Chakra balancing opens up blocked energy centers in the human body. This process releases tension and allows our bodies to function as an integrated whole, letting our physical, spiritual and emotional function at a high capacity.
In Sanskrit medicine, chakras are the energy centers in the human body. They regulate the immune system, emotions, organ function and other aspects of our health. The body has 7 major chakras. Each chakra governs different parts of the body and personality. They influence our spirituality, emotions and mental state. These active energy centers are located in a straight line from your tailbone to the top of your head. Sensitive individuals can feel or see these chakras, just like some people see or feel auras on themselves or others.
When you're having ongoing mental or physical problems, there's a good chance you need some chakra balancing. Negative thoughts, stress, overwork and a bad environment are a few causes of blocked chakras. When a chakra's blocked, you'll feel anxious, tired, depressed and you may feel like life is pointless.Balancing your chakras gives your more energy and improves your attitude about life- you'll be more optimistic and look forward to new experiences. Since opening your chakras involves practicing yoga, meditating, reuniting with nature and other healthy activities, you'll reap benefits beyond balancing any one particular chakra.
Although your body houses thousands of energy hotspots, most people are concerned with the 7 main chakras that run from the base of your spine to the top of your head.
These chakras release physical and mental energy which flows into your body's meridians, or its energy “highways”. Chakras invigorate these meridians, giving your cells, muscles and body organs enough energy for optimal function. Emotional or physical toxins clog the chakras and stop energy from flowing. This blockage causes illness, exhaustion and stress. When you're feeling sick, there's a good chance one or more of the 7 chakras are blocked. If you're interested in how to heal yourself, here's a rundown of the body's main energy centers, where they're located and chakra balancing tips for each one.
Learning more about the different chakras, or energy centers, in our bodies, gives us a better understanding of what causes many health problems. When our energy is blocked, we can become irritable, depressed and anxious, which often leads to physical illness. Even if emotional issues caused by poor chakra balance don't cause serious physical problems, they interfere with our relationships, productivity and sap the joy and energy out of our lives. Here's an overview of the chakras, their properties and how to heal yourself if one or more of these energy centers is blocked.
The first, or root chakra, represents your feelings of security and basic survival issues, such as food, money and shelter. Your first chakra is located in the base of your spine or tailbone. A healthy root chakra establishes a foundation for opening the chakras above it. By maintaining your Muladhara (Sanskrit for the root chakra), you'll strengthen your connection with the Earth and your physical body.
Balancing the root chakra makes you resourceful and gives you the courage to persevere during tough times. Problems with the colon, bladder and feet; eating disorders and prostrate issues in men occur when the 1st chakra is blocked. If you have any of the physical symptoms of a root chakra imbalance, or feel unsafe or insecure in your daily life, work on root chakra balancing with meditation and yoga. The knee to chest, squatting or head to knee pose are excellent choices to open this chakra. Use garnets, bloodstones or other red gemstones to balance this chakra.
The 2nd, or sacral chakra, is located along your spine, about two inches below your belly button. Next to your root, or first chakra, it's the chakra that's most likely to be blocked. Signs that your second chakra needs balancing include guilt for past mistakes, being easily offended and low self-worth. When your sacral chakra is blocked, you're a people-pleaser and may put the needs of others you see as more powerful above your own well-being.
You can help heal the second chakra by practicing a yoga asana called “Hula Hips.” Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder length apart, put your hands on your hips and point toes forward. Place your hands on your hips. Breathe normally and rotate your hips clockwise for 30 seconds, then rotate them counter-clockwise for 30 seconds. As you move, visualize any self-criticism or guilt breaking off, and feel freedom and self-confidence enter your second chakra.
The 3rd chakra, called Manipura in Sanskrit, governs personal power, metabolism and the digestive system. It's located in your solar plexus, or upper abdomen, and affects your personality and how you present yourself to others. When your 3rd chakra is balanced, you'll have power over your thoughts and emotions. Your ego will be neutral – neither strong nor feeble. You'll seek and embrace a life path appropriate for your skills, and radiate warmth and optimism to others.
Individuals need 3rd chakra balancing if they're too stubborn, critical or overly emotional (overactive Manipura) or anxious and emotionally dependant (under-active Manipura). These chakra imbalances may cause weight problems, diabetes, ulcers and poor digestion. Heal the 3rd chakra by reciting the affirmation “I am confident in all I do.” The solar-plexus chakra is associated with the color yellow, and surrounding yourself with yellow flowers or candles will help open up this chakra. You can also heal the 3rd chakra through nature by taking a walk outdoors in the sunshine.
Located in the middle of your chest near your heart, the 4th chakra is commonly referred to as the heart chakra. It's in the center of the 7 chakras, with three body chakras underneath it, and three mind chakras above it. The heart chakra acts as a link between your body and mind. Emotionally, it governs compassion, unconditional love and the sense of belonging. Physically, the 4th chakra oversees your circulation, respiratory system, shoulders, arms, breasts, ribs and hands.
Heart chakra balancing is indicated when an individual refuses to open up to others for fear of being rejected. Other emotional symptoms of an imbalanced 4th chakra include being needy or placing conditions upon a loved one (or any person) and then being upset when he or she doesn't live up to your expectations. Physical symptoms your heart chakra needs balancing include asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart disease, allergies and circulation disorders
To heal yourself of a heart chakra imbalance, practice meditating using the word “raise” and the vowel sound “ay”. Visualize a green light rising from your heart as you meditate, sending energy to your heart, hands, torso and lungs. (The 4th chakra is ruled by the color green). You can also do calming yoga asanas, including the Sliding Door. Sit cross-legged on the floor with palms in front of your chest. Then extend your arms with your palms facing away from each other, similar to a sliding door that's just opened. Exhale as you move your arms out, and inhale as you move them back to the starting position. Repeat this asana for 30 to 60 seconds. If you feel comfortable doing it, you can prolong the exercise for up to three minutes. Any yoga asana designed to strengthen the chest area, including the bow and the cow pose, will help open the heart chakra.
The 5th chakra, also called the throat chakra or Vishuddha, governs honesty, speech and self-expression. Repressing anger or other emotions blocks the throat chakra.
If your throat chakra isn't balanced, you may suffer from tension headaches, neck pain, TMJ or jaw pain, sinus or thyroid problems and emotional blockages such as shyness, shame or trouble expressing yourself. Addictions related to the mouth, such as smoking, alcoholism or overeating, are connected to the 5th chakra.
The 5th chakra is associated with the color blue, so keep lapis, blue opal and other blue colored gemstones near you when meditating. Other chakra balancing tools for Vishuddha include walking in nature under a blue sky. Singing opens up the throat, and it's good for your self-confidence, too. Even if you're not a Broadway belter, don't worry – just using your voice will help balance the 5th chakra and improve your speech and ability to communicate. Practice the Camel, Plow, Fish and other yoga asanas that reduce tension in the throat and neck.
The 6th chakra (also called the 3rd eye) is located between your eyebrows. It regulates intuition, and includes the head, eyes, pituitary gland and the lower half of your brain. Called Anja in Sanskrit, an open 3rd eye chakra enhances your telepathic and clairvoyant ability. It helps you expand your imagination and connect with the universe and your inner self. A balanced 6th chakra is a boon to creativity.
Third eye chakra balancing can be attained through meditation. If you've suffered from a blocked Anja for awhile, you may experience a tingling sensation in the middle of your forehead when you first start meditating. This isn't a cause for worry; it simply means you're opening the chakra. The Dolphin, Child's Pose and other asanas where your forehead is pressed to the floor will open this chakra. Surround yourself with the color indigo or use the gemstones lapis lazuli and amethyst to heal an unbalanced 6th chakra.
The crown chakra, located at the top of the head, is the center for trust and your ability to make a spiritual connection. In Sanskrit, the crown chakra is Sahasrara , or “The Lotus of 1000 Petals.” It bridges our spiritual and earthly life and acts as a conduit to the Divine.
When the 7th chakra is out of balance, you may experience muscular system diseases, ailments of the skeletal system, or skin disorders, such as acne, psoriasis or rosacea. You may feel exhausted without any physical explanation. Constant headaches, depression, and anxiety are other signs of a 7th chakra imbalance.
Methods for crown chakra balancing include meditation, yoga and spending time outdoors in nature. Practicing a full or half lotus, headstand, plow or seated forward bend send oxygen and blood to the head and open this chakra. The color violet is associated with the crown chakra, so use lavender jade, quartz, opalite and amethyst for healing.
Good nutrition and an active lifestyle help keep all your chakras balanced. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps you maintain a healthy weight and increases energy. Walnuts, turkey, salmon and dark chocolate offer depression-busting nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids and the calming amino acid tryptophan. These foods increase serotonin, a mood-stabilizing chemical in the human body. People who suffer from non-clinical depression caused by a root chakra imbalance can benefit from serotonin-enhancing foods. Along with exercise and other healthy habits, it's possible to avoid mild to moderate depression without medication.
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