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What are chakras ?

You might have heard your yoga teacher mention chakras before and been unsure as to what they were. Look no further as our guide teaches you everything you need to know about chakras.
There are seven chakras in total. The Sanskrit word “chakra” literally means wheel. In our context, they are the centers in our bodies, through which spinning energy flows. It is believed that the blocked energy in these chakras can lead to illness or emotional distress, and so, understanding them can help us to avoid this. 

1. Root Chakra

This chakra, located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area, represents a feeling of being grounded. It is concerned with issues of survival, such as food, money, and financial independence.

2. Sacral Chakra

This is located in our lower abdomen, around 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in. This governs our connection to others and our ability to accept new experiences. In terms of emotions, it is concerned with well-being, pleasure, and sexuality.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra

Found in the stomach area of the upper abdomen, the solar plexus chakra guides our confidence and our ability to control our own lives. Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence are all linked to this chakra.

4. Heart Chakra

As one might expect, this is located in the center of our chests, just above the heart. As in many other belief systems, the heart chakra determines our ability to love. It also helps us to experience joy and inner peace.

5. Throat Chakra

Found in the throat, this chakra leads our ability to communicate our feelings and truths.

6. Third Eye Chakra

This is sometimes also called the brow chakra. It is located on the forehead between the eyes. This chakra concerns our abilities to see the “big picture” of life around us. It also governs our intuition, wisdom, imagination and decision-making skills.

7. Crown Chakra

This is the highest chakra, found at the very top of the head. This represents our spiritual connection and our ability to experience pure bliss. It is also linked to our understanding of both the inner and outer beauties. 

The root, sacral and solar plexus chakras are often known as the “chakras of matter” as they are more physical in nature. The throat, third eye and crown chakras are known as the “chakras of spirit”. Meanwhile, the heart chakra unites the upper and lower chakras and serves as a bridge between the physical body and the spiritual mind.

How can the chakras be healed if they are blocked?

There are several ways to approach blocked chakras, often known collectively as chakra healing. The main ones are chakra balancing and chakra opening.
Chakra balancing consists of attempting to find harmony between the chakras in order to create a sustainable flow of energy. Making one chakra healthy whilst allowing others to flounder will not allow you to achieve a healthy body and mind. Yoga asana (postures) can be a key component in balancing the chakras. 

Chakra opening usually involves meditative techniques and breathing exercises. One must become aware of the chakra that is causing you difficulty, and then activate the energy in that area to open the chakra. 

The next time you are feeling physically or emotionally uncomfortable, consider the role of the chakras and how you might heal them.

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