The non-profit Edinburgh Skeptics Society states that, despite their popularity, there has never been evidence of these meridian lines or chakras. Professionals sometimes cite scientific evidence for their claims, but such evidence is often incredibly unstable. According to the tradition of yoga and many New Age practices, chakras are vital centers of energy that exist in all of us. While these constantly rotating energy vortices are not visible to the human eye, they are believed to be essential to our continued development and health as human beings, says Karla Helbert, licensed counselor, yoga therapist and author of The Chakras in Grief and Trauma. It is debatable if there are 6, 12 or more chakras, where they are and how they influence our body and mind.
However, there are several postulated theories available in the Vedic scriptures. While each chakra has its own distinct properties, it is believed that they all work as one system. That means that if one is out of balance, it affects everyone else. For example, if you have a blocked throat chakra, you may also experience difficulties with the heart chakra, since you are unable to communicate what you are feeling and you are likely to be sitting with those emotions. Terrones says postures that strengthen the pelvic floor, where the sacral chakra resides, such as the bridge posture or deep hip opening postures such as the pigeon pose or the lizard pose, are excellent for strengthening the sacral chakra.
Because chakra alignment is often related to mindfulness meditation or yoga, the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and meditation5 are often used as evidence of the effectiveness of chakra alignment. There are seven main chakras located along the spine, from the base of the spine to the crown of the spine. Unlike the other chakras, the crown chakra is often only fully opened through specific yoga or meditation exercises, or at certain times, which is not a skill set that you can draw on at any given time. Chakras are explained as “nerve centers” or “sites” of major organs, but even yogis admit that no one has been able to measure these energy centers in any meaningful way. When the Anahata Chakra is out of balance, it is believed to cause anger, lack of confidence, anxiety, jealousy, fear and moodiness. The root chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is the first and main chakra, believed to be located at the base of the spine.
For those who believe in chakras, the solar plexus chakra is the center of self-esteem and emotions such as ego, anger and aggression. The Sanskrit name of the solar plexus chakra, Manipura, means city of jewels and is thought to lie between the rib cage and the navel. Chakras are thought to rotate, attracting life force energy to maintain balance between spiritual, mental, emotional and physical elements. Many suggestions have been made on how to “align the chakras” to reduce this blockage, and people can pay for products or treatments that aim to improve chakra alignment. For example, an unbalanced sacral chakra is associated with fertility problems, and a blocked throat chakra means that you have problems expressing yourself. According to this belief system, an open and balanced third eye chakra allows you to notice connections in this world and beyond. In modern times, the chakra system has been related to the endocrine system, with certain glands correlated with certain chakras, says Helbert.