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The Chakras Explained

Ashley Stern
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A full yoga practice combines physical, mental, and spiritual health. But to combine the physical, mental, and spiritual, there must be a connection. Mind and body makes sense: take care of your body and you will notice that you feel more mentally alert and better able to focus. But the connection between the spiritual and the physical is a little less obvious. This is where the seven chakras come in.
According to multiple Eastern traditions, the chakras are places where the physical and the energetic bodies connect. Chakras are places of energy within the body that are located along the central channel of the body. The seven chakras are located from the base of the spine up to the crown of the head. Each of the chakras has its own associations with a specific color, physical impacts on the body, and mantra.
Get ready for your Chakra 101:

The Root Chakra or Muladhara

Located at the base of the spine, the Root Chakra is associated with the color red and is often depicted with four petals surrounding a triangle within a square. It governs sexuality, stability, sensuality, and security.


The mantra associated with the Root Chakra is “I am” or “VAM.”


The Sacral Chakra or Svadhisthana

Located at the sacrum, the Sacral Chakra is associated with the color orange and is symbolized by a crescent moon within a lotus flower with six petals. It governs reproduction, creativity, joy, and enthusiasm.


The mantra associated with the Sacral Chakra is “I feel” or “LAM.”


The Navel Chakra or Manipura

Located at the solar plexus, the Navel Chakra is often depicted using the color yellow and symbolized as a downward facing triangle surrounded by ten petals. It governs digestion, personal power, expansiveness, and all matters of spiritual growth.


The mantra associated with the Navel Chakra is “I do” or “RAM.”


The Heart Chakra or Anahata

Located in the chest, this green chakra is symbolized by a flower with twelve petals. Within the flower there are two intersecting triangles (which look similar to the Star of David in the center). It governs circulation, unconditional love – both for yourself and other people – passion, and devotion.


The mantra associated with the Heart Chakra is “I love” or “YAM.”


The Throat Chakra or Vishuddha

Depicted by sixteen petals that surround a circle containing a crescent, the Throat Chakra is pale blue in color and located at the thyroid gland in the throat. This chakra governs communication, independence, fluent thought, and a sense of security.


The mantra for the Throat Chakra is “I speak” or “HAM.”


The Third-Eye Chakra or Ajna

The Third-Eye Chakra is located at the center of the forehead and is symbolized by a lotus with two petals and is often associated with indigo, violet, or deep blue. It governs trusting the inner self, intuition, consciousness, and mental clarity.


The mantra associated with the Third-Eye Chakra is “I see” or “OM.”


The Crown Chakra or Sahasrara

At or above the crown of the head, the Crown Chakra is depicted as a lotus flower with a thousand petals. It is often multicolored or white in representation. It governs wisdom.


The mantra associated with the Crown Chakra is “I understand.”
Deepening and growing your yoga practice or meditation practice can start with something as easy as focusing on a specific chakra or just a mantra with which you identify. The chakras might seem trendy or new age, but remain a powerfully meaningful aspect of your own yoga practice, as well as a crucial part of your overall health, well-being, and sense of being balanced. Take charge of your life and get familiar with the Chakras!

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Ashley Stern

A Wisconsinite at heart, Ashley is currently a student working on her masters in creative writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s a writer, a reader, traveler, a nerd, and a lover of life. Ashley is new to yoga and developing her practice from her student flat. She drinks a lot of tea and even more coffee. She’s a dog person, wears lots of purple, and believes in Laini Taylor’s wise words, “Cake as a way of life.”

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