We give it out, we take it in, we wear it always. Our lives are powered by an electric and invisible energy. And, no, we’re not talking about that kick from your last matcha latte. Let’s take a look at the seven chakras – what they are, what they mean and how we can use them to balance ourselves and function better than ever.
Yogi Ali Owens created a seven part meditation series called Chakra Wake Up within the Yoga Wake Up app. We’re loving this little series, alongside Yoga Wake Up’s other meditations to music, stretch sessions, and audio yoga classes for instant vibes in the morning at home. Check out the whole series and read through Ali’s thorough explanation of the chakra system below…
What is a Chakra? A chakra is an energetic wheel or vortex of energy found in the subtle body. Prana, life force energy, circulates through various nadis, pathways of energy. The seven main chakras align with the Sushumna Nadi, or central channel. Along the Sushumna Nadi the Ida, lunar/feminine, and Pingala, solar/masculine, nadis scissor like a figure eight up the spine joining at the sixth chakra.
UNDERSTANDING how CHAKRAs function: Each chakra has specific physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and energetic characteristics. I am able to understand myself on a deeper level and manage my energy throughout the day referencing them. I am constantly re-balancing the chakras through meditation, asana, mantra, aromatherapy, crystal and sound healing.
Understanding the chakras has also enhanced my personal yoga practice. Rather than fixating on the physical, I am able to access the energetic expression of each pose, from a standing pose (tadasana) to opening all of the chakras in chakrasana, or urdhva dhanurasana (full wheel).
Chakras add a lot of color to our lives. Each chakra is associated with a color found on the rainbow. They add a fun, new dimension in which we can better understand ourselves and relate to our surrounding environment. Your body is a well of wisdom and by diving into this ancient system you can better understand yourself and lead a bright life filled with optimal vitality.
Understanding the 7 Chakras
Root Chakra | Muladhara
This chakra is located at the base of the coccyx. It is associated with the element of earth. It is related to our basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, air, etc.) and our physical bodies interacting with nature. When this chakra is balanced we feel stable, safe, supported and grounded.
Sacral Chakra | Svadhisthana
This chakra is located above the pubic bone and below the navel. It is associated with the element of water. It is the home of our sense of self. At this energetic center we experience creativity, sexuality, playfulness, joy, abundance and a connection to desire. Through a strong sense of desire we are able to pursue our passions and go with the ebb and flow of life.
Solar Plexus Chakra | Manipura
This chakra is located at the navel center. It is associated with the element of fire. It is the home of our personal power, motivation, will and ability to manifest our deepest desires. It controls our digestion where we transform nourishment into valuable energy for the body.
Heart Chakra | Anahata
This chakra located at the center of the chest and governs our heart, lungs and arms. It is associated with the element of air. It relates to our feelings of love, compassion, forgiveness, connection and understanding. This is where the physical and spiritual chakras intersect. You may think of the arms as a physical expression of the heart chakra where we connect to others through handshakes and warm embraces.
Throat chakra | Vishuddha
This chakra is located at the base of the throat governing our mouth, jaw, ears and neck. It is associated with the element of space or ether. This chakra is the home of our communication and is the place for purification as it also presides over the thyroid, which balances our hormones and keeps our immune system healthy. When this chakra is open we communicate clearly with authenticity and practice intuitive listening.
Third eye chakra | Ajna
This chakra is located between the eyebrows and governs your pituitary gland, lower brain, eyes and skull. It is associated with your intuition, wisdom, intellect, knowledge, understanding and imagination. An open sixth chakra may experience lucid dreaming or moments of clairvoyance. You feel guided, able to trust in the process of life and believe your presence is an integral part of the fabric of life.
Crown Chakra | Sahasrara
Also known as the thousand-pedaled lotus that rests on the seat of the head. This chakra connects us to a divine source, God or universal consciousness. When this chakra is open we feel the flow of energy fill our body and connect us to all other beings on this planet. At the seed of this chakra we learn that we are pure consciousness, interconnected and essentially all one.