The following is a brief overview that provides introductory information to help you appreciate the relationship between trauma and chakra energy. Imagine the seven chakra wheels as spinning vibrations of energy that contain certain physical, mental, and spiritual content. This article breaks down the function of each chakra, and the yoga pose that can energize or calm it down.
The first chakra sits at the base of your spine and the seventh chakra at the top, or crown, of your head. The other chakras are arranged vertically along the spine. The lower chakra centers pertain to basic human survival that is responsible for self image and how you relate to the world around you. The upper three energy centers pertain to your intuition, focus, and spirituality. And right in the middle is the area for your heart, the fourth energy center responsible for energies of higher consciousness including compassion and insight.
1 – Root Chakra
Represents: Presence, feeling stable
The Root Chakra is known as the base chakra and it is located at the bottom of the spine. It’s concerns are for safety and stability. Life-threatening traumas at any age disrupt your ability to trust that life is safe enough and that you have the capacity to take care of and protect yourself. Things done for self preservation such as security, binge eating, stubborn tendencies, and
hoarding, may result from energy that is stuck in the first chakra through fear. Mantras/prayers/music known as the yoga of sound associated with this first chakra are “I am worthy”, “I am able to be happy”,”I am happy to be alive” or”this is my birthright.”
2 – Sacral Chakra
Represents: Creativity, sensation and trusting the source of our feelings
The Sacral Chakra is located in the lower abdomen between the belly button and the pubic bone. It’s basic concerns our sexuality, creativity, and relationships. Sexual abuse interferes with the vitality and creativity that make life interesting. Feelings about guilt or being emotionally and sexually out of control could be imbalances in the second chakra. Behaviors such as self
gratification, (addictions and emotional dependency on others) may result from life energy being processed through guilt.
3 – Solar Chakra
Represents: Power, self-esteem, and competence,
Asana: Plank, finish in child’s pose
The Solar Chakra is located at the solar plexus between the belly button and the bottom of the rib cage. This is considered a personal power, self-esteem, and energy center. Issues of powerlessness, control, or low self-esteem, indicate imbalances in the third chakra. Behaviors that reflect uncertainty about personal power such as poor follow through, passivity, or the need
or right to be domineering, may result from your energy being processed through the underlying feeling of shame.
4 – Heart Chakra
Represents: Love and compassion
Asana: Sit on heels, arms out like wings. Lift arms up, palms up and lower down.
The Heart Chakra is the fourth energy center located at the heart center. It’s basic concerns are love, compassion, acceptance, and trust. Overwhelming rejection and betrayal, take a toll on the human heart and intimate relationships. There can be a tendency towards isolation, emotional coldness, emotional reactivity, difficulty with forgiveness, fear of abandonment, or being loved.
5 – Throat Chakra
Represents: Speaking the truth.
Asana: Camel pose, open the heart and throat to express without fear.
The Throat Chakra is the fifth chakra and centrally located at the throat. It serves our communication, inspiration, expression and faith. Being yelled at, lied to, and overly criticized disrupts the capacity to recognize truth and to speak forthrightly. There are tendencies to be shy, or fear speaking up.
6 – Third Eye Chakra
Asana: Place forehead on the ground.
The Third Eye Chakra is located between the eyebrows, just above the bridge of the nose. The basic concerns of the third eye are psychic, emotional and mental intelligence, and intuition. Imbalances with this chakra are distrust, difficulties imagining the future, remembering the past, or suffering from nightmares.
7 – The Crown Chakra
Asana: Sit on heels.
The crown chakra is the seventh center located at the top of the head. It’s basic concerns are our devotion, inspiration, selfishness, and spiritual understanding.
The blog post is part of a 3-part series on Understanding Chakras and how to put them into practice to promote good physical and emotional health. We also offer an accompanying workshop that combines YogaFun™ Nidra (sleep yoga) with a specific Chakra for each month. See below for class times and dates.
Dr. Kathy is well known in Jupiter Florida as the “go to expert” for her mindful approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy). Combining evidence-based therapies from psychology, neuroscience, mental imagery, nutrition and exercise, her FUN™ program establishes mindbody balance to create immediate shifts in thinking. Dr. Kathy is also a Certified Addiction Professional, Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), EMDR Practitioner and EMDR Consultant in Training. She is the co-author of Asthma Free in 21 Days and frequently publishes articles related to mental health.