Chakras For Dummies

Whether in a song or in a yoga class, I’m sure you’ve heard the word chakra and thought it sounded sexy. Most classes—at least the ones that I have been to—do not focus around balancing or describing the chakra system, therefore here’s a brief guide to the chakra system!

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First thing’s first: what’s a chakra?

Coming from the Sanskrit word for wheel, chakras are energy centers in our body that energy flows through. They were first written about in 2000 years ago in the Vedas, aka the oldest Indian texts. They are located along the central channel, which is why we see them drawn along the spine. There are two side channels (one feminine, one masculine) that somewhat zig-zag along the spine and where they intersect we find chakras.

Why are they important?

Opening your chakras help people reach their highest potential. When the chakras are balanced, the mind, body, and spirit.

How many do we have?

Seven: The root chakra, sacral charka, solar plexus charka, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye chakra, and the crown chakra.

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Chakras in detail!

1. Root Chakra

Represents foundation and feelings of being grounded.

Sanskrit name: Muladhara Chakra
Color: Red.
Symbol: A four-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “I am.”
Location: The base of the spine/tailbone.

Asanas for muladhara:

Chair pose, Warrior poses, Mountain pose.

2. Sacral Chakra

Connection and ability to accept new people and new experiences. This chakra also deals with sex.

Sanskrit name: Swadistana Chakra
Color: Orange
Symbol: A six-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Vam”
Location: Between the pubis and navel.

Asanas for swadistana:

Pigeon pose, Reclined Goddess pose, Bound Angle pose.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra

Controlling confidence and control in our lives.

Sanskrit name: Manipura Chakra
Color: Yellow.
Symbol: A ten-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Ram”
Location: Between the navel and heart.

Asanas for manipura:

Boat pose, Sun Salutes, Bow pose.

4. Heart Chakra

Our ability to love.

Sanskrit name: Anahata Chakra
Color: Green.
Symbol: A twelve-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Yam.”
Location: The heart.

Asanas for anahata:

Eagle pose, Cobra pose, Fish pose.

5. Throat Chakra

Our ability to communicate.

Sanskrit name: Vishuddhi Chakra
Color: Blue.
Symbol: A sixteen-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Ham.”
Location: The throat.

Asanas for vishuddhi:

Camel pose, Shoulder stand, Bridge.

6. Third Eye Chakra

Being able to see the future, make decisions, and the center of creativity, imagination, and innovation.

Sanskrit name: Ajna Chakra.
Color: Purple.
Symbol: A two-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Om.”
Location: Between the eyebrows in the center of the forehead.

Asanas for ajna:

Seated Forward Fold, Alternate Nostril Breathing, Downward Dog.

7. Crown Chakra

The highest, most spiritual chakra.

Sanskrit name: Sahasrara Chakra
Color: Violet.
Symbol: A thousand-petaled lotus flower
Mantra: “Om.”
Location: The top of the head.

Asanas for sahasrara:

Half lotus, Headstand, Savasana.

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