What are Chakras and What do their Colors really mean?

Updated: Mar 30



When were Chakras Discovered?


In order to learn about the colors of chakras and what they mean, we need to learn about where the term originated. There are debates about exactly when Chakras were discovered. Some websites and books claim it was part of a religion that dates back early between 1,500 BC and 500 BC. However according to Shashikumar, in chapter 3 of Philosophy of Tantra, it originated from India and historians and scholars say that the chakras are part of the practices of yoga, Tantra, and meditation. [10]. All of these practices can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization in India and they claim it dates as far back as 2,700 BC. [10].


What is Tantra Yoga?


Chakras are associated with Tantra yoga and Tantric yoga was first described in the oldest scriptures of India called the Vedic scriptures known as Agama. [10]. Tantra reflects Hinduism and Buddism. [10]. These two religions believe that not any one particular religion is false, but instead are open to all forms of worship and accept them. [10]. Tantras philosophy promotes the seeking of eternal truth during the continuous changes of human conditions in life. [10].


The Tantra religion itself deals in psychic energy centers. [10]. The word "chakra" means the wheel. It can be a wheel of time, a wheel of life, a wheel of rhythm, or a wheel of creation. Either way, it means circle or cylindrical, to be round, to be centered. So, you can interpret that chakras are used to describe the energy centers of the body and was created sometime during the era of the Tantra religion. [10]. On a metaphysical level, the goal of this practice is come to self-realization and to personally integrate the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions of the body with the universe that surrounds us all. [10].


The views of the Tantra religion in relation to chakras and Kundalini yoga in Western civilization came from a book, Sir John Woodroffe’s The Serpent Power (1919), a very serious book. [10]. Inside Woodruff’s book chapters describe things like Shakta metaphysics and cosmology, types of yoga such as Patanjali Yoga and Tantric practice, as well as the chakras themselves. [4]. This is a great book to read, but there is more to the Tantric religion and chakra philosophy.


What is Kundalini?


Kundalini is a type of yoga that bases their practices on the meaning that if a person understands the [true nature of all that surrounds us] and has harmony with it, the action and knowledge of this understanding can continue with the Law of Nature. [1]. This relationship with true nature leads to the purification of energies (soul) and gives results. [1]. Kundalini is the actual energy and not actual consciousness. [2]. It's described more in relation to a metaphysical or psychic level of understanding of experiences.


Various sources describe these chakras and there is some argumentation of whether there are 5, 6, 7, or 8 of these main centers within the human body. However, according to Dhanapthi P. Ph.D. in Yoga for Human Excellence, there are "6 subtle centers called padmas (chakras), invisible to our senses, that could be experienced through the eyes of yoga."[2]. This leaves 1 center as being the center that connects us with divinity. Nonetheless, another researcher S. Nithya Ph.D. of Yoga, claims there are 7 centers. [8]. Therefore, we can all assume that both are correct and there are a total of chakra centers.


Nadis are the small nerves that run throughout the body. [2]. There are said to be more than 700 million of these. [2]. The centers are used to represent the Kundalini chakras. [2]. Also, the Kundalini chakras are energy centers that align in ascending order with the vertebrae of the human spine, which are more detailed in the explanation below. The 7 chakras are also represented by colors, but this discovery is said to be new and not part of the original representation of the Tantric religion.

What are Auras?

An aura is a personal energy field. [5]. It is like a magnetic field or shield type of energy that surrounds a human being. [5]. It is our [own] personal shield of energy and each human being is said to have one. [9]. There are few studies have actually shown this to be true. Nonetheless, we have already proven that microscopic electrons exist since this theory and it only makes sense that would come together to form an energetic fingerprint that represents a specific formation of colors.


A small number of studies have said that auras have several colors of energy. [9]. These colors are represented by the chakra centers and are the energy sources within us that are aligned with our physical, mental, and emotional being. [9]. Some people believe that Kundalini chakras if controlled properly, can vitalize certain parts of the body and improve certain bodily functions and processes. As well, to control these energies will help maintain mental, physical, and emotional balance. In addition, Carl Jung, a well-known psychiatrist has said the Kundalini is the medium for consciousness and expressed this practice as the concept for specifying our own experiences accompanied by the unconscious. [2].


In theory, the energy of creation is all around us and is what makes us. Molecules made from electrons circle and attract to one another. The source of the force of this energy is supposed to be trapped in the base of the body or base of the spine. Furthermore, it is said the purpose of kundalini yoga is to actually awaken or even strengthen these areas until union with the energy of creation that surrounds us is achieved throughout the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions.


The 7 Chakras


Since the 7 chakras are the most commonly found in literature, we will focus on these. The 7 chakras are called [4]:


  1. Muladhara = the Root/Base

  2. Svadhisthana = the Sacral

  3. Manipura = the Solar Plexus

  4. Anahata = the Heart

  5. Vishuddha = the Throat

  6. Ajna = the Third-Eye/Brow

  7. Sahasrara = the Crown

How do humans see Colors?


In the 17th century, Isaac Newton discovered that by reflecting light through prisms he could manipulate electrons and wavelengths. [3]. He found certain colors that we could visibly see (red, orange, yellow, etc..) could change at different wavelength capacities when reflected through prisms of glass. [3]. Red light, for example, could bend more than violet light. He discovered that red light was at one end of the [visible region] spectrum and violet was on the other. [11].


Visible light is said to contain all of the colors of the rainbow and an object gets its color due to how the electrons absorb energy from light. The electrons create electromagnetic radiation (energy) that exists within magnetic fields. [11]. The nature of light is described in variables that represent frequencies, wavelengths, speeds, and amplitudes. [11]. All light (waves of electromagnetic radiation) travel at the same speed but differ in frequencies, which create different wavelengths, which are known to us as colors. Electrons can get hyperactive or excited and the more energy they absorb the shorter the wavelengths become. [11]. Eventually, frequency portrays a specific color of visible light. [11].


Chakras and Colors


Each of the 7 Chakras has a color now assigned to it thanks to the Western interpretation of Eastern philosophy. Researchers began associating the chakra psychic centers to the spectrum of light and can now be regarded considerably as a basic Chemistry 101 lesson.


Chakras were also each given a color and a corresponding [colored] crystal formed from Earth (Earth's heat on rocks and wavelengths of light create the crystal and the color) to match it. [4]. The theory is that infrared light exists at a specific frequency just before the color spectrum and ultraviolet light exist at a frequency just before the color spectrum. [11]. We supposedly cannot see anything before or beyond this spectrum and this spectrum is called the visible spectrum. [11]. These are all described as electromagnetic. [7].


Here are the chakra colors in connection to our color spectrum [4]:


  1. Root/Base = Red

  2. Sacral = Orange

  3. Solar Plexus = Yellow

  4. Heart = Green

  5. Throat = Pale Blue

  6. Third-Eye/Brow = Indigo/Violet

  7. Crown = Lavender/White


What do the Colors of the 7 Chakras mean?


The colors are assigned to the 7 chakras as colors of influence. [4]. These influences can be the energy of the spectrum of light. The influence of this light is said to influence the elements of the earth, the body's senses, spine alignment, or the even the endocrine system.[4]. All of these have color, therefore it only makes sense. The chakras in literature are directly related to the spine and nervous system, which is where the chakra centers ly. Therefore, when doing yoga types of exercise or getting your spine aligned properly, it is said that a person will strengthen these centers of energy. Some even claimed to say they have seen these centers since they are colors. [9].


The chakras are like a map of how the energy of that particular region affects us as a whole. They also represent our personalities with regard to stronger centers and weaker centers. To align them would be to give us full alignment of the universe. This is what each Center signifies in regard to a person and how they feel, think, and their physiological wellbeing :


  1. Red = Structure, Survival, Trust

  2. Orange = Desire, Openness

  3. Yellow = Energy, Weakness, Strength

  4. Green = Equality, Rejection, Compassion

  5. Pale Blue = Communication, Growth through Expression

  6. Indigo/Violet = Envisioning, complete Balance

  7. Lavender/White = Spirituality, Wisdom, Thought


The Map can tell a person where they are unbalanced depending on what they feeling.


Chakras Explained


Crown- white means death or beyond, spirituality, inner wisdom, and thought. [4]. Communicates with the rest of the chakras. [4]. Represents the pituitary gland in the endocrine system which communicates similarity by producing hormones that interact with the rest of the body. [4]. The crown chakra connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via the endpoint of the spinal cord thus connected the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus. This chakra connects the physical body to the emotional body via meditation [4]. The emotional body connects to the mental body to achieve a feeling of universal. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body by feeling a sense of being. [4].

  • Pituitary

  • The endpoint of the spinal cord

  • Mind

  • To know

  • Disability, learning disorders, depression, T3DM, spacy or confused, overly smart or intellectual,


Third-Eye/Brow- indigo or violet means envisioning and balance. [4]. Balances the higher and lower chakras through trusting inner guidance. [4]. Represents the pineal gland in the endocrine system which regulates sleep and waking up by producing melatonin. [4]. The third-eye/brow chakra connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via C1and C2 of the spinal cord and the pineals gland connects to the thalamus (crown). This chakra connects the physical body to the emotional body by opening up intuition. [4]. The emotional body connects to the mental body via visual consciousness. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body by feeling a sense of clarity. [4].

  • Pineal

  • C1 & C2 of spinal cord

  • Mind

  • To perceive

  • Sleep disorders, psychiatric disorders, vision problems, nightmares, sinus issues, lack of intuition, migraines, bi-polar


Throat- pale blue means communication and growth through expression. [4]. It's has a significant role in dream control through yoga and lucid dreaming. [4]. Represents the thyroid gland in the endocrine system which regulates growth and maturity by producing thyroid hormone [4]. The throat chakra also connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via C3 -C8 of the spinal cord. This chakra connects the physical body via communication to the emotional body. [4].The emotional body connects by feeling a sense of independence. [4]. The mental body connects via fluid thought. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body to produce a spiritual sense of security. [4].

  • Thyroid

  • C3-C8 of spinal cord

  • To express

  • thyroid or hearing problems, lying, gums or teeth issues, shoulders and neck problems, lack of purpose, fear of speaking


Heart- green or pink means equality, rejection, and compassion. [4]. It has a significant role in complex emotions and overall well-being. [4]. Represents the thymus gland in the endocrine system which is also an element of the immune system by producing cells responsible for fighting disease, but will be affected negatively by the influence of stress. [4]. The heart chakra also connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via T1 -T3 of the spinal cord. This chakra connects the physical body via circulation to the emotional body. [4]. The emotional body by feelings of passion. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body by feeling unconditional love for self and others to produce a spiritual sense of devotion. [4].

  • Thymus

  • T1-T3 of spinal cord

  • To love

  • asthma, apnea, heart and lung problems, allergies, immune disorders, breast or chest cancers, anti-socialism, thymus issues, circulation issues


Solar Plexus- yellow means transformations and willpower. [4;6]. It has a significant role in digestion, how nutrients are used for the body, how you transition your thoughts and form simple to complex emotions or opinions, and plays a role in weakness or strength in the mind to feel motivation and power. [4].Represents the Islets of the Langerhans in the endocrine system which are cells in the pancreas that produce insulin hormones that interact with the rest of the body. [4]. This chakra is also said to interact with the adrenals. [4]. The navel/plexus chakra also connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via the T4 -T12 of the spinal cord. This chakra connects the physical body via digestion to the emotional body. [4]. The emotional body connects to the mental body by feelings of expansion. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body by feeling personal power to produce a spiritual sense in all matters of growth. [4].

  • Pancreas and Adrenals

  • T4-T12 of the spinal cord

  • To act

  • digestion, liver, kidney, rage, hate, unforgiving by nature, timid, T1DM or T2DM, ulcers, chronic fatigue, low self-esteem


Sacral- orange means desire and openness [4;6]. It has a significant role in pleasure management (addictions, violence, porn), relationship needs, and managing change. [4;6]. Represents the genitourinary system and reproductive organs in the endocrine system which produces hormones that control the reproductive cycle and communicate with the adrenal cortex of the endocrine system. [4]. The sacral chakra also connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via the sacrum and Lower spinal cord. [4]. This chakra connects the physical body via reproduction to the emotional body. [4]. The emotional body connects to the mental body by feeling a sense of joy. [4]. The emotional body opens up the spiritual body to achieve creativity to produce a spiritual sense of enthusiasm. [4].

  • Genitourinary and reproductive systems

  • Sacrum

  • To feel

  • sexual confusion, genital problems, fertility problems, rigidity, isolation, hip or joint problems in the pelvic area, dehydration, urinary problems


Root/Base- red means structure; survival, and trust, [4;6]. It has a significant role in bodily elimination, managing intense feelings of sexuality, meeting the needs of basic instincts and survival, and achieving the feeling of being grounded. [4;6]. Represents the adrenal medulla in the endocrine system which produces flight or fight response for survival when feeling threatened, and the testes of the male endocrine system. [4]. The root/base chakra also connects to the central nervous system (CNS) via the coccyx. [4]. This chakra connects the physical body via sexuality to the emotional body. [4]. The emotional body connects to the mental body by feelings of sensuality. [4]. The mental body opens up the spiritual body to achieve stability to produce a spiritual sense of security. [4].

  • Adrenal Medulla

  • Coccyx

  • To have

  • bowel issues, blood or bone disorders, obesity or anorexia, chronic fear, materialism, instability


A person can have a number of chakras out of balance. Usually, one chakra unbalanced the others. A person should realign their chakras in chronological order. The main chakra out of balance is always the hardest to align. As well other energies can influence the imbalance of a person's chakra centers. therefore fail practice is suggested.


Chakras, Elements, and Yoga Poses to Strengthen


It is said that you start from one chakra and work your way to the other end. Many say you start from the crown or the root chakra. However, according to Brett Larkin Yoga, it is proper to begin from the root chakra because you cannot move up through the rest of the chakras unless your basic needs are met. [6]. Basic needs to make us feel secure like food, shelter, water, and safety. [6]. When this chakra center is strong, we will feel stable and secure enough to move forward and strengthen the next chakra.


Root

  • Red glowing energy or lava

  • Earth; grounded and secure

  • element of survival

  • Muladhara strengthening yoga poses

Sacral

  • Orange glowing energy

  • Water; fluidity and movement

  • element of change

  • Svadhisthana strengthening yoga poses

Solar Plexus

  • Yellow glowing energy or the sun

  • Fire; transformation and will power

  • element of energy

  • Manipura strengthening yoga poses

Heart

  • Green glowing energy

  • Air; the bridge between the physical and mental world

  • element of connecting

  • Anahata strengthening yoga poses

Throat

  • Pale Blue glowing energy

  • Sound; listening and talking to others and ourselves

  • element of truth without fear

  • Vishuddha strengthening yoga poses

Third-Eye

  • Indigo/Violet glowing energy

  • Light; to balance, find the connection of wisdom, and inner guidance

  • element of insight

  • Ajna strengthening yoga poses

Crown

  • White or Lavender glowing energy

  • Thought; the gateway to spirituality, awareness, and wisdom

  • element of thought

  • Sahasrara strengthening yoga poses

References:

  1. Dhanapathi, P. (2017). Humanity To Divinity Study Of Consciousness In Simplified Kundalini Yoga Sky. Bharathiar University: Department of Yoga or Human Excellence. Retrieved from https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/236308/4/04_chapter1.pdf

  2. Dhanapathi, P. (2017). Humanity To Divinity Study Of Consciousness In Simplified Kundalini Yoga Sky. Bharathiar University: Department of Yoga or Human Excellence. Retrieved from https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/236308/5/05_chapter2.pdf

  3. Fara P. (2015). Newton shows the light: a commentary on Newton (1672) 'A letter … containing his new theory about light and colours…'. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 373(2039), 20140213. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2014.0213

  4. Guimaraes, F. (n.d.). Vibrational energy medicine: Complementary or Alternative healing modalities. Retrieved from Google Books

  5. Kafatos, M. C., Chevalier, G., Chopra, D., Hubacher, J., Kak, S., & Theise, N. D. (2015). Biofield Science: Current Physics Perspectives.Global advances in health and medicine,4(Suppl), 25–34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654779/

  6. Larkin, B. (n.d.). Chakra Challenge [Playlist:15 Video Series]. Brett Larkin Yoga. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/BrettLarkinYoga

  7. McKinney, M. F., & Delgutte, B. (1999). A possible neurophysiological basis of the octave enlargement effect. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 106(5), 2679–2692. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.428098

  8. Nithiya, S. (2015). Impact of chakra sadhana on selected respiratory- physiological and socio-physiological factors among adolescent boys. Tamilnadu Physical Education and Sports University Department of Yoga. Retrieved from https://.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/217646/8/08_chapter%201.pdf

  9. Peck, S., Corse, G., & Lu, D. F. (2017). Case Report: Energy Field Changes Approaching and During the Death Experience.Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.),16(6), 36–42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438089

  10. Shashikumar, S. (2003). The Philosophy of tantra with special reference to OSHO - a study. Karnatak University: Department of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/95836/8/08_chapter%203.pdf

  11. 49th Octave of Vibration. (n.d.). As humans, we exist in the 49th octave of vibration of the electromagnetic light spectrum. Bandcamp. Retrieved from https://questionmarkok.bandcamp.com/album/as-humans-we-exist-within-the-49th-octave-of-vibration-of-the-electromagnetic-light-spectrum

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