Chakra and Yoga - Ashtanga Yoga Heidelberg

Chakra and Yoga – An introduction to the ancient Science

The word Chakra derives from the Sanskrit word “Wheel” or more precisely, The rotating wheel. The chakra is such an extraordinary system that governs and channel energy in our body. Chakra system defined in different ancient cultures including ancient Vedic/ Hinduism, and Buddhism, and widely mentioned in Mayan, Inka, Egyptian, Babylonian and more cultures in history.

The energy that is perpetually in motion along the human body’s spinal column. Each possessing its own colour and vibrational frequency. these wheels are the catalysts of consciousness and human function. They govern various emotional issues, from our survival instincts and self-esteem to our ability to communicate and experience love. At the bottom of this blog, I have included the Chakra Matrix Chart that will help you to understand the harmony among all chakras.

A Simple Explaining of all 7 Chakras

1. Mūlādhāra-Chakra (Root Chakra)

Root Chakra – Muladhara Chakra

The Root Chakra is the first chakra, also represented by the  Earth element. Its energy is based on the earth element. It’s associated with the feeling of safety and grounding. It’s at the base of the chakra system and lays the foundation for expansion in your life. When the Root Chakra is balanced and open, the person feels safe, fearless and grounded. The person becomes friendly and  When the Root chakra is imbalanced, the person is clouded by fear, selfishness, paranoia, greedy and hence constantly lives in survival mode.

To open and balance your Root chakra, you can adopt Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Standing postures and forwarding bends to strengthen your core, legs, and feet. 

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Root Chakra (coming soon)

2. Svādhisthāna-Chakra  (Sacral Chakra) 

Sacral Chakra – Svadhishthana Chakra

The sacral chakra is the second chakra also known as the Water Chakra. It is associated with the emotional body, sensuality, and creativity. Its element is water and as such, its energy is characterized by flow and flexibility. The function of the sacral chakra is directed by the principle of pleasure. The Sacral chakra is three inches below the navel, at the centre of your lower belly. In the back, it’s located at the level of the lumbar vertebrae and associated with the lymphatic system.  When the Sacral Chakra is balanced, the person feels connected with himself and outer world, your emotions are balanced. When the Sacral Chakra is imbalanced, one feels overwhelming desires driven by the emotions, disconnected with the self.

To open and balance the second chakra, one can adopt forward bends, standing, seated, and twist asanas to your practice.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Sacral Chakra (coming soon)

3. Manipūra-Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra)

“Radiate your power in the world,” could say the solar plexus chakra. Characterized by the

solar plexus chakra – Manipura Chakra

expression of will, personal power, and mental abilities, the energy of the third chakra or Manipura in Sanskrit is mobilized when we assert ourselves in the world. It is represented by Fire element with Yellow colour. The main function of this energy centre is to provide actual momentum and will to move forward and manifest personal desires and intentions in the world. It plays a fundamental role in the development of personal power. When the Solar Plexus Chakra is out of balance, person unnecessarily feels guilty, lack of desire, passion and underconfidence.


Begin with repetitions of Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) to build core strength and fan the yellow warmth of energy in the third chakra. Once you begin to feel the fire in your belly, consider incorporating standing, balance, and twisted postures to benefit the solar plexus chakra.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Solar Plexus Chakra (coming soon)

4. Anahata -Chakra (Heart Chakra)

Heart Chakra - Anahanta Chakra
Heart Chakra – Anahata Chakra

The heart chakra, or Anahata in its original Sanskrit name, colours our lives with compassion, love, and beauty and represented by the element Air and Green colour. Driven by the principles of transformation and integration, the Heart Chakra bridges earthly and spiritual aspirations. When the Heart Chakra is active and balance, one feels the unconditional love with the self and others, deep compassion and empathy. Your emotional intelligence multi-folds and you feel divine joy and happiness that radiates and from the Heart Center. When the Heart Chakra is out of balance, the traits are that one feels apathy, disconnection with the self and others (anti-social), overly defensive, highly sensitive, jealous and not able to forgive self and others.

To open and balance your heart chakra, incorporate yoga poses that stretch, strengthen, and expand your shoulders and chest. The Yoga asanas (poses) for the heart chakra strengthen the circulatory and cardiovascular systems.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Heart Chakra (coming soon)

5. Viśuddha-Chakra (Throat Chakra)

Visuddha Chakra – Throat Chakra

The Throat chakra, the Sanskrit name “Visuddha” which means Pure or Purity – is the fifth chakra, represented by aqua blue and ether element. Located at the centre of the neck at the level of the throat, Tthe Throat chakra is associated to the pharyngeal and brachial plexus and is connected to the mouth, jaws, tongue, pharynx and palate.  It’s is also linked to the shoulders and the neck. The gland associated with the fifth chakra is the thyroid, which regulates the processing of energy in the body through temperature, growth, and in large parts, metabolism.The function of the Throat chakra is driven by the principle of expression and communication. When balanced, one has effective communication, express the truth and have a good sense of timing to speak. This chakra is also associated with knowing your life purpose. When out of balance, it can contribute to feelings of insecurity, timidity, and introversion. An overactive throat chakra may also lead to gossiping, nonstop talking, and be verbally aggressive or mean.

In order to open and foster healthy energy flow through the throat chakra, consider incorporating backbends and inversions into your practice.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Throat Chakra (coming soon)

6. Ājñā-Chakra (third eye chakra)

Anja Chakra – Third Eye Chakra

The third eye chakra is the sixth chakra, located on the forehead, between the eyebrows, it is the centre of intuition and foresight represented by purple colour and related to the “supreme element”, which is the combination of all the elements in their pure form. The most common Sanskrit name for the Third eye chakra is “Ajna”, which means “command” and “perceiving”.  The Third eye chakra is associated with the pineal gland in charge of regulating biorhythms, including sleep and wake time. It’s a gland located in the brain that is a centre of attention because of its relationship with the perception and effect of light and altered or “mystical” states of consciousness. It’s positioned close to the optical nerves, and as such, sensitive to visual stimulations and changes in lighting. Open and Balanced third eye chakra, one gets vision, intuition, connection to the divine wisdom and insight, that motivates the inspirations and creativity.  When third eye chakra is out of balance or inactive one feels stuck, disconnected with the higher self, not able to see the bigger picture and lack creativity and imagination

Ashtanga Yoga poses for the Ajna (third eye) chakra help fine tune our sense of perception and help us to see life as it truly is. The forward bends and inversions to your practice to open and balance the Third Eye chakra for example, Balasana (child pose), Ado-mukh swanasana (down facing dog) etc.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Third Eye Chakra (coming soon)

7.Sahasrara-Chakra (crown chakra)

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara Chakra

The Crown chakra is the seventh chakra. Located at the top of the head. The Sanskrit name “Sahasrara” meaning “theThousand petals”. The crown chakra is most commonly represented by the colour white, although it can also be depicted as deep purple. The auric colour of crown chakra energy can also be seen as gold, white, or clear light. The function of the Crown chakra is driven by pure consciousness, ultimate oneness and gets us in touch with your cosmic self (higher self). The Crown chakra is primarily associated with the pituitary gland, and secondarily to the pineal and the hypothalamus gland.

The hypothalamus and pituitary gland work in pair to regulate the endocrine system.  Because of its location, the crown chakra is closely associated with the brain and the whole nervous system. One with the opened and balanced Crown Chakra has a deep sense of universal oneness, connected with the limitless, received realisation and liberation from limiting patterns.  The person enjoys true bliss and ecstasy with an open and balanced crown chakra. The out of balance crown chakra makes you feel disconnected with your spirit with narrow mind perception. Overly active Crown chakra may make one obsessively attached to spiritual matters and disconnection with the body.

Although meditation is widely considered the best yoga practice for opening and balancing the crown chakra, there are several asanas that help boost healing of the seventh chakra. To open and balance the crown chakra, do inverted, seated, and restorative yoga poses.

Healing and Balancing Chakra: Yoga for Crown Chakra (coming soon)

Chakra Matrix Chart

Chakra Matrix Chart - Ashtanga Heidelberg
Chakra Matrix | © Manoj Gahlawat, Ashtanga Yoga Heidelberg

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