Chances are if you’ve ever attended a yoga class or group meditation, your instructor most likely spoke about your chakras. But do we really have a deep understanding of what chakras are? For most of us, it’s one of those things where we’ve heard the term but don’t quite know exactly what it means.
To put it plainly, chakras represent a spiritual energy centre within the human body. The system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC in the oldest ancient scriptures of Hinduism. According to the text, humans posses seven chakras. Each chakra corresponds to specific organs as well as physical, emotional, psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. They’re believed to influence all areas of our lives. This is relevant because when the chakras are believed to be unbalanced, ‘prana’ or our ultimate inner healing energy that keeps us healthy, happy and vibrant–can not flourish. This results in states of lower vibrations, unhappiness, stress and can leave us more susceptible to disease.
Here’s a breakdown of each chakra:
The Root Chakra
Can be found at the base or root, the perineum, which is the space between the anus and scrotum in men and between the anus and the vulva in women. This chakra represents grounding, and survival needs like shelter and safety. When it’s blocked, a variety of ailments can occur including anxiety disorders. Physically, the first chakra is associated with problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues.
The Sacral Chakra
Is located above the pubic bone and below the navel. This chakra represents pleasure, emotional balance, abundance, and sexuality. Associated with the color orange, element of water and the reproductive organs, prostate and bladder. When it’s misaligned, we feel uninspired creatively or have some emotional instability. It can also be associated with sexual disfunction, fear of change, depression, or addiction-like behaviors.
The Naval or Solar Plexus Chakra
Located by the belly button and up to the ribcage, this chakra represents our willpower, personal power and commitment. It also governs all metabolic processes such as digestion. When it is blocked we can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. We tend to feel badly about ourselves, which can lead to the outward expression of apathy, procrastination. In this state we are easily taken advantage of. Misalignment of this chakra often leads to stomach aches and other digestive issues such as gas.
The Heart Chakra
This chakra is located at the centre of our chest and represents unconditional love, acceptance, compassion and intuitiveness. When it’s balanced we are extremely compassionate and loving towards both ourselves and others. When it is unbalanced, our hearts are closed and feelings of grief, anger, jealousy, and self-hatred are prevalent. We hold on to grudges and negative feelings which essentially hold us back from achieving our life’s purpose.
The Throat Chakra
Is all about communication, creativity and truth. It rules all communication–like saying how we feel in various situations and speaking our minds. The throat chakra is associated with the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx. When this chakra is in check, we’re able to fully listen as well as speak and express ourselves clearly. When it’s out of whack, we find it hard to pay attention and stay focused, or fear judgment from others. Physically, this blockage can manifest itself as a sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder stiffness, or tension headaches.
The Third Eye Chakra
Can be found in the center of the brain, at a cross section found between the eyes and just above the ears. This chakra represents and governs wisdom, imagination, intuition and an ability to analyze and perceive truth in the world. When this chakra is not aligned, we have trouble accessing our intuition, trusting our inner voice, recalling important facts, or learning new skills. A third-eye blockage is associated with a broad range of issues, including depression, anxiety, and a more judgmental attitude—while physically, it’s said to cause headaches, dizziness, and a slew of other brain-health issues.
The Crown Chakra
The seventh chakra can be found at the crown of our heads. It’s considered our spiritual centre. It’s associated with higher consciousness, pure and present being, vitality in the upper brain. When we’re not tapped into it, we may feel disconnected from others or emotionally distressed.
How To Balance Our Chakras
After reading the descriptions above, we can start to see from our own lives, ailments, habits and potential blockages where we may need some work to balance out our chakras. The best way to do this is through first, identifying why our chakras might be misaligned and then incorporating various practices to help balance them. Meditation, maintaining a healthy sex life, practicing yoga, reciting mantras, employing active listening strategies, using breathing techniques, and observing silence daily, are some of the best ways to balance and clean our chakras. This will in turn open us up to living happy healthier lives.