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THE POWER OF CHAKRAS

Each chakra is associated with a color and those colors may be associated with certain gemstones and even scents that you can use to summon positive energy. You also can try yoga poses or simply mindfully meditate, focusing on a certain chakra and its properties.

1. The Root Chakra
Color: RED

The root chakra is situated at the base of your spine, at your perineum (most easily found by sitting cross-legged on the ground – it’s the part of your body that roots you to the ground). Its function is survival, and it controls your fight or flight response. When this chakra is unbalanced or blocked, you might feel paranoid, or unprovoked fear. You also might feel depressed or anxious, and sometimes this manifests as unhappiness with your body. A balanced root chakra lends a feeling of security, of being grounded and taken care of. This chakra is associated with your legs, feet, bones, large intestine and adrenal glands. Movements that help balance it include walking and Forward Bends.

2. The Sacral Chakra
Color: ORANGE

The sacral, or navel, chakra is found about three inches below your navel, and it rules your lower abdomen, reproductive organs, kidney, bladder and circulatory system. It is associated with emotion: pleasure, sexuality and creativity. And birth. A weakness in your sacral chakra may cause you to feel fatigued and unmotivated. Blockage may be expressed as compulsive or obsessive behaviors, emotional problems and sexual guilt. An overactive sacral chakra might lead you to be overly emotional and weepy. And a sacral chakra in balance allows nurturing, warm interpersonal relationships. Dancing is great for this chakra, and yoga movements such as Forward Bends and Seated Twists can also help unblock it, bringing tremendous energy and bursts of creativity.

3. The Solar Plexus Chakra
Color: YELLOW

The solar plexus chakra is right at the top of your ribs, your diaphragm, the seat of your breath. Where your lower bra strap hits, if you wear one. Laughter, joy and personal power are ruled by this chakra, and if it’s weak or imbalanced you might feel frustrated and powerless, especially when stressed. You might feel like a victim, as if you can’t gain control over your life. Physical illnesses in the gut such as indigestion, diabetes, ulcers and eating disorders are believed to be linked to this chakra. And an overactive solar plexus might make you domineering and obsessive, what some call a “control freak. ” A balanced solar plexus chakra can mean personal and professional success, and may help you feel focused and self-confident. Moves that benefit the solar plexus include Warrior I and Warrior II and Seated Twist.

4. The Heart Chakra
Color: GREEN

The heart chakra is the center of love, compassion and peace, and is found smack in the middle of your heart. If you find yourself having problems in your relationships or feeling distant when you want to feel close, your heart chakra may be weak. If the heart chakra is overactive, you might find yourself becoming too attached to things, and feeling overly emotional all the time. Some believe that we fall in love via our heart chakra, the energy moves down to the solar plexus, the seat of our emotions, then into the root chakra, where feelings of sexual desire are released. Blockage can manifest as a lack of compassion or thoughtless acts, and physically can show up as cardiovascular, pulmonary or immune system issues. Yoga poses that open the heart tend to be back bends such as Camel, Wheel and Camatkarasana (Wild Thing); in all of these you literally fling your arms wide and open to love.

5. The Throat Chakra
Color: BLUE OR TURQUOISE

The throat chakra is indeed situated in the throat and is in charge of self-expression, communication and judgment. Physically, it rules the neck, shoulders, arms and hands, and the thyroid. A weak throat chakra hinders your ability to speak or tell the truth; an overactive throat chakra might cause you to speak hurtfully without thinking. If this chakra is blocked, you might feel frustrated that no one listens to you. A balanced throat chakra allows you to be expressive and creative, and often with a beautiful speaking and singing voice. Backbends and inversions like Bridge and Shoulder Stand help release blockage in the throat and some, such as Plow, also stimulate your thyroid.

6. The Third Eye or Brow Chakra
Color: INDIGO

You’ve probably heard of this chakra; the third eye chakra is positioned between the eyebrows. It is the chakra of knowing, vision and intuition. If your third eye chakra is weak, you might have trouble seeing the big picture, trusting your instincts or visualizing your life’s direction. Your hopes and dreams are centered in this chakra, and if it’s blocked you might feel you have trouble with memory, your ability to plan ahead and be flexible with outcomes. You might also feel depressed, unable to make decisions, in an emotional rut. If your third eye is overactive, you might be having nightmares. Those with a balanced third eye chakra often have charismatic personalities and possibly telepathic abilities. Shoulder Stands are good for opening the third eye chakra; so are Downward-facing Dog and Child’s Pose.

7. The Crown Chakra
Color: VIOLET OR PURPLE

This chakra is found at the very top of your head, and is considered the chakra of enlightenment, understanding, bliss and acceptance. The crown chakra rules our connection to spirituality, to each other and to the divine. Its symbol is the “thousand petal lotus.” If you feel lost or detached, with no sense of purpose in life, your crown chakra might be unbalanced, weak or blocked. If you have trouble thinking under pressure, you might need to balance this chakra. An overactive crown chakra might make you aggressive and feeling superior. Restoring balance to the crown chakra is vital to your mental, emotional and physical health and when it is balanced, you can be open-minded and thoughtful, feel centered and at peace with the world. Simply meditating in Lotus is one of the best ways to open up and balance this chakra. You also can do inversions such as Headstand or Forward Bend, or restorative poses like Reclining Bound Angle.