In Hindu tradition, the Sanskrit word Chakra refers to the seven energy centers of the body. It literally means “wheel” because it is believed that the body is made up of seven wheels or spirals of energy that are moving upwards from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
In this blog post, we will explore the energy centers of yoga and how they relate to achieving a state of calmness and mindfulness.
Each of these vortex or spirals of energy emits a different light that represents seven different parts of the body. It is important for a yoga practitioner to achieve a balance of these chakras in order to obtain inner peace.
The seven chakras are:
1. Root Chakra (Muladra)
The root chakra, also known as the Muladhara, is the foundation of our physical and spiritual well-being. It is located at the base of our spine and is responsible for grounding us in the earth’s energy and is symbolized by the color red.
The root chakra is the center of a person’s basic needs for survival. It is also considered the source of a person’s energy to succeed.
When this chakra is balanced and open, we feel safe and secure in our environment. We have a sense of being connected to the earth and our body, allowing us to be more present in all aspects of life.
When it is blocked or unbalanced, we experience feelings of insecurity, fear, anger, or resentment. The imbalance is also associated with illnesses like anorexia nervosa and obesity. The body parts involved in this chakra include the hips, legs, sexual organs and lower back.
Working with this chakra can help us feel more confident and secure within ourselves so that we can move forward with greater clarity and purpose in life.
Crystals such as black tourmaline or red jasper are often used to help balance the root chakra. In addition to working with crystals, activities such as yoga, meditation, or simply spending time outdoors can help open up this powerful energy center.
2. Sacral or Belly Chakra (Svadhistana)
The second energy center is located in the abdomen and about one or two inches below the navel. It is associated with the creative and reproductive aspects of a person and it holds the basic needs for sexuality and self-worth. It also regulates a person’s ability to make friends with other people.
The Sacral or Belly Chakra, also known as Svadhistana, is the second chakra located between the navel and the pubic bone.
It is associated with emotions, creativity, pleasure and sexual energy, and it is often represented by a lotus flower with six petals in shades of orange. The element associated with this chakra is water and is represented by the color orange.
This chakra governs our ability to experience pleasure in life, both on physical and emotional levels.
When balanced, it helps us to feel secure in our relationships, express ourselves freely and be open to connecting with others. On an energetic level, working on this chakra can help us become more creative, gain better self-awareness and trust ourselves more deeply.
To balance this energy center we can practice yoga poses that target the abdominal area such as twists or backbends and meditate with mantras like “I am pleased” or “I am open to joy”.
We can also use essential oils like sandalwood or geranium to help boost our sacral energy.
3. Solar Plexus or Power Chakra (Manipura)
The Solar Plexus or Power Chakra, also known as Manipura in Sanskrit, is the third chakra located in the abdomen. It is associated with the element of Fire, and its primary purpose is to provide a sense of personal power and self-confidence.
It represents our power and ability to be confident and to be in control of our lives and destiny. In simple terms, it can be seen as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds.
Its color is typically yellow or gold, and its symbol is a lotus flower with ten petals representing the ten qualities of the Self:
On an emotional level, this chakra helps us to express ourselves confidently and authentically. At its highest vibration, Manipura gives us the strength to stand up for our beliefs and take action on them. When the solar plexus chakra is balanced, we feel strong and capable of achieving anything we desire.
4. Love or Heart chakra (Anahata)
Love is an emotion that can come in many forms. It is often associated with the Heart Chakra, or Anahata.
Located at the center of the chest, the love chakra represents and regulates our power and ability to love. This energy center involves the heart, lungs and arms. It is also connected to love, joy and inner peace.
This energy center is also believed to be the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. It’s feeling of unconditional love opens up our hearts and allows us to give and receive love.
The Heart Chakra is known as a gateway to higher consciousness and spirituality. It helps us understand our true selves and gives us insight into how we interact with other people.
When this energy center is open and balanced, we feel connected to others, in harmony with ourselves and at peace with the world around us. With a balanced Heart Chakra, we are capable of understanding true love – both towards others as well as ourselves – bringing us closer to our highest potential.
The love chakra is represented by the color green.
5. Throat or Communication Chakra (Visuddha)
The Throat or Communication Chakrais the fifth of the seven primary chakras and is represented by color blue. The throat chakra is located in the throat and it represents our ability to communicate with others and our inner self. It is associated with self-expression, our sense of hearing, and truth.
When this chakra is balanced, it allows us to express ourselves clearly and confidently in any situation, while also allowing us to be open to hearing other people’s perspectives.
The Throat Chakra can also be seen as a gateway between our physical body and our higher consciousness, and when it is blocked we may experience difficulty speaking our truth or expressing ourselves authentically.
In order to balance this chakra we can practice meditation, affirmations, and vocal exercises such as chanting or singing which help to release any blockages that may be present in this area.
We can also focus on eating foods that are beneficial for the throat such as blueberries, pears, and sprouts which help to restore balance in this energy center.
6. Third Eye or Intuition Chakra (Ajna)
The Third Eye or Intuition Chakra, also known as Ajna is one of the seven main chakras. This chakra energy is represented by the color purple.
It is located at the forehead and in between the eyes. It represents our ability to focus or see the big picture. It is connected to our imagination, wisdom, and our capacity to think and make decisions.
Third eye chakra governs our intuition and helps us to see beyond the physical world, which allows us to access our inner truth. It is believed that when this chakra is open, we can tap into higher levels of consciousness and gain a more profound understanding of ourselves and our spiritual connection with all life.
Through meditation and other practices, we can develop our intuition and use it more effectively in making decisions. When balanced, this chakra allows us to trust our inner knowing, make wise choices and live with purpose.
7. Crown or Divine Chakra (Sahasrara)
The Crown or Divine Chakra, also known as Sahasrara, is the seventh and highest energy center in the body. This energy center is positioned at the crown of the head and it represents our ability to spiritually connect with divinity. It is associated with inner and outer beauty and it establishes a connection with the soul.
This chakra symbolizes our wisdom, understanding, cosmic consciousness, and enlightenment.
When this chakra is balanced, we can experience expanded awareness, a sense of oneness with all things, and an inner peace that transcends words. We can access divine knowledge, inspiration, intuition and spiritual guidance from within.
Remember that the Crown Chakra is connected to our higher self and is our gateway to spiritual awakening.
When this chakra is open, we access a higher level of consciousness which allows us to connect to our inner truth and see reality from a more enlightened perspective. This chakra helps us to live in harmony with ourselves and others while finding joy in each moment of life.
These are the 7 chakra energy centers in yoga. We hope that you find this guide to the chakras helpful in order to achieve a successful yoga practice.
For more like this, feel free to visit our yoga blog posts to learn how you can elevate your everyday yoga practice.