Merriam Webster's dictionary defines chakras as "any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the body according to yoga philosophy. The word chakra literally means wheel in Sanskrit and can be traced back to the late 1800's.
What Merriam Webster does not state is that there are seven chakras and they are located parallel to the spine. These pinpoints of energy command the mental properties and impact our attitudes about life. They range from the root chakra which is the grounding force that allows the physical self to claim its territory to the crown chakra which is the awareness force that allows the self to be spiritually aware of the world. In order for these different energies to be influential they must be considered "open" or active. If one chakra is not active then the others ones will often compensate for the missing energy and become "overactive." Balancing the chakras is the ideal way to bring harmony into your being.
The first chakra is the root chakra. This chakra is often associated with the color red and is located at the base of the spine. As indicated from its location this chakra is influential in grounding and allowing the physical self to feel "at home." This chakra dictates ones ability to be welcome and belong to any given situation. It dictates self preservation and the will to live. When this chakra is open you will feel secure in the world. This is also the most obvious starting point to begin to open the chakras. In order to open a chakra it is important to feel welcome in the word.
The next chakra is the Sacral. Associated with the vibrant shade of orange this energy source commands feelings and sexuality. Located below the belly button the sacral stimulates creative life forces. This chakra governs the reproductive system as well as the digestive system and is known as a health related energy center. This energy source also lends fluidity and grace to our lives as it allows us to connect with others through desires, sensation and movement.
Next is the Solar Plexus or the power spot. This chakra is located behind the stomach and below the breastbone. Associated with the color yellow this area is about asserting yourself in a group. When this chakra is open and active you will confident in groups and have positive self-esteem. However, indecisive and passive behavior often indicates a closed Solar Plexus. Domineering and aggressive behavior could indicate an over-active Solar Plexus.
The fourth chakra is aptly named the Heart. Located in the center of the chest this chakra is associated with the color green. It commands love, hope and compassion. An active and vital Heart chakras allows us to lve deeply and feel compassion for others. As the center chakra is a series of seven it also allows use to balance opposites such as male and female or black and white.
Chakra five is know as the Throat. Located at the throat it is therefore related to communication. The Throat is associated with the color blue and has much to do with we relate to the world through sound.
After the Throat comes the Third Eye. This chakra is located in the middle of the forehead and is often depicted with the color purple. It represents seeing in both the physical and non-physical realms. When open and functioning properly this chakra allows us to understand both the world around us and our place among it.
The last chakra is one associated with much idealism. It is the crown and commands consciousness. This chakra is what connects us with knowledge of the world beyond the physical sense. When cultivated properly this chakra, located at the top of the head, brings us wisdom and spiritual connection.