What are the Chakras Anyway?


As I study yoga, I encounter the different aspects that connect all parts. One of these aspects is the chakra system of energy centers within our bodies. The chakras are recognized energy centers that align to certain areas of our spine and head. There are seven chakras and each is associated with certain facets of our lives. If one of these energy centers is blocked, energy cannot flow freely through the area creating an imbalance. It is believed that these energy centers often can be unbalanced creating numerous effects in our lives and it is not uncommon for more than one to be blocked at a time. Let’s examine the chakras, their associated colors and seed sounds as well as their associated imbalances. The seed sound is a sound used in chant and repeated at the same inflection at some variation of 9 times, preferably 108 times as used in mantras. We will also examine what we can do to put the chakras back into balance using a yoga pose.

The chakra system starts from the bottom of the spine and travels up to the top of the head. Chakras are usually defined by starting with the root chakra, the Muldhara, a sense of being grounded. An imbalance here is characterized by anxiety, worry, and loss of financial security. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine, is characterized by the color red and has the seed word of Lam; it can be balanced using Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and other poses such as Uttanasana (forward fold) to stretch the hamstrings and center ourselves.

The next chakra is the sacral chakra, Swadhisthana, our creativity. An imbalance here is characterized by unhealthy relationships, lack of creativity and lack of sensuality. The sacral chakra is located about 2 inches below the navel or belly button; it is characterized by the color orange and has the seed word of Vam. Hip openers such as Salamba Kapotasana (seated pigeon pose) and Malasana (garland pose) can help to aide in balancing this chakra.

We move to the solar plexus chakra, Manipura, the third chakra associated with power. An imbalance would be indicated by self-doubt, low self-esteem and lethargy. The solar plexus chakra is located in the upper abdomen and stomach area and usually connected to the color yellow with the seed word of Ram. This chakra can be stimulated and balanced using poses to open and strengthen the abdomen such as Navasana (boat pose) and Virabhadrasana I & II (Warrior I & II).

Moving up toward the next chakra, Anahata, the fourth chakra or heart chakra. An imbalance in this chakra would be characterized by mistrust, jealousy and feeling unloved. Anahata is located at the middle of the chest, near the heart and is associated with the color of bright green, emerald. The seed word for this chakra is Yam and it can be stimulated by chest openers such as Ustrasana (camel pose) and Dhanurasana (wheel pose).

After the heart chakra, we move up toward the throat chakra or Vishudda characterized by the color blue, like a robin’s egg with the seed sound Ham. Imbalances in this chakra result in inability to say the truth, carrying resentment and having communication problems. It is located directly at the throat and has the seed word Ham. It can be balanced by practicing Matsayasana (fish pose).

Moving up to the next chakra, the Ajna or third-eye chakra, located just above the physical eyes. It is associated with indigo blue, has a seed sound of Aum and an imbalance will manifest as a lack of intuition, headaches and lack of guidance. This chakra can be balanced with poses that stimulate the third-eye area. Child’s pose with the third eye resting on a block, blanket or the ground can help to stimulate the third eye and sixth chakra as will coming into Sukhasana (easy seated pose) with our hands in Anjali mudra (prayer).

The seventh chakra, Sahasrara, located at the crown of the head, is characterized by the color violet or sometimes white. It is associated with a sense of feeling connected and to the unlimited possibilities in life and of this chakra; it’s seed sound is the unspoken Om. Unbalanced, this chakra can lead to feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness and lack of faith. To balance this chakra, rest in Savasana (corpse pose) or try seated meditation.

As you can see here, chakras, their associated colors, sounds, and imbalances; is a course in yoga all by themselves! Please continue your research and read on!



English: "Visualization of the Heart Chak...

English: “Visualization of the Heart Chakra” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About yogagirlsherri

I am a 200-HR RYT certified yoga instructor. I teach vinyasa primarily but also teach seniors, yoga nidra, restorative, pranayama and meditation. I have a passion for life, all things yoga and dogs. Drop me a questions, line, comment - I'll be happy to hear from you! Namaste View all posts by yogagirlsherri

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