The Sanskrit word, chakra, means ‘wheel’, which gives us a visual picture of a chakra: a spinning vortex that radiates energy. The energy in each chakra is specific to a particular aspect of health, well-being and contentment. There are eight chakras in total, beginning at the base of your spine (1st Chakra), progressing in intervals up to the very top of your head (7th Chakra), and finally surrounding your body as a magnetic field (8th Chakra).
The chakras each have an associated talent, colour, element and shadow emotion. The talent (or gift) manifests when the chakra is balanced and vibrating with intensity. As it is a system, the chakras work in unison – not independently. When one chakra becomes unbalanced, the energy is not radiating and this can be manifested in the shadow emotions. Kundalini yoga teaches us to develop an awareness of these energies and gives us the tools with which to maintain balance in the system.