Yoga philosophy – Chakras

The Sanskrit word chakra translates to a wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There is a total of 114 chakras, but the 7 main chakras are aligned along the spine, starting from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Chakras spin in transverse plane, and it is measured by Hertz. It is an energy that is not seen by the human eye but can be seen, felt, and sensed with intuition.

Each chakra holds the beliefs, emotions, and memories related to specific areas of our life. The lower chakras are related to Earthly matters such as survival, sex, and power. The top three chakras are related to higher consciousness, truth, intuition, and purpose. In the middle, the heart chakra bridges the two worlds with empathy, love, and compassion.

A chakra blockage and imbalance in one or several of 7 chakras can initiate mental, emotional, physical and/or spiritual ailments. 

Here are the seven chakras and their corresponding numbers in order:

1. Muladhara (The Root Chakra)

Element: Earth

Petals: 4

Bija mantra: Lam

Sense organ: Smell

Location: At the bottom of the tailbone–in the perineum for men and the cervical area for women.

Yoga pose: Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Forward fold

Muladhara, translates as ‘root’ and ‘support’ is to connect all of your physical, bodily energy with the Earth itself.

Your root chakra is also linked to everything you need to survive. This includes the act of breathing, eating, sleeping, and experiencing physical security.

2. Svadhisthana (The Sacral Chakra)

Element: Water

Petals: 6

Bija mantra: Vam

Sense organ: Taste

Location: In your pelvic region, a couple of inches below the belly button.

Yoga pose: Revolved Triangle Pose, Goddess Pose, Camel pose

This chakra helps you enjoy your life here on Earth. It’s the energy that motivates you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Above all, indulging in pleasurable activities like sex, artistic activities, and good food.

3. Manipura (The Sacral Chakra)

Element: Fire

Petals: 10

Bija mantra: Ram

Sense organ: Vision (sight with an idea behind it)

Location: In your stomach–around 2-3 inches above the belly button. This is the chakra where your self-confidence and personal power sit together in harmony.

Yoga pose: Boat Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Bow pose

This chakra also known as the ‘warrior chakra’, is by far the most powerful supporting chakra for bravery and boundary-setting. pose

4. Anahata (The Heart Chakra)

Element: Air

Petals: 12

Bija mantra: Yam

Sense organ: Touch

Location: In the chest, in and around the heart space.

Yoga pose: Low Lunge, Camel Pose, Fish pose

This chakra is fundamentally just about love. Love is the most healing frequency of all. Similarly, when your Heart Chakra is balanced, you are easily able to feel love and empathy for yourself and others.

5. Vishuddha (The Throat Chakra)

Element: Space

Petals: 16

Bija mantra: Ham

Sense organ: Hearing

Location: Right in the middle of your throat.

Yoga pose: Easy Pose (with chanting), Supported Shoulder stand, Plough pose

Carrying the meaning of the words ‘very pure’, this chakra helps you to speak up in a smooth, confident, authentic way.

6. Ajna (The Third Eye Chakra)

Element: Avyakta (the primordial cloud that undifferentiated energy and matter)

Petals: 2

Bija mantra: Om

Sense organ: The brain

Location: Between the eyebrows–extending to your brain’s pineal gland.

Yoga pose: Dolphin Pose, Lotus Pose, Downward facing dog

The infamous third eye chakra, Ajna, roughly translates as ‘beyond wisdom’. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings. A focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability.

7. Sahasrara (The Crown Chakra)

Element: Conscience

Petals: “thousand petals”

Bija mantra: Om

Sense organ: Exist beyond the physical, so there is no sense or sense organ

Location: At the very top of your head, resting on your crown.

Yoga pose: Corpse Pose, Lotus Pose, Supported head stand

This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine.