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Chakras and Yoga

January 27, 2022
Chakras and Yoga

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A Beginner's Guide to Chakras and Yoga

Chakras.

You've heard the word before, and know it has something to do with yoga.

But you’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what it means.

If you’re wondering what chakras are and how they relate to yoga, you’ve come to the right place.

Here we explain the seven chakras and how yoga is designed to keep your chakras in balance.

Table of Contents

What Is a Chakra?
How Are Chakras and Yoga Connected?
What Are the 7 Chakras?
What Does it Mean if a Chakra Is Blocked?
Does Yoga Open Your Chakras?
What Is Chakra Yoga?
How Can I Activate My Chakras in Yoga?
Learn More About Chakras and Yoga at Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi

What Is a Chakra?

The term chakra comes from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, and means “spinning wheel of energy.”

Making up what is known as your “subtle body,” your chakras are believed to affect every area of your life, including:

• Physical
• Energy
• Mental; and
• Spiritual

According to some, each Chakra is made up of nadis, which means ‘flow’ or ‘motion’, and is composed of prana, which refers to “energy” or “life force.”

It is said that when three nadis meet within the body, they form a triangle known as a chakra.

How Are Chakras and Yoga Connected?

Chakras and yoga complement one another well.

Yoga has many benefits, one of which is the ability to increase the amount of energy that flows through each of your chakras—directly influencing your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

What Are the 7 Chakras?

If you’ve been around yoga for some time, you probably know that some forms of yoga teach that there are five chakras in yoga, while some teach four to seven chakras. In the case of Korean-based holistic traditions from Body & Brain, we teach that there are seven.

Yoga, in general, adheres to the tradition of these seven chakras:

1. Root
2. Sacral
3. Solar Plexus
4. Heart
5. Throat
6. Third Eye; and
7. Crown

At Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi we offer a unique blend of Yoga, Tai Chi, Breathwork, and meditation exercises at over 100+ locations nationwide.

Our trained instructors are well versed in the types of chakras in yoga and can provide 1-on-1 guidance to help you determine the exercise program that best meets your current needs.

#1: Root Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Muladhara Chakra (“mula” means root; “adhara” means “foundation” or “base”)
Center of: Life or Survival
Element: Earth
Color: Red

The Root Chakra is the first chakra of matter and is the foundation of everything you do. Think of the foundation of a house: If it is weak, the rest of the house will deteriorate right along with it.

Each of your basic human needs, such as…

• Eating
• Sleeping
• Drinking enough water
• Feeling safe and secure

…all relate to the stability of your root chakra.

This chakra correlates with your childhood, as well. If your basic needs were unmet, or you didn’t freely receive love as a child, you’re more likely to experience an imbalance in your Root Chakra.

An imbalanced root chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Anxiousness
• Lack of motivation and willpower
• Insecurity
• Fear
• Low back pain
• Bladder infections; and
• Colon issues

How Does Yoga Work With the Root Chakra?

Yoga poses, or “asanas”, that work the tailbone and pelvis area easily stimulate the root chakra, releasing any negative energy that may have accumulated or stagnated throughout the years.

#2: Sacral Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Svadhisthana Chakra (“sva” means self or one’s own; “adhisthana” means established or home)
Center of: Sexuality
Element: Water
Color: Orange

The second chakra of matter, your Sacral Chakra, is located about two inches below the navel just above the pubic bone.

It is associated with your:

• Sensuality
• Creativity
• Career
• Relationships
• Fear of abandonment
• Pleasure; and
• Addictions

Your Sacral Chakra is energetically linked to your:

• Low back
• Hips
• Pelvis
• Bladder
• Sex organs
• Large intestines; and
• Kidneys

A blocked Sacral Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Low back pain
• A lack of creativity; and
• Difficulty in fully expressing your emotions

How Does Yoga Work With the Sacral Chakra?

Yoga poses for Sacral Chakra (like hip joint releases and lower back stretches) allow the sacral area to open, so you can have the opportunity to feel and/or release any emotional energy that may be stored there.

#3: Solar Plexus Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Manipura Chakra (meaning “lustrous gem”)
Center of: Confidence
Element: Fire
Color: Yellow

The third and final chakra of matter, your Solar Plexus Chakra, is located in the middle of your diaphragm, between your liver and stomach.

Your Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with your:

• Confidence
• Self-esteem
• Worth
• Energy; and
• Inner power

Your Solar Plexus chakra is energetically linked to your:

• Digestive system
• Liver
• Gallbladder
• Spleen
• Stomach; and
• Spine

It is believed that when your Solar Plexus Chakra is in alignment with the rest of your chakras, you’ll feel:

• Energetic
• Confident; and
• Empowered to make decisions that are in tune with your desires

A blocked Solar Plexus Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Having a decrease in self-esteem
• Not feeling in tune with your gut instincts
• Struggling with decision-making; or
• Feeling generally “stuck”

A good way to monitor the state of your Solar Plexus Chakra is through your digestive system. Physical constipation may be connected to spiritual constipation.

How Does Yoga Work With the Solar Plexus Chakra?

The best poses for the Solar Plexus Chakra are those that stretch your stomach and strengthen your core.

In yoga, it is taught that these poses can help give you new energy by stoking your inner fire.

#4: Heart Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Anahata Chakra (meaning “to unhurt”)
Center of: Love, compassion, and empathy
Element: Air
Color: Green

The Heart Chakra creates a bridge between your chakras of matter and the chakras of spirituality.

It is energetically linked to the areas in and around your heart, including your:

• Shoulders
• Arms
• Hands
• Lungs
• Breasts
• Thymus gland
• Ribs; and
• Diaphragm

It is believed that when your Heart Chakra is opened, you are filled with:

• Kindness
• Unconditional love
• Selflessness
• Forgiveness
• Unity; and
• Acceptance

A blocked Heart Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Fear
• Anger; and
• Jealousy

How Does Yoga Work With the Heart Chakra?

Your heart is the place that energetically holds any past traumas you have experienced. Yoga can help you to feel these experiences in a deep way that allows them to be energetically released (or unhurt) from your body.

Poses for the Heart Chakra can release negative energy such as grudges, fear, and anger.

Heart Chakra poses are those that open the chest and shoulders, allowing you to release negative emotions.

#5: Throat Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Vishudda Chakra (meaning “purification”)
Center of: Expression
Element: Ether or Space
Color: Turquoise Blue

The Throat Chakra is the first of your spiritual chakras.

It is energetically linked to your:

• Throat
• Mouth
• Jaw
• Neck; and
• Thyroid

It is believed that when your Throat Chakra is open, you can:

• Effectively communicate
• Listen attentively
• Understand; and
• Express yourself freely

A blocked Throat Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Difficulty in communicating with confidence and clarity
• Dishonesty in relationships; and
• Throat conditions (such as a sore throat or strep throat)

How Does Yoga Work With the Throat Chakra?

Shoulder stretch poses and neck rotations for throat chakra can help bring balance by opening the neck and throat areas to free the tension you may be holding in your neck.

#6: Third Eye Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Ajna Chakra (meaning “beyond wisdom”)
Center of: Wisdom and Intuition
Element: Light
Color: Indigo blue

Located between your eyes, just above your eyebrows, the Third Eye Chakra is the second of the spiritual chakras and is the seat of intuition.

The Third Eye Chakra is energetically linked to your:

• Head
• Lower brain
• Pituitary gland; and
• Eyes

It is believed that when your third eye chakra is open, you may notice:

• Your intuition is strong
• It is easy to act on your gut instincts
• Your imagination is easily accessed
• You trust yourself; and
• Decision-making is easier

A blocked Third Eye Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Headaches
• Eye problems
• Memory problems
• Difficulty concentrating; and
• Nightmares)

How Does Yoga Work With the Third Eye Chakra?

Third Eye Chakra poses are those that bring your head down towards the earth.

#7: Crown Chakra

Name in Sanskrit: Sahaswara Chakra (meaning “thousandfold”)
Center of: Spirituality
Element: Thought
Color: Violet purple

The Crown Chakra is located on the top of your head and is the center of your spirituality.

It is believed that when your Crown Chakra is open, you:

• Feel connected to universal energy of Oneness that connects all life
• Have a sense of harmony with the planet; and
• Have a sense of purpose

A blocked Crown Chakra is believed to be associated with:

• Loss of sense of purpose
• Becoming indifferent
• Having lowered ethical and moral standards
• Feeling depressed; and
• Becoming attached to the material things of this world

How Does Yoga Work With the Crown Chakra?

Yoga postures for the Crown Chakra focus on strength, balance, and “letting go.”

They stimulate your energy as well as the blood flow to your head.

What Does it Mean if a Chakra Is Blocked?

Sometimes a chakra may become blocked, or unbalanced, and have too much or too little energy. If this happens, you may display certain physical or emotional characteristics or behaviors related to that particular chakra.

Chakras may become blocked due to:

• Too much physical or emotional stress
• Poor posture
• Negative thoughts
• Unhealthy eating habits; or
• Self-destructive behaviors

Blocked chakras can energetically affect your well-being.

Depending on the location of the chakra that is out of balance, areas of your body that are in proximity to that chakra may experience tension or difficulty.

An imbalance in your chakras are believed to have emotional effects and be associated with emotional an increase in:

• Anger
• Fear
• Sadness; or
• Indecisiveness

Does Yoga Open Your Chakras?

The short answer? Yes.

If you are experiencing blocked chakras, yoga may help to open, or unblock, them through the use of specific:

• Yoga poses
• Meditations; and
• Breathing practices that encourage the flow of energy within your body

What Is Chakra Yoga?

Chakra Yoga aims to recover a sense of balance between:

• The energy (emotional)
• The physical body; and
• The spiritual body

At Body & Brain Yoga, we do this through various forms of:

• Poses
• Meditation; and
• Breathing exercises

Our yoga practices may be able to keep your body and spine aligned, which may help to free and balance the flow of your body’s chakra energy.

Chakra Yoga has been known to:

• Relax your mind
• Reduce stress; and
• Increase your energy levels

How Can I Activate My Chakras in Yoga?

Yoga helps to activate the seven chakras through the use of specific yoga poses and meditations.

The poses and meditations you will use to awaken your chakras vary depending on the chakra.

Learn More About Chakras and Yoga at Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi

If you would like to learn more about chakras and yoga, Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi would love to help.

Gain insights and methods to help you balance your chakra energy. Learn how strong chakras contribute to your overall wellness.

At Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi, you’ll be connected with an encouraging community of like-minded individuals who can provide:

• Accountability
• Encouragement; and
• Camaraderie

… as you learn a holistic approach to your well-being and health.

Join us today to get a private introductory session and let one of our expert team members help you make a plan to achieve your health goals.