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Your Guide to the 7 Chakras and How to Harmonize the Flow of Energy

The chakras are wheels of energy that express our life energy. 

Chakra translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to the vortex of energy that converges.

The location of the main seven chakras outlined in this article is along the spinal column from the base of the perineum to the crown of the head. 

Each chakra aligns with specific organs, glands, and nerve ganglia stacked from the tailbone to the head.

The human body contains many more chakras in the hands, feet, and fingers, where energy is organized, assimilated, and received. 

The chakra system originated in India over 4000 years ago.

They are mentioned in several prominent texts and sacred scriptures of Indian Philosophy, including the Vedas, The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 

This article shares the seven chakras: identities, blockages, character armor, imbalances, rights, and ways to encourage balance.

The content in this article was researched and inspired by Anodea Judith’s work from Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self

About the Chakras

“While they cannot be seen or held as material entities, the chakras are evident in the shape of our physical bodies, the patterns manifested in our lives, and the way we think, feel, and handle situations that life presents us. Just as we see the wind through movement of the leaves and branches, the chakras can be seen by what we create around us.”

– Anodea Judith

The chakras are a system designed to connect the physical with the subtle energy patterns and programming we experience within and all around us.

Though they cannot be perceived on a physical level, the chakras affect the body’s major systems, including the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, glandular, endocrine, reproductive, digestive, nervous, immune, lymphatic, excretory, and integumentary. 

The chakras influence and inspire how we breathe, think, behave, feel, act, and value. 

Based on their location in the body, the chakras hold unique characteristics and properties that allow us to identify blockages, imbalances, disease, and excess. 

1 – Root Chakra – Muladarha 

2 – Sacral Chakra – Svhadisthana 

3 – Navel Chakra – Manipura 

4 – Heart Chakra – Anahata 

5 – Throat Chakra – Vishuddha 

6 – Third Eye Chakra – Ajna 

7 – Crown Chakra – Sahasrara 

The direction of energy moves upward and downward. The two poles from the root to the crown chakra symbolize earth at the base and heaven at the head.

It correlates to the five koshas by connecting the five bodies through the chakras.

The five bodies are the physical, vital, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. 

At the base, the root chakra, we experience the physical world as dense and defined. As we progress upward to the crown chakra, the properties of the chakras become lighter, more subtle, and freer. 

The individual must be grounded and expressive in all chakras to achieve harmony. There is no specific method or pathway to work with the chakras. It is unique to the individual and their life path. 

To have a free flow movement of energy (prana) through each chakra, they must all be acknowledged and activated. 

The chakras exhibit the two essential properties of matter and spirit, which may be likened to the Samkhya concept of Prakriti (matter) and Purusha (soul). 

The lower triangle of chakras (1,2,3) are material, whereas the upper chakras (4,5,6,7) are more subtle. 

Anodea Judith calls the downward movement of energy from the crown to the base the current of manifestation.

When our visions, thoughts, and ideas are transformed into a reality and brought into the physical world for all to see, this is the current of manifestation. 

On the other hand, Judith calls the upward movement of energy from the root to the crown the current of liberation.

The lower chakras are more rigid, starting with earth and progressing upward to air, ether, and light. When our physical limitations and restrictions no longer bind us, this is the current of liberation. 

Chakras and Blockages

“Healing these imbalances is theoretically very simple. An excessive chakra needs to discharge energy, and a deficient chakra needs to receive energy.”

– Anodea Judith

In her work, Andodea Judith provides each chakra’s rights, identities, psychological health, demons, and elements. 

By understanding these properties, the individual aims to deepen their awareness of how blockages and imbalances occur in their lives.

The unique properties provide a way to use this knowledge to enhance energy flow and remove obstructions. 

A blockage in energy at a particular level occurs through childhood experiences, trauma, a lack of awareness or attention, limiting beliefs, injury, and habits that do not contribute to growth and change. 

The energy blockages appear in the body as the armors (mentioned above) through posture, musculature, and breathing patterns.

Blockages also show up in how we think, speak, interact with others, and engage new ideas. 

Judith acknowledges four ways to work with blockages:

  1. Understand the properties of each specific chakra.
  2. Examine your history (past traumas) and see how it relates to a particular chakra.
  3. Use exercises and techniques to enhance energy flow and create more openness and receptivity. 
  4. Balance excessive qualities and deficiencies by seeing where we hold onto ideas, people, or events that no longer serve. 

The Chakras and Character Armors

Judith mentions Alexander Lowen in her work to explain the character armors that arise from blockages and imbalances in the chakras.

The character armors are the holding patterns locked in the body’s tissues as a result of our defense patterns and mechanisms.

As children and into adulthood, we develop coping tendencies to trauma and stress. Without awareness, our strategies and management may become automatic habits that we defer to when not paying attention. This can cause physical and physiological issues. 

Alexander Lowen identified six character structures that act as armor to protect the individual from perceiving what is true.

Lowen was the founder of Bioenergetic Analysis. He was well-known in his field for his work on psychotherapy and the use of analysis of the body in treating psychological diseases. 

The 6 Character Structures According to Lowen

The content below is taken directly from Anodea Judith’s text Eastern Body, Western Mind. 
    Lowen named this structure Schizoid because of its characteristic split between mind and body that results from first chakra alienation. People with this structure are highly creative and intelligent, with upper chakras that are overdeveloped. 

  2. THE ORAL/LOVER. The Oral structure is discussed in the second chakra chapter as it results from deprivation in the nurturing/nourishment stage of dependency related to chakras one and two. Since Oral types are strongly oriented toward emotional merging and giving, they are also referred to as Lovers.

  3. THE MASOCHIST/ENDURER. The Masochist structure is fixated at chakra three with energy bound at the will. Robbed of their autonomy, masochists tend to hold everything inside in a conflicting pattern of pleasing and resisting, turning their blocked energy inward against the Self. They are strong and loyal, and can endure difficulty well, so they are more positively referred to as the Endurer structure.

  4. THE RIGID/ACHIEVER. Wounded at the heart by lack of approval, this type tends to focus their energy on achievement. They are highly functional but often afraid of relationships, commitment, and feelings of intimacy. 

  5. THE HYSTERIC. This structure is a variation on the Rigid/Achiever and tends to occur more often in women, who have more cultural permission to be emotional. The wounds and patterns are similar to the Achiever, but where the emotions are initially held back, they later erupt with an intensity that gives this structure its name.

  6. THE PSYCHOPATH/CHALLENGER-DEFENDER. The Psychopathic structure is also developmentally related to the third chakra, but the result is excessive rather than deficient. This type is oriented toward power-over and is also called the Challenger-Defender, as they defend the meek and challenge the strong. Since their holding pattern brings energy upward in the body, especially to the neck and shoulders.

Excerpt and image taken from Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith (pages 44-45) 

The 7 Chakras and their Properties 

By understanding the characteristics, energy, and attributes of each of the seven chakras, you can deepen your understanding of how you relate to the world within and all around you. 

More awareness can affect how our thoughts take shape in the outer world and manifest a different outcome. 

1 – Root Chakra – Muladarha 

Right to be here

Physical identity 

Psychological health – survival 

Demon – fear 

Element – earth 

► Read more about the root chakra here. 

2 – Sacral Chakra – Svhadisthana 

Right to feel

Emotional identity 

Psychological health – sexuality 

Demon – guilt 

Element – water 

► Read more about the sacral chakra here.

3 – Navel Chakra – Manipura 

Right to act 

Ego identity 

Psychological health – power 

Demon – shame

Element – fire  

► Read more about the navel chakra here. 

4 – Heart Chakra – Anahata 

Right to love 

Social identity 

Psychological health – love 

Demon – grief 

Element – air 

► Read more about the heart chakra here. 

5 – Throat Chakra – Vishuddha 

Right to speak 

Creative identity

Psychological health – communication 

Demon – lies

Element – ether 

► Read more about the throat chakra here. 

6 – Third Eye Chakra – Ajna 

Right to see 

Archetypal identity 

Psychological health – intuition 

Demon – illusion

Element – light 

► Read more about the third eye chakra here. 

7 – Crown Chakra – Sahasrara 

Right to know 

Universal identity 

Psychological health – consciousness 

Demon – attachment 

Element – thought

► Read more about the crown chakra here. 

Images of the 7 Chakras and their properties thanks to Anodea Judith

Yoga Classes and Meditations for the Chakras 

There are many tools and practices that create a heightened state of awareness to encourage the flow and release of energy within the body through the chakras. 

Yoga activates the specific chakras through asanas, pranayamas, mudras, mantras, kriyas, and visualization. 

Yoga means to yolk and works with the physical and subtle properties of the individual, which is similar to the expression of the chakras. 

1 – Root Chakra – Muladarha 

2 – Sacral Chakra – Svhadisthana 

3 – Navel Chakra – Manipura 

4 – Heart Chakra – Anahata 

5 – Throat Chakra – Vishuddha 

6 – Third Eye Chakra – Ajna 

7 – Crown Chakra – Sahasrara 


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