YogaMeaning, Symbolism, and Location • Yoga Basics

Meaning, Symbolism, and Location • Yoga Basics


Each of us holds the ability to access our energy centers to awaken our inner potential and manifest our greatest desires. Each of yoga’s seven chakra energy centers is associated with a specific color, which is said to symbolize the different aspects of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. From the grounding energy of the red root chakra to the intuitive wisdom of the violet crown chakra, knowing the seven chakra colors is a quick and easy way to strengthen, balance, align and open these mystical and subtle energies for greater health, spiritual connection, and wellbeing.

What are the chakra colors?

There are seven primary chakras, each of which is associated with a specific color. The seven chakra colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. An easy way to remember this association and sequence is by using the acronym ROYGBIV.

Understanding the meaning and symbolism of these colors is crucial for those seeking to balance and restore their chakras, as well as knowing the location and function of each energy center. See the chakra colors chart below for a summary of the colors and meaning of each center.

Number Chakra Name (English) Chakra Name (Sanskrit) Color Properties Location
1 Root Muladhara Red Grounding, stability, security Base of the spine
2 Sacral Svadhishthana Orange Creativity, passion, sexuality Lower abdomen, below the navel
3 Solar Plexus Manipura Yellow Personal power, confidence, will Upper abdomen, below the chest
4 Heart Anahata Green Love, compassion, harmony Center of the chest
5 Throat Vishuddha Blue Communication, self-expression Throat area
6 Third Eye Ajna Indigo Intuition, insight, awareness Forehead, between the eyebrows
7 Crown Sahasrara Violet/White Spirituality, connection to the divine Top of the head

 

Why do chakras have colors?

The reason the seven chakra centers have colors is that each color is associated with a unique frequency of energy. When the chakras are functioning properly, the energy flows freely, and the corresponding color is vibrant and clear. However, when there is a blockage or imbalance in a chakra, the energy is disrupted, and the corresponding color may appear dull or faded. The colors are believed to help balance and align the chakras, promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Understanding the symbolism and meaning behind each chakra color can help individuals identify areas of imbalance in their energy centers and work towards restoring balance and equilibrium.

How did the chakras get their colors?

The yogic system of energy centers first appears in the Kubjikamata-Tantra, an 11th-century tantra yoga text. The Sat-Chakra-Nirupana further expounded on this system and was translated into English by Sir John Woodroffe in his book, The Serpent Power published in 1919. While Woodroffe describes colors in his explanation of the symbolism of these whirling disks of energy, the color associations was created by Charles W. Leadbeater in his 1927 book The Chakras. The rainbow ROYGBIV color system was first described in Christopher Hills book Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body published in 1977. Since then, the colors associated with the major chakras have become widely accepted and used in modern practices.

The chakra colors

Although the traditional scriptures did not mention chakra colors, the concept holds a certain allure and power. Chakras and colors are both expressions of vibrant energy, but only colors can be perceived by our physical senses. Thus, these colors serve as a tangible representation of the unseen flow of energy within us. This visual representation can deepen our connection with these energy centers and enhance our understanding of their profound influence on our well-being.

1. Muladhara / Root Chakra: Red

Located at the base of the spine, the first chakra is associated with the color red. The color red symbolizes vitality, power, and energy, and is often associated with the physical body and the earth. It represents the foundation of our being and is associated with our sense of safety, security, and grounding. When the root chakra is balanced, we feel grounded, secure, and connected to the earth. When the muladhara chakra is blocked or imbalanced, we may experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and instability.

2. Svadhishthana / Sacral chakra: Orange

The second chakra is associated with the color orange and is located in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel. The sacral chakra is associated with creativity, sexuality, the reproductive organs, and emotional balance. The color orange is often associated with these same qualities, as well as with warmth, enthusiasm, and vitality. When svadhishthana is balanced, we feel emotionally stable, creative, and passionate about life. However, when it is blocked or imbalanced, we may experience feelings of guilt, shame, or a lack of creativity and inspiration.

3. Manipura / Solar Plexus chakra: Yellow

The solar plexus, or manipura chakra, is located in the upper abdomen above the belly button. It is associated with the color yellow, which symbolizes energy, intellect, and confidence. The solar plexus chakra is responsible for our personal power, self-esteem, and willpower. When this is balanced, we feel confident, courageous, and motivated to achieve our goals. When it is blocked, we may experience feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, and lack of motivation.

4. Anahata / Heart chakra: Green

The fourth chakra is located in the heart center and is associated with the color green. The anahata chakra is related to love, compassion, and empathy. Green color symbolism is widely associated with growth, renewal, and harmony, which aligns with the heart chakra’s central theme of emotional balance and healing. Green is also linked to nature and the environment, which can help individuals feel more connected to their surroundings and promote a sense of inner peace. When the heart chakra is balanced and open, individuals may experience feelings of joy, forgiveness, and gratitude. An imbalanced heart chakra can lead to negative emotions, such as jealousy, anger, and resentment.

5. Vishuddha / Throat chakra: Blue

The fifth chakra is located at the center of the neck and is associated with communication, self-expression, and creativity. The color blue is the primary color associated with the throat chakra, symbolizing openness, clarity, and wisdom. Blue is also associated with the element of ether, representing space and the infinite. When vishuddha is balanced, individuals can express themselves clearly, communicate effectively, and listen to others with empathy. Imbalances in this center can result in various physical and emotional issues, such as sore throat, thyroid problems, difficulty speaking, and a lack of self-expression.

6. Ajna / Third Eye chakra: Indigo

The sixth chakra is located between the eyebrows and is associated with intuition, wisdom, and insight. Its color is indigo or dark blue, which represents deep concentration and spiritual awareness. The Third Eye chakra is also associated with the pineal gland, which is responsible for regulating sleep cycles and producing the hormone melatonin. When the Third Eye chakra is balanced and open, individuals may experience heightened intuition, enhanced creativity, and a deeper connection to their higher self. When it is blocked or imbalanced, individuals may experience confusion, lack of focus, and difficulty making decisions.

7. Sahasrara / Crown chakra: Violet

The color violet or purple, which symbolizes spirituality, enlightenment, transcendence, and universal consciousness, represents the crown chakra. The seventh chakra is located at the top of the head and is associated with the pituitary gland. When it is balanced, individuals may experience a sense of inner peace, clarity of mind, and a deeper connection to the universe. An imbalance in the seventh chakra can lead to feelings of disconnection, confusion, and a lack of purpose.

Using color to activate and balance the chakras

Color is a simple yet potent element to incorporate into a chakra healing or balancing technique. You can adapt any of the following techniques with the chakra color of your choice to activate the energy in that center.

  • Color meditation. In a comfortably seated position, imagine a radiant ball of light in the color associated with the chakra you want to activate. Visualize the light filling that center and expanding throughout your body, bringing balance and harmony to your energy centers.
  • Color therapy. Surround yourself with objects in the chakra color of your choice, such as clothing, crystals, or home décor. Wear clothing in the chakra color to promote balance or carry a gemstone in the corresponding color to enhance the healing properties. For example, to balance the Ajna Chakra, wear dark blue tops or yoga pants to yoga class or wear some lapis lazuli mala beads around your wrist or neck.
  • Color breathing. During a hatha yoga class or meditation practice, focus on the chakra color as you inhale deeply, visualizing the color filling your body and activating the corresponding chakra. As you exhale, imagine any negativity or blockages being released from that center.
  • Diet. Add more foods to your diet that are naturally in the color associated with the chakra you want to balance. For example, if you want to balance your root chakra, try incorporating more red foods, such as tomatoes, strawberries, and red peppers, into your meals.

Benefits of balancing chakras

Imbalances or blockages in our vital life force energy can cause physical and emotional issues. By balancing the chakra system, we can experience increased energy, emotional stability, mental clarity, and overall well-being.

Balancing chakras improves mental clarity and focus in daily life and cultivates emotional balance and stability, allowing graceful navigation through life’s challenges. When our energy is balanced, we radiate positive energy, transforming interactions with others and fostering deeper connections, improved communication, and greater harmony in relationships.

Creating harmony in our chakras awakens our inner guidance system, enabling clear and confident decision-making. Increased self-awareness empowers a more authentic and purposeful life. Balancing your chakras can deepen your spiritual connection, giving you a profound sense of purpose and clarity on your yogic journey.

Final thoughts

By bringing awareness to the color of our chakras, we can open ourselves up to greater spiritual and physical well-being and healing. Whether through meditation, yoga, or simply incorporating more color into our daily lives, we can work to align our energy centers and cultivate a greater sense of harmony in our body, mind, and spirit.

Embrace the beauty and symbolism of each hue as you embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and transformation. Let the vibrant chakra colors infuse your practice with a renewed sense of wonder and joy as you unlock the profound wisdom and power that resides within you.



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