If you have ever taken a yoga class, you may recall hearing the words prana and chakra mentioned a handful of times. The 7 chakras and their meanings may have been used in context as you were moving, breathing, or simply sitting with your eyes closed. So, what are the 7 chakras? How do they relate to both sitting and moving?
The 7 chakras and their meanings date back to 1500-500 BC in India. The word prana comes from the Sanskrit pra (forth) and na (to breathe, move, live). Prana is the life force in your breath. It is thought to be the invisible part of the physical body that fuels the mind and soul.
Chakra a Sanskrit word that means “wheel,” and refers to energy points in the human body. These energy points are thought to be spinning disks that are in constant motion; if the disks are working optimally, pathways are open and energy is flowing in the body.
The 7 chakras and their meanings also play an important role in the mind-body connection. Their positioning throughout the body is known to be correlated with vital points in the endocrine system, a body system that controls everything from digestion to hormones and mood.
Chakras are also known to hold information of past pain and trauma. If they become blocked or misaligned, areas of our energetic body that affect our physical and emotional well-being may be compromised.
What Are the 7 Different Chakras?
The 7 chakras and their meanings can be explained using analogies and imagery. Your root chakra, or muladhara, is located at the base of your spine. “Mula” translates to “root,” and “adhara” translates to “spine.”
Muladhara is recognized as the basis of existence, and as the foundation of all seven energy centers. This chakra is one that contributes to how safe, grounded, and confident you feel.
When the root chakra is open and aligned, we feel secure and able to face challenges with confidence. When the root chakra is blocked, we may feel unsure and unsteady about decisions and changes in our lives.
The sacral chakra is located in the middle of your abdomen, approximately 1-2 inches below your belly button. It translates to svadhishana, which translates to “the place of the self.”
The sacral chakra is one of the 7 chakras that is linked to creativity, individuality and acceptance. It is also correlated with healthy relationships to pleasurable things, such as food and intimacy.
When your sacral chakra is in check, you are likely to feel inspired, energized, creative and open to new experiences. When it is blocked, you may feel uninspired or unsatisfied in your relationship with yourself and others.
Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus (manipura) chakra is better known as the “personal power” chakra. It is located at the belly button and extends up to the area where the ribs connect in the center of your chest.
The solar plexus chakra is vital to our well-being because it helps contribute to feelings of autonomy, self-confidence and self-esteem. When this chakra is in check, you have self-efficacy; this confidence allows you to make choices that align with your goals and life path. If the solar plexus becomes blocked, you may feel as though you are failing in your work or your personal life.
Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Of the 7 chakras and their meanings, this one should be easy to place. Anahata (in Sanskrit) translates to “unhurt,” and this chakra is located directly above the heart.
The anahata chakra is associated with love and healing. It is responsible for our ability to see kindness in people, even if they have different beliefs or paths than we do. The anahata chakra helps us to feel compassion, empathy and grace for ourselves and for others. If this chakra becomes blocked, we may have difficulty relating to others and keeping up with interpersonal relationships. This can cause us to feel lonely and isolated.
It is also possible that this chakra can also perform in an overactive manner. An overactive heart chakra can cause you to cross personal boundaries in the name of love or empathy.
The throat chakra, or vishuddha, is located at your collarbone and it extends all the way up to the space between your eyes. Vishuddha translates to “especially pure,” which can be tied to pure truth, pure communication and pure speech. When the throat chakra is in balance, we speak our truth and feel confident doing so.
If the throat chakra is blocked, you may have difficulty expressing yourself and your beliefs. You may feel shy and in the shadows, rather than confident in who you are and what you have to say. This is one of the 7 chakras that needs to be balanced for us to feel worthy.
The third-eye chakra (also known as ajna, or brow chakra) is located In the space between the eyebrows and radiates up to the top of your head. Anja translates to “beyond wisdom,” meaning this is one of the 7 chakras that is associated with intuition. It helps you to connect with the universe and feel more in tune with the world.
When the third-eye chakra is blocked, you may feel lonely and disconnected from your greater purpose on earth. You may feel listless and unsure of your future.
The crown chakra (sahaswara) translates to “ thousand-petaled,” and is located at the top of the head. Of all 7 chakras and their meanings, this is the highest chakra in the body. It is associated with spiritual connectedness, consciousness and connection to the universe.
This chakra is one that extends out of your body and into the expansive universe. Some say it is impossible to have an overactive crown chakra because universal energy is infinite and we are always striving to connect to it. However, symptoms of a blockage in the crown chakra could include narrow-mindedness and loss of spiritual connection beyond the physical body.
What To Do If You Suspect One of Your Chakras Is Blocked
It is possible that you may suspect one or more of your chakras is blocked or misaligned. This can have an impact on your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, as the 7 chakras work as a system.
To optimize health, we want all 7 chakras to remain open and in check. Here are some things that could help you to realign your chakras:
When an energy channel feels stuck, it may be helpful to use yoga and movement to open the blockage. Flowing through movements in a yoga practice encourages prana (energy) to move throughout the body in noticeable ways. Yoga can also help to promote a relaxed state of mind, therefore releasing stagnant energy from the body.
Meditation is another way to open up blockages in the energy centers of your body. You may recall that chakras can also be energized in seated positions, which makes meditation a great option. Before meditating, make sure you find a calm, serene place to begin your practice. Try to picture your 7 chakras as vibrant, spinning disks of energy. Notice where you feel tension or discontentment in your body, and try a visualization technique to help pull out the negative energy and flood it with bright light.
Affirmations are words and phrases you can say to yourself (out loud or in your head) that help you talk back to feelings of shame and insecurity. Science shows that affirmations are correlated with lower levels of stress and unhealthy rumination. Repeating positive affirmations can help to open your root chakra and heart chakra, in turn making you feel more grounded and secure.
4 Find a Way To Release Repressed Feelings
Sometimes when we are feeling stuck, we may really have unaddressed emotions that are trapped in one or more of our energy centers. Releasing repressed feelings can look different for everyone and may not be a quick fix. Psychologists and healers agree that when trauma is trapped in the body, both emotional and physical symptoms can manifest.
Finding a trustworthy confidant like a friend or a therapist can help. Writing down the unaddressed feelings may be another way to help release them from stored places in your body. Finally, understanding the 7 chakras and their meanings can help us to identify where the trauma may be trapped.
The 7 chakras are undoubtedly related to our physical and psychological well- being. Taking charge of our spiritual health is empowering, and knowledge of these energy centers in the body can help set us up for the vibrant life that we want to live.
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