Chakras for Beginners

The Sanskrit word chakra translates to "wheel or disc". In Hinduism and yogic philosophy, seven main chakras have been identified. These spinning vortexes of energy are located along the midline of the body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra is represented by different colours, symbols, elements, and mantras. When the chakras are open energy can pass through them easily, creating harmony and balance.
Existing within the subtle body energy system, these energy centres correlate with different organs, nerve cells, and endocrine glands, and they interact with our physical body, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects.  Although they can't be seen with the naked eye, they can be sensed intuitively. 
The Seven Main Chakras
Muladhara I Root Chakra is the first of the seven chakras and is located at the base of the spine. Its primary function relates to safety, stability, grounding, and survival instincts, which are our basic needs such as food, water, and shelter. When these are met, we feel safe and grounded in our daily lives.
Balancing the chakra creates a solid foundation for opening the higher chakras, feelings of being firmly grounded in yourself and life, and will help you feel emotionally safe and secure, stable, and supported. To balance the chakra, spend time in nature. Mindfully walk barefoot along the beach or on the grass, swim in the sea, and immerse yourself in her beauty. Practice grounding and balancing yoga poses such as Vrksasana -Tree pose,  chakra meditation, and incorporate crystals, essential oils, and affirmations.
The element associated with this chakra is Earth, the colour is red and the crystals that can be used are Garnet and Red Jasper. The mantra sound LAM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Safe and Grounded.
Svadhisthana I Sacral Chakra is the second of the seven chakras and is located in the lower abdomen. Its primary function relates to creativity, sexuality, sensuality, and pleasure.
When the chakra is balanced, it can help you experience feelings of pleasure, joy, creativity and acceptance of your physical body and sexuality. When imbalanced, you may experience feelings of stifled creativity, fear, overwhelm or sexual guilt. Bring balance back to the chakra with hip-opening asana Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclined Bound Angle pose. Practice chakra meditation, and incorporate crystals, essential oils, and affirmations.
The element associated with this chakra is Water, the colour is orange and the crystals that can be used are Orange Calcite and Carnelian. The mantra sound VAM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Creative, Radiant and Joyful.
Manipura I Solar Plexus Chakra is the third of the seven chakras and is located at the body's centre (upper abdomen). Its primary function relates to personal power, confidence, and self-esteem.
When the chakra is balanced, you can feel motivated, self-confident and courageous, with a strong sense of purpose and personal power. When imbalanced, you might experience feelings of low self-esteem, lack courage, and feel not good enough. Balance and strengthen the chakra with Virabhadrasana - Warrior II asana. Practice chakra meditation, and incorporate crystals, essential oils, and affirmations.
The element associated with this chakra is Fire, the colour is yellow and the crystals that can be used are Tiger Eye and Citrine. The mantra sound RAM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Confident, Strong and Courageous.
Anahata I Heart Chakra is the fourth of the seven chakras and is located in the centre of the chest. Its primary function relates to love for oneself and others, compassion, forgiveness, and emotional wellbeing.
When the chakra is balanced, you will feel content, loving, and compassionate towards yourself and others. When imbalanced, you might experience a lack of empathy, loneliness, emotional detachment, mistrust, or jealousy. To balance the chakra, practice self-love, self-appreciation, gratitude, and forgiveness. Realign and balance the chakra with heart-opening asana Ustrasana - Camel Pose and Camatkarasana - Wild Thing. Nourish your body with leafy greens. Practice loving-kindness meditation, and incorporate crystals, essential oils, and affirmations.
The element associated with this chakra is Air, the colour is green, and the crystals that can be used are Green Aventurine and Amazonite. The mantra sound YAM is connected with this chakra. Affirmations: IAM Love.
Vishuddha I Throat Chakra is the fifth of the seven chakras and is located at the base of the throat. Its primary function is related to communication and listening skills, expression, and the ability to speak our highest truth. 
When the chakra is balanced, we feel confident to speak up and fully express ourselves in an honest, pure and authentic way, and truly listen to others. When imbalanced, we may find it difficult to express how we truly feel, become anxious about speaking up, or have trouble listening to others. To balance the chakra work with crystals, meditate to connect the body, mind and spirit, and use the breathing technique Simhasana - Lions Breath to balance and clear the Throat chakra. Nourish your body with blueberries, blackberries, and warm herbal teas.
The element associated with this chakra is Ether, the colour is blue, and the crystals that can be used are Aquamarine and Blue Kyanite. The mantra sound HAM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Expressive.
Ajna I Third Eye Chakra is the sixth of the seven chakras and is located between the brows.  Its primary function relates to intuition, wisdom, and spiritual awareness.
When the chakra is balanced, you will trust your inner wisdom and knowledge and have clarity of thought around ideas and solutions. When the chakra is imbalanced, you might experience a loss of connection from your inner knowing, lack imagination or be narrow-minded. Balance the chakra through meditation, yoga asana Balasana - Child's pose which connects the Third Eye to earth and stimulates the centre of intuition. Nourish your body with purple and blue foods. Practice chakra meditation, and incorporate crystals, essential oils, and affirmations.
The element associated with this chakra is Light, the colour is indigo, and the crystals that can be used are Sodalite and Lapis Lazuli. The mantra sound OM pronounced AUM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Intuitive and Wise.
Sahasrara I Crown Chakra is the seventh chakra and is located at the top of the head. Its primary function relates to enlightenment, pure consciousness and spiritual connection to our higher selves and the Divine. 
When the chakra is balanced, you may feel a sense of inner peace, compassion, and wisdom. When imbalanced, you might feel disconnected from your purpose and close-minded. Balance the chakra through the practice of meditation and chant the sound OM which is pronounced AUM. It consists of 4 parts: aah, oooh, mmm, and the fourth part is silence. Additionally, yoga asana Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward Fold, crystal work, and prayer can all help balance the Crown chakra.
The element associated with this chakra is Thought, the colour is violet, and the crystals that can be used are Amethyst and Lepidolite. The mantra sound OM pronounced AUM is connected with this chakra. Affirmation: IAM Lovingly Guided and Supported by the Universe.
When it comes to exploring the topic of chakras, there is a wealth of information available. Some yoga studios offer specialised chakra workshops where they explore the chakras through asana - yoga poses, chakra meditation and mantra work. To expand and deepen your own practice, and to learn more about yoga philosophy and the subtle body, I highly recommend embarking on a Yoga Teacher Training programme.