Our physical body is said to be only one of our numerous bodies or sheaths. We also have a subtle, energetic body. In the physical body we have a vast network of nerves. In the subtle (energy) body we have a vast network of psychic energy channels called nadis (pronounced "nah-dee's"). The chakras are energy centres also found in this body at sites where many nadis converge.

The chakras are associated with major nerve plexuses in the physical body,. Their location may also correspond with particular endocrine glands. e.g. vishuddhi chakra and the thyroid gland in the throat region.

The word chakra can mean "wheel", but in this instance it's best thought of as a swirling vortex of energy, like a whirlpool.

There are 7 major chakras. These are found along the central energy channel, called the sushumna nadi, which roughly follows the pathway of the spine, and continues upwards to the crown of the head.

The Root Chakra: Mooladhara

The Sacral Chakra: Swadhisthana

The Solar Plexus Chakra: Manipura

The Heart Chakra: Anahata

The Throat Chakra: Vishuddha

The Third Eye Chakra: Ajna

The Crown Chakra: Sahasrara