Chakra (cakra in Sanskrit) means “wheel” and refers to energy points in your body. They are thought to be spinning disks of energy that should stay “open” and aligned, as they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being.
Some say there are 114 different chakras, but there are seven main chakras that run along your spine. These are the chakras that most of us are referring to when we talk about them.
Each of these seven main chakras has a corresponding number, name, color, specific area of the spine from the sacrum to the crown of the head, and health focus.
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
The Muladhara, or root chakra, represents our foundation. On the human body, it sits at the base of the spine and gives us the feeling of being grounded. When the root chakra is open, we feel confident in our ability to withstand challenges and stand on our own two feet. When it's blocked, we feel threatened, as if we're standing on unstable ground.
Location: Base of spine, in tailbone area
What it controls: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food
Mantra: "I can't grow from an unsteady foundation."
Yoga pose: Warrior I
When it develops: 1-7 years old
2. Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)
The Swadhisthana, or sacral chakra, helps inform how we relate to our emotions and the emotions of others. It also governs creativity and sexual energy. Those with a blocked sacral chakra could feel a lack of control in their lives.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel
What it controls: Your sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, and sexuality
Mantra: "I always honor others but not before myself."
Stone: Tiger's Eye
Yoga pose: Bound Angle Pose
When it develops: 8-14 years old
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
The third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, speaks to your ability to be confident and in control of your life. Think back to the last time you had butterflies or felt a pit in the stomach: That's the Manipurachakra at work. If your solar plexus chakra is blocked, you might feel overwhelming amounts of shame and self-doubt. Those with open sacral chakras are free to express their true selves.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area
What it controls: Self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem
Mantra: "Self-love starts when I accept all parts of myself."
The Anahata, or heart chakra, is the bridge between the lower chakras (associated with materiality) and the upper chakras (associated with spirituality). As the name suggests, this chakra can influence our ability to give and receive love—from others and ourselves. Someone with a blocked heart chakra will have difficulty fully opening up to the people in their life. If someone's heart is open, they can experience deep compassion and empathy.
Location: Center of chest, just above the heart
What it controls: Love, joy, and inner peace
Mantra: "When I love myself, loving others comes easily."
Stone: Rose Quartz
Yoga pose: Camel Pose
When it develops: 21-28 years old
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The Vishuddha, or throat chakra,gives voice to the heart chakra and controls our ability to communicate our personal power. When it's functioning at full capacity, it allows us to express ourselves truly and clearly. Someone with a blocked throat chakra will feel like they have trouble finding the words to say how they truly feel.
What it controls: Communication, self-expression, and truth
Mantra: "I speak my truth, always."
Color: Light Blue/Turquoise
Yoga pose: Fish Pose
When it develops: 29-35 years old
6. Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)
As we move up the body, we're getting closer to communion with the divine. The Anja, or third-eye chakra, controls our ability to see the big picture and connect to intuition. Think of it as the eye of the soul: It registers information beyond the surface level. Visions and intuitive hits are not uncommon for someone with an open third-eye chakra.
Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra)
What it controls: Intuition, imagination, and wisdom
Mantra: "I am open to exploring what cannot be seen."
Color: Dark Blue/Purple
Yoga pose: Child's Pose
When it develops: 36-42 years old
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
The Sahasrara, or crown chakra, the highest chakra, sits at the crown of the head and represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. When you fully open your crown chakra—something very few people ever do!—you're able to access a higher consciousness.
Location: The very top of the head
What it controls: Inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection