What are the chakras? According to yoga, our inner bodies are full of subtle energy. This energy moves along a central channel called the sushumna nadi, These centers are thought to be doorways into the depths of awareness – awareness that is within the body, outside the body and also that can expand in such depth that we come to realize the innate vastness of our true nature.
When the chakras are aligned, we are centered, balanced and healthy. When your chakras are out of alignment, illness is more apt to manifest in the body and mind. This is why it’s necessary to understand what each chakra represents, so that we can do proper chanting, pranayama and asana to support the balanced nature of each one.
Here is a thorough overview of each of the 7 chakras, and how they relate to your well-being, as well as information so you can keep them each in balance.
Also known as the muladhara chakra, is connected to our sense of foundation and being deeply rooted or grounded.
This chakra actually starts below the body by about three fists widths. Think of the root chakra as being an area of consciousness underneath you that actually penetrates the ground. When the root chakra is out of balance we have issues with money and food – basically what’s needed for our survival in the world.
Red is the color associated with the root chakra. Lam is its bija mantra. Meditate by chanting the sound “lam” as you visualize it healing your root chakra.) According to Alison Eaton, lead yoga teacher trainer at the Yandara Yoga Institute, “the karmic relationships associated with the root chakra have to do with your parents, your home, your sense safety, of community, and to Mother Earth herself.”
The Second chakra is The Sacral Chakra, also known as the Swadhisthana chakra. It’s located at the area of the lower abdomen, just below the navel.
If your second chakra is open and in balance, you’re connected to your passions, feelings and sexuality. Someone with second chakra issues might not be able to maintain healthy sexual boundaries. The color associated with this chakra is orange and its bija mantra is vam. Allow the mantra “vam” to move through the area of your second chakras as you visualize profound healing taking place there.
Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra is the manipura chakra, also known as the “jewel in the city.”
It’s located in the stomach areas and has to do with self-esteem, self-confidence, self-acceptance and self-love. Its color is yellow and its bija mantra is ram. Chant the sound “ram” as you imagine it healing your manipura chakra.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, also known as the anahata chakra, which moves the energy of love through your body and through your life.
The color associated with it is green. Its bija, or seed mantra is yum. If you have troubles feeling love and compassion in all areas of your life, chant the mantra yum and allow yourself to give lots of hug and kisses.
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra, and is also known as the vishuddha chakra.
Located at the base of the throat, this chakra has to do with communicating one’s inner truth. It governs the ability to authentically express oneself freely. If you have trouble saying what you mean and tend to accommodate others rather than yourself, chant the bija, or seed mantra “ham.” You can also do camel pose to help stimulate this particular chakra.
Third Eye Chakra
The 6th chakra, also known as the ajna chakra is found between the eyebrows at the third eye.
It’s also known as the “command center.” The ajna chakra is your “6th sense,” or center of intuition and wisdom. If this one is open, you might have clairvoyance or telepathy. IF you can’t trust your intuition, you’ll want to begin a meditation practice. Indigo is its color and om is its bija mantra. Chant the sound “om” while closing your eyes and resting your attention on the ajna chakra, or third eye.
Last but certainly not least is the 7th chakra or crown chakra, also known as the sahasrana chakra.
Also called the thousand petal lotus, this chakra connects you to the Divine. Call it God, Krishna, Buddha, or whatever you like – this is the chakra for achieving the enlightenment factor, or oneness of being. Its color is luminous violet or white light and its bija mantra is “ah.” Chant “ah” whenever you want to connect to the Divine.
By Aimee Hughes
Aimee is a holistic health and yoga writer who has been traveling and exploring the world of natural health and wellness, yoga, dance, and travel for the past two decades. She is the author of a self-published vegan cookbook, The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex, available on Amazon. Aimee is a regular contributor to On Fitness and the lead writer and health consultant for the Yandara Yoga Institute in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico.
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