If you have been practicing yoga or meditation for a while, you have probably come across the term “chakra”. What is a chakra? What is it about the invisible energy sources and how can you use the knowledge about them for your well-being?
In Indian health teachings, the body's energy centers are called chakras. Translated from Sanskrit, chakra means circle or wheel. Each chakra has its own energy field. And each chakra is related to specific physical, organic and spiritual issues. In chakra teaching, one speaks of activated, open chakras as opposed to blockages in one or more chakras. Blocking a chakra can lead to problems in areas associated with that chakra. Or the other way around: When all chakras are open, you feel mentally and physically healthy and balanced.
There are 7 main chakras and, depending on the source, countless secondary chakras. Today we focus on the 7 important main chakras and their meanings. And you will learn how you can specifically open the chakras and release blockages through yoga and meditation.
The 7 chakras at a glance
The 7 chakras run along the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head. They are connected to one another via the nadis - the energy channels. The Nadis provide you and your body with Prana - the life energy. In addition to the meaning for body and mind, each chakra is assigned a certain color and a lotus flower. The colors are arranged like a rainbow, the lotus flower is a symbol of enlightenment, creativity and purity.
These are the 7 chakras in detail:
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
- Position : pelvic floor / tailbone
- Color : red
- Symbol : four-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : Basic trust, stability, courage, closeness to earth
- Physical reference : legs, feet, skeleton, intestines, skin, nose
- Possible symptoms if the root chakra is blocked: distrust, fear, depressive moods, lack of energy
2. Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)
- Position : lower abdomen
- Color : orange
- Symbol : six-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : sensuality, sexuality, relationships, creativity, joie de vivre
- Physical reference: Sex organs, bladder, kidneys, mouth, tongue
- Possible symptoms if the sacral chakra is blocked: sexual problems, lack of zest for life, feelings of guilt
3. Solar plexus chakra (Manipura)
- Position : Upper abdomen, in the depression under the costal arches, also called solar plexus
- Color : yellow
- Symbol : ten-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : wisdom, purity, balance, self-worth, gut feeling
- Physical reference: digestive organs, skin
- Possible symptoms if the solar plexus chakra is blocked: insecurity, mood swings, difficulty making decisions, interpersonal conflicts
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
- Position : center of chest
- Color : green
- Symbol : twelve-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : love, empathy, healing, peace, harmony, warmth
- Physical reference : heart, lungs
- Possible symptoms if the heart chakra is blocked: lack of love for yourself and others, loneliness, sadness, quarrel, cold feeling
5. Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
- Position : neck area
- Color : turquoise
- Symbol : 16-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : Creativity, friendliness, openness, communication, clarity
- Physical reference : thyroid, ears, nose, mouth
- Possible symptoms if the throat chakra is blocked: communication difficulties, lack of creativity, listlessness, inner restlessness
6. Forehead chakra (Ajna / Third Eye)
- Position : in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows
- Color : blue
- Symbol : 96-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : wisdom, intuition, knowledge, thinking, imagination
- Physical reference : brain, eyes
- Possible symptoms if the forehead chakra is blocked: excessive demands, fear of loss, mentality, low self-esteem, depressive moods
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
- Position : vertex of the head
- Color : purple
- Symbol : 1000-petalled lotus flower
- Meaning for mind and psyche : Spirituality, perfection, enlightenment, meaning of life, peace, divine connection
- Physical reference: brain, but the real idea is that the crown chakra is outside the body
- Possible symptoms if the crown chakra is blocked: Feeling of meaninglessness in life, aimlessness, powerlessness, constant stress
Open chakras: release blockages & stimulate the flow of energy
A blocked chakra can basically have two causes: It has never been opened or it has closed again due to certain life events.
Imagine a new life like a blank slate with closed chakras. At the beginning of our life, the chakras open from the bottom up, starting with the root chakra - through a loving, strengthening environment and positive learning progress. If negative experiences occur here, a chakra cannot or only incompletely develop. Too little affection or suppression of one's own needs can e.g. B. lead to a lack of basic trust.
Chakra blockages can also arise through negative lifestyle habits, traumatic experiences or unprocessed emotions and conflicts. That means, an actually opened chakra closes (partly or completely) again.
If you have problems in certain areas of life, you may find a suitable match in one of the chakras. These can be physical or emotional symptoms as well as recurring interpersonal conflicts. It is worth taking a closer look here. Chakra work can help you deal with problems with your body, your thinking and your life. Recognizing a blockage at all is the first and most important step. Yoga and meditation can help you open chakras and release blockages.
With a chakra meditation you can either work specifically on one chakra or address all 7 main chakras. If you have a topic that you can clearly associate with a chakra and are even practiced in meditation, the first variant might be something for you. The second variant is suitable for beginners, as well as if you are unsure whether and in which chakra there may be a blockage. Even if you don't suspect that you have a blocked chakra, you can of course try meditation. Most people find chakra meditation pleasant and beneficial.
This is how the chakra meditation works:
Sit upright and comfortably, preferably cross-legged, close your eyes, breathe in and out deeply and relax. Now imagine the 7 chakras one after the other - start with the root chakra and end with the crown chakra. As you inhale, feel into the region of the body in which the chakra is located and imagine the corresponding color. As you exhale, you can imagine how the color, emanating from the chakra, spreads brightly and radiantly throughout your body. Perhaps you also want to imagine a positive feeling or a suitable affirmation, e.g. B. “I trust myself and life” for the root chakra. Stick to a chakra for as long as you feel good and repeat the visualizations. Then move on in your mind to the next. Finally, you can imagine how all the colors flow through your body at the same time, warm and luminous.
As a beginner, if you meditate on your own, this may be a bit too much. You can find many guided chakra meditations online. This can be particularly helpful at the beginning, when you do not yet know the chakras with their associated color and meaning by heart. Guided meditations are also helpful for beginners, as concentration in complete silence requires some practice.
With Yoga body, mind and soul can be brought into harmony which leads to more well-being and a better body feeling. Each asana, the physical exercise in yoga, stimulates the flow of energy in certain areas of the body. You can use this specifically to open chakras.
A few examples: Twisted postures particularly appeal to the solar plexus, bends back like the cobra open the heart chakra and standing asanas such as the mountain posture strengthen the root chakra. Would you like to learn more about the asanas in yoga? In our article on Asanas - the most important exercises and their effects > we explain in detail the meaning of the many exercises and what they are particularly good for.
Even if we cannot see or measure chakras - we can use the body's energy centers to achieve more well-being, a better understanding of ourselves and more (self-) compassion. Almost every one of us carries around certain problems and issues that need to be worked on in order to be let go. There are certainly various ways of doing this. Chakra work, chakra yoga, and chakra meditation are some of them. Maybe you just like to try it out.