Updated: Nov 25, 2020
You may, or may not be familiar with the term Chakras. Perhaps you heard them being mentioned in passing, or your teacher referred to them in Sanskrit language during a yoga class...or maybe it is still just one of those words you hear and shrug your shoulders having little concept of! We've all been there so don't worry.
My intention here today, is to break down and help you gain a clearer and more simplistic understanding of our Chakra system. To give insight on each of the main Chakras, where they are located, organs they represent, as well as the emotions associated with same. I will discuss the imbalances associated with the main 7 Chakras, and how you can recognise these showing up in your own life and body. And finally; how we can go about clearing and healing any blockages or stagnant energies within these areas, restoring and bringing us back to a state of equilibrium.
I personally, have been fascinated by the Chakra system and the importance of this energetic system over the past number of years, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to put to paper in simplistic terms what the Chakra System is and how it operates. The Chakras are quite a fundamental part to my Reiki healings and where I often get asked Qs by my clients. It is also a case of more often than not, the imbalanced Chakras which do come up during our treatments and the messages I receive, heavily resonate and match with what is currently being experienced by my clients in their lives i.e. past or present trauma, illness and an array of emotions and behavioural patterns.
During my Reiki energy healings I always begin the session with my clients by carrying out a Chakra Assessment to understand where there may be any blockages, stagnant energies or debris that need clearing. During this assessment, I use my pendulum to work with my clients energy and it will swing in either direction just above the clients Chakras and indicate whether each particular Chakra is clear and healthy, or, if there is a blockage present or need for some clearing. An overactive Chakra can also be present and these also needs to be addressed. Understanding this mind-body energy system is essential for becoming the most vibrant, healthy, and radiant version of ourselves.
So let's start of by explaining the Chakra system. Just like our 11 systems in the human body i.e. circulatory, digestive, respiratory and so on, we also have the Chakra energy system. Why is this rarely noted or spoken about when we discuss the human body you may ask? So yes, as the Chakra system is based on energy and is not tangible as such, most of the time it is overlooked, however, the Chakra system is incredibly important and certainly one we as a human race need to be made much more aware of...after all "everything" on this beautiful planet is made up of energy...including our bodies.
The Chakra system is basically our energy centres and each of these energy centres are associated with certain glands, organs, and govern certain body parts. They are also associated with certain emotions and I will go into this in much more detail later on.
When we visualise the Chakra system it helps to think of each of the main 7 Chakras as spinning wheel like vortexes. Each Chakra spinning in circular motion when fully aligned and in perfect health. As each Chakra energy centre spins, it takes in universal life force energy/prana/chi to the body which is its main function and allows us to be physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy and aligned.
Another way I like to help my clients to visualise how our Chakra system works is to stand up and visualise a cylinder pipe running straight down from the crown of our head, down through our spine to our heels. When energy is flowing smoothly it is able to enter and flow freely up and down this energy pipe from above and below. If, however, the energy is getting stuck due to blockages and debris, pebbles and mud caused by illness, pain, emotional trauma, (heart ache, anger, resentment, guilt, fear) and so on, then the energy is unable to move up or down "the cylinder pipe" or our bodies freely. When blockages occur, so too do issues start to appear; illness, pain, depression, relationship patterns and many many more symptoms of dis-EASE show up in our lives. No matter how much we try to suppress and push these issues and emotions down, they are going to continue to show up in our lives one way or another until we have healed them.
This is where Reiki energy healing and many other modalities can assist as they allow the Reiki (Universal life force energy) to flow where it needs to go most, shifting through each of the Chakras bringing balance and restoring our 4 bodies, the physical body, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is very important to know that we can do many things ourselves to bring healing and balance back, such as yoga asanas for each Chakra, meditations, being out in nature to name but a few. Again, once I walk us through each Chakra, I will include some useful tips for maintaining a healthy balance.
So with out further-ado let's begin from our base and lowest Chakra which is referred to as:
The Root Chakra
or in Sanskrit language known as (Muladhara) Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base". The Root Chakra is one of our foundation and lower Chakras and as you can see illustrated in the picture, it is represented by the colour Red and Element of Earth. It is located between the perineum and the coccyx or the pelvic bone.
Represents: Stability, security, and our basic physical needs for human survival in this life. This Chakra is comprised of whatever grounds us and brings stability. This includes our basic needs such as food, water, shelter, safety, as well as our emotional needs of interconnection, and being fearless. When these needs are met, we feel grounded and safe, and we tend to worry less day to day. A solid foundation is needed just like it is important when building a home as the foundation is what will hold together and allow for the rest of the Chakras further up the body to open and remain in balance.
Imbalances of the Root Chakra: An imbalance can be triggered from when we were a child when our basic needs were perhaps not met. As a child, If we felt safe and secure, loved and were able to trust those around us and had the basic needs, then it is less likely there will be a blockage here. However, as a child if we did not feel safe, were not provided with those basic needs or we were unable to trust then it is more likely the root Chakra has suffered blockages here. If there is an imbalance in the root Chakra we may experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares, lack of physical energy and feelings of being ungrounded. In a constant state of fight or flight mode. Money issues. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. Also, In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders can also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.
Do you feel anxious, ungrounded or have a lack of energy?
How we can bring balance and open up our root Chakra:
Spend time in nature, walk bare footed when possible, sit in stillness to listen to the birds and trees, feel the breeze inhale the scents and breathe in all that beautiful Mother Earth abundantly provides for us each day.
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra LAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
Affirmations: "I am grounded, I am safe, I am protected and all is well". Repeating throughout the day and as needed. " I deserve the best that life has to offer me, abundance flows with ease and my needs are always met"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Malasana (Seated Squat), Janu Srirasana (Head to knee forward bend) and Balasana (Childs pose).
Surrounding yourself with red daily; eating vibrant red foods and wearing red coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include: garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline, and bloodstone. You can place the gemstone on the area of the chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 2nd Chakra is referred to as the:
or in Sanskrit (Svadhisthana) meaning “the dwelling place of the self,” is also known as the creativity and sexual chakra. The Sacral Chakra is also one of our lower Chakras and as you can see in the picture, is represented by the colour Orange and Element of Water which equals cohesiveness. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel, and encompasses the genital region and the hypogastric plexus.
Represents: What makes life truly wonderful and pleasurable. Feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, joy, sensual expression and creativity. One of the main focuses of the sacral chakra is our creativity - both reproducing as well as our own personal creativity. As humans, it is part of our nature to create, however, since post childhood a lot of our creativity flow has been lying dormant as we were perhaps told or believed that we were simply not good enough and so we shut our creative energies down. When we use our creative energy – whether it is through painting, baking, gardening, building, or even finding a new solution to an old problem, we are opening up our second chakra. Creativity is not about failing once and giving up, it's about trying again and again and continuing to create and bring into our lives what we want and truly deserve. Other than creativity, maintaining a healthy sex life and honouring and respecting our body is essential. Getting in touch with our emotions and understanding if there are any feelings we are holding onto and then committing to processing these emotions in a healthy way.
Imbalances of the Sacral Chakra: When this Chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions. Any issues of any sexual kind, UTIs, difficulty getting into the creative flow, guilt, anti social behaviour, selfishness, lustful or being unable to truly accept ourselves.
Do you experience creative blocks, have intimacy issues or do you feel you have an inability to flow with change in your life?
How we can bring balance and open up our sacral Chakra:
Get creative. Draw, paint, write, build, create, bake, cook have fun and just let those creative energies open and flow.
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra VAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
Affirmations: "My creative energies flows with such ease and grace and I honour and feel so good about my body and my sexuality". and "I am worthy, I am deserving and I am open to receiving all the pleasure that my mind, body and spirit desires"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold). Also using the Nadi Shodhana breathing technique to restore balance.
Surrounding yourself with orange daily; eating vibrant orange foods and wearing orange coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include carnelian, orange coral, orange agate or jasper on the area of the Chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 3rd Chakra is referred to as the:
Solar - Plexus
or in Sanskrit language known as Manipura, which means “lustrous gem.”The Solar - Plexus Chakra is third of the lower Chakras and is represented by the colour Yellow and the Element of Fire.It is located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone.
Represents: A source of self confidence, personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. The Solar - Plexus Chakra also controls our metabolism and digestion. When you feel confident, when you listen to your gut instinct, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your Solar - Plexus Chakra is open, healthy and in balance. Having clear goals, desires, and intentions allows you to move forward and achieve them. Each small step you take towards your goals while honouring the larger intention help to strengthen your Solar - Plexus. You can harness the power of the Solar Plexus to assert your will in a healthy way and achieve any goal that you set out to accomplish.
Imbalances of the Solar - Plexus Chakra: low self esteems and an overall lack of confidence, digestion issues, indecisiveness and no self discipline or feeling powerless. You may have a difficult time manifesting your desires and bringing them into fruition. Diabetes, adrenals and anything digestion related. Are you constantly wishing your life or certain aspects were different?....if the answer is yes, then answer yourself truthfully, what are you doing to change it? If the answer is "nothing" then what small baby steps can you take that will serve you and start pointing you towards your North Star?
Do you struggle with self confidence, lack of willpower to push through or a fear of rejection?
How we can bring balance and open up our Solar - Plexus Chakra:
Draw back your personal power. What is it you want to achieve? Write these down by journalling every day. Visualise them, feel them, touch them, believe in them, live them and bathe in the joy and happiness these brings in to your life. Meditate on your desires like they are already yours, bringing them into your physical reality. When you can visualise and write them down you are sending energy out to the Universe that it is already done and they are already yours.
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra RAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
Affirmations: "I am worthy, I am deserving and I AM ENOUGH, I am more than enough ". and "I am being fully supported and cared for by the Universe, my angels and guides, and everything that I desire flows with complete ease into my life"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Navasana (Boat Pose), Plank Pose and Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 3 Pose).
Surrounding yourself with yellow daily; eating vibrant yellow foods and wearing yellow coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones and citrine on the area of the chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 4th Chakra is referred to as the:
or in Sanskrit language known as (Anahata), which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the pains and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists. The Heart Chakra is represented by the colour Green and the Element of Air. It is located at the centre of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts.
Represents: Flowing in a state of self love and expressing the love we give out to and receive from others. When our heart Chakra is open and healthy we are in a state of gratitude and have compassion, kindness and forgiveness, letting go of wrong doings inflicted upon us. We feel free and our vibrations are high. We are in a state of peace and contentment and do not judge, compare or put down others. Life understandably has it's ups and downs but we, for the most part choose to live in the moment and take the downs as lessons which we can learn from. We are in a state of flow and choose to feel good because simply; it feels good to feel good! Relationships tend to be healthy and there is a balance of give and take. Release fear, anger, guilt and judgement, and embrace love, light, compassion and kindness.
Imbalances of the Heart Chakra: Anger, hatred towards ourselves or others, resentment, jealously, guilt, fear, grief and heartache and loss. When there are issues around self love this can in turn cause difficulty in attracting love or healthy and fulfilling relationships. Can also lead to loneliness, lack of emotional fulfilment and keeping unhealthy or toxic people in our lives. A closed or blocked Heart Chakra can result in heart and respiratory disease as well as upper back pain.
Thought for self: Taking a few moments in silence to think through - are you holding on to any hurt, any anger or resentment for others from your past or present that simply does not serve you? If you answered yes, why do you allow this hurt to continue to unnecessarily make "you" suffer? By letting these emotions go, you’re able to be free, open your heart to new relationship and new experiences with compassion, love, and understanding. Holding onto this hurt prolongs negative feelings and prevents you from opportunities and truly moving forward. We may think we cannot forgive, but letting go is as easy as making a choice. All you need to ask is "Do you want to hold on to this pain or anger in your heart, or, will you release this, let it go from your life so you can be at peace and chose more loving and positive thoughts, which will in turn, re-open your heart and guide you to happiness.
Do you experience difficulties in any of your relationships? Do you feel a lack of compassion or do you still hold resentment when thinking of certain individuals or experiences you have encountered?
How we can bring balance and open up our Heart Chakra:
Meditate and bring in the pillar of light: Closing your eyes, send loving and healing green light and energy to your heart. Allow that beautiful healing energy to expand beyond your physical body and send this light out to everyone. Both those who you love and those you have wronged you, thank them for these lessons and let it go. Bring yourself to a time or a place that makes you so incredibly happy and filled with love. Be there, see it, feel it, breath it in. Embrace all those who are there and in all that love that surrounds you, allow it to open and expand your heart Chakra then moving up to your higher Chakras and all the way down your body, beaming through every single cell of your being.
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra YAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
Affirmations: "I let go of all pain and anything or anyone that no longer serves me and I chose love and light, I AM LOVE AND I AM LIGHT ". "Miracles are seen in light and I chose to see in light because I believe in miracles. Everywhere I go I bring light". "I call upon the Violet flame of St Germaine to arise and sing in my heart of hearts and all that it brings. Burning through any cords, contracts, fears or negative energies or patterns that no longer serve me"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Warrior 1 with heart opening backbend, Wheel pose and Anahatasana.
Surrounding yourself with green daily; eating vibrant green foods and wearing green coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include rose quartz, emerald, malachite and green tourmaline on the area of the Chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 5th Chakra is referred to as the:
or in Sanskrit language known as Vishuddha meaning "especially pure". Represented by the colour Blue and Element Ether. The Throat Chakra governs the anatomical regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx.
Represents: To be open and aligned in the Throat chakra is to be authentic; speaking, listening, and expressing ourselves from a higher form of communication. Faith and understanding combine the essence of the Throat Chakra. Being able to speak our truth without fear of being judged or not accepted and not biting our tongue or holding back. Not saying what you think others want to hear, or saying yes to something when your gut actually wants to say no or vice versa.
The Throat Chakra is also the first of the upper and spiritual chakras. When our first four chakras are open and aligned this will assist in bringing balance to our throat Chakra. For example, the first two chakras help prevent against the feeling of fear, the third chakra being associated with our personal power so this gives us the confidence to speak our truth. The Heart Chakra then when opened, allows us to speak our true desires and words from a place of love, compassion and kindness.
Imbalances of the Throat Chakra:
If your throat chakra is out of balance or there is a blockage, this may manifest as difficulty in communicating and being able to openly express your feelings. You may over talk just to fill in the gaps, or, the opposite where you may feel you lose your voice in certain groups or settings. Potential for over reacting, stubborn beliefs, manipulative, deceptive, criticism, indecision, and mood swings. Thyroid problems, a sore throat or stiff neck, and tooth and gum issues may also be a sign of a fifth chakra imbalance.
Do you struggle at times communicating openly, speaking your truth and being able to express how you "really" feel?
How we can bring balance and open up our Throat Chakra:
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra HAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
Affirmations: "I express myself from a place of truth and love. I am authentic and I am able to openly communicate with others"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Cat - Cow with Lions breath, Plow pose (Halasana), and Fish pose (Matsyasana). Also practicing the Uijayi breath during practice.
Surrounding yourself with blue daily; eating vibrant blue foods (blueberries, blue currents and dragon fruit) and wearing blue coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include blue Kyanite, blue topaz, aquamarine, celestite, lapis lazuli on the area of the Chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 6th Chakra is referred to as the:
or in Sanskrit language known as (Ajna) meaning "beyond wisdom" Represented by the colour Indigo and Element Light. The Third-Eye Chakra is located in the space between the eyebrows. It encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain.
Represents: The Third-Eye Chakra is a spiritual Chakra and is centred around our intuition. Within this Chakra we are lead to a deeper knowing within us which if we allow and are open, will let it guide us. Just like animals, they know how to gather food and sense danger as well as certain weather patterns. We too can tap into our 6th sense when our Third-Eye is awake. When open, we also expand our imagination, visualisation, clairvoyance, telepathy, and dreaming. The more open we can be the stronger our intuition will guide us forward along our life's journey, assisting us in making the best decision for our greatest and highest good.
Imbalances of the Third-Eye Chakra
When our Third-Eye is blocked we use and rely only on the mind, intellect, and ego when making our decisions. We tend to make decisions based only, on what we can see, hear and feel, smell and taste. However when open, we tend to take the time to tap into our guidance as we may sense for example in certain situations something "just feels off". That is our guidance and intuition leading us and showing that if something does or does not feel right then it's because that is in fact the case!
When the Third-Eye feels blocked you may experience poor intuition, lack of concentration, impaired judgment, confusion, or depression. Physical imbalances may manifest as headaches, trouble sleeping or insomnia, or nightmares.
Do you have difficulties in decision making and feel as though you have poor intuition and a lack of inspiration flowing?
How we can bring balance and open up our Third-Eye Chakra:
Simply begin to pay attention when it comes to a hunch or a subtle feeling of moving forward or holding back. If you are conflicted, close your eyes and ask your sense of intuition to be opened in order to aid you in making the right choice.
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra SHAM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
With the Third-Eye being associated with the element of light, sit in stillness in the sunshine or relax and read in a sun-filled room.
Affirmations: "I can trust my intuition and know that I am being divinely guided by my inner wisdom" . and "I am in tune with my intuition and know that love, light and joy follow as a result of my inner guidance".
Doing Yoga asanas such as Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana), Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana), Wide-Legged Forward Bend - with Big Toe Grab if available to you (Prasarita Padottanasana), Childs Pose (Balasana).
Surrounding yourself with indigo/purple daily; eating foods such as blackberries, purple cabbage, grapes, figs and raisins and wearing purple coloured clothing and jewellery.
Crystals which can be used include moonstone, star sapphire amethyst, lapis lazuli, and azurite on the area of the chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
The 7th and final Chakra is referred to as:
The Crown Chakra
or in Sanskrit language known as (Sahasrara) meaning the "thousand-petal lotus chakra" . Represented by the colour Violet and all Elements. The Crown Chakra is located at the crown of the head.
Represents: The Crown Chakra is our source of enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. Here we hold a connection beyond our physical bodies and the physical realms. The Crown Chakra is a connection to our higher selves, a knowing that there is no separation and that we are all one and the same. An understanding of the divine energy that created us and everything in this universe, and most importantly, that we are souls having a human experience on this earth at this time.
True opening of Crown Chakra means the realisation that you are pure awareness. You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it.
Imbalances of the Crown Chakra:
Feeling uninspired, not going with the flow of life, not knowing your path or your journey, confused about your path and your purpose. Whats the point of living. Disconnection from earth, depression, closed off to divine guidance, spacey ungrounded, indecisive, alienated.
Do you experience a feeling of loneliness or at times despair, do you have little to no connection to spirit?
How we can bring balance and open up our Crown Chakra:
Meditate to the sound of the Mantra OM, chanting where possible over and over out loud or in silence.
There are two Pranayama breathing techniques you can do before meditation which are Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) as outlined for the Sacral Chakra, and Kapalabhati (skull shining breath).
Affirmations: " I am connected with source energy and I am as one with my higher self and with spirit. I am here to serve a devine plan"
Doing Yoga asanas such as Down-ward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Warrior1 with Eagle Arms ( Virabhadrasana 1 with Garudasana Arms) and Corpse Pose (Savasana).
Surrounding yourself with violet daily wearing violet coloured clothing and jewellery; there are no foods recommended here but only feeding our Crown Chakra with nourishing goodness that is meditation, prayer, journalling and self reflection.
Practice of the "Choose again" method. Of always reaching for a loving thought over fear and ego. Stoping the ego thought and forgiving yourself then reaching for the next best vibrational thought.
Crystals which can be used include clear quartz, amethyst, purple fluorite, apophyllite, sapphire on the area of the Chakra while lying down to help open and bring balance.
So, this brings us to the end of our learnings on our Chakra system, but, only for today. The true beauty here is, that the learnings are never ending. As you continue journeying on this beautiful path of discovery on this magnificent and energetic Chakra system, you will discover and learn so much more not only about the theoretical elements but also about yourselves.
The more you learn and understand, the more synchronicity and balance you can bring into your everyday life, and to the lives of others. So take these learnings, but continue to be curious, to be open and to start tapping into these Chakra balancing practices, bringing them into your everyday life and you too, can realise just how transformational these practices can be.
Love and Light
Additional resources: For aligning all Chakras check out Joe Despenza's Mediation - Blessing of the Energy Centres - https://youtu.be/W0fG4ZKrVkA -