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Chakras basics – what are they?

The world of chakras is one rich with symbolism of all kinds. It is not a world of literal meaning; rather it is one that opens itself up to the individual on many levels of understanding.

For example, the word ‘Chakra’ comes from the sanskrit word for wheel. On one level, the wheel is a circle that turns by itself. The ‘wheel’ reflects that each of the chakras rotates and turn at its own pace, independently of each other. This is symbolic of the cyclically, ever changing nature of life.

Chakras are referred to as lotuses after the beautiful flower. This water plant (similar to a water lily) is itself symbolic of the chakras. The lotus has its roots deep below the surface in the dark muddy depths, while the flower blooms under the golden light of the sun above the water.

The chakras are found in within each of us and are the bridge from the subtle body. Within the subtle body, they are the hubs between the nadis (or energy vessels). The role chakras play is one of receiving, transforming and distributing prana to the various areas of the subtle and physical body – sustaining and developing us as human beings.

These chakras are located along a central vertical axis at the front of the body. When they are aligned and open, there is a higher ability to create a balanced relationship between the human body, mind, and soul.

Traditional writing mentions around 88,000 chakras. There are, however, seven primary chakras – each significantly related to a core human need. The seven chakras and their corresponding location in the subtle body can be visualised from the top of the head down.

Click on any of the chakra images below to find out more.

Muladhara Chakra Swadhisthana Chakra Manipura Chakra Anahata Chakra
The Base Chakra (Muladhara Chakra) The Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana Chakra) The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura Chakra) The Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)
Vishuddha Chakra Ajna Chakra Sahasrara Chakra The Eighth Chakra: The Aura
The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra) Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra) The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) The Aura

Chakra Classes

Kundalini Yoga Teacher - Patty Kikos
Join expert teacher, Patty Kikos, in an 8-part journey exploring the Chakras through yoga. Recorded exclusively for, these classes are an excellent practical introduction to the Chakra. Check out the complete set of classes here.


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