It’s more important today than ever before to take care of ourselves and to put our wellbeing first. Some of the ways that I like to do this is through meditation and yoga. If you too like to take part in these activities, I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard references to the chakras and the importance of keeping energy flowing through them to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. While I’ve heard references to the chakras many times, I was curious to dive deeper into understanding each of them, how to identify if there is a blockage and techniques to unblock it.
In Sanskrit, the word Chakra means “wheel” and refers to energy centers in the body running from the base of the spine to the top of the head. These energy centers align to our major organs and nerve bunches. There are seven main chakras, but some believe that there are up to 114 chakras. When our chakras are open, energy flows freely and harmony exists between the body, mind and spirit.
Here’s a high-level overview of the seven main chakras.
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is our foundation to keep us grounded. When the root chakra is open, we feel confident in our ability to take on challenges. When the root chakra is blocked, we may experience anxiety disorders, fear, problems with the colon, bladder, lower back, legs or feet.
Crystals: Red Jasper, Onyx, Hematite
Yoga poses for activation: Warrior 1, Mountain Pose or Wide-legged Forward Fold
The sacral chakra is located above the pubic bone and below the navel. This chakra manages our emotions, passions, sexual energy and creativity. When our sacral chakra is aligned, we feel great. We are passionate, friendly, creative and have a feeling of abundance. Conversely, when this chakra is blocked, we can feel like our life is out of control. We may struggle with creativity, we may experience sexual dysfunction, or be depressed. We may even experience urinary tract infections or lower back pain.
Crystals: Tiger’s Eye, Sunstone, Carnelian
Yoga poses for activation: Bound Angle Pose, Warrior II, Pigeon Pose
Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is located between the navel and the ribcage. This charka is associated with self-esteem, willpower, commitment and confidence. This chakra governs our metabolism and digestive system. When energy flows freely through our solar plexus chakra, we are confident and express our true self. When it is blocked, we may experience self-doubt, shame, or experience physical ailments like ulcers, eating disorders or indigestion.
Crystals: Amber, Citrine, Pyrite
Yoga poses for activation: Boat Pose, Warrior III
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest and controls our ability to love and show compassion. This chakra is important to our endocrine and lymphatic systems, lungs and breasts. When the heart chakra is in balance, compassion and love flow and we emit positive vibrations. However, when our heart chakra is blocked, we may experience loneliness, jealousy, anger or may have difficulty opening up to others. We may also experience heart problems, asthma or have weight issues.
Crystals: Rose Quartz, Jade, Malachite
Yoga poses for activation: Camel Pose, Upward Facing Dog, Back Bend
The throat chakra is located in our throat and is linked to our ability to communicate. When the throat chakra is open, we can communicate clearly and speak our truth. When it is blocked, we may experience problems with our thyroid, jaw, neck, shoulder stiffness or mouth. Blockages can also be noticed if one gossips, speaks without thinking or has trouble speaking what is on their mind.
Crystals: Aquamarine, Lapis Lazuli, Kyanite
Yoga poses for activation: Fish Pose, Plow Pose, Shoulder Stand
The third-eye chakra is one of my favorites and it is located between our eyes. This chakra is about our intuition, ability to access that intuition and awareness of the big picture. When energy flows freely through this center, we feel that our actions, thoughts and beliefs are completely in alignment giving us a sense that we are unstoppable. We trust that inner voice of intuition and it guides us in our decisions. A blocked third-eye chakra can result in headaches, issues with hearing or concentration. You may also have difficulty in grasping reality or trusting your inner voice. You may feel overwhelmed, have a lack of direction or have anxiety over the future.
Crystals: Purple Fluorite, Amethyst, Labradorite
Yoga poses for activation: Child’s Pose, Eagle Pose, Dolphin Pose
The crown chakra is located on the top of our head and represents the spiritual connection to ourselves, others and to Source or the universe as some say. This is also linked to knowing and living our purpose. When this chakra is open it is believed that all of our other chakras are open and in harmony. If our crown chakra is blocked, we may feel skeptical or stubborn and may come across as narrow minded. We may appear to be lost and lack direction in our life. We may even experience issues with our brain or nervous systems.
Element: Divine Consciousness
Crystals: Clear Quartz,
Yoga poses for activation: Headstand, Tree Pose, Savasana
Due to the divine nature of this chakra, it is usually only opened at specific times. In addition to yoga, some access the experience of enlightenment and spiritual connection through mediation, a gratitude practice or prayer.
These energy centers work in harmony, so if one is out of balance, it is likely that all are out of balance. Working to keep the energy in our bodies flowing freely can contribute to our wellbeing. If you’re feeling that you’re out of balance, I encourage you to dig deeper into the study of the chakras and try incorporating yoga, meditation, music and crystal rituals to bring the chakras into balance.
I also encourage you to read our previous post on Crystals for Beginners. This provides additional information on the use of crystals to promote wellbeing.
Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, “Your 7 Chakras, Explained—Plus How to Tell if They’re Blocked”, https://www.wellandgood.com/what-are-chakras/
Gretchen Stelter, “A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras and Their Meanings”, https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/7-chakras#Chakra-101
Yogi Cameron, “A Beginner’s Guide To The 7 Chakras” https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-91/The-7-Chakras-for-Beginners.html