Nizha Periaswamy

Chakras are the body's energy centres, which literally means "wheels" or "disk". These spinning wheels of energy are responsible in incorporating and deriving energy to keep us functioning at optimal levels.

Although there are a total of 114 chakras in our body, there are 7 major ones located along the spine, right to the top of the head. In yoga speak, when these chakras are blocked, illnesses are more likely to occur. So, if we work on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, energy will flow smoothly through the chakras and result in overall better health. Below, you can read what the imbalance of the 7 chakras can do to your body.

1. Mooladhara chakra

This is the root chakra - the most vital one, located at the bottom of your spine (near the tailbone). Blockage at the mooladhara can cause panic attack and anxiety. It may also cause someone to lose concentration, general paranoia and being continuously worried about their well-being. Physical issues caused a blocked mooladhara include a sore lower back, low energy levels and cold extremities.

2. Svadhishthana (Sacral chakra)

Sacral chakra, which is the second chakra, is the key to creative energy relating to artistry, imagination and sexuality. Svadhishthana chakra is located in the middle of the abdomen, two inches below the belly button. Blockage at the svadhisthana will impact one's sexual life and cause dissatisfaction in a relationship. Symptoms of an unbalanced sacral chakra include urinary discomfort, increased allergies and attraction to addictive behaviours.

3. Manipura

Manipura, or the solar plexus chakra, is all about action. Blockage of this chakra, located below the navel can result in obsessive-compulsive behaviour, loss of confidence and insecurity. Physical symptoms include digestive discomfort and troubles with memory.

4. Anahanta

Also known as the heart chakra, this relates to love and compassion. A healthy chakra can promote healthy relationships, family bonding and even appreciation of beauty and nature. The blockage of anahanta, meanwhile, can cause trust issues, hatred and bitter relationships. Physically, it can cause high blood pressure and low immune system.

5. Vishuddha

The throat chakra is the centre of communication. Disablity to balance this chakra can risk the ability to ask for what we need. Singing, chanting and breathing can enhance the health of this chakra. A blocked vishuddha, meanwhile, can manifest in physical symptoms like stiff neck, hormone fluctuations and discomfort in the throat.

6. Ajna

This chakra, also known as the third eye chakra, is located between the eye brows. It relates to intuition, awareness and guidance. Imbalance of this chakra will make one feel insignifant and face issues with making decisions. Physical symptoms of a blocked ajna include sleeping troubles, feeling clumsy, and struggle to learn new things.

7. Sahasrara

This last chakra is positioned on the top of our head, and commonly known as the crown chakra. If this chakra is disturbed, it may cause one's emotions to go haywire and the person may fail to see the beauty of living, and experience symptoms of depression. Physically, it can cause troubles with coordination and chronic headaches.

There are many ways to remove chakra blockages to restore balance into our lives. Yoga is definitely one of them. One may practice asanas according to the specific chakra blockage and pranayama (breathing) for a overall balancing. Chanting mantras also help restore the chakras. Most importantly, believe in yourself and be positive. Look for help, either from yoga teachers or meditation centres to guide you.

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer

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