Our bodies contain seven energy spheres also known as chakras. These spheres line up along our spine, starting from the very base of our tailbone all the way out through the crown of our head. We want to keep these energy centers open and flowing freely to maintain a healthy and well-balanced life.
Root Chakra / Muladhara: This is our first chakra, the link to our physical world. It keeps us feeling grounded. If it is out of balance we may feel unfocused or have moments of uncertainty or fear. Psychologically, if in balance, this chakra gives us a sense of belonging and security. chakra is represented by the quality of innocence. It is meant to fulfill our basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). We must learn the differences between our needs and our desires. Check out Yoga Journal’s Root Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: Base of spine, near tailbone
Poses for balancing: Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose), Sukahasana (Easy Seat), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Lotus, Malasana (Garland Pose),etc.
Sacral Chakra / Swadhishtana: This chakra helps us with accepting others and new experiences. Instead of influencing the relationships and things around us, we learn to accept them as they are with an open mind. We let go of our control. If unbalanced, we may become emotionally explosive, manipulative and resistant to change. If excessive, we may experience an over expression of sexuality or an inability to choose appropriate relationships. When in balance, we are able to let our emotions flow freely and relate to others around us, while maintaining awareness that these factors don’t determine our self-worth. The most prominent quality of this chakra is creativity. We are very unique individuals. Check out Yoga Journal’s Sacral Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: Lower abdomen, approx. 2 inches below navel
Poses for balancing: Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Halasana (Plow Pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Anjaneyasana (Crescent lunge) , Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), etc.
Solar Plexus (Navel) Chakra / Manipura: This chakra refers to our ability to be confident and action oriented. If out of balance, we may lack self-esteem, feel depressed, withdrawn, or lack confidence in daily activities. When in balance, we will feel a clear sense of optimism and self-respect. We are able to fully express ourselves and face new challenges with confidence. Satisfaction is the most recognizable quality of this chakra. Be confident but humble. Focus on what you do know and rock it! Check out Yoga Journal’s Navel Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: At the navel, upper abdomen/stomach
Poses for Balancing: Virabhadrasana I & II (Warrior I & II), Purvottanasana (Reversed Plank), Navasana (Boat Pose) Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch), etc.
Heart Chakra / Anahata: This chakra refers to our ability to love. This is our connection of body, mind, and soul. If unbalanced, we may feel overwhelmed with self-pity or sorrow. We may become extremely indecisive, paranoid, or feel unworthy of love due to the fear of being hurt. When balanced, we will see the good in all that surrounds us, having love for ourselves and for others. Pure love is the most prominent trait of this chakra. This sense of love can easily be mistaken for lust or greed. Real love is unbiased. We must love ourselves unconditionally before we are able to purely love others. Check out Yoga Journal’s Heart Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: At the heart
Poses for Balancing: Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), etc.
Throat Chakra / Vishuddha: This chakra outlines our ability to communicate and enhances our understanding. When unbalanced, we may have a hard time expressing our thoughts. When balanced, we are able to find our voice, even in situations that once caused us apprehension. This is the chakra that speaks “the universe will guide you.” The main quality is detachment from every day obstacles. This is where we learn to observe and find our inner truth. We must learn to trust. Check out Yoga Journal’s Throat Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: At the throat
Poses for Balancing: Neck circles / stretches, Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), Pranayama (Breath Work)
Brow Chakra / Ajna: This chakra is also known as our third-eye and represents our intuition. It focuses on our perception, and developing a clear mind. It allows us to reach towards our higher self. If unbalanced, we may feel discouraged or fearful. It is also possible that we may simply be following the guide of our ego. If balanced, this chakra enables us to envision our future, open our mind, and tune in to our spiritual or mystical side. It is here that we must free ourselves from predetermined ideas in order to look beyond the obstacles life places in our view. Think of having a beginner’s mind. Look at obstacles as opportunities; there is no single way of doing things. Check out Yoga Journal’s Third-Eye Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: Between the brows
Color: Dark Indigo Blue
Poses for Balancing: Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin Plank Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose), virabhadrasana III (Warrior III), Dolphin Pose, Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand), etc.
Note: Most poses have hands in Anjali Mudra (Prayer, Palms Touch)
Crown Chakra / Sahasrara: This chakra is our connection to spirituality. It is said that through this chakra, the soul enters at birth and parts at death. When unbalanced we may feel detached or frustrated. However, if in strong connection, we will feel one with the world around us, productive, and overall satisfied with all that life has to offer. It is through this chakra that we become enlightened; we are able to discover our purpose, limit our attachments, and project unconditional love and wisdom. This is the Divine. Check out Yoga Journal’s Crown Chakra Tune-Up Practice.
Location: Above the center of the head
Color: Purple, White
Poses for Balancing: Tadasana Variation (Mountain Pose, slight backbend), Virabhadrasana I & Garudasana Arms (Warrior I & Eagle Arms), Parivrtta Baddha Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Bound Half Moon Pose), etc.
Note: Some poses have hands in Anjali Mudra (Prayer, Palms Touch)
Regular meditation and yoga practice can help align our Chakras, keeping our energy pathways flowing freely and our body, mind, soul connected!
Sources / References:
Snyder, Stephanie. “Crown Chakra Tune-Up Practice.” Yoga Journal. N.p., 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Heart Chakra Tune-Up Practice | Subtle Body Energy Centers” Yoga Journal. N.p., 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Manipura (Navel) Chakra Tune-Up Practice | Subtle Body Energy Centers.” Yoga Journal. N.p., 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Root Chakra (Muladhara) Tune-Up Practice | Subtle Body Energy Centers.”Yoga Journal. N.p.1 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Sacral Chakra Svadhisthana Tune-Up Practice | Subtle Body Energy Centers.” Yoga Journal. N.p., 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Third-Eye Chakra Tune-UP Practice.” Yoga Journal. N.p., 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
Snyder, Stephanie. “Throat Chakra Tune-Up Practice.” Yoga Journal. N.p., 19 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
“The 7 Chakras for Beginners.” MindBodyGreen. N.p., 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
Wells, Marianne. “The Seven Chakras.” Marianne Wells Yoga Training Manual. N.p.: Marianne Wells, LLC., 2014. 108-37. Print.