If you've attended a yoga class, group meditation or a reiki session, then you've probably heard your instructor mention something about your ‘chakras’. But you may be wondering 'what is a chakra, really'?
What Is A Chakra and How Do They Work?
Chakra (chakra in Sanskrit) means "wheel" and refers to energy points in your body. Within Ancient Yoga practice, that's what they are - "spinning wheels" of energy that run along the spine, and each chakra contributes to a specific part of our body. We must understand that in ancient yoga and Ayurveda, the chakras are the body's way of regulating organ function and keeping the immune system healthy.
If your chakras are out of balance, your immune system will not be as effective, and you will be more susceptible to bad health and disease. Being conscious and knowledgeable about the chakras may help us feel more balanced and whole in many ways.
The 7 Chakras
The chakra system is made of seven energy centers located along the spine and ending in the brain, from the perineum area to the top of the head. Read on to find out more about each of the 7 chakras.
Root Chakra (Muladhara)
First off, we have the root chakra that symbolises our foundation. It sits at the base of the spine and gives us the sense of being grounded. When the root chakra is clear and open, you tend to feel confident in our ability to take on challenges. However, when it's blocked, you may feel threatened, like you're standing on unstable ground.
- Location: Base of spine, in tailbone area
- What it controls: Financial independence, Money, and Food
- Colour: Red
- Element: Earth
Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)
Secondly, there's the sacral chakra located in the lower abdomen - this chakra helps us familiarise and understand our own emotions and of those around us. It is also in charge of our creativity and sexual energy. A blocked sacral chakra could make you feel a lack of control and general unhappiness.
- Location: Lower abdomen
- What it controls: Your general well-being, happiness, and passion
- Colour: Orange
- Element: Water
Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra. If this is balanced, you may be more assertive, confident and feel like you have control of your life. If you have a block around the Solar Plexus Chakra, your confidence may be very shaky, and you may feel anxious and worried.
- Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area
- What it controls: Self-worth, assurance, and self-esteem
- Colour: Yellow
- Element: Fire
Heart Chakra (Anahata)
The heart chakra is the bridge between the lower chakras and is associated with love, relationships, compassion. If there's a blockage in the heart chakra, you may experience difficulties in your relating with others, such as excessive jealousy, trouble forgiving and feeling withdrawn.
- Location: You've guessed it, just around the heart, the centre of the chest
- What it controls: Love, compassion, and inner peace
- Colour: Green
- Element: Air
Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The throat chakra controls our ability to communicate our power and when open, allows us to express ourselves honestly and clearly. If you have a blocked throat chakra, you may have trouble finding the words to say how they truly feel.
- Location: Throat
- What it controls: Communication and truth
- Colour: Light Blue/Turquoise
- Element: Sound/Music
Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)
The third-eye chakra influences our ability to see the big picture and connect to intuition. Because of this, the third-eye chakra is often known as 'the eyes to the soul'.
- Location: On the Forehead, between the eyes
- What it controls: Intuition and wisdom
- Colour: Dark Blue/Purple
- Element: Light
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Right at the crown of the head is the crown chakra. This represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. When you fully open your crown chakra, you may be able to access higher consciousness - very few people ever do!
- Location: The very crown of the head
- What it controls: Spiritual connection
- Colour: Violet/White
- Element: Divine Consciousness
How to Restore Balance in Your Chakras?
So Yogi Bears, we hope we've given you a quick introduction to the 7 chakras. If you’re looking to restore balance in your chakras, you need to tune in to how you're feeling. You can then figure out which chakra to encourage to counteract the imbalance. If you're looking for some easy yoga poses to balance your chakras, read our blog here.