What are chakras and how do they work?
Updated: Nov 20, 2021
Chakras are the energy centers within your body that govern your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Understanding these chakras and how they interact with each other can help you to achieve balance in your life and achieve optimum health and happiness.
Chakras are the name given to the spinning vortices of energy in our bodies that help us stay balanced and healthy. Chakras which mean wheels in Sanskrit are located along the spine from the base of the spine to the top of the head, with each chakra corresponding to different parts of our bodies or aspects of our personalities. With only seven major chakras, there are more than 200 minor chakras that serve smaller functions, such as our sense of smell or sight.
When these chakras are balanced and working properly, you will feel at peace, joyous, healthy, and full of love. However, when they are blocked or imbalanced, it can lead to feelings of negativity or stress in your life, which can have repercussions on every area of your health and well-being.
In this article, we’ll examine what exactly chakras are, how they work, and give suggestions on ways to open up your blocked chakras so that you can better align with the universe around you.
What are Chakras?
It’s easy to get caught up in our routine and forget to take care of ourselves. And while we often associate stress, fatigue, and even illness with bad habits, there might be another culprit: an imbalanced chakra system. The word chakra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or circle. There are seven major chakras that correspond to different parts of your body; they deal with physical, emotional, spiritual, mental energy. So what does that mean exactly? It means that each chakra is connected to a specific area of your body—your physical health.
“Your ability to feel love and compassion for others; your sense of security and stability; your capacity to handle all of life’s ups and downs with ease” are areas that can be affected by any number of things, including (but not limited to) negative emotions like anger or sadness, exposure to toxins like cigarette smoke or chemicals at work, poor nutrition choices (or none at all), etc. When one (or more) chakra(s) become blocked by something like these issues, it disrupts their natural flow and affects how well you function overall. You may experience physical pain such as back pain caused by an imbalance in your sacral chakra, or feelings of unworthiness due to a lack of confidence related to your root-chakra self-esteem issues.
How do chakras work?
Your chakras are an important part of your spiritual energy. Spiritual energy affects all areas of your life, from physical health to mental health, even your personal relationships. Many people who have started learning about their chakras have felt a strong change in how they feel throughout their day-to-day life. Learning how to balance these chakras can help you lead a more successful life. Not sure where to start or what each one does? We’ll break it down for you so you can get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle today!
TYPES OF CHAKRAS AND HOW TO OPEN THEM
There are seven chakras that extend from the base of your spine to your crown. Each chakra can be affected by one or more factors, including your physical health, your mental state, your surrounding environment and much more. For example, you might find that whenever you enter a specific room in your home, you feel anxious. Over time, you will be able to determine whether there is something about that room that impacts how you feel or if it's just a coincidence.
1. Root chakra
One of seven main chakras is your root chakra, known as Muladhara in Sanskrit. It is located at the base of your spine between your anus and genitals. It’s associated with feelings of safety, stability, survival, self-sufficiency, ambition, and security. This chakra helps ground you to reality, encouraging a sense of stability within yourself. It also helps you see what you want in life clearly. If your root chakra is out of balance or blocked, you may feel unstable, ungrounded, fearful, have lack of ambition, insecure, lack of purpose, and frustrated or out-of-touch with life.
You might even feel like no one understands you, which could lead to depression. To cleanse and balance your root chakra, try meditating on pictures that represent these ideas: home, family, Mother Earth or feeling safe and grounded within yourself.
How to open the root chakra;
· Repeat positive affirmations: Repeating positive affirmations helps to break old patterns and create new opens. To open this chakra repeat affirmations related to home and safety. Examples of such affirmations include; “I love my body”, “I am financially secure”, “I am safe”, “The universe will provide for me”. When you repeat these statements you will see a change in your behavior, patterns and feelings of safety and stability.
· Burn Muladhara incense and essential oils: Opening the root chakra, try burning candles, earth essential oils, rosewood, cedarwood, ginger, black pepper, and sandalwood.
· Give yourself some time for reflection each day—try taking a walk on your lunch break or doing yoga before work so you can focus on regaining balance within yourself first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
· Perform guided meditations or simply focus on the root chakra. Picture the red color and see your root chakra spinning in your spine. Connect with Mother Nature through your legs to the base of your spine.
2. Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra (also called Svadhisthana in Sanskrit) is located below your belly button, in what might be considered your second or third stomach. The color associated with this chakra is orange. It’s associated with creativity, sexuality, personal power, emotional balance, intuition and physical energy. So basically if you have a blockage or imbalance here, you will be frustrated, emotionally hotheaded and petulant, have a lack of energy and creativity, feel manipulative, or obsessed with sexual thoughts. When the sacral chakra is balanced you will feel happy, vibrant, compassionate, intuitive and satisfied.
The first step to clearing blocked chakras (and opening up one that may not be functioning well) is learning how to identify if there’s a problem. Pay attention to where your body feels different—and whether you feel stuck in life. Many people experience anxiety or depression if their sacral chakra isn’t working well; it may even manifest as chronic pain. Focus on finding pleasure in activities that stir up passions—not just sexual ones! Don’t avoid sensual experiences, but don’t use them as a substitute for being kind to yourself.
How to open the sacral chakra;
· Practice postures that stabilize the sacral chakra: Yoga poses helps you to connect with your physical and spiritual self. Practice mindful breathing while releasing the tension in the body and mind.
· Burn Svadhisthana incense and essential oils: It is possible to revive sensations of sensuality and creativity with aromatherapy. Aromas like cardamom, eucalyptus, chamomile, spearmint, patchouli, ylang, ylang, rose or clary sage may awaken the sacral chakra.
· Repeat positive affirmations about sensuality and creativity: Affirmations help us build new habits by helping us break old ones. Writing or reciting affirmations is an excellent way to awaken the sacral chakra. Affirmations for the sacral chakra may be found in the following list: “I have inspiration and creativity”, “I will experience joy and satisfaction”, “I will attract people that will love and support me”, “I will be able to be express sexual myself in a fun and creative way”.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra
The Solar plexus chakra is located between the navel and the bottom of the rib cage. The solar plexus chakra deals with anger, ego and aggression. Those who have issues with their solar plexus chakra have trouble believing in themselves, take on too much responsibility for other people's actions, or don't know how to say no. It's all about self-esteem, self-confidence, being true to yourself, making decisions based on facts rather than feelings. When this chakra is imbalanced you will have perfectionism, anger, depression and low-esteem. Balancing this chakra will help you feel more confident, focused and productive.
How to open the solar plexus chakra;
· Meditation: This is the most effective way to open your chakra. To open your chakra, try imagining meditating under a bright yellow light. Hold on to that image for a few minutes while you allow the energy flow through you. Take deep breaths and feel the energy flow through you and the world around you.
· Using essential oils: Essential oils like rose, chamomile, clove, lemon and black pepper. Putting a few drops of this in your hot bath can help you relax your nerves.
· Be one with nature: Take time out for strolls in the sunlight
· Repeat positive affirmations: Affirmations that border on self-acceptance and boundaries are beneficial for this chakra. Always repeat these following affirmations; “I believe in myself”, “I am confident that I can achieve all”, “I am successful”, “I love and accept myself”.
4. Heart Chakra
The Heart Chakra is also known as Anahata, which literally means unstruck in Sanskrit. This chakra is located in your chest right about where your heart lies. It is considered to be your center of emotions and self-love, as well as your ability to give and receive love. Like other chakras, it can become blocked if we don’t take care of ourselves, especially emotionally. When this chakra is balanced you will feel more friendly, compassionate, motivated and caring.
How to open the heart chakra;
· Positive affirmations: Positive affirmations may aid in the development of the fourth chakra's positive energy. These may be little notes left on the bathroom mirror or on the computer display. Repeat these positive affirmations: “I am loved”, “My heart is open to love”, “I love and accept myself”, “I live in grace and I am forever grateful”, “I forgive myself and others”.
· Use healing stones: Green and pink are the predominant colors associated with the heart chakra. Carrying healing stones about will help you tune into the heart chakra's frequency since they have their own energy frequencies. Unclog the heart chakra using gemstones like rose quartz, green calcite, green tourmaline, or green aventurine.
· Recite mantras that help you love more: Mantras are holy sounds, words, or phrases that aid in meditation in the same way that a prayer helps to concentrate one's attention. The heart chakra will be balanced by chanting love-related mantras. To link your energy with love, take a deep breath and chant the compassion mantra "om mani padme hum" aloud. The mantra may be said quietly or out loud.
5. Throat Chakra
The throat chakra is also known as Vishuddha, which translates to pure in Sanskrit. It can be found at the base of your throat right next to the thyroid gland. It is linked to communication, thought, introspection, honesty, self-expression and dreams. When the chakra is blocked you will be quiet, weak, timid, and unable to express your thoughts. When balanced, it helps us talk honestly with others (and ourselves), explore our inner thoughts in order to gain deeper insight into our problems; it helps us write well (and speak eloquently). Basically, when your throat chakra is functioning well you have good communication skills—this includes being able to express yourself verbally as well as writing/speaking articulately.
How to open the throat chakra;
· Practice mindful meditation: Quieting the mind is the first step towards connecting with our inner truth. By concentrating on the breath, the technique of "mindful breathing" will help calm racing thoughts. Remind yourself to breathe in with each exhalation. As you exhale, repeat the phrase "breathing out" to yourself. Observe and gently let ideas and distractions pass when they emerge.
Mindful breathing is more difficult than it seems, especially if you just have five minutes to devote to the practice. Mindfulness meditation becomes simpler with practice, allowing us to cultivate a state of calm and focus. We learn to connect more directly with our inner selves and expand the throat chakra via that stillness.
· Repeat positive affirmations: Repetition of positive statements creates the aim to change old habits and build new ones. The throat chakra may be opened by reciting affirmations that promote openness and honesty. The following are a few examples: “I am an active listener”, “I am at peace when I speak my mind”, “I am very confident when I speak my mind”, “I set clear boundaries”.
· Practice poses that help you open up this chakra: Asanas, or yoga poses, integrate the spiritual and physical aspects of the body. Asanas that focus on the breath may help alleviate tension in the throat and thyroid, as well as increase energy in the region. The camel, plow, cat-cow with lion's breath, shoulder stand, and fish position are all throat chakra poses.
· Chanting: Chanting is a different kind of workout for the vocal chords than singing or humming. While the mantra "HAM" may be used to unblock the throat chakra, exhaling it via your lungs, throat, and mouth can help you feel the cleaning effect of the chant.
6. Third Eye Chakra
The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows and it is responsible for our intuition, imagination, higher thinking, and creativity. It's often associated with our sixth sense or clairvoyance. This chakra is associated with self-knowledge, insight and intelligence. When there’s a blockage in your third eye chakra it can make you feel stuck, unable to see a clear path forward, egotistical and afraid of success. The physical symptoms include eye strain, blurry vision and headaches. When the chakra is balanced you will feel more vibrant and confident both emotionally and physically.
How to open the third eye chakra;
· Learn how to embrace silence: Silence is important in most meditations, but it is extremely critical in opening the third eye. Why? Through meditation, you will be able to access your intuition and inner knowledge in a way that seems like a "whisper." To access the third eye chakra's capacity to "see beyond space and time," the mind must be extremely calm and silent. This is because the third eye chakra is related to the extrasensory perception, such as psychic ability.
· Strengthen your intuition: To open the third eye and maintain it balanced, it's essential to improve the flow of intuition and intuitive thinking. It is possible to achieve this by writing your thoughts and emotions, practicing mindfulness meditation, spending more time in nature, avoiding overthinking, and utilizing all five of your senses to observe as much as possible in the world around you.
· Use crystals: To awaken the third eye chakra, look for crystals that are blue or purple in color and put a tiny crystal between your eyes on your forehead while laying down and meditating. Look for amethyst, sapphire, lapis lazuli, and sugilite crystals.
7. Crown Chakra
The crown chakra, which is at the top of your head, represents your sense of individuality. It’s also your connection to spirituality. This chakra is associated with wisdom and brings some sense of cosmic consciousness. When it’s blocked or unbalanced, you might feel separate from others, as if you don’t belong anywhere, or you may feel like you’re above everyone else and not connected to people on a deep level. You might isolate yourself or even begin to see other people as an annoyance that keeps you from doing what really matters: solving problems, achieving great things and making a difference in people’s lives.
How to open the crown chakra;
· Repeat positive affirmations: Affirmations help us create goals that break old patterns and open our brains to new ideas and perspectives. Affirmations may be repeated aloud, mentally, or on paper to help you awaken the crown chakra. Here are some examples of affirmations for the head chakra: “I feel connected to my higher self”, “I am complete and divine”, “I am an extension of my universe”.
· Find your innermost self: As a kind of meditation, mindful breathing may be used to calm the mind and open the crown chakra. In a savasana pose, or in an upright crossed-legged position, close your eyes. As you inhale and exhale, pay attention to your breath. Keep an open mind and examine your ideas as they emerge and go away. Eventually, you begin to feel a feeling of spirituality as you connect with your higher self.
· Burn Sahaswara incense and essential oils: There are several ways in which we may awaken our crown chakra and connect with the divine energy via aromatherapy. Connect to your crown chakra by inhaling myrrh, camphor, and frankincense, which have illuminating scents.
How to Know If Your Chakra Is Blocked
When your chakras aren’t functioning properly, it can have a direct impact on your energy levels. You may find yourself experiencing a lack of motivation or having trouble getting through a workday. If you notice that you’re tired all of the time, experience chronic illness, or have been feeling anxious or sad for an extended period of time, it could be due to blocked chakras. In addition to these symptoms, one indicator that you might have blocked chakras is if your dreams don’t come true as quickly as you hoped they would.
To start healing from blocked chakras, spend some time learning about what chakra balancing really means and take some steps toward aligning your physical self with your mental well-being. Most importantly: learn how to listen to what you really want out of life, because every human being deserves nothing less than total fulfillment. It all starts from within—make sure your body reflects who you truly are on the inside. And remember: if you treat yourself well, others will too!
TIPS ON HOW TO BALANCE YOUR CHAKRAS
· Foods: Adjust your diet to include more foods of the same color as the chakra you are seeking to balance. Try incorporating more red foods into your diet, such as tomatoes, radishes, watermelons, peppers, and pomegranates, into your diet.
· Colors: Allow your instincts to guide you when it comes to picking out clothing colors. There are specific colors and frequencies that resonate with each of our energy centers in a similar way. For example, if you don't feel comfortable or anchored, it might be because your root chakra is out of sync with the rest of your chakras. Wearing a red outfit might be a good idea at this time. Regardless of whether you're wearing outer clothing or undergarments, this will filter the color you need to correct the energy center's imbalance.
· Essentials oils: It is possible to utilize essential oils to balance chakras since they vibrate at a certain frequency. Direct application or inhalation is possible. In order to use them on the skin, you must dilute them with appropriate carrier oil.
· Visualization: The most effective tool of all is visualization. Imagine taking energy from the center of the ground and cleaning each energy point with the appropriate color, tone and frequency.
Please contact me for a free chakra evaluation or you can order my chakra clearing & balancing services.