In this beginner's guide, we'll summarize the defining characteristics of the seven main chakras, explain how to tell when any of them are blocked, and share how to unblock each one —from root to crown—using mantras, yoga poses, and more. What are chakras? The name “chakra” is the Sanskrit word for "wheel."
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- The history of chakras
- Chakra 101
- The takeaway
The seven chakras are thought of as the main energy points in your body, which run down the spine. Here’s what to know about this ancient, complex energy system.
Chakras. You’ve possibly heard them mentioned in yoga class. You’ve almost definitely heard the “New Age” character on TV or in a movie talk about someone’s chakras being blocked.
Chakras have only recently become more well-known, with the growth in popularity of yoga and New Age philosophies in general. They are a complex and ancient energy system that originated in India. They were first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge dating from 1500 to 1000 BC. There’s a lot one can study about them.
So what should you know about the chakras? Below is your crash course.
Chakra (cakra in Sanskrit) means “wheel” and refers to energy points in your body. They are thought to be spinning disks of energy that should stay “open” and aligned, as they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being.
Some say there are 114 different chakras, but there are seven main chakras that run along your spine. These are the chakras that most of us are referring to when we talk about them.
Each of these seven main chakras has a corresponding number, name, color, specific area of the spine from the sacrum to the crown of the head, and health focus.
A blocked root chakra can manifest as physical issues like arthritis, constipation, and bladder or colon problems, or emotionally through feeling insecure about finances or our basic needs and well-being. When it’s in alignment and open, we will feel grounded and secure, both physically and emotionally.
Issues with this chakra can be seen via problems with the associated organs, like urinary tract infections, lower back pain, and impotency. Emotionally, this chakra is connected to our feelings of self-worth, and even more specifically, our self-worth around pleasure, sexuality, and creativity.
Blockages in the third chakra are often experienced through digestive issues like ulcers, heartburn, eating disorders, and indigestion. It’s the chakra of our personal power. This means it’s related to our self-esteem and self-confidence.
If chakras interest you beyond the above breakdown, you can find information about chakra balancing and realignment. This can involve many things including yoga, meditation, chakra cleansing, certain types of bodywork, and even music.
- Gretchen Stelter
Jun 9, 2023 · If you’ve ever wondered what they’re all about, here are the basics of chakras (seven of them to be exact), how to find out if they’re blocked, and, more importantly, how to unblock them. What Is a Chakra? A chakra is an energy center. In a perfectly healthy person, the chakras work in unison to create life-force energy.