Basic Summary of The Chakra System (aka Energetic Centers of The Body)

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If you’ve done any yoga or studied Indian philosophy you will be aware of the term Chakra.

While some people dismiss this theory of energy centers as woo others know and understand firsthand how this energetic system impacts the human body and spiritual health of all people.

It’s only a matter of time until science realizes that the ancient yogis really understood the body on a much deeper level.

In particular, the subtle energetic body which has a major impact on our physical body.

Personally, I have been practicing yoga and meditation for a few years now and can say from experience that the chakras seem to be accurate.

It seems that as a person’s level of awareness progresses they are able to sense and experience the chakras more. 

Even if someone would rather not use the chakra terminology and instead talk about energy in the body, they will still find the same basics that are relatable to chakra theory which is actually very clear to understand.

In this short guide, I will go over the basics of what chakras are, how they work, and a simple summary of each of the 7 chakras (also known as energy centers) in the human body. 

What Are Chakras

Chakras are organizing centers for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life energies.

The word chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or “disk” and denotes a point of intersection where mind and body meet.

Each chakra or energy center in the body reflects an aspect of consciousness essential to our lives. 

Together the seven chakras form a profound formula for wholeness that integrates mind, body, and spirit.

As seven vibratory modalities, the chakras form a mythical rainbow bridge which can be thought of as a connecting channel linking heaven and earth, mind and body, spirit and matter, past and future.

As a complete system, the chakras provide a powerful tool for both personal and planetary growth.

The chakra system comes from the science and practice of yoga. The word yoga means “yoke” and it is a system of philosophy and practice designed to yoke the mortal self to its divine nature of pure consciousness. 

The origin of yoga and the earliest mention of the chakras goes back to the Vedas, which are a series of hymns that are the oldest written tradition in India.

There are seven main chakras (energy centers) in the body that run along the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each energy center is associated with different levels of consciousness in the body and is affected by corresponding mental and emotional energies.

How The Chakras Work

The chakras are gateways between various dimensions -centers where the activity of one dimension, such as emotion and thought, connects and plays on another dimension, such as our physical bodies.

This interaction plays on our interactions with others and influences another dimension- our activities in the outside physical world.

For example, if someone is experiencing fear they will have the emotional body sensations of darkness, timidity, tightening, the thought spiral of what-ifs, and physical body changes of shortness of breath, butterflies in the stomach, and tension. 

This fear response may have its roots in unresolved childhood experiences or trauma and the energetic pattern it creates in the body will result in people treating us in different ways and in result experiencing life in a less complete way.

The chakras in our body can be open or closed, dying or budding, depending on the state of consciousness within the person. 

The sum total of the 7 main chakras in the body forms a vertical column called Sushumna. This column is a central integrating channel for connecting the chakras and their various dimensions. It can be thought of as a superhighway on which this energy travels.

It could be said that Sushumna brings psychic energy from the “manufacturer” (god, pure consciousness, force, divine) to the consumer, which is the mental and physical individual here on earth. 

Chakras can be thought of as major cities along the highway where each is responsible for producing its own goods.

The chakras correspond to the nerve ganglia, where there is a high degree of nerve activity, and also to the glands in the endocrine system. They are interdependent with the nervous and endocrine systems but they are not synonymous with any portion of the physical body, existing within the subtle energetic body.

They still have a strong effect on the physical body and many people believe they generate the shape and behavior of the physical body similar to how the mind is directly connected to our emotions.

They can be thought of as programmed energy centers which impact the way energy flows in our body and how we behave. Things like our survival programs, sexual expression, self-confidence, amount of tension vs flow, and our perception of the world.

Chakra One

  • Sanskrit name: Muladhara
  • Location: Perineum (between anus and genitals)
  • Element: Earth
  • Psychological function: Survival
  • Resulting in: Grounding
  • Demon: Fear
  • Glands: Adrenal
  • Other body parts: legs, feet, bones, large intestine 

The first chakra is located at the base of our spine and is associated with survival. The associated element is earth.

This is the root chakra where we experience stability, grounding, and connection in our bodies to the earth under and around us. 

It is the building block on which all other activity and energy flow in the body is based. 

If we have too much fear then this chakra will be closed or deficient and it will prevent the flow of energy in our body harmoniously to spread throughout and allow us to feel safe and secure.

If this root chakra is open we will feel safe, secure, stable, grounded, and have the ability to manifest what we want in our life and connect to the higher levels of energy for free divine expression.


  • Grounding meditations feeling the body on the ground
  • Hiking, walking barefoot, getting dirty in the soil or environment
  • Knee to chest yoga pose 
  • Bridge yoga pose
  • Half and full locus poses
  • Head to knee pose
  • Elephant pose
  • Jogging, jumping up and down, stamping feet, kicking, riding bus or train standing, massage, rest, sleep

Chakra Two

  • Sanskrit name: Swadhisthana
  • Location: Sacrum (hips and genitals)
  • Element: Water
  • Psychological function: Desire
  • Resulting in: Sexuality
  • Demon: Guilt
  • Glands: Gonads
  • Other body parts: womb, genitals, kidney, bladder, low back

The second chakra is located in the lower abdomen and is associated with emotions and sexuality. Its element is water.

At this chakra, our consciousness moves from a feeling of unity to the realization of difference. Our understanding of self now includes an awareness of the other. Connecting with another, desire arises, and with it our emotions and sexuality. 

We long to unite, to overcome our separateness, to reach out and grow. These aspects of consciousness at the second chakra all induce change.

This chakra corresponds to the bodily fluids involving liquid such as the circulation of blood, urinary elimination, sexuality, reproduction, as well as flow, fluidity, and surrender.

If this chakra is open and fluid then there will be a free expression of sexuality without shame, a healthy level of desire, and a vitality/creativity to life. Shame and fear are the main inhibitors of this chakra staying open.


  • Movement in the hips and lower abdomen
  • Touching and nurturing activities like massage and loving sexual activity
  • Swimming or immersion in water activities
  • Goddess pose
  • Pelvic rock
  • Hip circles
  • Scissor kicks
  • Emotional release activities (breathwork, massage, bodywork)

Chakra Three

  • Sanskrit name: Manipura
  • Location: Solar plexus
  • Element: Fire
  • Psychological function: Will
  • Resulting in: Power
  • Demon: Shame
  • Glands: Pancreas, adrenals
  • Other body parts: digestive system, liver, gallbladder

The third chakra is located in the solar plexus or gut and is associated with personal power, will, and self-esteem. Its element is fire.

This chakra contains our fiery passion, personal will, strength, and power. It is in this energy center where the higher energy centers start to connect with our lower level energies building fire from the combination of the psyche and soma which creates willed action.

The combination of matter and movement from the lower two chakras merges together and creates energy. Its purpose is transformation and action. 

The energy in this solar plexus chakra allows us to overcome inertia and continue to expand our energy into higher states of consciousness.

An open solar plexus chakra allows healthy self-confidence, strong will, energy, and resilience around outside circumstances.

A solar plexus chakra that is closed off will result in low self-esteem, low energy, low self-love, weakness, sluggish digestion, and timidity around others.


  • Upregulating breathwork
  • Jogging
  • Stomach crunches
  • Woodchopper movements with sound
  • Bow pose
  • Power walking and lifting the shoulders
  • Energetic belly laughing
  • Anything that overcomes inertia and sluggishness

Chakra Four

  • Sanskrit name: Anahata
  • Location: Heart
  • Element: Air
  • Psychological function: Love
  • Resulting in: Peace
  • Demon: Grief
  • Glands: Thymus
  • Other body parts: Lungs, heart, circulatory system, arms, hands

The fourth chakra is located over the sternum or heart and is associated with love. Its element is air.

At this energy center, we start to transcend our ego and personal will and connect both the lower more grounding energy centers with the higher more transcendent energy centers at the heart of them all.

The love we experience at the heart is different and more complete than the sexual energy we experience at the second chakra. It has an element of transcendent quality to it merging both the body and the divine. 

When the heart chakra is open and connected to the other energy centers it will infuse the quality of true love with grounding, will, expression, and transcendent intuition allowing the person to manifest and create beauty in the world. 

It will allow someone to have a love towards themselves and all beings on this earth that flows effortlessly. 

When the heart chakra is closed someone will have a hard time feeling the suffering of others and they will be blocked from true loving relationships with all things around them. 

They will lean more in the direction of selfish needs instead of unselfish service.


  • Chest openers
  • Cobra pose
  • FIsh pose
  • Loving Kindness meditations
  • Showing appreciation
  • Changing self criticism to self love and acceptance
  • Doing service work to help others

Chakra Five

  • Sanskrit name: Vishuddha
  • Location: Throat
  • Element: Sound
  • Psychological function: Communication
  • Resulting in: Creativity
  • Demon: Lies
  • Glands: Thyroid
  • Other body parts: throat, ears, mouth, shoulder, neck

The fifth chakra is located in the throat and is associated with communication and creativity. Its element is sound.

Sound, rhythm, and vibration are powerful rulers of our lives. We use them, create them, and respond to them each day. Communication is essential to human relationships.

Communication is also the connecting principle that makes life possible. From DNA encoded messages of living cells to the spoken or written word, from the nerve impulses connecting mind and body, the broadcast waves connecting continent to continent, communication coordinates everything.

Chakra five is the energy center related to communication through sound, vibration, self-expression, and creativity. It is the realm of consciousness that controls, creates, transmits, and receives communication within ourselves and with each other.

When the throat chakra is open and able to flow smoothly we have a balance between talking and listening, the ability to speak our mind without fearing the response, and the ability to express our creativity in the form of writing, speaking, art, or music. We love ourselves and are confident in our own self-expression.

When the throat chakra is blocked or closed off we have a hard time speaking our mind when we need to, we fear criticism of our ideas or expression, and we feel controlled and powerless to voice our opinions. We overthink everything that we say or express.


  • Playing charades
  • Taking times of silence
  • Recording and listening to your voice
  • Neck rolls
  • Shoulder stands
  • Head lifts
  • Plough pose
  • Humming AUM or vibratory sounds in your throat

Chakra Six

  • Sanskrit name: Ajna
  • Location: Third eye
  • Element: Light 
  • Psychological function: Intuition
  • Resulting in: Imagination
  • Demon: Illusion
  • Glands: Pineal
  • Other body parts: eyes, base of skull, brow

The sixth chakra is located in the center of the forehead and is associated with clairvoyance, intuition and imagination. Its element is light.

The sixth chakra is associated with the third eye center and it’s the base of our intuitive knowledge, the ability to create higher visions, predict future events, and align ourselves to the divine energy of the universe.

The third eye sees beyond the physical world into the energetic and psychic worlds. It sharpens our lens of perception about the mysteries of the world which cannot be known by examining just physical matter.

It is associated with the pineal gland which is sometimes called the seat of the soul.

When the third eye chakra is open there is a healthy sense of intuition, guidance in a person’s life, the ability to understand things from a deeper level than the physical plane, more alignment with divine presence, and the ability for psychic abilities and deep wisdom.

When the third eye chakra is closed there is faulty intuition, less divine guidance, lots of second-guessing big decisions, an inability to understand the deeper meanings, and less clairvoyance.


  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Creative thinking
  • Activities that calm the mind-body to allow a deeper connection to the divine light

Chakra Seven

  • Sanskrit name: Sahasrara
  • Location: Top of head
  • Element: Thought
  • Psychological function: Understanding
  • Resulting in: Bliss
  • Demon: Attachment
  • Glands: Pituitary 
  • Other body parts: CNS, cerebral cortex

The seventh chakra is located at the top of the head and is associated with knowledge, understanding, and transcendent consciousness. Its element is thought.

We culminate the sevenfold journey climbing to the crown of the head. Here is where the infinitely profound seat of cosmic consciousness resides known as the seventh or crown chakra.

This chakra connects us with divine intelligence and is the source of all manifestation. It is the means through which we reach understanding and find meaning. As the final goal of our liberating current, it is the place of ultimate liberation.

The meaning of all things is perceived and known at this energy center and it is where when all chakras are open and connected to the crown, where “enlightenment” occurs. The ability to be in the ultimate state of consciousness is beyond reason, beyond senses, and beyond the limits of the world around us.

It is the meeting point between finite and infinite knowing.

When the seventh chakra is open someone is able to rest in the enlightened state of being more often, understand divine truths on a level of knowing, experience the light and glow of the divine, and understand reality on all planes.

When the seventh chakra is closed it basically just means someone is not at a full level of understanding where they have not released all fears, low-level energies, and is still at the mercy of lower energetic planes more often.

Also, trying to open this chakra too fast too early when there is not a supportive root and preceding harmony of energy can make it scarier than normal due to the level of power that rises up in this center.


  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Chanting
  • Unblocking lower chakras
  • Breathwork 

Understanding Chakras with Anodea Judith

I gained most of my knowledge of the chakras from practicing yoga and reading Anodea Judith’s book Wheels of Life: A Classic Guide to the Chakra System.

She has studied the chakras extensively, practiced yoga for a long time, and also has training in conventional psychology and other modalities.

Below is a video from her going over the chakra system.

Photo of author


Josh is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a small digital content publishing business. His main interests are in topics related to developing personal and financial freedom. When not working he enjoys reading, yoga, surfing, being outdoors, meditating, exploring, and hanging with friends.