The human soul is composed of love, light, and wisdom, which are the quintessence of pure energy. There are many energy centers, also known as “Chakras”, positioned in various parts of your body. Out of all the chakras present in body, Ayurveda recognizes 7 major yoga chakras, each found next to a hormonal gland in the body. These 7 chakras are located from the base of spine to the crown of head.
The Chakras, incessantly receive and disseminate energy. Yet, they get contaminated when you pollute your mind with negative thoughts or have negative feelings. Thus, the end-result is blockage of energy in the chakras. This results in emotional, physical, and mental imbalance and idleness. Furthermore, it also affects your intellectual abilities as well.
To unblock and stimulate these channels of energy and to allow “prana” (life-force) to be directed to various parts of body, yoga suggests the practice of “yoga mudras.” Translating the word from Sanskrit, it means “seal” or “gesture”.
Yoga mudras are mostly performed by placing your hands and fingers in certain positions. However, the entire body may also be involved.
These mudras greatly complement the smooth flow of yoga chakras in your body with regular practice. Thus, ensuring that your chakras are cleansed and balanced and body energies are safely harnessed within.
There are numerous mudras in yoga. Here we will discuss 7 chakras and their functionalities as taught in 200 hour yoga teacher training.
7 Chakras in Yoga and Healing These With Yoga Mudras
Human body is home to hundreds of chakras. Yet only 7 main chakras are responsible for the way your body function every day. All chakras present in body move in a clockwise direction and are generally perceived as circular spinning objects. Each of these chakras has their own unique symbol and color.
The 4 upper body chakras from the crown to heart center are considered cooler. These appear in light shades of violet, indigo, blue, and green respectively.
The chakras in the lower part of the body, which are much slower than the ones in the upper region. These appear in colors of orange, yellow, and red respectively.
Unhealthy chakras equal to an unhealthy you. Learning more about these 7 chakras present in your body will assist you in creating a harmonious energy cycle and living a healthy life.
Here are 7 chakras, explained in detail for you, working their way down from Crown Chakra to the Root Chakra.
Remember to practice all the mudras in a seated position. Preferably in Lotus Pose (Padmasana), so that you are comfortable and do not get interrupted. If the mudras are done in a sequence, perform each mudra only for a duration of 5 minutes at the maximum. However, if you are performing only one of the mudras individually, you can extend the practice for a longer duration.
1. Crown or Sahasrara Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Lotus with thousand petals
• Chakra Color: Violet
• Mantra: Silence
The crown chakra is positioned at the crown of the head and is generally attributable to knowledge, intelligence, self-awareness, and unity of the soul with the divine power. Of all the 7 mudras in yoga this comes at 7th position. The Sanskrit name ‘Sahasrara’ denotes the thousand petals of the lotus plant in full bloom. The symbol of the chakra, the lotus with thousand petals symbolizes the highest level of awareness that a person can obtain, free from the illusions of the materialistic world.
According to ancient Hindu belief, the color violet representing this chakra portrays a state of cosmic cognizance. The color also represents completeness and sanctity. This chakra controls the functions of the cerebral cortex, pineal gland, and nervous system.
When the Sahasrara Chakra is open
When the crown chakra is balanced you will feel united with everything within and outside of your physical body. People are more open-minded especially when they are confused or fear something. You will always feel peaceful and understand other’s perspective and thoughts better irrespective of the situation you are in. You will have a sense of direction in your thoughts resulting in being inspired and energized most of the times.
When the Sahasrara Chakra is blocked
People with a blocked crown chakra are mostly spiritually disconnected and do not have a sense of purpose or direction in life. This leads to constant worry, depression, and ailments, both mental and physical, which disrupts daily life activities.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Sahasrara Chakra : Sahastra Mudra or Mudra of a Thousand Petals
To start doing the mudra you need to relax your breath and feel comfortable. Hereinafter, here are the steps to do it.
• Raise your hands above your head or to your chest height, palms facing down.
• Bring the tips of your index fingers and thumbs together such that they form a triangle.
• Avoid the rest of the fingers from touching each other and let them remain straight and extended in an upward direction.
• Remain in the position for minutes. If you perform this mudra by placing it above the crown of your head, it heals the crown mudra faster.
2. Third-Eye or Ajna Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Transparent lotus flower with two white petals
• Chakra Color: Indigo
• Mantra: Aum
The third-eye chakra as denoted by the name, lies in the space between your eyebrows. This is where your third-eye (as of Lord Shiva) is located, the eye of you true and higher self. Your third-eye is turned inwards to give you a self-realization of your inner self. The third eye chakra is a witness of your actions, feelings, and thoughts as well as others who interact with you.
When the Ajna Chakra is open
A clear third-eye chakra allows you to have a clear vision of your higher self by looking into you. Upon visualizing and meditating on the third-eye chakra, if you happen to see a closed eyelid, it means that your spiritual vision is blocked and needs to be opened. The ‘Ajna’ chakra is related to the crown chakra and hence has direct effects on its functions.
When the Ajna Chakra is blocked
An unhealthy Ajna chakra can be the cause of various diseases ranging from blindness to brain lesions. It is also a cause of depression and addiction to bad habits. Furthermore, if your third-eye chakra is overactive, you may even suffer from disillusions and detachments from reality.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Ajna Chakra : Hakini Mudra
The Hakini Mudra empowers the mind and is one of the best mudras for heightening cognitive abilities in the brain. It is the mudra that touches all spheres of the mind, body, and soul. Here are the steps for doing the Hakini Mudra.
• Bring your hands in front of your face near the space where the third-eye is situated.
• Join the tips of your fingers together, each finger corresponding to the other, palms and the finger surface kept apart.
• Breathe deeply and focus on your third-eye, recollecting memories and concentrating on important things.
• Hold the position for 4 minutes in a sequence.
3. Throat or Vishuddha Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Thousand-petaled lotus
• Chakra Color: Blue
• Mantra: Ham
The throat chakra is the fifth among the 7 important chakras in yoga and is located in the Adam’s apple in the throat. The throat chakra is connected to our ability to communicate or express our thoughts and feelings.
When the Vishuddha Chakra is open
A clear and unclogged throat chakra looks like a clear sky blue.
When the Vishuddha Chakra is blocked
When the throat chakra is blocked it causes you to allow others talk over you, decrease your communication levels, and eats up your self-confidence for the fear of ridicule or judgment by others. The throat, mouth, head and neck are areas of the body most affected when the throat chakra is clogged. You become more stoic, quiet, and fearful when the throat chakra is compromised.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Vishuddha Chakra : Granthita Mudra
The Granthita Mudra represents self-healing and strength. This mudra opens the knot in the center of the throat chakra. Here are the steps to do it.
• Sit with your spine erect.
• Clasp both your hands together near the throat.
• Touch the tips of the index finger on top of the other to the thumb on the same hand while still clasping the hands together.
• Hold the pose for 4 minutes in a sequence.
4. Heart or Anahata Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Six-pointed star within a Circular flower with 12 petals
• Chakra Color: Green
• Mantra: Yam
The Heart Chakra controls the functions of the heart, the lungs, the limbs in the upper region of the body and the circulatory and immune system of the body. The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest area. It signifies the beginnings of all the upper chakras and conforms to all types of spiritual issues. The Sanskrit name Anahata means ‘unhurt’ or ‘unharmed’ denoting a level of spirituality where nothing from the past can harm you.
When the Anahata Chakra is open
When the heart chakra is clean and balanced it reflects the image of a magnificent emerald. The more you clean your heart chakra becomes, the more foresight will you have. People with an open heart Chakra are more loving, forgiving, and compassionate and they appreciate themselves for who they are rather than changing to fulfill other’s perceptions. With an open chakra, a person is altruistic and respectful of others wishes and needs.
When the Anahata Chakra is blocked
The heart chakra easily shrinks and becomes clogged with the fear of receiving or giving love. This limits a person from feeling the bliss of pure love. Since every human being has been hurt in some way or the other, love is often associated with pain. Hence, when receiving or giving out love, people usually build a wall around the heart chakra, which prevents it from losing control and feeling absolute love.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Anahata Chakra : Padma Mudra
The Padma Mudra works its way into the heart chakra and invites love completely. Here are the steps for you to do it.
• Bring your palms to your chest, close to your heart area and join your lower palms together and fingers of each hand away from each other.
• Next, touch the tips of your little fingers together and then do the same with your thumbs.
• Keep the lower area of the palms pressed together and open up the rest of the fingers. Your hands should look like a blossoming lotus.
5. Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Inverted Triangle
• Chakra Color: Yellow
• Mantra: Ram
Your solar plexus is the source of personal power, self-belief, and self-worth and is generally affiliated to the human ego. The Sanskrit name ‘Manipura’ means ‘shining gems’. This chakra is found right behind the navel. When the sacral chakra is clean and balanced it looks like a ball of sunshine. On the other hand, when it is imbalanced and dirty, it changes color to a dirty yellow, with patches of brown and black.
When the Manipura Chakra is open
As soon as solar plexus is balanced and clean you can overpower feelings of timidity and express yourself in better ways.
When the Manipura Chakra is blocked
This chakra gets easily blocked especially when you are continuously bombarded with poor feedback, are shown less affection, are continuously admonished, and when you keep getting ignored or unappreciated. This chakra starts looking dark yellow or small when you are overpowered with the fear that someone is trying to control you. On the contrary, if you are the one trying to overpower somebody else then your solar plexus will increase in size and look muddy yellow.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Manipura Chakra : Rudra Mudra or Mudra of Lord Shiva
To start with the practice, sit in an upright comfortable position and concentrate on your breathe. Next, follow the steps below to do the Rudra Mudra.
• Position your hands on each of your thighs with the palms facing to the sky
• Touch the tip of your thumb to the tips of the index and ring fingers and press slightly.
• Let go slowly after 4 minutes
6. Sacral or Svadhisthana Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: A lotus flower with six petals
• Chakra Color: Orange
• Mantra: Vam
This is the second most important chakra present in your body. Your sacral chakra is usually associated with your emotions, creativity, and passion. The flow and flexibility of energy in the human body distinguish the sacral chakra from others.
The sacral chakra is usually positioned between your navel and the base of your spine. Your sacral chakra is connected to your lymphatic system. The sacral activates your sexuality and aids you in expressing your sexual and sensual yearnings. This chakra spins a little faster than the root chakra.
When the Svadhisthana Chakra is open
When the Svadhisthana chakra is open and balanced, you will have the natural feeling of powerful intimacy within yourself. This feeling boosts your feelings of happiness and confidence, encouraging you to better your relationship with others. Furthermore, your creative side is awakened, you are more stable emotionally, and always stay happy no matter what the circumstances may be. When the sacral chakra is clean and balanced, it radiates a pale white interior.
When the Svadhisthana Chakra is blocked
Your thoughts and feelings for physical pleasures, your worry about your body, and other unhealthy addictions is what decreases the size of the Sacral Chakra and makes it look dirty and dark. When the sacral chakra is polluted and imbalanced, you will mostly always feel fatigued, will always be obsessed with how you or your body looks, and never be happy or content. People with an imbalanced sacral chakra are victims of depression, anxiety, and constant stress.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Svadhisthana Chakra : Shakti Mudra
The Shakti Mudra can be practiced for up to 40 minutes at a stretch when done on its own. Here is how you can do the Shakti Mudra
• Bring your palms to the front of your chest in namaskara.
• Press the tips of your little fingers and ring fingers together and fold in your thumbs underneath your index and middle finger. You can then press the knuckles of the index and middle fingers to keep them separate.
7. Root or Muladhara Chakra
• Chakra Symbol: Lotus with four petals
• Chakra Color: Red
• Mantra: Lam
This is the first chakra of the human body and is situated at the base of the tailbone. The Muladhara Chakra is associated with the unconscious mind, where your experiences from your previous life are amassed. The Sanskrit name translates to two parts- ‘Mula’, meaning ‘root’ or ‘base’ and ‘Dhara’, meaning ‘support’.
The Muladhara Chakra moves the slowest among all other chakras and portrays any action done without a motive or reason personal benefit. The chakra is affiliated to the color, red.
When the Muladhara Chakra is open
A balanced and well-sized root chakra ensures that a person is connected to a much bounteous world. They are more independent and can easily make friends. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, they exhibit more energy and good health than someone with unbalanced root chakra. As it is known, this chakra helps you feel safe and secure.
When the Muladhara Chakra is blocked
When the Muladhara Chakra is imbalanced, overactive, or damaged it causes many problems. Furthermore, without healing the Root Chakra there is a possibility that other higher chakras may not be healed either. When you start having a fear of being able to meet your physical needs the size of your root chakra starts decreasing and the color begins becoming dark and dirty.
When this happens, you begin to limit yourself always feeling a lack of something or other in life. This obsession with your wealth, career, and belongings also increases the size of your root chakra. The result is an imbalance in size, since all chakras are meant to be a particular size, and the obsession factor makes the root factor abnormally larger than all.
Yoga Mudra for Healing Muladhara Chakra : Muladhara Chakra Mudra
The Muladhara Chakra Mudra must be practiced twice a day during the mornings and evenings, and its duration can be extended till the time you feel tired. You can take breaks in between and repeat 4-5 times till you feel that your perineal muscles are relaxed. Here are the steps to do the Muladhara Chakra Mudra.
• Start doing the Muladhara Chakra Mudra by being seated in a comfortable vertical position. Concentrate on your breathe.
• Bring both your palms together to your chest in Namaskara.
• Fold and interlace the ring fingers and little fingers inwards the palm and extend the middle fingers, ensuring that they out pointing out and tips are touching. Next, fold your index fingers inwards to the palm and fold one thumb over the other.
• You must hold this mudra in front of your pubic bone. If you want you can also invert the position of your mudra by pointing your fingers downwards in an inverted position. Also, remember to keep clenching and relaxing the perineal floor muscles while performing the mudra but do not keep it contracted.
Yoga chakras are the driving energy forces within your body, which are responsible for your actions, feelings, and thoughts. All chakras in yoga require to be in right size, an imbalance or overgrowth in any chakra can cause chaos in your relationships and daily activities.
While performing yoga and meditation can help to an extent in bringing your yoga chakras back to normal, performing yoga mudras can increase the benefits. So, whenever you see any symptoms equivalent to those discussed above, work on your chakras with corresponding mudras and live a more fulfilled and happy life.