What Are Chakras?

Understanding the Chakras Online CourseChakras are centers of energy that go up through the middle of our bodies (called the astral spine) from the base of the spine up through the top of the head.

Each chakra expresses a different quality, such as love or power. These qualities can manifest in a positive or negative way, depending on which direction our energy is heading. When we raise our energy inward and upward, it also raises our consciousness, which clears away bad habits and desires, and eventually we attain liberation.

The First (Muladhara) Chakra

This chakra is located at the base of the spine near the anus. It represents security. When our consciousness is going downward in this chakra, we become too attached to material things or become stubborn. When we raise our energy up through this chakra, it becomes our ability to concentrate, and persevere.

The Second (Swadisthana) Chakra

The second chakra is about an inch and a half above the first, in the area of the reproductive organs. This chakra, in its lower form, can cause us to become fixated on sexuality or become indecisive. As we raise our state of consciousness in this chakra, we become creative, open-minded, and more receptive to divine inspiration.

The Third (Manipura) Chakra

The manipura chakra is in the stomach area, just behind the navel. Its lower form can cause the desire for personal power. When we raise our energy up through this chakra and free it from all of its “baggage”, it becomes fiery self-control and will power. We develop the ability to achieve whatever we set our minds to.

The Fourth (Anahata) Chakra

The fourth chakra, also known as the heart chakra, located in the center of the chest. This chakra is all about love. In its highest form, this love is all-embracing and unconditional, the love of God. When our energy goes downward through this chakra though, it becomes restricted, confining our love to only one country, family, or only our own desires. It can also cause strong emotions. Romantic love can be a lower kind of love, unless we take that love and expand it to encompass all creation.

The Fifth (Bishudha) Chakra

The Bishudha chakra is in the throat area. It gives us calmness and inner peace. As we rise through this chakra, we realize there is something more in us than just our minds and bodies. When our energy is directed downward in this chakra, we experience the opposite of peace and calmness: restlessness and fear of expansion.

The Sixth (Agya) Chakra

This chakra has two poles, positive and negative, like a battery. The negative pole is at the base of the skull, where the medulla oblongata is in the brain. This is where our ego, our sense of self, is, and where life and energy enter our body. It is by rising through this chakra and losing our sense of self that we attain our true Self.

The positive pole of the sixth chakra is between your eyebrows in the frontal lobe area of your brain. It is also called the “spiritual eye” or “third eye”, and is where the energy of the lower chakras must be brought upward to in order to achieve enlightenment. This chakra may sometimes be seen in deep meditation as a tiny silvery-white star in the middle of a circle of blue, with a gold halo surrounding it. When our energy is going backward from the spiritual eye into the medulla, can become too coldly intellectual.

The Seventh (Sahasrara) Chakra

The seventh chakra is at the top of the head. It’s also known as the crown chakra or thousand-petaled lotus. It is at this chakra where we completely merge with God and achieve final liberation. It can only be reached by first attaining enlightenment in the sixth chakra. When that happens, a passage will open upward from the sixth to the seventh chakra, and we will flow out into infinite freedom.

See my next blog for ways to raise your consciousness through your chakras.

Try This

Imagine a current coming up the center of your body from the base of your spine to the medulla (base of your skull), and then through your brain to the point between your eyebrows. As the current passes through each chakra, feel it and visualize it as a flower blossom opening up as the current streams into it, offering its energy up to the one above it. Let the energy pool at the spiritual eye, filling your vision with divine radiant light.

Further Study

Chakras for Starters by Savitri Simpson
Yoga to Awaken the Chakras by Gyandev McCord
Video— Chakras: The Seven Gates to Freedom by Swami Kriyananda
Video— Awakening the Chakras by Gyandev McCord


  1. Namaskar,
    I want to balance amd atune my chakras and awake kundilini safely TO REALISE and to help myself live perfectly as well to share with others.plz guide

    1. blank

      Hi Bharti,

      The best way to align the chakras and raise the kundalini energy is through Paramhansa Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga technique. It does take a lot of commitment, but so far I have found it very much worth the effort. You can learn more about it here: https://www.ananda.org/kriya-yoga/ or email Nayaswami Devarshi at devarshi@anandaindia.org.


  2. Tower Challenge
    Dave Schmidt

    Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. ‎
    Luke 17:22 · ‎Luke 17:20

    There exists a tower surrounded by miles of ocean that sits atop a small rocky atoll with a total of eight floors. Other than the bottom floor, the remaining seven have trap doors near the wall & floor only to be opened from below. This tower structure is very narrow and rises through low lying dark clouds, emerging just above into sunshine. The individual is at the bottom level, desirous to climb out of the tower to reach the light, joy and freedom from suffering. Each level has all the worldly comforts including the last two except they do not experience relevant attachments and subsequent suffering.
    A knotted rope lies along each inside section of the wall, separated by the floors. As he reaches the bottom of each floor after climbing, he opens the trap door from below. A small window in middle of each section and opposite the rope helps with subdued lighting. Once he steps onto the next level there is a small doorway that allows him to temporarily exit the tower, and then to walk around a walled in circular pathway. Each wall is too high to see or climb over. He can choose to remain on whatever level suits him or continues to climb up each section and reach the next level. Each higher level offers a wider pathway to walk around, providing greater freedom and happiness.
    The fourth level has a larger window so affords more light, while the fifth level is where one steps out onto a wider ledge, becoming immersed in dark clouds. On the sixth level, there is no outside wall on the ledge so one is free to walk around, experiences inner awareness or Self-realization. For those who do not give up they can finish the final section, then once the door is open can realize the full light and freedom from the constraining tower in God consciousness.

    The seven centers are divinely planned exits or “trap doors” through which
    the Soul has descended into the body and through which it must reascend by
    a process of meditation. By seven successive steps, the soul escapes into
    Cosmic Consciousness. –Swami Yogananda


  3. For spritural practice Yogananda site is helpful for me.

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