: Top of the head

The crown chakra is the connection to our true, spiritual nature, to spiritual fulfilment, a trust in higher guidance. This chakra is also related to the realms of imagination. Do you use your imagination? Do you allow yourself time to day dream or do you use this power to worry? What are you creating here?

Your relationships with father or authority figures are also associated with this chakra. Here, then, are feelings of empathy, connectedness and a personal relationship with the Divine or, conversely, feeling alone, separate and isolated.

Is your spiritual life important to you?

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