step by step guide to your 7 chakras

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Your Step by Step Guide to the 7 Chakras

Maybe you’ve attended a yoga class and the instructor suggests you connect into your chakras. Honestly, you’re not sure exactly what a chakra is, or where it might be in order to connect to it.

Chakras deal with energy, something many people struggle to give any importance to because it’s such an intangible concept.

Have you ever walked into a room and known immediately tension filled the space? Or entered into a packed stadium and felt the excitement humming in the air?

👉 That, my friend, is energy. And you’re more tapped into than you think.

Now let’s apply that energy to the idea of chakras.

what is a chakra

Before you can understand chakras, you must learn about pran, both Sanskrit words. Pran is the energy of your body in Indian and Yogic precepts.

Other cultures identify this energy as chi (Chinese), ki (Japanese), pneuma (Greek), spiritus (Latin), or ruach (Hebrew).

👉 It’s the recognition of an energetic life force within all of us.

This energy runs along lines in the body called nadis (Sanskrit). In Chinese medicine these channels are called meridians. These lines meet at hubs or nexuses, and the seven major nexuses along the spine are known as chakras.

Each chakra corresponds to vital organs, natural elements, sensory functions, and even emotional characteristics. Imbalances arise out of either a deficiency or excess of energy in the area.

When studying the chakra system, you start from the lowest one and work your way up to the top most.

chakra system along spine

the root chakra

red root chakraThe root chakra is called muladhara (moo-lah-dhah-rah) in Sanskrit and means root or earth. This hub of energy is located at the base of your spine.

Muladhara provides a connection between you and the physical world and represents your dependence on your family for survival. When muladhara is balanced, you’re in good health and enjoy stability in your life.

Physical imbalances of muladhara can manifest as:

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Varicose veins
  • Under/overweight

Emotional imbalances can show up as:

  • Feeling scattered
  • Lethargic
  • Depression
  • Seeking reassurances
  • Money, material objects, and status to make you feel secure

If you experience an imbalance in mulahdhara, spend time in nature, sit under a tree, or walk barefoot in the grass. Eat red or root vegetables (likes beets). Practice standing (or grounding) yoga poses like mountain, chair, goddess, or triangle.

the sacral chakra

orange sacral chakraThe sacral chakra is called swadhisthana (shwah-dhih-stah-nah) in Sanskrit and means one’s own place. This energy hub is located just below your navel.

The sacral chakra is the home of creativity and the energy here flows, moves, and creates. The second chakra is associated with partnerships and relationships that satisfy personal and physical needs outside of the family. When balanced in swadhisthana, you have good boundaries and an increased ability to adapt and change.

Physical Imbalances in the sacral chakra can manifest as:

  • Reproductive and urinary issues
  • Low back pain
  • Knee trouble

Emotional imbalances can show up as as:

  • Fear of losing control or being controlled by another
  • Rigid or stiff
  • Fear of dominating events or conditions
  • Drawn to seductive (and addictive) forces such as sex, money, drugs and alcohol

If you experience an imbalance in swadhisthana drink more water, spend time by the water, or go for a swim. Eat orange or high-water content fruits and vegetables. Practice hip-focused yoga poses such as bound angle, pigeon, lunges, yogi squat.

the solar plexus chakra

yellow solar plexus chakraThe solar plexus chakra is called manipura (man-ee-pur-ah) in Sanskrit and means lustrous gem. It is located above your navel.

Manipura enables you to purify, refine, and remold yourself and is the pivotal energy center of your body. The third chakra focuses in on your individual power and how you relate to the world. When you’re manipura is balanced, you’re responsible, reliable, and confident.

Physical imbalances in the solar plexus chakra can manifest as:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Liver and colon issues
  • Indigestion
  • Weak or tired

Emotional imbalances can show up as:

  • Fear of being rejected
  • Controlling or dominant
  • Looking foolish
  • Failing
  • Fears related to your physical appearance
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence

If you experience an imbalance in manipura, get out in the sunshine and take a walk or meditate in front of a fire. Eat yellow fruits and vegetables. Practice core strengthening yoga poses like plank, boat, and warrior 3.

the heart chakra

green heart chakraThe heart chakra is called anahata (ah-nah-ha-tah) in Sanskrit and means unstruck. It is located at the center of your chest.

The heart chakra is your emotional storehouse, and mediates between your body and spirit, further developing your emotional maturity. When you are balanced in anahata you’re loving, compassionate, joyful, and generous.

Physical imbalances can manifest as:

  • Heart problems
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Lung and breast issues
  • Upper back pain
  • Breathing issues

Emotional imbalances may show up as:

  • Fear of being alone
  • Fears of commitment or intimacy
  • Having poor boundaries
  • Desperate for love and attention
  • Withdrawn, depressed, or clinging
  • Judgmental

When there is an imbalance in anahata try connecting to the wind or focus on deep breathing. Eat leafy greens and herbs. Practice chest (aka heart) opening yoga poses (like the heart chakra class sequence found in the free yoga teacher guide) such as puppy, cobra, downward dog, and bridge.

the throat chakra

blue throat chakraThe throat chakra is called vissudha (veh-shu-dhah) in Sanskrit and means purity. It is located at your throat.

Vissudha is the energy center from which you can speak the truth, and it is the conduit between the space outside and inside your body as well as the bridge between your mind and heart. When you’re balanced in vissudha, you’re a good listener, have a strong voice and communicate clearly.

Physical imbalances in vissudha can manifest as:

  • Sore throat
  • Ulcers
  • Laryngitis
  • TMJ
  • Constricted voice
  • Loud, talks too much

Emotional Imbalances can manifest as:

  • Fear of being out of control
  • Fear of releasing the power of choice to a higher power
  • Shy
  • Scattered

When vissudha is out of balance practice expressing yourself through singing, talking to a friend on the phone, or writing a letter. Eat blue and blue-purplish foods like blueberries and grapes. Practice throat-focused yoga poses such as cat/cow, plow, shoulderstand, and camel.

the forehead chakra

blue forehead chakraThe forehead chakra is called ajna (ajz-nah) in Sanskrit and means to perceive. It is located in the center of your forehead.

Ajna is the sixth major energy center and corresponds to intelligence and the higher functions of the brain. This chakra involves mental and reasoning abilities as well as the capacity for intuition. When ajna is balanced you have clarity, imagination, good memory, and strong intuition.

Physical imbalances can manifest as:

  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Brain and neuro issues
  • Seizures and headaches
  • Delusions or hallucinations

Emotional imbalances can manifest as:

  • Feelings of shame
  • Denial and close-mindedness
  • Negative self-image
  • Strange dreams or nightmares
  • Inability to trust your intuition

When ajna is imbalance try logic puzzles, brain strengthening activities, taking a walk in the sunshine, or light therapy. Eat purple cabbage or eggplant. Practice yoga poses that help improve your concentration and bring you present moment such as tree, eagle, warrior 3, headstand.

the crown chakra

purple crown chakraThe crown chakra is called sahasrara (shah-hah-shrah-rah) in Sanskrit. It is located at the top of your head.

The crown chakra is the entry point for your life force (prana or chi) and it pours endlessly into your energy system. Sahasrara is the connection to your spiritual nature and the capacity to allow spirituality to become an integral part of your physical life. When you’re balance in sahasrara you’re thoughtful, open-minded, intelligent, and enlightened.

Physical imbalances can manifest as:

  • Low energy
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Migraines
  • Sensitivity to your environment

Emotional imbalances can manifest as:

  • Materialistic
  • Cynical
  • Not trusting in life
  • Not trusting in your values
  • A shaky foundation in your spirituality

When sahasrara is imbalanced try meditation, singing hymns or spiritual songs, chanting, or prayer. Eat soul-nourishing foods and drink healthy detoxing teas. A yoga practice that prepares you for meditation.

final tips on chakras

When you’re ready, head over to part two, where you’ll get postures suggestions based on the individual chakras. Yoga Postures to Balances Your Seven Chakras

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a beginners guide to the chakras
step by step guide to your chakras

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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
Hi! I'm Shannon

For 20 years, I’ve helped women of all ages and sizes to realize their dreams of becoming inspiring yoga teachers. 

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