Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard all about the 7 chakras. What you may not know is that there are actually 114 different chakras, but there are seven main chakras that run along your spine. These are the chakras that most of us are referring to when we talk about them.
Chakra (cakra in Sanskrit) means “wheel” and refers to energy points in your body. They are thought to be spinning disks of energy that should stay “open” and aligned, as they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being.
Each of these seven main chakras has a corresponding number, name, color, specific area of the spine from the sacrum to the crown of the head, and health focus.
The first of the seven chakras is the Root Chakra or Muladhara Chakra. Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is responsible for your sense of safety and security on this earthly journey. The word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base.”
The root chakra is comprised of whatever grounds and stabilizes you in your life. This includes your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as your more emotional needs such as letting go of fear. When these needs are met, you feel grounded and safe, and you tend to worry less day to day.
If there is an imbalance in the root chakra you can experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.
The sense organ that corresponds to the first chakra is smell. While meditating, focus on the tip of your nose to help align the root and bring forth the qualities you need to balance your root chakra.
Other ways to open a blocked root chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga Asanas that help to open and align Muladhara are…
- Pavanamuktasana, knee to chest pose
- Padmasana, lotus flexion
- Malasana, squatting pose
The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra or the Svadhisthana Chakra. Svadhisthana, is also known as the creativity and sexual chakra. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel, and encompasses the genital region and the hypogastric plexus. The word svadhisthana can be translated as “the dwelling place of the self,” and the element of the second chakra is water, which equals cohesiveness. A balanced second chakra leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions.
You can open this chakra with creative expression and by honoring your body. The energy of this chakra is feminine, passive, and lunar.
Playfulness is a great way to unblock this Chakra.
Besides playfulness, you can balance the second chakra by maintaining a healthy sexual life and honoring and respecting your body. Get in touch with your emotions and see if there are any feelings you’re holding onto. Make a commitment to process those emotions in a healthy way.
Left nostril breathing can help you to balance and unblock the Sacral chakra.
Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga asanas that help to open and align Svadhisthana are …
- Seated pelvic circles: Sitting in a cross-legged or half-lotus pose with your hands on your knees, make circles with your torso. Go around in one direction 5 or 6 times and then switch directions.
- Baddha konasana (butterfly pose) with forward fold: In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees drop to the sides and bring your heels in close to your pelvis. Lengthen the torso and fold forward.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Lie on your stomach with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your naval on the floor. Be sure to press down through the pubic bone toward the mat.
The mantra sound that corresponds to the sacral chakra is the sound VAM. By chanting VAM, the vibrations will open and align this chakra. The color for the second chakra is orange and the gemstones for this chakra are amber, calcite orange, carnelian, or hematit.