Yoga is founded on a belief that you attain your full potential by achieving mental and physical balance. The term itself comes from a Sanskrit word that literally means “to yoke” or “to join”. Your mental and physical selves are intertwined and a deficit in one area negatively impacts the other.
This union is demonstrated by your chakras, which are the seven main energy centers in your body. Each one correlates to a specific physical area and also controls its associated mental and emotional powers. Both elements are interrelated, so if the energy is blocked in one, its counterpart will be affected as well.
Learning the location of each chakra and its corresponding energies helps you address physical or mental ailments by focusing on the appropriate one. Here are your seven different chakras, listed in ascending order.
First: Root Chakra
Not surprisingly, the root chakra is found at your tailbone, which is the base of your spine. This is the one that forms your foundation by grounding you to the physical world. An imbalance in the root chakra leads to lower-body ailments such as knee pain and sciatica. On the emotional side, you may feel a sense of insecurity regarding basic needs like food and shelter.
Second: Sacrai Chakra
Located just below your navel, the sacrai chakra is the seat of matters relating to relationships with others. Balance in this chakra leads to a passionate sense of commitment with a willingness to take risks. Issues with sexual and reproductive organs are the physical manifestation of an imbalance, while an inability to freely express emotion is the emotional counterpart.
Third: Solar Plexus Chakra
This chakra just above your navel teaches confidence and self-acceptance. When it’s out of balance, it affects your digestive system and organs like liver, pancreas and gall bladder. You will also find yourself struggling with self-doubt and feelings of powerlessness.
Fourth: Heart Chakra
The name of this chakra says it all. It controls matters of the heart, both literal and figurative. Imbalances will be felt in chest and torso with ailments like heart disease, asthma, and shoulder problems. Emotional effects go from the extremes of stifling love to jealousy and abandonment.
Fifth: Throat Chakra
The throat chakra is the gateway to communication, allowing you to be both an honest speaker and a sincere listener. Your chakra is out of balance if you’re experiencing a sore throat, ear infection or thyroid problems. Emotionally, you will suffer from a lack of self-control and loss of personal power.
Sixth: Third Eye Chakra
Clear vision and focus are found in this chakra, which is located directly between your eyebrows. Headaches, sinus problems and blurred vision are some of the symptoms of an imbalance here. Moodiness becomes an issue, along with a tendency to daydream and avoid reality.
Seventh: Crown Chakra
Balance in this chakra, seated at the top of your head, leads to mindfully living in the present moment. On the other hand, imbalance creates cognitive issues such as difficulty learning and sensitivity to light and sound. Your thinking becomes inflexible and you may develop a fear of alienation.
It’s not unusual to have an imbalance in more than one chakra. A blockage in any of them can create a domino effect where the others become overactive or underactive in an attempt to compensate. An effective way to restore balance is to begin with the root chakra, following in order up to the crown chakra.