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Chakra Transformation: Our Extraordinary Energy Centers

Chakras are all based on energy. That energy is physical, emotional and intellectual. The emotions in particular are powerful transformers. In fact, the word “emotions” can be decoded as “energy in motion.” The key is to transform this extraordinary energy rather than to deny or suppress your feelings.

Energy can be transformed in a number of ways. For example, mantras are a tool that can transform chakra energy. This is my own favorite practice for balancing and healing the chakras. Other practices that may be helpful in working with the energy of the chakras include exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling and so forth.

There are differences in the recommendations from source to source for these approaches. You may want to find more than one approach that works for your temperament and personality. Research and personal experience will help you to determine which tools are most helpful for you.

Chakra Transformation through Mantras

In the practice of mantra yoga, there are seed syllables associated with each chakra. These are concentrated sounds in Sanskrit that strengthen the energy of each chakra. In order from the base to the crown, these are LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM and AUM (also ANG or AH). There are examples of mantras for the chakras in the related article entitled Chakra Mantras.

Seven Chakra Definitions with Chakra Sounds

I like to practice the seed syllables for each chakra in song form. I also focus on the various deities in Hinduism associated with the chakras. Learn more at Hindu Deities & Mantras. The deities and their stories are highly symbolic.

Understanding Chakra Transformation

Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of the seven major chakras. Chakra meaning does vary to some degree from source to source. This is a vast field of study. One note of warning: some practitioners believe that all of our experiences and memories are encoded in the energy of the chakras. This is powerful stuff.

In the process of chakra tranformation, memories and emotions can be released. As a result, while you are working with the chakras you may suddenly feel grief or anger on the one hand or experience sudden laughter or elation on the other hand. This could occur while focusing on a particular chakra or at any point afterwards.

If this happens and the experience is disconcerting, please take care of yourself and find the assistance you need from family, friends and professionals. For additional study, find more about the seven major chakras in our other Chakra Resources.

Chakra Definitions and Meditation
Statues from the Garden of a Thousand Buddhas

Working with the Chakras

Traditional illustrations of the chakras include extensive symbolism, Sanskrit letters, and hieroglyphs. They reveal ancient wisdom, depicting the various aspects of consciousness associated with each chakra.

There are a number of ways to work with chakra transformation:

  • toning the seed syllables or sounds for each of the seven chakras (see Chakra Sounds)
  • chanting mantras dedicated to the deities associated with each chakra 
  • visualizing light and healing for the physical organs associated with each chakra
  • working with the psychological and emotional aspects of each chakra
  • using visualizations, yantras (see Yantra Meaning) and color therapy for the chakras 
  • using Essential Oils and Chakras Stones for the chakras 
Garden Buddha Meditating

Learn more about the benefits of essential oils on the Essential Drops of Joy website.

An Unexpected Chakra Transformation

I had an unexpected experience of the power of the chakras several years ago. I was taking a swing dance class with my husband. He was enthusiastic about having me there as he was an avid ballroom dancer at the time. I was less keen on attending. However, I had agreed to go in the spirit of a shared activity.

There were twenty or thirty people in the class and the men were lined up in a circle around the edge of the room. The women would dance with one man for a moment or two, practicing a variety of spinning moves, and then move on to the next man and repeat the same steps and spins.

We were nearing the end of the hour. Since we were repeating the same spins over and over, we were actually whirling around much more than one normally would in an actual dance. Suddenly I felt a rushing sense like a campfire ignited at the base of my spine, instantaneously filling my pelvis and beginning to move upwards.

Sanskrit and Chakra Meaning
Sanskrit Prayer Wheel

I had never experienced that kind of thing before but had read and studied enough to recognize what was happening. I knew it had something to do with the kundalini energy at the base of the spine beginning to rise. However, I had no clue what would happen next.

I was panicked about being in a public place during this unusual experience. Was I going to have a seizure? Would I fall to the floor twitching and writhing and humiliate myself? Would I lose consciousness? Would they have to call an ambulance for me?

“No!” I commanded instantly, “Not here! Not now!” The experience ended as quickly as it had begun. I walked to the foyer, changed my shoes and headed for the car. To my husband’s great disappointment, I refused to take any more dance classes. Going forward, I preferred to work with the chakras in a more conscious and controlled manner.

Afterward, I did some research into the whirling dervish dances of the Sufis, which seemed to be the closest thing to what I had experienced. The whirling dervishes and even Tibetan prayer wheels are based on the principle that rotational force can result in energy rising upward. Interestingly, children often play a game of spinning around until they are too dizzy to stand up. As adults, we are generally moving only forwards or backwards!

Prayer Flags Buddha Garden

Chakras and the Kundalini Energy

What I experienced seems to have been a form of spontaneous kundalini movement. The Sanskrit word “kundalini” means “coiled like a snake.” The snake is a common symbol of the kundalini, an energy curled at the base of the spine. As the kundalini moves upward, the energy flows through the seven major energy centers called chakras.

Many mystics and yogis have written and taught about the rising of the kundalini. In some meditation practices, bringing the energy to the crown of the head is considered to be the physical counterpart to achieving enlightenment. Of course, there are mystics who have achieved elevated states without any knowledge of such things. You do not necessarily have to know chakra definitions or the details of the kundalini to meditate, practice yoga or sing mantras.

All the same, if you want to cultivate this process consciously or you are seeking to understand spontaneous experiences, familiarity with these things could be helpful. There are many approaches to awakening and raising the kundalini. A wide variety of yogic techniques can guide you in that direction. In fact, even rather mechanical practices can be effective. For example, Dr. Francis Lefebure, a French physician and scientist (1916-1988), designed a device called a Gyrascope that would awaken the kundalini when used for about an hour a day. 

Chakra Definitions and Color

Chakra Transformation and Colors

The colors associated with the chakras also differ in various traditions. Many systems use the colors of the rainbow, beginning with red at the base and moving through violet for the crown.

Some esoteric groups use a sequence of white (root chakra), violet (sacral chakra), purple/gold (solar plexus chakra), pink (heart chakra), blue (throat chakra), green (third eye chakra), and yellow (crown chakra).

This second set of colors are purported to be the purified colors of the chakras or the chakras in their etheric state. In addition, there are essential oils, chakra stones and other tools associated with each chakra. Find more about the seven major chakras in our other Chakra Resources.

Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

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Chakra Art & Gifts

Chakra symbol artwork, coffee mugs and prints featuring meditative symbols based on the ancient Hindu tradition. Unique inspirational artwork. Produced in the United States. Flat rate shipping $4.95 per order (US only), unlimited items. See all Yoga Symbol Art.

Resources on the Web: Meditation for Seniors


Chakra definitions come from ancient Eastern traditions. Chakras are spiritual centers that direct the flow of energy in the human body. They are also associated with emotional and psychological patterns. Chakra definitions help to make the unseen world of energy flow more tangible. Finally, chakra definitions give context for many practices that have become mainstream in the West such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation. This article provides chakra definitions for the seven main chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown).

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