Intro to the Chakras


Intro to the Chakras

by Courtney Somer

One of the requirements to become a yoga teacher includes a lengthy take home exam, so my procrastination techniques from college have been useful these past few weeks…However, one of my favorite exercises has been this summary of the chakras, their purpose, function, how to know when they are off balance and what yoga exercises you can do to strenghten them.

The Chakras are energy centers in the body, the word chakra means “wheel.” Understanding them can help us comprehend the way that energy is processed by humans. The first three chakras are known as the lower triangle, and the 5th-7th are known as the upper triangle. The 4th or Heart chakra is the point between them which shifts our perspective from “me” to “we.”

The Chakras affect our perceptions, choices and feelings. They affect our thoughts, mainly the type and flow of them and what we choose to manifest. When we balance the Chakras, it helps open the senses, provides a sense of well-being and connect us to energies that surround us.

1st Chakra: Root 

Security & Survival – Foundations, security, habit, self-acceptance

Color: Red

Location: Bottom of spine

Organs, nerves, glands: Organs of elimination

Proper functions: Grounded, centered, secure, loyal and stable.

Mal-functions: Fear, insecurity. Life feels like a burden, feeling like one does not belong.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: Crow pose, Chair pose, front stretches. Lying on the stomach, feet kicking buttocks.


2nd Chakra: Sex Organs

Creativity – To feel, to desire, to create 

Color: Orange

Location: Sexual organs

Organs, nerves, glands: Sex organs, reproductive organs, kidneys, bladder

Proper functions: Positive & relaxed attitude to sexual functions, patience, creativity, responsible relationships.

Mal-functions: Rigid emotions, frigid, guilt, no boundaries. Issues with reproductive organs or kidneys.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: Cobra pose, butterfly, cat-cow, pelvic lifts.


3rd Chakra: Navel

Action & Balance – The will of the spiritual warrior

Color: Yellow

Location: Area of the navel point

Organs, nerves, glands: Navel, liver, gall bladder, digestive, adrenals, pancreas

Proper functions: Center for personal power & committeemen. Self-esteem, strength for inner balance, inspiration and good health.

Mal-functions: Anger, greed, shame. See obstacles everywhere. Conforms and refutes ones own wishes & emotions. Problems with digestion, liver, gall bladder, etc.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: Bow pose, fish pose, stretch pose


4th Chakra: Heart

Love & Compassion – Love & awakening from me to we

Color: Green

Location: Middle of the chest

Organs, nerves, glands: Heart, lungs, thymus gland

Proper functions: Compassion, kindness, service, love. Awakening to spiritual awareness.

Mal-functions: Easily hurt, fear of rejection. Dependent on love & attention from others. Attachment.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: All arm exercises and that which twice the upper torso, all pranayam (breathing exercises)


5th Chakra: Throat

Projective Power of Communication – Hearing & speaking the truth. The teacher. 

Color: Light Blue

Location: Throat

Organs, nerves, glands: Throat, thyroid

Proper functions: Center of truth, language, knowledge and ability to communicate. Authenticity. Inspiring.

Mal-functions: Lethargy, shyness, insecurity, fear of others judgments. Throat, neck or thyroid issues.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: All chanting, shoulder stands, cobra pose, cat-cow, neck rolls.


6th Chakra: 3rd Eye

Intuition, wisdom & identity – The union of opposites

Color: Indigo

Location: Between the eyebrows

Organs, nerves, glands: Brain, pituitary gland

Proper functions: Concentration, determination, intuition, understanding your purpose.

Mal-functions: Confusion, depression.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: Meditating with eyes closed and rolled up to the third eye point, all exercises where the forehead rests on the floor, archer pose.


7th Chakra: Crown

Humility & vastness – Transcendence

Color: Violet

Location: Crown of the head

Organs, nerves, glands: Brain, pineal gland

Proper functions: Connection to the highest self. Enlightenment.

Mal-functions: Grief, fear of death. Feeling separate.

Yoga exercises to strengthen: All meditation.


8th Chakra: Aura


Color: White

Location: The electromagnetic field

Organs, nerves, glands: Aura

Proper functions: The aura projects & protects. Combines effects of all the chakras and makes up their total projection.

Mal-functions: Shy, vulnerable, withdrawn

Yoga exercises to strengthen: Triangle pose, archer pose, all arm exercises, all meditation.