This beginner’s guide to the chakras should give you a basic idea of what the 7 chakras are, where they are situated, what the best yoga poses are for each chakra, and how you can activate or unblock them.
- What are Chakras?
- What is the purpose of chakras?
- What are the 7 Chakras?
- Final thoughts
What are Chakras?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word and can be translated into wheel.
We have 7 of these wheels, which are the body’s main energy centers. They are loosely situated along the spine from the base of our tailbone to the crown of our head.
What is the purpose of chakras?
You can imagine these wheels situated on top of each other and if they are correctly aligned and “open” they keep “spinning” as they should, letting energy flow as it should and correspond with the segments of nerve bundles and their organs that they are assigned to.
When these chakras are “balanced” or “open” our organs and nervous system can work at their best. Therefore our chakras impact our physical well-being, but also our energetic and emotional well-being.
Chakras were first mentioned in ancient texts dating back to 1000 BC, in some of these texts over 100 of these chakras are mentioned, however, there are 7 main chakras.
What are the 7 Chakras?
As mentioned above the seven chakras are aligned on top of each other on a certain segment of the spine. Therefore every chakra has its own health focus, color, and element assigned to it.
Chakras that are balanced result in optimum overall health. Chakras can also be overactive or blocked causing different health issues.
Every chakra can be activated or unblocked by a certain yoga pose, healing crystal, mudra, pitch, and or mantra.
The root chakra: Muladhara
Muladhara chakra is the root of security.
- Location: Base of the spine / on the pelvic floor
- Symbolizes: Physical identity, Grounding, Stability
- Associated organs: Adrenal glands and anus
- Associated color: Red
- Balanced: Feeling fulfillment and security
- Overactive: Anxious, nervous, insecure
- Blockage: Codependent, trouble concentrating
- Physical problems: Eating disorder, constipation
- Nutrition: Red fruits and vegetables
- Healing Crystal: Smoky Quartz
- Musical Note: C
- Mantra: LAM
- Mudra: Muladhara
- Affirmation: “I am”
- Scent: Vetiver
- Element: Earth
- Yoga Pose: Malasana
“A tree with strong roots laughs at the storm” – Malay Proverb
The sacral chakra: Svadhisthana
Svadhisthana is the seed of creation.
- Location: Just below the bellybutton
- Symbolizes: Sexuality, Pleasure, Creativity
- Associated organs: Reproductive Organs and Kidneys
- Associated color: Orange
- Balanced: Enjoying life
- Overactive: Addiction, dramatic, overly emotional
- Blockage: Lacking libido, lack of passion
- Physical problems: Infertility, Kidney problems, lower back pain
- Nutrition: Orange fruits and vegetables and nuts
- Healing Crystal: Carnelian
- Musical Note: D
- Mantra: VAM
- Mudra: Shakti Mudra
- Affirmation: “I feel”
- Scent: Ylang Ylang
- Element: Water
- Yoga Pose: Baddha konasana
“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself” – Deepak Chopra
The solar plexus chakra: Manipura
Manipura is the will to power
- Location: in the solar plexus
- Symbolizes: Confidence, Personal strength, and ego
- Associated organs: Gall bladder, liver, stomach, intestines, pancreas, and spleen
- Associated color: Yellow
- Balanced: Personal power, strong sense of self-worth
- Overactive: Greedy, bitter, lack of compassion
- Blockage: Needy, withdrawn
- Physical problems: Digestive problems, fibromyalgia, eating disorders
- Nutrition: Yellow fruits and vegetables, corn, lentils
- Healing Crystal: Citrine
- Musical Note: E
- Mantra: RAM
- Mudra: Rudra
- Affirmation: “I do”
- Scent: Lavender
- Element: Fire
- Yoga Pose: Navasana
“Always do what you are afraid to do”
The heart chakra: Anahata
Anahata is the embodiment of love
- Location: The center of the chest
- Symbolizes: Love and compassion
- Associated organs: Heart, lungs, chest arm, and hands
- Associated color: Green
- Balanced: Loving oneself and others, focusing on the good, contentment
- Overactive: Putting others before oneself, smothering
- Blockage: Inability to open up. Unfriendly, distant
- Physical problems: High blood pressure, heart palpations, heartburn
- Nutrition: Green fruits and vegetables, peas
- Healing Crystal: Rose Quartz
- Musical Note: F
- Mantra: YAM
- Mudra: Padma
- Affirmation: “I love”
- Scent: Rose
- Element: Air
- Yoga Pose: Backbends
“Be love. Give love. Receive love.”
The throat chakra: Vishuddha
Vishuddha is the clear waters of communication
- Location: The throat
- Symbolizes: Communication
- Associated organs: Throat, thyroid gland
- Associated color: light blue
- Balanced: Speaking clearly with love, truth, and kindness
- Overactive: Overly chatty, poor listening skills, offensive
- Blockage: Shy, inability to express wants and needs
- Physical problems: Neck aches, shoulder pain, sore throat, thyroid issues
- Nutrition: Blueberries, black current, kelp
- Healing Crystal: Lapis Lazuli
- Musical Note: G
- Mantra: HAM
- Mudra: Granthita
- Affirmation: “I speak”
- Scent: Peppermint
- Element: Space/Ether
- Yoga Pose: Fish Pose
“Speak with integrity. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
The third eye chakra: Ajna
Ajna is the all-seeing intuition
- Location: Between the eyebrows
- Symbolizes: Intuition, 6th sense, clairvoyance
- Associated organs: Eyes, Nose, Brain
- Associated color: Indigo
- Balanced: In harmony with the material and physical world
- Overactive: Lost touch with reality, hallucinations
- Blockage: Closed-minded, worried, holding on to the past
- Physical problems: Sinus issues, visual problems, nightmares, seizures, migraines
- Nutrition: Blackberries, figs, purple kelp, raisins, cabbage
- Healing Crystal: Amethyst
- Musical Note: A
- Mantra: SHAM
- Mudra: Mudra of the great head
- Affirmation: “I see”
- Scent: Neroli
- Element: Light
- Yoga Pose: Child’s pose
“I have three eyes. Two to look. One to see.”
The crown chakra: Sahasrara
Sahasrara is the great white light
Location: The very top of the head
- Symbolizes: Enlightenment, Purpose, Consciousness
- Associated organs: Pituitary gland
- Associated color: Violet or white
- Balanced: To be balanced here, requires a balance in all chakras, nirvana
- Overactive: Inconsiderate of physical needs
- Blockage: Closed off to spirituality, unable to set goals
- Physical problems: Dizziness, confusion, nerve pain, mental problems
- Nutrition: Meditation, Prayer, self-reflection
- Healing Crystal: Moonstone
- Musical note: B
- Mantra: AUM/OM
- Mudra: Mudra of thousand petals
- Affirmation: “I know”
- Scent: Jasmine
- Element: Cosmic Energy/All elements
- Yoga Pose: Rabbit Pose
“Act as if everything you desire, is already here. Treat yourself as if you already are what you want to become” – Wayne Dyer
Even though chakras cant be visually seen and they are not found in any Anatomy books, these energy centers should not be ignored, because they really do have a lot of power to affect your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
When all of these “wheels” spin together in harmony you could reach and be your highest self. The person that you are meant to be. The one that you already are. Therefore it is important to be aware, of where our chakras are imbalanced, either due to an overreaction or due to a blockage.
If we listen to our bodies we can understand where our emotions, health issues, and fears come from. We can help our bodies by activating our chakras so that they can spin and work optimally and become the most radiant self we can be.
Does Yoga open up your chakras?
Yoga may help to unblock chakras by practicing specific yoga poses frequently, by meditating, and by practicing pranayama often, which encourages the flow of prana (life energy).
What chakra is tree pose good for?
Tree pose is a great way to activate your root chakra, as you anchor one foot on the floor, like the roots of a tree, it helps you to ground yourself. This again will make you feel secure.
What chakra is associated with depression?
An imbalance in your solar plexus chakra can lead to depression or low self-esteem.