What’s inside this article: An overview of the 7 major chakras, what happens when they’re blocked, and how to clear them.
If you’ve ever attended a meditation or yoga class, had an energy healing session, or explored spirituality, you have likely heard of chakras.
You may also have learned that your chakras can become blocked and that this can affect your emotional and physical well-being.
The word chakra loosely translates to “wheel” in an ancient Eastern language called Sanskrit. It is believed that chakras are energy centers that sit throughout the body and correspond to specific internal organs, nerve bundles, emotions, and aspects of self.
There are seven major chakras that run from the top of the head down to the base of your spine. There are also many smaller chakras throughout the body, including on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet- it is believed that there are at least 114 different chakras in the body.
What Are The 7 Major Chakras?
The seven major chakras can each be found in a specific location along your spine. Let’s look at each one in more depth.
The root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and represents one’s foundation in life.
The root chakra is responsible for your sense of stability, groundedness, and security in life.
When the root chakra is balanced, you can stand strong against life’s challenges. When this chakra is blocked, you may feel as though you are on unstable ground, shaky and threatened.
- Location: Base of spine, in tailbone area
- What it controls: Survival and security issues such as money, shelter, and food.
- Color: Red
- Stone: Hematite
- Element: Earth
- Yoga pose: Warrior I
The sacral chakra, or Svadhisthana, is located just below your belly button.
This chakra is responsible for your creative and sexual energy. When this chakra is blocked, one may experience sexual dysfunction and a loss of creative inspiration.
- Location: Abdomen, 2 inches below the navel
- What it controls: Sexuality, creativity, pleasure.
- Color: Orange
- Element: Water
- Stone: Tiger’s Eye
- Yoga pose: Bound Angle Pose
Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra, or Manipura, is responsible for the ability to feel confident and in control of your life. It is related to self-esteem and how you relate to your emotions and the emotions of others.
When this chakra is blocked, you may experience self-doubt and shame.
- Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area
- What it controls: Self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem
- Color: Yellow
- Element: Fire
- Stone: Amber
- Yoga pose: Boat Pose
The heart chakra, or Anahata, is located in the chest’s center, just above the heart.
It governs our ability to show compassion and feel love– towards ourselves and others. When this chakra is blocked, one will experience difficulty opening to love, expressing empathy, and have trouble opening up to others.
- Location: Center of the chest, the heart space
- What it controls: Joy, love, and inner peace
- Color: Green
- Element: Air
- Stone: Rose Quartz
- Yoga pose: Camel Pose
The throat chakra, or Vishuddha, is located in the throat. This chakra is responsible for the ability to communicate and speak one’s truth.
When this chakra is blocked, one will experience difficulty in saying how they truly feel.
- Location: Throat
- What it controls: Self-expression, self-expression, and truth
- Color: Light Blue/Turquoise
- Element: Sound/Music
- Stone: Aquamarine
- Yoga pose: Fish Pose
Third Eye Chakra
The third eye chakra, or Ajna, is located in the space between the eyes. It is responsible for intuition, gut instinct, and imagination.
When this chakra is blocked, one feels disconnected from their sense of inner knowing and wiser Self.
- Location: The space between the eyes
- What it controls: Imagination, intuition, and wisdom
- Color: Indigo
- Element: Light
- Stone: Amethyst
- Yoga pose: Child’s Pose
The crown chakra, or Sahasrara, is located at the crown of the head. This chakra is responsible for one’s spiritual connection to the universe, yourself, and others.
When this chakra is blocked, you experience a disconnection from higher consciousness and Spirit/ Source.
- Location: The very top of the head
- What it controls: Connection to divine consciousness
- Color: White
- Element: Divine Consciousness
- Stone: Clear quartz
- Yoga pose: Headstand
How To Unblock or Balance Your Chakras
When a chakra is low in energy, you may have trouble expressing the particular qualities associated with that chakra.
When a chakra is overactive, the qualities associated with that chakra are a dominant force in the person’s life.
For example, if one’s root chakra is low in energy, one may feel a sense of fear around the security in their home life or experience an ache in the tailbone area.
We can balance or unblock our chakras in a variety of ways, such as :
- Pranayama: breathing practices that encourage the flow of energy
- Asana: yoga postures. Check out each chakras corresponding yoga pose in the descriptions above.
- Meditation: Head onto YouTube or attend a class that has the intention to heal and balance your chakras.
- Energy Work: Reiki or energy healing sessions
Working with your chakras is something that can become a way to manage your general health and well-being, as well as your spiritual awakening.
Becoming aware of these energy centers in the body can help you understand why you may be experiencing various physical or emotional ailments- when we have awareness, we are empowered to move towards positive change in our lives.