what they are and what they do

Chakras are the seven energy centres that balance and distribute energy throughout our bodies. Starting at the base of the spine they move upwards to the top of the head. The word chakra originally comes from a Sanskrit word meaning spinning, or wheel.

Chakras are most often seen as vortexes of energy; these vortexes help with the operation of our bodies, minds and spirits. When a chakra is not operating in the way that it should, our physical, mental and spiritual health begin to suffer.

The root chakra is at the base of the spine and is seen as red in colour. This chakra helps us to stay grounded to the earth as well as influencing our basic instincts, energy levels and immune system. When properly balanced the root chakra stimulates physical activity and keeps us vibrant; it helps us feel alive, free, happy, secure, optimistic and energetic.

The sacral chakra is in the abdomen, roughly two inches below the naval, and is orange in colour. This chakra influences our ability to experience and control emotion, sensuality, open-mindedness. Physically it influences the lower abdomen, spleen, liver, urinary system (bladder, kidneys), and sexual and reproductive organs. When properly balanced this chakra helps us to keep a positive attitude and develop our intution; it encourages success and assists with providing focus in our lives.

The third chakra is yellow and is known as the solar plexus. This chakra influences self control and self acceptance; it assists us with tuning into the energy vibrations and emotions of others. It physically influences the digestive system, pancreas, gall bladder, nervous system, and metabolism. When the solar plexus is properly balanced it helps us to relax and enjoy life by encouraging our own personal power which assists in making us feel safe and secure. This means it is easier for us to deal with changes so we are more likely to explore new challenges and learning possibilities.

The heart chakra is green and is located in the centre of the chest. This chakra influences compassion, forgiveness, empathy, trust, and balance within life. Physically it influences the lungs, thymus, circulation, the endocrine and immune systems. When properly balanced we feel at ease and comfortable with ourselves and all around us, we experience unconditional love, forgiveness, openness, compassion, trust and more meaningful relationships.

The throat chakra is the fifth chakra, it is blue. This chakra influences communication and self expression. Physically it influences the mouth, throat, thyroid and immune system. When properly balanced, the throat chakra encourages free communication and self expression in the form of creativity and truth.

The third eye, sixth chakra, is indigo and is in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows. This chakra is associated with imagination, inner vision, awareness, intuition and psychic abilities. Physically this chakra influences the eyes, vision, nose, central nervous system, brain and pituitary gland. When the third eye chakra is properly balanced we feel confident and in control of our lives; we are secure in ourselves.

The crown, seventh, chakra is violet and is on the top of our heads. This chakra is associated with the mind and brain. It influences spiritual will, inspiration, idealism and celestial knowledge; it is our connection with the universe. Physically it influences the cerebral cortex, cerebrum, central nervous system, glands and the pineal gland, pituitary gland and associated hormones. When the crown chakra is properly balanced we are able to achieve expanded awareness on an emotional level.