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Intro To The Seven Chakras

Intro To The Seven Chakras

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel. These are a system of seven energy centres located along the spine. Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a set of behavioural characteristics and stages of spiritual growth. Practicing yoga and focusing your energies during different postures can help you to align your chakras and get all the wheels spinning in the same direction and speed. Understanding how to fine tune and control your chakras through yoga and meditation can help bring balance and peace to your mind, body and spirit.

There are seven chakras, each associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the perineum to the crown of your head. Each chakra is associated with a particular body location, a colour, a central emotional/behavioural issue, as well as many other personal aspects including identity, goals, rights, etc 

 

The seven chakras are:

 

1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)

The Muladhara, or root chakra, represents our foundation. On the human body, it sits at the base of the spine and gives us the feeling of being grounded.

When the root chakra is open, we feel confident in our ability to withstand challenges and stand on our own two feet. When it's blocked, we feel threatened, as if we're standing on unstable ground.

Location: Base of spine, in tailbone area

What it controls: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food

Mantra: "I can't grow from an unsteady foundation."

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Stone: Hematite

Yoga pose: Warrior I

When it develops: 1-7 years old

 

2. Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)

The Swadhisthana, or sacral chakra, helps inform how we relate to our emotions and the emotions of others. It also governs creativity and sexual energy. Those with a blocked sacral chakra could feel a lack of control in their lives.

Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel

What it controls: Your sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, and sexuality

Mantra: "I always honour others but not before myself."

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Stone: Tiger's Eye

Yoga pose: Bound Angle Pose

When it develops: 8-14 years old

 

3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)

The third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, speaks to your ability to be confident and in control of your life. Think back to the last time you had butterflies or felt a pit in the stomach: That's the Manipura chakra at work.

If your solar plexus chakra is blocked, you might feel overwhelming amounts of shame and self-doubt. Those with open sacral chakras are free to express their true selves.

Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area

What it controls: Self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem

Mantra: "Self-love starts when I accept all parts of myself."

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Stone: Amber

Yoga pose: Boat Pose

When it develops: 15-21 years old

 

4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)

The¬†Anahata, or¬†heart chakra, is the bridge between the¬†lower chakras¬†(associated with materiality) and the upper chakras (associated with spirituality). As the name suggests,¬†this chakra¬†can influence our ability to give and receive love‚ÄĒfrom others and ourselves.

Someone with a blocked heart chakra will have difficulty fully opening up to the people in their life. If someone's heart is open, they can experience deep compassion and empathy.

Location: Center of chest, just above the heart

What it controls: Love, joy, and inner peace

Mantra: "When I love myself, loving others comes easily."

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Stone: Rose Quartz

Yoga pose: Camel Pose

When it develops: 21-28 years old

 

5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)

The Vishuddha, or throat chakra, gives voice to the heart chakra and controls our ability to communicate our personal power.

When it's functioning at full capacity, it allows us to express ourselves truly and clearly. Someone with a blocked throat chakra will feel like they have trouble finding the words to say how they truly feel.

Location: Throat

What it controls: Communication, self-expression, and truth

Mantra: "I speak my truth, always."

Colour: Light Blue/Turquoise

Element: Sound/Music

Stone: Aquamarine

Yoga pose: Fish Pose

When it develops: 29-35 years old

 

6. Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)

As we move up the body, we're getting closer to communion with the divine. The Anja, or third-eye chakra, controls our ability to see the big picture and connect to intuition. Think of it as the eye of the soul: It registers information beyond the surface level.

Visions and intuitive hits are not uncommon for someone with an open third-eye chakra.

Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra)

What it controls: Intuition, imagination, and wisdom

Mantra: "I am open to exploring what cannot be seen."

Colour: Dark Blue/Purple

Element: Light

Stone: Amethyst

Yoga pose: Child's Pose

When it develops: 36-42 years old

 

7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

The¬†Sahasrara,¬†or crown chakra, the highest chakra, sits at the¬†crown of the head¬†and represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. When you¬†fully open your crown chakra‚ÄĒsomething very few people ever do!‚ÄĒyou're able to access a¬†higher consciousness.

Location: The very top of the head

What it controls: Inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection

Lesson: "I am a vessel for love and light."

Colour: Violet/White

Element: Divine Consciousness

Stone: Clear quartz

Yoga pose: Headstand

When it develops: 43-49 years old

 

Through the movements and postures of yoga, you can learn to focus your concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in your body. This can allow you to compensate for areas that may be out of sync with the rest of your body or not active at all. By balancing the energy among all seven of the chakras, balance can be achieved.

This spiritual energy is known as Kundalini energy. In its dormant state, it can be visualized as a coiled up snake resting at the base of your spine, the Muladhara chakra. Since the chakras act as valves or pumps regulating the flow of energy through your system, controlled and purposeful movements such as yoga can be extremely beneficial in realigning your chakras in a way that can cause great benefits to you in your physical and emotional wellbeing.