What are Chakras?
We recently launched our Chakra Collection. Some of you may be asking “what are Chakras?”
Chakra translates to “wheel.” Chakras in the sense we use the word refers to energy centres in our body. These centres are often visualized as seven spinning wheels of energy.
Each chakra sits at a fixed spot on the body. They relate to different spiritual, emotional, and physical conditions. A blocked or unaligned chakra can cause problems. These can range from moodiness to headaches to insecurity and more.
It’s important to understand each chakra to keep it flowing. One blockage can through the whole system out of whack. As you’ll learn, it’s almost too easy to mess up the flow. But by learning to feel and listen to your chakras, you’ll be able to identify problems. Then you can fix them before they cause real trouble. You’ll also be able to find your old wounds and help them heal.
We’ll go over each chakra and its properties before giving some advice on how to keep it from becoming blocked.
The Seven Chakras
Material Chakras and Spiritual Chakras
Chakras exist in two realms. There’s 3 that affect your material well being and 3 that affect your spiritual side. We’ll start with the 3 material Chakras (root, sacral, and solar plexus) before moving to the heart chakra. The heart connects the two types. Finally, we’ll wrap up with the 3 spiritual chakras (throat, third eye, and crown).
Root (Muladhara) Chakra
This chakra is the foundation of our being. Found in the tailbone, the root chakra grounds and anchors us.
When it’s open, you’ll feel confident in your ability to face up to challenges on your own. You’ll be bold and powerful.
When it’s blocked, you’ll feel threatened and unstable. A blockage of the root will cause anxiety and panic. You can expect to have trouble focusing on things other than your worries. Physical ailments include a sore lower back, low energy, and cold feet or hands.
This chakra hates things that threaten your survival. This may be financial issues, access to food, and so on. Even fears about your survival can cause it to become unaligned.
Sacral (Svadhishthana) Chakra
This chakra relates to our emotions and how well we can relate to ourselves and others. This chakra is in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel.
When it’s open, you’ll feel more creative. When healthy and flowing, this chakra empowers your artistic side and imagination. It also governs your sexual energy and capacity for life changes.
Blockages can form when you feel underwhelmed in life. This might be a bad relationship (personal or professional). It could also be because you’re struggling to enjoy life in a general sense. Negative feedback that makes you doubt your creative abilities blocks your sacral chakra. When blocked, you’ll feel listless and uninspired. You may find you have a low sex drive and are resistant to change. Physical symptoms include urinary discomfort, increased allergies, and attraction to addictive behaviours.
This chakra fills you with a sense of well-being, pleasure and sexuality.
Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra
Ever felt butterflies or a pit in your stomach? Those feelings are your solar plexus chakra. This chakra is in your upper abdomen by your stomach. It handles your confidence and sense of control.
When open, this chakra gives you a sense of guaranteed success. You have a clear direction to move in and anything you want is within your grasp.
This chakra gets blocked over perceived failures. Things like unpleasant social interactions or low self-esteem rooted in your childhood. A small block will create an isolated insecurity (“I hate my nose”). Large blockages have a bigger, more general, effect (“I hate myself”). You’ll feel like you’re not good enough and unable to learn from your mistakes. Physical problems that may arise are digestive discomfort and memory troubles.
Things like your self-worth, self-esteem and confidence relate to this chakra.
Heart (Anahata) Chakra
As said before, the heart connects the spiritual and material chakras. It also handles our ability to give and receive love. This chakra is in the centre of the chest, above your physical heart.
A balanced heart offers empathy to others, emotional openness, and a sense of deep inner peace. You’re able to understand your emotions and those of others in a deeper way.
Grieving, a break up, or a difficult friendship can cause a blockage. You’ll feel it’s harder to relate to others. Trusting people will become harder. Instead of peace, you’ll feel restless and disgruntled. Physical ailments may include high blood pressure and poor immune system.
Emotions linked to this chakra are love, joy, and inner peace.
Throat (Vishuddha) Chakra
The throat gives voice to the heart. As the name suggests, this one is in the throat.
When aligned, you’ll be able to speak without misunderstanding. You’ll have tact when speaking the truth. Your words will be straightforward without being hurtful.
This chakra can close when faced with tricky interactions. Examples include a bad argument or a difficult job interview. You’ll struggle to say what you want and might feel like you’re trapped by secrets. Or you may feel like people don’t care about what you have to say. Physical problems associated with this blockage are hormone fluctuations and throat pains.
This chakra governs your self-expression.
Third Eye (Anja) Chakra
Element: N/A but associated with ESP
This one is also known as the brow chakra – which is where it’s located. Often it’s depicted as an eye between the brows. This chakra helps you see the bigger picture and hone your intuition.
Opening your third eye gives you insight to the world around you. You’ll pick up on things you might have missed otherwise. This will manifest in being able to trust your gut feelings.
Closing your third eye will make you doubt your purpose. You begin prize rationality over intuition. You’ll struggle with having faith in your sense of a broader purpose and unable to make decisions. In the physical realm, this manifests in a few ways. They may be trouble sleeping, clumsiness, and difficulty learning new things.
As already established, this chakra links to intuition. It also deals with your imagination and wisdom.
Crown (Sahasrara) Chakra
Element: N/A but this chakra relates to thought.
This chakra is our connection to the universe. This chakra rests at the top of our head and manages our spirituality. It’s also referred to as the thousand petal lotus.
Opening this chakra is crucial to creating the life you love and attaining a sense of peace. Working with it is a very subtle process. When you get it right, you’ll feel in tune with the world around you and have a deep sense of joy.
Misalignment is cause by traumatic life experiences. Like the throat chakra this causes you to doubt yourself and your purpose. You’ll struggle to see beauty in the world and feel adrift in a spiritual sense. It will start as a decline in excitement and motivation. Left unchecked, it can develop into symptoms of depression. You may experiences chronic headaches and trouble with coordination.
This chakra empowers our sense of inner and outer beauty.
How to Unblock Your Chakras
There’s a few ways to unblock your chakras. All begin with you learning how they became blocked. When you first start out, this can be daunting. But the more you tune into your chakras, the easier it will get. You’ll begin to identify blockages as they’re forming.
For example, let’s say your throat chakra has a block caused by a bad argument. You must process your feelings and allow yourself to move past the argument. This will help you heal and re-align. Or if your sacral chakra has a block causing digestive issues. By seeking medical help and resolving your digestive problems, you can re-align.
Start by sitting in silence for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing and release tension from your body. You want to spend at least 30 seconds on each chakra. You’ll start with the root chakra and envision a red light spinning and glowing in time with your breathing.
Move up to the next and repeat this process. Each chakra has its own colour, as listed above. For an easy way to remember, it follows the rainbow.
When you reach the crown chakra, the light will be violet. Picture it as beaming from your head out to the cosmos.
If you have troubles at any chakra envisioning the wheel spinning, this is a sign of a blockage. Spend more time at these spots. You can place a hand here and envision negative energy draining away. See Reiki healing below for more info.
Each chakra has at least one stone that will help get things back in line. Some crystals do double time and will work for many chakras (like moonstone). Carry, wear or meditate with crystals to help loosen blocks.
Say aloud affirmations about your chakras.
“I feel my sacral chakra unblocking and inviting change.”
“I feel my crown chakra growing brighter.”
If you’re a beginner to yoga, you can get away with basic moves to align your chakras. As you get more adept (or if you already are), there are specific positions that you can use to remove blockages.
Each chakra has specific foods associated with it. By eating foods linked to a specific chakra, you can loosen any blocks it has. For general care of your chakras, you want to eat colourful meals like salads, soups, and pastas.
This practice works by placing your hands on the troubled chakra. Visualizing negative energy draining out and positive energy refilling the void left behind. You can work on one chakra or progress through all seven.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Using your hands, tap the troubled chakra. Focus on the issues blocking the Chakra as you tap and visualize energy flowing as you go. This method is popular as it’s simple, straightforward, and intuitive.