Understanding the 7 Chakras

By Molly Rae Benoit-Leach MSW RSW RYT
Published: November 9, 2018 | Last updated: June 8, 2020
Key Takeaways

Discovering which chakra is unbalanced requires you to tune in to how you’re feeling psychologically and physiologically. Once identified, specific chakra activating asanas can help you balance your chakras and bring yourself back into alignment.

Source: iStock

The seven major chakras, which means wheel in sanskrit, are energy centers within the body. There are said to be hundreds of chakras, but we tend to focus on these major seven: muladhara (root), svadisthana (spleen or sacral), manipura (solar plexus), anahata (heart), visuddha (throat), ajna (third eye), and sahasrara (crown). They can be visualized as spinning wheels of energy that can become slow, sluggish or blocked. The ability for energy to flow freely within the chakra affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can learn to sense blockages by creating awareness of our own energy, physical sensations, and emotional states.


In this article, we will discuss how to create awareness of our chakras to understand when they may need balancing. We can do this by understanding their functions, as well as which meditations, visualizations, and asana practices assist us in balancing them.

How Do I Know Which Chakras Need Balancing?

A chakra may be blocked if you are experiencing emotional difficulties or health issues. Each chakra is responsible for different areas of the body and other related emotional processes.


The muladhara or root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is related to basic survival. If it is not balanced you may feel unsafe or ungrounded. This could manifest in emotional disturbances like anxiety and eating disorders, or physical disturbances in the lower body, such as aches and pains.

The second chakra, svadhisthana or sacral, is related to our feelings and sexuality. It may need balancing if you are experiencing creative, emotional or sexual difficulties. It could manifest in disturbances related to addiction, creativity, relationships, intimacy, or reproductive health issues.

The manipura or solar plexus chakra governs our sense of personal power. We may suspect it needs balancing if we feel a lack of will, courage, or self-efficacy. It could also manifest in digestive issues.


Our heart chakra is called anahata. This may be blocked or need balancing when we are feeling fearful, lacking compassion, and are acting possessive. Even physical heart conditions are possibly related to a blocked anahata.

The visuddha or throat chakra governs our voice. It may be need balancing if we find ourselves experiencing a lot of guilt or an inability to speak up when we need to. This could manifest as laryngitis or other throat related health issues.

The ajna chakra is considered the seat of our third eye and is related to our sense of intuition. This may be blocked if we feel ourselves lacking intuition, unable to hear or listen to our inner voice and its guidance.

The seventh chakra located on the crown of our head is said to be our connection to Source. If we feel disconnected from our spiritual essence, this chakra could need balancing. It could manifest physically in headaches, psychotic illness, nerve pain, or pineal gland issues.

chakra chakras visudhha anahata manipura sahasrara svadisthana muladhara

Balancing Each Chakra

Balancing each chakra can be done many ways including: meditation, affirmations, color therapy, mantra repetition, and asana practice. Color therapy can include eating colored foods, wearing colored clothes, working with colored stones, crystals or lights, as well as visualizing the color in meditation. Each chakra also has an associated color and seed sound or mantra. The vibration of the seed sound is said to stimulate the specific chakra. Repeating or hearing these sounds may help to open the flow of energy. For each chakra, we can also call upon affirmations that allow us to release whatever disturbance may be manifesting. For example, if you are feeling ungrounded you could repeat the affirmation, “I am safe and grounded.”

Balancing the muladhara chakra could include red color therapy, using stones like bloodstone or garnet, and chanting the mantra “lam” as this is the chakra’s seed sound. Svadisthana balancing could include orange color therapy, and chanting the mantra “vam.” Manipura is associated with the color yellow and has the seed sound “ram.” Spending a lot of time in the sunshine can also stimulate this chakra. Anahata is associated with the color green and has the seed sound of “yam.” Meditations that focus on opening our hearts to giving and receiving unconditional love are great tools for balancing this heart centered chakra. Visuddha is associated with the color blue and has the seed sound of “ham.” Chanting, singing, and other vocal expressions are effective ways to bring balance to this chakra. Ajna is associated with the color indigo and has a seed sound of “om.” This chakra also responds well to pranayama that stimulate intuitive energy. Sahasrara or crown chakra is associated with the color violet and the seed sound “aum.” It can become balanced with regular meditation and connection to our spiritual essence. Regular meditation and balancing of the other chakras will also allow for energy to flow into this chakra.

Intentional Chakra Targeted Asana Practice

Most asanas stimulate one or more chakras. By tuning into which areas of your body are used and the locations of each chakra, we can understand which asanas to use when attempting to balance specific chakras.


This chakra is connected to our root and therefore asanas that allow us to ground will help us to balance this chakra. This includes asanas such as: malasana (yoga squat), padmasana (lotus), and standing asanas, like tadasana (learn more in Ground Into Tadasana to Connect With Your Root Chakra.)


Asana that stimulate the sacral and pelvic area help to balance this chakra. Some asana include bhujangasana (cobra) and dhanurasana (bow).


Asana that stimulate, twist, and strengthen the abdomen are helpful in balancing the manipura chakra. This can include paschimottanasana (seated forward fold), and ardha matsyendrasana (seated spinal twist)


To balance the anahata chakra we can perform asana that opens our hearts. These can include matsyasana (fish), chakrasana (wheel), and ustrasana (camel).


We can balance visuddha by focusing on our throat. A great asana to tune this chakra is sarvangasana (shoulder stand) or halasana (plow) as they stimulate the throat and thyroid gland. Any asana that can include a slight throat lock or that engage the jalandhara bandha are great for balancing vishuddha.

Ajna and Sahasrara:

These chakras have many of the same asana as the intention is to stimulate the head. Sirsasana (headstand) is considered the “king of all asana” and is very helpful for balancing these chakras as well as the entire physical and energetic system.

Keep Tuning In, and Tuning Up

We can tune into our energetic bodies through awareness of our emotions and physical bodies. The balancing process is a day-by-day and even moment-by-moment process. Take the time to tune up your chakras and honor when you feel blocked. This can be done by experimenting with a variety of tools such as meditation, asana, colors, affirmations, and mantras. Everyone is different, as such, everyone finds different methods that work best for their chakras. By creating awareness and understanding that our energy is governed by the seven chakras, we can then select tools that work for us given our resources at any given time. For example, if we are driving, we could use affirmations or chanting to help bring us back in balance. After you see which tools work for you, allow these tools to bring you into a state of balance whenever and however possible.

During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced.

To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz.

Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

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Molly Rae Benoit-Leach MSW RSW RYT

Molly Rae Benoit-Leach MSW RSW RYT is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, writer, musician, lover and fur-mama. She is passionate about yoga and mindfulness practices as tools for self-care and mental health. She is currently living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada providing counselling and yoga services in person and online. Molly can be reached through and [email protected].

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