The 7 Chakras: Energetic Significance & Healing Techniques.

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Learn about the seven chakras, or energy centers of the body, and the techniques to heal or align each chakra.

Time is—
Love is—
Death is—
And the Wheel turns,
And the Wheel turns,
And we are all bound to the Wheel.

~ Paul Edwin Zimmer

A chakra is a “wheel,” an energy center in the body. Nadis are the ethereal tubes that allow prana to move through the body, just as blood moves through blood vessels.

Chakras are located at points where nadis intersect; there are said to be 72,000 nadis throughout the body and thousands of chakras.

Both the upward current and downward current of energy must be open and flowing for us to be optimally healthy and whole. Anothea Judith writes in her classic guidebook, The Wheel of Life, “The liberating current brings us excitement, energy, and novelty, while the descending current brings peace, grace and stability.”

There are seven major chakras in tantric yoga philosophy. Here is a quick guide to each of these seven sacred energy centers; may it be of benefit.

If you are a beginner (and aren’t we all?), please be sure to practice yoga mindfully and with the guidance of a qualified teacher.

1st Chakra: The Root Chakra (Muladhara)

Location: Root/base of the spine
Sanskrit: Muladhara/”root support”
Color: red
Element: earth
Issues: stability, survival, unity, identity, ego, birth, death
Associated with: legs, feet, bones, adrenal gland, large intestine, teeth, spinal column
Governs: perception of the physical world; motivation and intent, birth, work, money, eating, digestion
Malfunction: weight problems, eating disorders, constipation, sciatica, arthritis, knee problems

Root Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: tribal drums; root chakra playlist
Affirmations: I am Earth. I am here. I am solid. I am alive. I am beginning anew.
Yoga poses
: mountain, squat, standing forward bend, garland, child’s
Connect with: Mother Earth/pacha mama, the soles of the feet, root lock/mula bandha
Pranayama: Ujjayi breath
Practice: Hatha yoga, yin yoga
Meditation: breath awareness

2nd Chakra: The Sacral Chakra (Svadistana)

Location: Sacrum/center of pelvis
Sanskrit: Svadistana/”sweetness”
Color: orange
Element: water
Issues: duality, choice, desire, emotions, sexuality
Associated with: the liquid part of the body, circulatory and urinary systems
Governs: feelings of creativity; the intimacy and vulnerability of sexual attraction; the ability to produce and nurture our own children
Malfunction: impotence, frigidity, uterine/bladder/kidney problems, lower back pain

Sacral Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: jazz; sacral chakra playlist
Affirmations: I am change. I am growth. I am desirable. I am dynamic. I am flowing with grace.
Poses: Warrior 1, Warrior 2, lizard, pigeon, hanumanasana (“the splits”)
Connect with: the hips
Pranayama: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Practice: Tantra yoga, vinyasa flows
Meditation: meditation on sensation

3rd Chakra: The Navel Chakra (Manipura)

Location: Solar plexus/navel
Sanskrit: Manipura/”Lustrous gem”
Color: yellow
Element: fire
Issues: power, will, strength, courage, effort
Associated with: adrenal glands, pancreas, liver, stomach, nervous system; regulation and distribution of metabolic energy
Governs: emotional issues, personal power, self-respect, courage, healthy humility; learning the power of grace

Malfunction: ulcers, diabetes, digestive disorders, muscular problems

Naval Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: rock; solar plexus playlist
Affirmations: I am powerful. I am fierce. I am capable. I am energetic. I can change my life.
Poses: single leg lifts, double leg lifts, boat, eagle, plank
Connect with: the core, abdominal lock/ uddiyana bandha
Pranayama: breath of fire
Practice: karma yoga
Meditation: meditation on emotion

4th Chakra: The Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Location: Heart/center of chest
Sanskrit: Anahata/”unstruck sound”
Color: green
Element: air
Issues: love, friendship, kindness, forgiveness, devotion, generosity
Associated with: thymus gland, lungs, hands, heart, blood; immune and endocrine systems.
Governs: love, compassion, unconditional acceptance
Malfunction: high blood pressure, respiratory problems, heart and lung problems, feeling heartbroken

Heart Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: classical, heart chakra playlist
Affirmations: I am fresh. I am clean. I am unstruck. I am unstuck. I am loving. I am loved.
Poses: standing back bend, camel, reverse warrior, triangle, bridge, wheel
Connect with: the heart, the breath, the wind, maitri
Pranayama: full yogic breath
Practice: Bhakti yoga, yin yoga, restorative yoga
Meditation: forgiveness, Metta/loving kindness

5th chakra: The Throat Chakra (Vissudha)

Location: Throat/center of neck
Sanskrit: Vissudha/”With purity”
Color: turquoise/sky blue
Element: sound, ether
Issues: communication, expression, creativity, speech, listening
Associated with: thyroid and parathyroid glands, lungs, vocal cords, shoulders, neck, arms, hands
Governs: expression of thoughts and feelings, finding our own truth and relearning the ability to express ourselves
Malfunction: colds, thyroid problems, ear/hearing problems, sore throats, speech problems

Throat Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: World, throat chakra playlist
Affirmations: I am open. I am honest. I am expressive. I am empowered.
Poses: camel, shoulder stand, fish, neck rolls, cobra
Connect with: the throat, throat lock/Jalandhara bandha
Pranayama: bumblebee breath
Practice: chanting, Mantra yoga
Meditation: Tonglen

6th Chakra: The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)

Location: third eye/between, slightly above and behind eyebrows
Sanskrit: Ajna/”Wisdom center”; perception and command
Color: indigo/midnight blue
Element: light
Issues: intuition, insight, intellect, imagination
Associated with: pineal gland; visual input from our two physical eyes and our “third eye” of psychic perception
Governs: spirituality and the search for meaning in life, visualization, inner awareness and witness consciousness
Malfunction: blindness, headaches, nightmares, eye strain, blurred vision

Third Eye Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: soul, third eye playlist
Affirmations: I am looking. I am seeing. I am noticing. I am intuitive. I connect with my inner wisdom.
Poses: child’s, cobbler’s, savasana, locust, bow
Connect with: the forehead, the present moment, the inner self
Pranayama: kapalabhati breathing
Practice: Yantra yoga
Meditation: Vipassana/insight meditation

7th Chakra: The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

Location: crown/top of head
Sanskrit: Sahasrara/”thousandfold”
Color: violet or white
Element: thought
Issues: divinity, wisdom, connectivity, inner peace, enlightenment
Associated with: pituitary gland
Governs: our connection to the divine, the universe, God, our Buddha Nature, a higher intelligence; living our Truth; willingness to surrender
Malfunction: depression, alienation, confusion, boredom, apathy, feeling disconnected or disjointed

Crown Chakra Healing Techniques

Music: the sound of silence
Affirmations: I am. I am here, now. I am Buddha. I am the church.
Poses: headstand, rabbit, downward dog, easy pose, half-lotus, lotus
Connect with: the top of the head, the sky, the universe
Pranayama: ocean breath
Practice: Raja and jnana yoga
Meditations: Zazen, pure awareness, mindfulness

Bonus: learn about the little-known knee chakra.

~

Relephant read:

The Chakras as Explained to a Child. {Video}

 ~

More ways to open your heart:

~

Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Flickr

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vic8mat Mar 10, 2019 4:05am

Really enjoyed. A simple and clear article! Thank you.

anonymous Nov 8, 2015 8:10am

Very nice and clear article – I have written something similar in danish on my own website … and this was a great help and inspiration.

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 5:02am

Thanks.you have done it for the generations to come.

Souls coming next should know about it in details.

anonymous Jul 23, 2015 8:50am

Thanks for posting this. I've been looking for this for a long time!!

anonymous Apr 30, 2015 12:18am

Loved it! Very nicely put across.. Thanks 🙂

anonymous Apr 24, 2015 5:31pm

Love this thank you

anonymous Apr 23, 2015 10:04pm

This is one of the best Elephant Journal articles I've read ( and I am a long time fan and happy subscriber ). I have recently been exploring with fascination and devotion the subject of Kundalini awakening. There needs to be more articles available that discuss so eloquently the sacred chakras and how to kindle the flame that is our energy wheels. Thanks for putting this out there!

anonymous Nov 1, 2014 4:11pm

Oh dear …. Please please please always go to a competent guru or a teacher who has received the necessary initiations for these esoteric teachings. They are passed down orally from teacher to aspirant and this has been the tradition for a loooong time. Namaste

anonymous Jun 8, 2014 8:48pm

Yoga/ working with chakras has nothing to do with anything other than "I am the soul", the rest is just ego and maya. Hope this clarifies. Happy meditations!

anonymous Jun 5, 2014 3:21am

Nice learning’thanks

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom. She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010  and has written and self-published several inspiring books. She incorporates yoga, dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting, pranayama and more into her teachings and personal practice.

Join Michelle on retreat this July 20-27 at magical Lake Atitlan in Guatemala!