The body is made up of seven chakras. In sanskrit, the word chakra means wheels. Chakras are basically spinning vortexes of energy stacked vertically on top of one another from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Overtime, stress in the body contributes to energy blockages in these seven chakras, which can impact your overall health.
The purpose of yoga poses is to release tension built up in the body and mind, and as a result unblock these important energy centers in the body. Here’s a closer look at the chakra system and what it can tell you about your health.
1. Root Chakra
The first of the seven chakras is located at the base of the spine. It’s called the root chakra and it provides our foundation or the feeling of being grounded. It’s associated with our survival and when it’s blocked we may feel anxious as well as dealing with physical ailments like constipation and weight problems.
2. Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is our ability to connect with others. It's located at the lower abdomen, genitals, and at the womb. Its function is desire, pleasure, sexuality, and procreation. And when it’s blocked or not spinning energetically as it should be, it’s associated with impotence, frigidity, bladder and kidney problems, and a stiff lower back.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra
Located at the navel, the solar plexus chakra is linked with our ability to be in control of our lives and confident in our decisions. It has to do with our willpower and assertiveness and when it’s blocked we may suffer from ulcers, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and digestive disorders. We may also have trouble making life decisions.
4. Heart Chakra
The fourth of the body's chakras is all about love, and our ability to give and receive it. Our compassions levels are associated with how open our heart chakra is at an given time. When it’s out of whack, we may suffer from asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, and of course, an inability to love.
5. Throat Chakra
The fifth of the chakras, located at the throat, is associated with our ability to communicate effectively with others. It also holds our creativity. When it’s not functioning properly, we may feel stifled as well as having a stiff neck, sore throat, cold, thyroid problems, and hearing problems.
6. Third Eye Chakra
Third eye chakras affect our ability to see the big picture, what’s really going on in our lives, clearly. It’s located at the center of the head, just above eye level. It’s also linked to our intuition. When our third eye is blocked, we may have headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, and nightmares.
7. Crown Chakra
The crown chakra is our ability to be connected to our highest self and to our spiritual lives. When we don’t feel connected we may experience depression, boredom, and alienation.
If you've experienced ailments associated with blockages of the seven chakras, use the yoga posts listed below to help clear away stress and focus your spirit.
Image: Claire L. Evans