What are chakras? And what do they mean and do as well as how chakra system is connected to your body energy and can help you find a balance? We have researched this topic to share everything we have found useful about it.
But before we get down to business, let's see where chakra system originated from first. The very first reference to charka system was found in an ancient Vedas text, somewhere around 1,500 and 500 BC in India. In case you wonder what are the Vedas, they are the earliest Sanskrit literary records. The word charka is from Sanskrit and it translates to a wheel or a disk. The chakra system refers to your body's energy or prana, which is a healing vital force.
The important thing to know is that there are seven main chakras, aligned along the spine starting from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, each corresponding to its own specific organ in our body. Invisible to human eye chakras are the concentrated energy centers of the body that can be felt and sensed with intuition.
Overall it is believed that chakras are connected with not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual states of being. Each chakra stores the energy of thoughts, experience and actions and can influence your mindset, behavior and emotional health. In yoga and Ayurveda the chakra system is referred to a wheel of energy throughout the body.
While there isn't much scientific evidence that supports spiritual energy, there is no doubt that Ayurveda and yoga has helped a lot of people to improve in many ways. So now that you are aware of the basics it is time to dive into more details about chakras.
The Major and Minor Chakras
The seven chakras are considered the major ones, but there are 21 minor chakras all over your body. Each minor chakra contributes to a specific major one and in a sense is a more focused energy center. We will overview each major chakra in more details below, but for now it is important to say that whenever given chakra is not functioning correctly or is blocked we are more prone to illness. Chakras are the flows of energy and when this flow is broken, like when we are depressed, blocking our anger or don't take a good care of our bodies this affects our wellbeing on many different levels.
The Importance of the Major Chakras
The seven main chakras are directly associated with the physical, mental and emotional health. When chakras stay open, aligned and fluid the energy keeps flowing the way it supposed to. This is called a state of balance and harmony.
When a given chakra is blocked it can affect others since everything is connected with each other, just like our mind, body and soul. So a kept anger for example, can cause a physical illness, because the balance is broken. This is why every chakra is important and what seems irrelevant can in fact be tightly connected.
Keeping a state of harmony and balance can be sometimes tricky, but not so difficult when you have awareness.
How to connect with your Chakras
There are multiple levels we need to connect to with our chakras, working on our physical, emotional and mental health will promote the flow of energy.
One of the ways is to practice Yoga, which can help to strengthen our chakra system. Things like decluttering our lives both physically and emotionally is another great way to enhance energy flow.
There are more options such as sound healing practices, acupuncture and variety of other ways to improve ourselves. You need to find what works best for you and practice that. Consistency and dedication is important, after all you don't stop running once you become faster do you? Whatever is your thing you need to keep doing it, because balance is not a destination, but rather a journey.
The basic properties of major chakras
Now that we have covered all the basics and have a better understand what chakras are and how they can affect us, let's explore each of the main chakras in more details.
Out of seven chakras the top three are related to higher consciousness, truth, intuition and purpose. The lower chakras are more about survival, sex and power.
1. Root Chakra or Muladhara
The Muladhara, or root chakra, represents our foundation. When this chakra is open we feel fearless and confident in our abilities to overcome challenges, when it's blocked we feel threatened and unstable. It is responsible for the sense of security, stability and our basic needs.
Location: Base of spine, in tailbone area
What it controls: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food
Stone: Hematite, Red jasper, onyx
When it develops: 1-7 years old
Main message: "I exist". Live your life proudly
When it’s blocked: we can experience fears, nightmares and anxiety disorders. Physically, the first chakra is associated with problems in the colon, with the bladder or with lower back, leg and feet issues.
Over indulging in physical pleasures like food and sex, becoming too attached to money and obsession with feeling secure are all markers of an overactive root chakra.
Yoga poses that activate it: Wide-legged forward fold, malasana squats, mountain pose
2. Sacral Chakra or Swadhisthana
The Swadhisthana, or sacral chakra, is our creativity and sexual center. It is related to our emotions, passions and pleasures. When this chakra is open and aligned we feel great, friendly, passionate and successful, but when it's blocked we feel lack of control in our lives.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel
What it controls: Your sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, and sexuality
Stone: Tiger's Eye, Carnelian, sunstone
When it develops: 8-14 years old
Main message: "I desire". Live your passion and follow your dreams.
When it’s blocked: we can experience emotional instability and lack of creativity as well as physical sexual disfunction. Issues with this chakra can be seen via problems with the associated organs, like urinary tract infections, lower back pain, and impotency.
Yoga pose that activates it: Pigeon pose, goddess pose, warrior II, Bound Angle Pose
3. Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura
Solar plexus chakra relates to our self-esteem and self-confidence. It is the source of individual power. Butterflies in your stomach are also controlled by this chakra. If this chakra is blocked you might feel overwhelmed with shame and self-doubt and when it's open it helps you to express your true self.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area
What it controls: Self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem
Stone: Amber, Citrine, pyrite
When it develops: 15-21 years old
Main message: "I control". Your destiny and happiness is in your hands!
When it’s blocked: we can experience low self-esteem have difficult times to make decisions and be angry. Moreover we might feel apathy and procrastination. Physically this chakra can cause eating disorders, digestive issues or gas.
It is important to note that when solar plexus is overactive it is no good for us as well. It brings the hunger for power and bumps your ego to the sky, resulting in manic like behavior.
Yoga pose that activates it: Boat pose, twists, warrior III
4. Heart Chakra or Anahata
The Anahata is also known as the heart chakra is connecting lower chakras with upper ones and is acting as a bridge between materiality and spirituality. It is influencing our ability to give and receive love. When this chakra is blocked we have difficulty with opening up in front of other people and when it is open we are indeed ready for deep compassion and empathy.
Location: Center of chest, just above the heart
What it controls: Love, joy, and inner peace
Stone: Rose Quartz, jade, malachite
When it develops: 21-28 years old
Main message: "I love". Give and receive love, be open!
When it’s blocked: we can experience anger, jealousy and fear of betrayal. It makes us emotionally closed and not ready to get over past hurts, which greatly affects our relationships. Physically it can cause heart problems, asthma and weight issues.
In its overactive state, when we are too loving it can make us very much dependent on others and place other people interests first.
Yoga pose that activates it: Back bends, reverse plank, upward-facing dog, Camel Pose
5. Throat Chakra or Vishuddha
The Vishuddha chakra is the voice of the heart controlling our ability to communicate and express ourselves truly and clearly. When this chakra is blocked we experience issues with finding the right words and express how we truly feel. When it is open and balanced, we can speak and listen with compassion and feel confident saying the truth.
Color: Light Blue/Turquoise
What it controls: Communication, self-expression, and truth
Stone: Aquamarine, Lapis lazuli, kyanite
When it develops: 29-35 years old
Main message: "I express". Speak the truth and sing your joy
When it’s blocked: we loose or even swallow our words along with our true feelings. Besides having difficult times to communicate we can experience attention and focus issues. Dominating conversations, gossiping and speaking without thinking is another sign of block and misalignment. Physically it can cause sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder stiffness, or tension headaches.
Yoga poses that activate it: Fish pose, plow pose, shoulder stand
6. Third-Eye Chakra or Ajna
The Ajna or the third-eye chakra controls our ability to see the big picture as well as intuition. When this chakra is blocked we experience issues trusting our inner voice, learning new skills and remembering important information. When it is open it allows us to cut through illusions and have a clear vision. The third-eye is also responsible for all things between us and the outside world, serving as a bridge.
Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra)
Color: Dark Blue/Indigo
What it controls: Intuition, imagination, and wisdom
Stone: Amethyst, purple fluorite, labradorite
When it develops: 36-42 years old
Main message: "I am the witness". Listen to inner self to find the right path
When it’s blocked: we loose our access to intuition, become fearful and distrustful, which build up our anxiety over the future. Lost connection with reality and judgmental attitude are also the reasons of this chakra being blocked and misaligned. Physically it can cause headaches, dizziness and a myriad brain-health issues.
Yoga poses that activate it: Child’s pose, dolphin pose, eagle pose
7. Crown Chakra or Sahasrara
The Sahasrara or the crown chakra is the highest chakra, which represents our ability to be spiritually connected and enlightened. The crown chakra is linked to every other chakra and every organ and it affects brain and nervous system. When this chakra is open it is believed that one can access higher consciousness and connect with our higher selves and ultimately the divine. Unlike other chakras, the crown chakra is often only opened up fully through specific yogic or meditative exercises. People with blocked crown chakra may seem narrow-minded, skeptical, or stubborn.
Location: The very top of the head / The crown of the head
What it controls: Inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection
Lesson: "I am a vessel for love and light."
Element: Divine Consciousness / None
Stone: Clear quartz, Selenite, lepidolite
When it develops: 43-49 years old
Main message: "I am that I am".
When it’s blocked: we feel energetically numb and apathetic and loose our direction and purpose in life. Unwillingness to be open to other ideas, thoughts, or knowledge is another sign of blocked chakra. Physically it can cause poor coordination, chronic tension headaches and desire to oversleep.
In overactive state crown chakra often manifests a desire for material belongings and greed, which results in disconnection from others and the universe.
Yoga poses that activate it: Headstand, tree pose, savasana
Aligning the Chakras and keeping the balance
Awareness to which of your chakras are out of balance is the key to align them. As you were reading through each of chakra description one might have resonated with you more than the other one. It is those little things that matter to pay attention to. Just like we learn to listen to our body signals to discover whats wrong, chakras are also sending signals we need to learn and recognise.
Balancing all seven chakras is a group effort that one can achieve through different practices such as meditation and yoga. It is not uncommon to have multiple chakras out of balance and there is nothing to be afraid of. One thing is to align your chakras, but it is also important to keep that balance to make sure there is a free flow of prana healing energy top to bottom.
The chakra system is similar to a map that gives us direction to see the correlation between body, mindset, emotions and energy. By connecting our mind and body it reminds us what is needed to be healthy and happy. It teaches us the importance of balance so we can be grounded yet flexible, passionate yet disciplined.