What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (2024)

Written By Nicole Nowlan, RYT® 200

Going Deep Into the Root Chakra and Beyond to Fulfill Your Life’s Potential

Chakras are energy centers throughout the body where prana (life force energy) is stored, channeled, and processed as it enters and leaves the physical body. These energy centers are not physical organs, but a part of your body’s subtle energy system.

It’s believed there are hundreds of chakras throughout your body. Though, it’s widely accepted that there are seven primary chakras. These primary chakras are situated from the base of your spine to the crown of your head.

When your chakras are balanced, you feel your best. You feel connected to the life force energy flowing through you. Your life is joyful and you spread joy to those around you. You live your life in a higher vibration. Life goes smoothly for you. When challenges arise, you accept what is and take the required actions to work through the situation.

But, when you have unbalanced chakras, you feel a bit ‘off’ or grumpy. Your life doesn’t flow as smoothly as it could. Your relationship with yourself and others suffers. And you may feel somewhat disconnected from life force energy.

In this article, we’ll explore each of the seven primary chakras. We’ll cover where each resides within your body and the physical organs governed by each. We’ll discuss the felt experiences you can expect when a chakra is healthy and balanced – or needs attention. And, we’ll talk about what you can do to help your chakras function optimally so you’re better equipped to live a happy, healthy life.

Ground Yourself through Your Root Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (1)

The root chakra is seen as a deep red, representing the primal energy it processes related to survival instincts, self-preservation, strength, and vitality. This chakra governs the muscular and skeletal systems, and lower body, from hips to feet, including the large intestine and bladder.

When the root chakra is balanced, you feel safe, secure, strong, and grounded. However, when this chakra has a blockage or imbalance, negative emotional and physical problems can emerge. This includes greed, hoarding, insecurity, anxiety, and depression. An imbalance can manifest as lethargy (or insomnia), digestive issues, or pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, or lower body.

The following yoga poses support a balanced and well-functioning root chakra. While performing these yoga poses, imagine yourself rooted in the earth.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Garland Pose (Malasana)

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

Sun Salutations (Suryanamaskara)

Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)

In addition, earth bathing can energize the root chakra. This means spending time outside, bare feet touching the earth, and experiencing nature with your five senses. But keep your phone tucked away so you can truly appreciate the calm that nature provides.

Find Your Flow State in Your Sacral Chakra

The second chakra, or sacral chakra, is located near the sacrum in the lower abdomen above the root chakra. Its Sanskrit name, Svadhishthana chakra, can be translated to “dwelling place of the self”. It’s sometimes referred to as the seat of the soul, and seen as a vibrant orange color.

The sacral chakra is where personal creativity, intuition, and sexuality are born. It governs the energy flowing through the kidneys, bladder, reproductive organs, hips, and lower back. It supports the water element within the body, helping you to “go with the flow” in life – release attachments and accept what is. The water element also helps maintain balance in your desires and emotions.

This chakra regulates your energetic exchanges in relationships – with yourself and others. It also affects your ability to conduct financial exchanges with others for products and services.

When the sacral chakra is balanced, you have the energy to start new projects or move them forward. You let go of situations, people, and possessions that don’t serve a positive purpose in your life. You feel secure in your finances.

However, an imbalanced sacral chakra can result in a lack of passion or momentum for creative projects. It can cause pleasure-seeking addictions – like gambling, shopping, or sex. It can result in reproductive and sexual issues. Or, it can cause feelings of insecurity in your finances. Physical symptoms may present in the hips, lower back, kidneys, bladder, or reproductive organs.

The following yoga poses can be used to help balance your sacral chakra.

Crow Pose (Kakasana)

Standing Side Stretch

Side Plank Pose (Vashishtasana)

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrkshasana)

In addition, you can work on optimizing your sacral chakra through affirmations such as “Creativity is my nature”, “I embrace change as a healthy part of life”, or “My passions bring me joy”.

iShine’s co-founder, Genevieve, likes to enjoy a daily ‘orange drink’ to support a strong sacral chakra. You can find the recipe here.

Exude Confidence with Solar Plexus Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (3)

The third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, is in the upper abdomen, above the navel. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Manipura, translated as “place of the shining gem” – a reference to the fiery energy that burns in this chakra. The energy moving through the solar plexus can be seen as the color yellow.

The solar plexus manages the energy of personal power, a strong sense of self, confidence, and assertiveness. This energy center supports your gut feelings and intuitive guidance. It helps regulate the stomach, liver, adrenals, and pancreas – and aids digestion.

When the solar plexus chakra is healthy and balanced, you’ll feel confident and motivated with a sense of purpose. However, an imbalance can manifest as low self-esteem, lack of direction, rigid/controlling behavior, or uncontrolled anger and irritation. Often, these emotional symptoms are accompanied by digestive troubles, overeating, fatigue, or even diabetes.

The following yoga poses can energize your solar plexus chakra:

Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)

Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Additionally, you can ensure your solar plexus chakra functions optimally by taking responsibility for your life circ*mstances and trusting your gut and the Universe. Try this affirmation: “The Universe always has my back and works things out for my highest and greatest good.”

Love Unconditionally with the Heart Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (4)

The fourth chakra, known as the heart chakra, or Anahata chakra in Sanskrit, lies in the middle of the seven chakras. It bridges the lower chakras (root, sacral, and solar plexus) that manage material energy with the upper chakras (throat, third eye, and crown) that manage spiritual energy.

The heart chakra is considered the place where the eternal spark resides. It governs the heart, circulatory system, and lungs. It manages the prana (life force energy) that flows through the body, maintaining the air element (vayu).

Though the air element is colorless, it reflects blue from the space element of the throat chakra above and yellow from the fire element of the solar plexus chakra below, giving the heart chakra a green hue.

The heart chakra supports your physical and emotional well-being. When it’s in balance, you experience unconditional love, meaningful and trusting relationships with others, and contentment with yourself. When this energy center is imbalanced, you may have issues giving and receiving affection, lack trust in your relationships, and fear rejection. A heart chakra imbalance can manifest physically as heart pain or palpitations, poor blood circulation, or asthma.

These heart-opening yoga poses can energize your heart chakra:

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Half Bridge Pose (Ardha Setu Bandhasana)

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Cow Face Pose (Sukha Gomukhasana)

Cobra Pose (Vistrit Bhujangasana)

If you’re in the Lake Normal/Charlotte, NC area, try a Loving Kindness Meditation with iShine’s Anita to bring extra care to your heart chakra.

Express Yourself with Your Throat Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (5)

The fifth chakra, or throat chakra, resides in the hollow of the throat. Its Sanskrit name, Vishuddha chakra, is translated as “especially pure” and references the pureness of expression in truth and compassion. This energy center regulates your ability to communicate effectively and express yourself authentically.

The throat chakra regulates the space element. Space holds the capacity for creation and this element enables the rise to form from thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This chakra reflects the sky blue color of the space element encapsulating it.

From its location in the throat, the fifth chakra manages the energy in the organs and glands surrounding it, including the tongue, larynx, thyroid, and parathyroid glands. When balanced, the throat chakra enables honest and creative expression without fear of judgment. It also provides good listening skills.

When the throat chakra is blocked or imbalanced, communication suffers. You may not listen well to others or your own inner voice. You may fear judgment, have difficulty expressing yourself, or feel blocked creatively. Physical manifestations may be experienced as a sore throat, hoarseness, tension in the jaw, pain in the neck, or thyroid issues.

Ujjayi pranayama, deep breathing exercises, can send cleansing energy through the throat chakra. Additionally, inversions that focus energy on the throat can promote a healthy throat chakra. Try the following yoga poses:

Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

Plow Pose (Halasana)

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Reclining Angle Pose (Supta Konasana)

Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana)

Journaling is another timeless practice for throat chakra balancing. Not only does it help you

See Clearly with Your Third Eye Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (6)

The sixth chakra, or third eye chakra, resides between your eyebrows and behind your eyes, – in the center of your head. Its Sanskrit name, Ajna chakra, is translated as “perceive”, “command”, or “beyond wisdom”. This name refers to the chakra’s role in enabling your perception of higher consciousness and inner wisdom, and the ability to call forth your visions to create your reality.

The third eye chakra is seen as the color indigo. It regulates the light element, enabling you to see and understand spiritual truth more clearly. This chakra supports the eyes, ears, nose, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland.

With a balanced third eye chakra, you have greater self-awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You’re tuned into your intuition and higher levels of consciousness. You’re better equipped to manifest your creative visions, and you can calm your mind and relax more easily.

An unbalanced third eye chakra can result in a lack of clarity and focus. It can disrupt your creative expression and make it difficult to discern your intuitive and inner guidance. It can also lead to emotional dysregulation and hormonal imbalances. Physically, you could experience headaches, vision problems, sinus issues, ear problems, or sleep disturbances.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can energize a third eye chakra. Headstands are the ideal yoga pose for this chakra. Or, while sitting quietly, place your hands in prayer position and bring your thumb knuckles to the space between your eyebrows.

In addition, creating vision boards can help you bring your ideas to life. Allow yourself to tap into your intuition and dream! Grab some magazines, a pair of scissors, cardboard, and a gluestick. Hang your vision board in a place that you will see it frequently… and let the manifesting begin!

Connect Higher Through Your Crown Chakra

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (7)

The seventh and final primary chakra is at the top of the head and is called the crown chakra. This chakra serves as the bridge from the physical world to the spiritual world. It connects you to your higher self and can be considered the doorway to enlightenment.

This energy center is called the Sahasrara chakra in Sanskrit, translating as “thousands”. This name refers to its depiction as a lotus flower with a thousand petals that open gently until you achieve divine consciousness. The chakra is seen as either white or violet and is associated with the element of consciousness.

The crown chakra regulates the functioning of the brain, nervous system pituitary gland, and pineal gland. When balanced, it provides mental clarity, a sense of purpose, and reduced stress. Physically, you’ll experience better sleep, improved moods, and higher energy levels.

However, if the crown chakra becomes unbalanced, you may experience indecisiveness or lack of focus and purpose. You may have migraines, fatigue, or depression.

Try yoga poses that direct energy to the crown chakra to restore balance and facilitate its opening. These include:

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Headstand (Shirshasana)

Rabbit (Sasangasana)

Additionally, meditation and yoga nidra can help energize the crown chakra and enable you to achieve higher levels of consciousness.

The seven primary chakras are an integral facet of your health. They facilitate energy flow throughout your body to keep you functioning optimally physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. With knowledge of the roles and attributes of each chakra, you’re better equipped to pinpoint and address areas of your life that need extra attention… so that you can be the best version of yourself, living your best life.

Check out in the Lake Norman/Charlotte, NC area for in-person and virtual classes and workshops to further enhance your whole-person wellness.

Resources and Additional Reading
















Nicole Nowlan, RYT® 200

What Are Chakras and Why Do You Need to Care About Them?<br/> — iShine Yoga & Wellness (2024)


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