*This article was written by Ashlyn Rochester for My Vinyasa Practice*
The five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth come together to give us the sensations we experience like sound, smell, taste, form, sign, and touch. They also come together inside us to create a flow of energy. This flow of subtle energy is managed through energetic centers called Chakras. There are five chakras located along the length of the spine that correspond to the five elements. These subtle bodies include the Muladhara Chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra, Manipura Chakra, Anahata Chakra, Vishuddha Chakra, Ajna Chakra, and the Sahasrara Chakra.
In an ideal world, we’re balanced in all of our chakras, but this isn’t always realistic or possible in the fast-paced world we live in. When our chakras are out of balance or blocked, we may feel unsafe, unsupported, disconnected, lonely, low self-esteem, and more. Here are the specific symptoms of blocked energy in each chakra.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Muladhara
The Muladhara chakra is also called the root chakra. As the first chakra, it is found below the tailbone. It represents security, trust, our validity in our experience, and our ability to care for ourselves and others.
Physical symptoms of root chakra imbalances are found in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone and immune system. It can show up as degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation. Emotional imbalances relate to feelings that affect our basic survival needs such as money, shelter, and food.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Svadhisthana
The Svadhisthana, or sacral chakra, is found two inches below the navel at the sacrum. Svadhisthana is the seat of sensuality, vitality, and fluidity. When balanced, we feel comfortable taking risks and are committed, passionate, sexual beings.
Physical symptoms of blocked energy in Svadhisthana show up as sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, and hip, pelvic, and low back pain. Emotional symptoms are expressed as struggles in our commitments to relationships and ability to express our emotions, have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, and sexuality. It can also come across as fears of impotence, betrayal or addictions.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Manipura
The third chakra is the Manipura, or solar plexus chakra. It’s found in the upper abdomen below the rib cage. Maniupura holds our feelings of self-worth and self-esteem and the ability to know ourself completely without any projected masks.
Physical symptoms can show in the stomach since it’s so close to the navel with digestive problems or stomach ulcers. Other physical symptoms are liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, issues in the pancreas and gallbladder, and colon disease. Emotional symptoms of blocked energy in Manipura show up as issues with personal power and self-esteem. It’s common for our inner critic to be the dominant voice we hear with a Manipura imbalance so fears of rejection, criticism, and physical appearance are prioritized.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Anahata
Located in the heart, the heart chakra is the dwelling place of the soul or the Self. It is felt as sensations of joy, contentment, expansiveness, and openness.
Physical imbalance shows up in or around the heart such as asthma, heart and lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems. Emotionally, you might suffocate someone with your presence or feel jealousy, abandonment, anger, or bitterness.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Vishuddha
The throat chakra, Vishuddha, is located in the throat and is responsible for the ability to clearly express ourselves. It also plays messenger as it creates clear communications between the head and heart. When balanced, we can communicate clearly with honesty and truth.
When imbalanced, physical symptoms of blocked energy in Vishuddha appear as throat issues. Common blocked energy symptoms are thyroid issues, sore throat, laryngitis, ear infections, ulcers, facial problems, or neck and shoulder pain. Feeling like you have no willpower or are out of control are common emotional symptoms. Another emotional symptom is having issues communicating.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Anja
The sixth chakra is Anja, or the third eye chakra. You can find this chakra slightly above the middle of the forehead. It’s responsible for intuition and insight.
Blocked energy in Anja appears as headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, and hormone dysfunctions. Other blocked energy symptoms include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection. It’s also common to struggle to look at one’s own fears and to learn from others when experiencing a third eye chakra imbalance.
Symptoms of Blocked Energy in Sahasrara
The last chakra is the Sahasrara or crown chakra. Located at the top of the head, Sahasrara is our connection to universal consciousness. It’s also the location where our spiritual evolution takes place. When balanced, we are present and trust our inner guidance.
When imbalanced and blocked, you may struggle with depression, an inability to learn, and sensitivity to light, sounds, annd environment. Emotionally, there are issues with self-knowledge and great imbalances that come from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality. There might be confusion and prejudice and fear of alienation when experiencing blocked energy in Sahasrara.
Learn more about your Chakras and how to balance them in our Yoga Teacher Training.