Chakras are the locations where your body and spirit meet. This idea comes from eighth- century Buddhist teachings which say that there are seven primary points in the body where the subtle body (energy or spirit) and the physical body meet. These subtle points are the channels which your life force moves between your body and your aura. The Chakras are meant to vitalize the body and raise our consciousness to higher levels.
The word “chakra” is ancient Sanskrit and means “wheel”, “circle” or “cycle”. Today, the word chakra has taken on the meaning of a point of physical or spiritual energy in the body.
There are 7 chakras in the body and the 8th chakra is said to be our aura. The upper chakras control our mental, emotional and spiritual states while the lower chakras control the physical, intuitive state.
What is alignment?
Alignment is the balancing of the chakras to make sure that they’re all working properly and energy is not getting stuck somewhere because a chakra is blocked. When energy gets stuck, this typically manifests as a problem in the area which could be anything from depression to digestive issues.
Root Chakra – Muladhara
Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded, feeling safe, supported and taken care of. This chakra also keeps us rooted to family beliefs that help us grow and gives us a sense of belonging, like a tribe. This is a very instinctual chakra that focuses on food, shelter, survival and sex.
This chakra urges to ask the question “who am I in relation to others?” you want to know where you stand and what will be expected of you. This is especially true in a group environment.
When you are out of alignment, you feel scared about everyday things, creating large amounts of anxiety in your body and mind.
When your root chakra is in balance, it helps to remove and recycle negative energies back into the earth leaving you with positive energies. But if the chakra is out of alignment, then your chakra can’t recycle the negative energies and they stay inside of you.
Location: Base of spine in your tailbone area
Mental Imbalances: Survival issues such as financial independence, overeating compulsion, food security, lack of stability in childhood will impact your survival instincts into adulthood, scattered energies, anxiety, and fear, over compensation based on a sense of lack
Physical Imbalances: lower back pain, varicose veins, anemia, colon or large intestine issues, IBS, leg, knee and feet problems, sciatica, fibromyalgia, immune system problems, under eating or over eating, lower body weight gain
Ways to Balance the Root Chakra:
Foods: beets, parsnips, rutabaga, apples, pomegranates, protein, cloves, marjoram,
Crystals: fire agate, tigers eye, hematite, carnelian, bloodstone
Aromatherapy: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Myrrh
Yoga poses: Tree Pose, Goddess Pose, Bridge Pose, Warrior One, Triangle Pose, Side Angle Pose, Mountain Pose, Standing Forward Bend and Eagle Pose
Affirmation: I am strong, safe and happy
Mantra: lam (L-a-a-a-a-m)
Activities: dancing, walking outside, gardening, do something that makes you feel grounded
Sacral Chakra – SVADHISHTHANA
Our connection and ability to accept others that are outside of our family or tribe. It’s about exploring life and relationships with creative and sexual energies.
This chakra is all about breaking free an discovering the world for ourselves. What do we like, what don’t we like, it’s about being an individual and less about “being part of the pack”.
Once we know this information, we are able to interact with people authentically and not just try to imitate others or do what we think is expected of us. We learn that all relationships have something to teach us, whether they be joyful or painful.
This is also the ‘sexy chakra’ because sex is based on relationships that we have with others. Expressing yourself sexually is also a form of freedom and spiritual liberation when we let go of our fears and enjoy the experience.
Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.
Mental Imbalances: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality, lack of or repressed creativity, withheld intimacy, emotional isolation.
Physical Imbalances: infertility, hip pain, sexual dysfunction, emotional imbalances, creative block, low confidence, lack of motivation, not wanting to express yourself, urinary tract problems, chronic lower back pain, spleen and lymphatic system problems, low blood pressure, arthritis, and hip issues
Ways to Balance the Sacral Chakra:
Foods: seeds, nuts, oranges, carrots, pumpkins, wheat, rice
Crystals: citrine, carnelian, fire opal
Aromatherapy: ylang ylang, rose, sweet orange, tangerine, patchouli, helichrysum
Yoga Poses : Standing Wide Forward Bend, Sitting Wide Forward Bend, Bound Angle Pose, Dancer Pose, and Supine Bound Angle Pose
Affirmation: creativity flows through me
Mantra: vam (v-a-a-a-a-m)
Activities: Get moving! Anything that moves you whether it’s dancing or working out, or even just going for a walk.
Solar Plexus/ Navel Chakra -MANIPURA
This chakra is about you. The previous chakras were about external forces, family and relationships, but the third chakra begins to bring things inwards, towards our self. It’s about getting in touch with our intuition and accepting ourselves.
If we do not fully accept and love ourselves, we are not able to show up in relationships and be treated the way we should be treated. We allow others to walk all over us. But when we can fully love and accept ourselves, we begin to set new standards and other swill innately follow these rules because they’re in the energy that we put out.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
Mental Imbalances: Self-worth, self-confidence, low self-esteem, control issues, lack of confidence, procrastination, manipulative tendencies and misuse of power, fear of rejection, inability to stand up for what we believe in, being a push over, inner conflicts and fear.
Physical Imbalances: gas, bloating, liver issues, stomach ulcers, eating disorders, kidney issues, food allergies, food addiction and weight gain, diabetes, hypoglycemia, gallstones, celiac, sugar cravings, acid reflux, IBS and other stomach related issues.
Ways to Balance the Solar Plexus Chakra:
Foods: yellow peppers, yellow lentils, yellow squash, oats, spelt
Crystals: Yellow citrine, chrysoberyl, golden rutilated quartz, tigers’ eye, topaz, yellow tourmaline
Aromatherapy: Rosemary, ginger, lemon, clary sage, juniper and geranium
Yoga Poses: warrior pose 1,2, &3, boat pose, backbends, half twist, and anything that builds heat, cow pose, camel pose
Affirmation: surrender to the universe
Mantra: ram (r-a-a-a-a-m)
Activities: practice self-love in everything that you do. Try standing in front of a mirror and say to yourself “I love you” while looking yourself in the eyes. Bonus points if you do this naked!
Heart Chakra —ANAHATA
The Heart Chakra connects the lower 3 chakras with the higher 3 chakras in the body. It’s all about emotions and compassion, for ourselves and others. Let go of your control and surrender to love.
This chakra teaches us that if we can love unconditionally, we will be able to let go of negative energies and flow. We can be happy because we are becoming love.
Location: Center of chest just above the heart.
Mental Imbalances: depression, difficulty in relationships, despair, fear, jealousy, inability to forgive others, be in or create an abusive relationship, and lack of self discipline. You might also be afraid to follow your heart, loneliness and commitment issues.
Physical Imbalances: heart and lung problems, asthma, allergies, circulatory system problems, blood pressure issues, chest or breast issues, upper back, shoulders arms and hand issues
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Balance the Heart Chakra:
Foods: broccoli, kale, chard, and all other leafy greens, green peppers, cucumber, cabbage
Crystals: malachite, emerald, rose quartz, peridot, lavender kunzite
Aromatherapy: rose, bergamot, Melissa, neroli, or thyme
Yoga Poses: camel, cobra, fish, head to knee forward bend
Affirmation: give and you shall receive
Mantra: yam (Y-a-a-a-a-m)
Activities: Anything that connects you with your inner child and brings back the innocence that you felt as a child. See wonder in the world again and view the world with a curiosity instead of fear and pain.
Throat Chakra – VISHUDDHA
The throat chakra asks you to have the willingness to accept your personal power. The power that you have over decisions that you make. Express yourself authentically and let your voice be heard. But remember that every thought, word, or action has an energy to it. This energy affects you as well as others.
Mental Imbalances: Communication, self-expression of feelings and the truth, shyness, being withdrawn, arrogance, self-righteousness, complaining, inability to listen to others and increased anxiety.
Physical Imbalances: thyroid disease, frequent sore throat, neck and jaw problems, TMJ, ear or hearing problems, respiratory issues, problems with the mouth, joint problems, scoliosis
How to Balance the Throat Chakra:
Foods: blueberries, blue raspberries, figs, kelp
Crystals: turquoise, aquamarine, azurite
Aromatherapy: eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, rosemary
Yoga Poses: fish, plow, lion, shoulder stand, bridge, bow, sitting forward bend
Affirmation: I am myself and no one else
Mantra: ham (h-a-a-a-a-m)
Activities: do things that light you up. Who cares what others think, you enjoy it, so do it. Embrace your authentic self by writing out a list of things that you like and do at least one of those things each week.
Third Eye Chakra – AJNA
The Third eye asks you to open yourself up to the Universe to be able to see the bigger picture. Trust that your intuition will guide you, but you need to begin to tap into that intuition and use it more.
Decipher what you truly believe and what society and culture has pushed upon you. They may be the same or they may be different. This chakra is about figuring out the beliefs that drive your authentic self and opening up to them.
Realize that it is you mind that it holding you back from doing things. You are a spiritual being having a human experience and you have the ability to do all the things, if you put your mind to it.
Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
Mental Imbalances: Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions, cynical, too attached to logic, depression, poor intuition, anger, bitterness, jealousy, resentment, lack of direction and lack of clarity. You may not want to face yourself and acknowledge your truth due to fear.
Color: Indigo/dark blueish purple
Physical Imbalances: poor eyesight, hormonal imbalances, nervous system disorders, seizures, brain related issues, insomnia, headaches or migraines, nose and sinus issues, ear issues, learning disabilities, panic disorders
How to Balance the Third Eye Chakra:
Foods: purple potatoes, blackberries, plums, grapes, bay leaves, mint
Crystals: lapis lazuli, amethyst, purple fluorite
Aromatherapy: clary sage, bay, helichrysum, frankincense, basil, almond blossom or jasmine
Yoga Poses: child’s pose, seated yoga mudra, plow, downward dog, lotus pose
Affirmation: I trust my intuition
Mantra: aum (a-a-a-u-u-m) or Sham
Activities: trust your gut. Start out with silly things if you are unsure of how it feels, then when you know how it feels and the results, you will be able to trust your gut on bigger things.
Crown Chakra – SAHASRARA
The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. It represents the states of consciousness and divine connection. This is the entry point for energy to enter into the body’s system from the Universe. This chakra motivates us to seek a deeper connection to the divine in all things that we do.
Please remember that spirituality is different from religion. Religion is about group followings which suggest safety in numbers. Spirituality is an induvial experience where you release fears of the physical world and discover the innate power of spirit.
Location: The very top of the head.
Mental Imbalances: cynicism, disregarding what is saved, closed mindedness and disconnection with spirit, belief that happiness comes from external sources,
Color: Purple or Violet
Element: Cosmic energy
Physical Imbalances: issues with sleep/wake cycle, feeling disconnected from your body or others, difficulty meditating, headaches, migraines, dizziness, spinal chord issues, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, memory related diseases, epilepsy, hallucinations, Unexplained depression, anxiety, fatigue not related to a physical issue.
How to Balance your Crown Chakra
Crystals: diamond, clear quarts, gold, Celestite, Blue Sapphire
Yoga Poses: Headstand, Crane Pose, Shoulderstand, tree, eagle
Affirmation: My true self comes through when I let go of ego.
Aromatherapy: Ylang Ylang, Rosewood, Sandalwood, and Lotus of the Water Lily
Mantra: Ang (a-a-a-a-n-g) or Om
Activities: Meditation, getting outside, Kundalini Yoga