An evening chakra tuning is one of my favorite meditation practices, and it’s actually the most popular guided meditation people seek on my website.

I took my first step into that realm more than 15 years ago, when I stumbled into what I thought was a simple hatha yoga class that turned out to be a two-hour chakra awakening session. In that class, I learned that according to ancient Vedic wisdom, there are seven major energy centers in the body. These are known as chakras, a term that derives from the Sanskrit word cakram, meaning “turning” or “wheel.”

Each chakra has a specific color associated with it, as well as a vibrational mantra that opens or tunes the energy flow in each of our energy centers. This tuning is similar to opening up additional lanes on a highway. When the traffic has broader bandwidth, it can flow more easily and quickly.

Chakra meditation is powerful because it opens you up to a more universal flow at the level of your personal physiology, your emotional state, and your spiritual awareness.

In the Vedic tradition, they start with the most earthbound and weighty and move upward to the more subtle, getting lighter and lighter until they reach the state of pure ether. Let’s explore each of the seven main chakras in a little more detail to set the foundation for the meditation.

First Chakra

The first chakra, also called the root or base chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Muladhara (pronounced moola-dara). This is your personal connection to groundedness, stability, connection, and community, and therefore it is the heaviest of chakras. This foundational chakra is the platform for everything we create in the physical world. The root chakra is located at the tip of the tailbone and is essentially your contact point to the earth when you sit on the floor or ground. This is the site of your physical connection to the world. Traditionally, the Muladhara is associated with the color red. During a chakra tuning, this root is where the foundational flow of the universe’s energy enters you. So the flow of anything from the unmanifest, the unseen, the unbirthed, or the infinite enters here. The vibration or mantra for the first chakra is Laam.

Second Chakra

The second chakra also called the sacral or sex chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Svadhisthana (pronounced svah-dee-shtana) chakra. This is your personal connection to creativity—your own and that of the universe. It is located three fingers below your navel. It is traditionally associated with the color orange. The most powerful energy on the planet is creative energy. And it is the energy of birthing that transforms the unmanifest into the manifest, thought into action, concept into product, idea into utterance, and desire into fulfillment.

When the second chakra is balanced, you are full of possibilities. You move in the direction of your dreams, and you know that you are deserving of them. The vibration or mantra for the second chakra is Vaam.

Third Chakra

The third chakra, also called the solar plexus chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the manipura (pronounced monny-poora). This chakra moves you forward and helps you follow through in the direction of the seeds you’ve planted in the fertile ground of your second chakra. The manipura is located in the center of your chest at your solar plexus, a few inches below the joining of your rib cage. This is essentially the center of your body, where your emotional and physical digestive fires burn most brightly. This radiating power plant moves you toward your target and awakens your personal, internal strength to achieve your intentions and desires. Traditionally it is associated with the color yellow. This chakra has also been referred to as the sun or Surya chakra (surya means “sun” in Sanskrit), because the golden yellow sun that radiates from the solar plexus is ever evolving, metabolizing, and transforming us in every moment.

When we harness the energy of the solar plexus chakra, we find empowerment and transformation. The vibration or mantra for the third chakra is Raam.

Fourth Chakra

The fourth chakra, also called the heart chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Anahata (pronounced anna-hatta) chakra. This is your personal connection to love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and peace. The Anahata is located near your physical heart, in the center of your chest. You can place your hands on your heart right now and breathe in and feel the love flowing in and out of you.

That’s your Anahata—your true Buddha nature. Traditionally, it is associated with the color green. The world could always use a bit more love, and each of us could also always use a bit more love. We never can have enough.

To get the love flowing, you need to love yourself first, which is difficult for many of us. What’s the challenge? We have built barriers to receiving love. We tell ourselves, “I’m not worthy,” “I don’t deserve it,” or, “Others deserve it more than me.” Or sometimes we simply feel “less than.” When we awaken our heart chakra, love radiates around us, to us, and out into the world.

If we are going to share our gifts with the world, we need to fill ourselves first. It’s similar to when you board a plane and the flight attendant says something along the lines of, “If the cabin decompresses, oxygen masks will drop down. If you’re traveling with a child, please make sure you put the mask on yourself first before you place it on the child.”

The vibration or mantra for the fourth chakra is Yaam. Several Sanskrit scholars have also said the vibration can be pronounced as Yum.

Fifth Chakra

The fifth chakra, also called the throat chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Vishuddha (pronounced vi-shoo-da) chakra. This connects you to expressing both your personal Self and your most universal Self. It is located at the center of your neck in the middle of your throat. Traditionally it is associated with the color blue.

The throat chakra is where we communicate, emote, and give ourselves permission to express. Congestion in the throat chakra is often a sign that you are repressing some aspect of yourself, not willing to admit something to yourself, or that you are withholding permission from yourself to do something. This is the chakra that is the last doorway to the lighter, higher chakras and the more ethereal nature of Self. Before there can be a growth breakthrough or a step into the next chapter of your life, you must give yourself permission to move forward in some way—something you have long denied or repressed.

When this chakra opens, you have truly given yourself permission to let the universe work through you. You are willing to let your voice be heard! The vibration or mantra for the fifth chakra is Haam. Some scholars also pronounce this mantra as Hum.

Sixth Chakra

The sixth chakra, also called the third-eye chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Ajna or Ajana (pronounced ahjj-na) chakra. This is your personal connection to source, insight, and intuition, essentially the doorway to what the 9th-century sage Adi Shankara referred to as the “causal realm.” It is located in the middle of the lower forehead, between your eyes and up a bit.

Traditionally, the sixth chakra is associated with the color purple. Throughout time, in many different cultures, there has been a distinct relationship between the third eye and mystical or spiritual properties. It is considered the connecting point between your personal Soul and the universal Spirit—essentially where all your discernment and intuition rests.

The vibration or mantra for the sixth chakra is Shaam. When we awaken this chakra we begin to really see, and make more conscious choices.

Seventh Chakra

The seventh chakra, or crown chakra, is known in Sanskrit as the Sahaswara (pronounced sah-ha-swa-rah) or thousand-petaledlotus chakra. This is your connection to the unbounded, infinite, expanding flow of the universe. It is located at the crown of your head and is often depicted in art as the Hindu deity Shiva, spouting the Ganges River from the top of his head. Traditionally, it is associated with the color white or ultraviolet—beyond the spectrum of all colors.

This is the chakra in which everything that has just flowed through you flows back out into the universe. When one has limiting beliefs, opening up the crown chakra provides you access to the entire universe of possibilities. This is you in your most universal state, surrendering your individuality and ego for cosmic consciousness and moving from multiplicity into one-ness. The vibration or mantra for the seventh chakra is Om.

There are some schools of chakra practice that use the vibration Om for the sixth chakra and teach that the vibration of the seventh chakra is beyond sound. Please feel free to follow the practice that feels most comfortable to you.

Over the years, I have recorded many chakra meditations, and several can be found online. On my first album Fill What is Empty; Empty What is Full, I created a healing chakra meditation called “Heal Your Body” that uses the chakra mantras and additional vibrations to take you to a deep place of physical and emotional healing. On Guided Affirmations, Channeling the Universe through the Chakras, I was inspired by the artisanship of Karla Refoxo’s Tulku Chakra Amulet Collection and the affirmations she has woven into the charged chakra amulets she creates in Nepal.

In that 20 minutes of “energy meditation,” you open each chakra, and as you tune each one through the power of affir-mations, you access the universal traits in each energy center to empower yourself. There are many other resources that can offer you a chakra meditation that lasts from five minutes to an hour. Whatever you choose, I encourage you to explore some form of chakra practice to experience a unique and healing opening.

davidji is a globally recognized mindbody health & wellness expert, mindful performance trainer, meditation teacher & author of Amazon’s Best Seller destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind and Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation, & winner of the Nautilus Book Award. Connect with him on . FacebookYouTube and Twitter.