What are Chakras?
The 7 chakras found in your subtle body (or spiritual body) are sources in which energy flows through and are located along the spine. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, “chakra” means wheel. The chakras can be thought of as wheels of powerful energy within your body that correspond with your nervous system. Each chakra has a specific location within the body and many unique elements. Like all energy, the chakras are not something that you can touch, but instead something that you can sense and feel.
When your chakras are open you will experience balance, but energy can sometimes become stuck in a specific chakra due to stress from physical or emotional issues, creating blockage and a closed chakra. A closed chakra can create an imbalance in emotions, mental health, and even physical illness. Chakras can also be too open, which can create negativity and pain from taking in too much from others. Ideally, we want the chakras to be open, but balanced so that energy can freely flow through them.
While a closed or too open of a chakra may sound scary it doesn’t need to be! Now that you are aware of the chakras you may be able to pinpoint which of your own chakras may need some balancing based off the descriptions below?
Use the mantra provided below for whatever chakra(s) of yours may need healing. You can use it while you meditate, or repeat it to yourself 3-5 times every morning. You may also want to incorporate the suggested yoga poses (below) specific for each chakra into your yoga practice. Which chakras of yours may need work might be obvious to you, but you can always take an online test like this one to verify and give you more insight on your chakras.
The 7 chakras
Root chakra (first)
Located at the base of your spine, this chakra relates to security and stability within ourselves. When open, we are fearless and secure in ourselves. When closed, you may have low self-esteem, anxiety, or low energy. When too open you may feel lethargic. It is represented by the color red.
Mantra: Lam (pronounced “lum”)
Yoga pose: Bridge or Warrior
Sacral chakra (second)
Located between the root chakra and your belly button, this chakra represents feelings, emotions, and passion. When open, we are connected to our feelings, happy, and creative. When closed, you may feel unmotivated or fear. When the sacral chakra is too open you may feel oversensitive or have obsessive attachments. It is represented by the color orange.
Mantra: Vam (pronounced “vum”)
Yoga pose: Child’s pose or pigeon pose
Solar plexus or naval chakra (third)
Located just above your belly button, this chakra expresses your willpower and determination. When open, you will feel like you can accomplish your dreams. When closed you may feel helpless and angry. When too open, you may be controlling and power hungry. The color yellow represents this chakra.
Mantra: Ram (pronounced “rum”)
Yoga pose: Sun salutations for heat building
Heart chakra (fourth)
Located at the center of your breastbone, this chakra symbolizes love, connection, and courage. It serves as a link between your mind, body, emotions, and soul. When open, you will feel brave and loved. When closed, you will feel unloved and disconnected. When this chakra is too open you may lack empathy and be jealous. This chakra is represented by the color green.
Mantra: Yam (pronounced “yum”)
Yoga pose: Camel and cobra pose
Throat chakra (fifth)
Located in the front at the base of the neck, this chakra reflects expression. When open, you freely express what you think and feel and speak your highest truth. When closed, you may lack expressive communication. When too open, you may gossip, talk loud, and be overly critical. It is represented by the sky blue color.
Mantra: Ham (pronounced “hum”)
Yoga pose: Plow or bridge pose
Third eye chakra (sixth)
Located in between your eye brows. When open, you are intuitive and connected to your soul. When closed, we may feel confused, be indecisive, or unable to visualize. When the third eye chakra is too open you might have trouble focusing or have nightmares. The color indigo represents this chakra.
Yoga pose: Child’s pose
Crown chakra (seventh)
Located at the top of your head and slightly back, this chakra represents enlightenment and spiritual connection to your higher self, others, and the divine. When open, you will feel peace. When closed, you may have trouble thinking and be skeptical. When the crown chakra is too open you may feel superior to others or be a daydreamer. This chakra is represented by the color purple.
Mantra: Aum (pronounced “Ah-um”)
Yoga pose: Tree and eagle pose
In addition to specific yoga poses, yoga in general is a great resource to help balance your chakras and release any blocked energy. Reiki and other energy healing practices, breath work like pranayama, using crystals and stones, and meditation can also all help to balance your chakras. When activating energy in your imbalanced chakras, note that “stuff” may come up that you may need to work through. Once you work through it, you will feel more balanced and lighter from the energy being released from your body.
Britt Martin is the founder of Fitbrittnutrition, a Holistic Nutrition Consulting company based in LA. She is a soon-to-be Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher who is passionate about teaching her clients and community how to nourish their bodies and live more holistic lifestyles. Britt is currently studying the healing modality of Reiki. She considers herself a health-foodie who aside from holistic nutrition and yoga, loves hiking, cooking, her dog-child Logan, and traveling as much as possible. Follow her on Instagram: @fitbrittnutrition