The seven chakras of the body are energy centers that affect our being physically, emotionally, and psychologically. They line the spine but affect the whole body. Hindu and Buddhist traditions work towards aligning these chakras of the body through yoga to set the body in equilibrium. These energy centers can be used as helpful tools to living your richest life, whereas they are mainly harming people who are unaware of them.
Muladhara is the root chakra located at the base of the spine between the anus and the genitals. On a physical level, this chakra of the body attributes to lower back pain, depression, immune related disorders and poor sleep or fatigue. Psychologically, Muladhara stirs up feelings of fear, self-esteem issues, alienation, and a search for security. When this chakra is not balanced, you’re physical identity, stability and ambition begins to waver. You can do yoga poses such as Mountain Pose, Warrior Pose, or Bridge Pose to help balance this chakra, which leads to feeling centered, committed, energetic, and independent.
The chakra Svadhishthana is found between the base of the genitals and the sacral nerve plexus. Here your emotional identity, personal relationships, creativity and self-gratification are called into question. If this chakra is out of alignment, you may suffer from poor digestion, pelvic pain, menstrual problems, and urinary problems. What’s more, you're overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, blame, irritability and a desire for power. Any hip opening pose helps balance this chakra so you may consider doing Bound Angle Pose, Standing Wide Forward Bend, or Sitting Wide Forward Bend. Once you’ve worked to balance Svadhishthana, you’ll be more satisfied, prosperous, compassionate, and intuitive.
This chakra is located at the navel. Manipura deals mainly with digestion and intestinal issues such as stomach ulcers, tumors, eating disorders, diabetes and adrenal imbalances. Low self-image, fear of rejection, indecisiveness, and a judgmental nature unhealthily grow from this chakra of the body. By doing heat poses such as Sun Salutation, backbends, twists, and abdominal strengtheners like Boat Pose, Manipura will settle, making you more energetic, confident, decisive, and have good digestion.
Located by the heart, it’s no wonder why Anahata deals with social identity, trust, unconditional love, stability, emotional empowerment and forgiveness. Chest openers like Camel, Cobra, and Fish combined with pranayama or breathing exercises open this chakra for feelings of completeness, motivation, compassion, and empathy. Let’s just take a moment to admire how outstanding that is. Some people spend their whole life searching for that sense of fulfillment that could have been attained by aligning this chakra.
This is the throat chakra which understandably affects communication, truthfulness, self-expression, and confession. Physically, you may suffer from a sore throat, stiff neck, mouth ulcers, or thyroid dysfunctions. Emotionally, you may struggle to make decisions, express yourself, and take responsibility for your own needs. Plow Pose, Bridge Pose, Supported Shoulder-stand and Camel are all great yoga poses to open up this chakra. Too often, it gets stuck in the throat and is compressed, so it’s important to take the time to elongate the neck with neck stretches to reap the benefits of Vishuddha. You may just find yourself more expressive, centered, able to give constructive communication and be a conscious listener.
The Ajna chakra is situated between the eyebrows and is more commonly known as the third eye. Anja opens the body, soul and spirit to self-knowledge, wisdom, detachment, insight, and understanding. When balanced, your ability to concentrate and focus are heightened while you’re more able to conceptualize reality into existence. Child’s Pose and guided meditation help balance this chakra. Without it, you may have headaches, panic, eyestrain, or nightmares.
The chakras are completed with Sahasrara at the crown of the head. When aligned, this chakra strengthens your intuition, spirituality, awareness of the whole, and emotions. Balancing poses such as Tree and Eagle along with sitting in Yoga Mudra balance this chakra. Without balance, you suffer light and sound sensitivity combined with a lack of purpose, loss of identity, apathy, and materialism. But once in line, you are more open-minded, connected with the universe, and thoughtful.
Aligning these seven chakras of the body is an attainable task if you dedicate yourself to studying them and doing yoga to balance them. It’s remarkable to see the impact these energy centers can have on the body. What did you learn?