What is a chakra?
A chakra is an energy point within the body where matter meets energy, which makes these points powerful, influential, and so much more important than many people make them to be. Originating from Buddhism and Hinduism in a hierarchy form from the base of the spine to the crown of the head are what are known as the 7 major chakras; Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown. Each chakra has its own characteristics and responsibilities; however they are all connected in the flow of energy within our bodies. Our energy flow is responsible of almost everything that makes us who we are and is a part of everything that do, think, and say. So, if one or more of the chakras are unbalanced, they can really throw havoc into any aspect of your life because of that intertwined connection.
The following hierarchy of the 7 major chakras are based on Hindu tradition.
The 7 Major Chakras
Diagram of the 7 major chakras in the body.
- Root Chakra: Muladhara (Mūlādhāra) "root support" : The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is responsible for your capability to trust, have security, feel safe, be in touch with your body, and be in the now. The Root Chakra is associated with the color red, the musical note C, the element of earth, and these parts of the body: the blood, skeleton(bone), teeth, leg, foot, and the vertebral column. When balancing and strengthening this chakra these tools can help. These essential oils: black pepper, cedar, cloves, ginger, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood and these yoga poses: Mountain Pose, Warrior Poses, and Savasana.
- Sacral Chakra: Svadhishthana (Svādhiṣṭhāna) "one's own base": The sacral chakra is located in the pelvic region or central lower belly and sex; it is responsible for your capability of starting and keeping relationships, relating to others, emotion, feeling, being apart of the inner and outer worlds, creativity, imagination, and sexual expression. The sacral chakra is directed by the principle of pleasure and is associated with the color orange, the musical note D, the element water, and these parts of the body: kidneys, urinary bladder, genitals, and reproductive system. When balancing and strengthening this chakra the following tools can help; the essential oils: clary sage, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang and these yoga poses: Child's Pose, Dancer's Pose and, Twisted Triangle.
- Solar Plexus Chakra: Manipura (Maṇipūra) "jewel city": The solar plexus chakra is located in the diaphragm region, just above the navel, and is responsible for personal will power, independence, self-discipline, confidence, decision making, intellect (mental abilities), forming beliefs and opinions, personality, judgement clarity, and taking responsibility for one’s own life. The solar plexus chakra is associated with the color yellow, the musical note E, the element fire, and these body parts: adrenal gland, digestive system, large intestine, liver, lungs, pancreas, and stomach. When balancing and strengthening this chakra the following tools can help; the essential oils: chamomile, frankincense, myrrh, rose, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood and these yoga poses: Bow Pose, Warrior Pose, and Warrior Pose II.
- Heart Chakra: Anahata (Anāhata) "unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten": The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, in the heart region, and is responsible for your capability of starting and keeping relationships, empathy, forgiveness, self-love, relating to others, acceptance, transformation, loving others, compassion, grieving, change, and reaching peace. The heart chakra is the center of awareness and helps the integration of insight. It is associated with the color green, the musical note F, the element air, and these body parts: heart, circulatory system, and lungs. When balancing or strengthening this chakra the following tools can help; essential oils: angelica root, chamomile, frankincense, hyssop, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, Melissa, neroli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang and the yoga poses: Cobra Poses, Camel Pose, and Forward Bend Pose.
- Throat Chakra: Vishuddha (Viśuddha) "especially pure": The throat chakra is located in the center of the throat, it is responsible for communication, realizing purpose, good sense of timing, connection to the etheric realm (body, plane) or closest (first, lowest) contact to the physical body, personal expression, truth, propensity to create, and the connection to one’s spirit. It is associated with the color blue, the musical note G, the element of sound, and these body parts: arm, cervical vertebrae, esophagus, mouth, teeth, thyroid, shoulder, vocal folds, trachea, neck, and parathyroid gland. When balancing or strengthening this chakra these tools may help; essential oils: frankincense, jasmine, neroli, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang and the yoga poses: Fish Pose, Lion Pose, Shoulder Stand, Plow Pose.
- Third Eye Chakra: Ajna (Ājñā) "command": The third eye chakra is located in the center of the forehead between the eyebrows, it is responsible for intuition, connection to wisdom, motivating inspiration and creativity, accessing the mystical states (illumination), vision, perception of subtle dimensions, insight, clairvoyance, perception of movements of energy, and clairaudience. This chakra is associated with the color indigo, the musical note A, the supreme element (all the elements in their pure forms, and these body parts: eyes, brain, ears, nervous system, pituitary glands, and pineal glands. When balancing and strengthening this chakra the following tools may help; essential oils: angelica root, bay laurel, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, helichrysum, juniper, marjoram, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver and the yoga poses: Dolphin Pose, Head-to-Knee Pose, and Child’s Pose.
- Crown Chakra: Sahasrara (Sahasrāra) "thousand-pedaled": The crown chakra is located at the top (crown) of the head and is responsible for consciousness, ecstasy, awareness of high power, connection with the formless, transcendence of limitation, realization, communication with the higher state of consciousness, bliss, presence, and the connection with the limitless. This chakra is associated with the color violet, the musical note B, the element of spirit, and these body parts: nervous system, pituitary gland, and pineal gland. When balancing and strengthening the crown chakra some of the following tools can help; essential oils: cedar wood, frankincense, galbanum, gurjun, helichrysum, jasmine, lavender, myrrh, neroli, rose, rosewood,sandalwood, spikenard, vetiver and these yoga poses: Half Lotus Pose, Tree Pose, Supported Headstand, and Corpse Pose.
Tips for Balancing and strengthening UR chakras
IMPORTANT: When balancing and strengthening your chakras, start with the chakra closest to earth, which would be your Root Chakra at the base of the spine, and work your way up one by one until you reach the Crown chakra at the top of the head. This will help build a stable chakra foundation to balance upon. Keep in mind that all the chakras are connected and intertwined, so if one is unbalanced it is likely that come of the others are as well.
As you might have noticed, the chakras share the same or similar responsibilities and characteristics. This is a very important point to grasp on to, because if you focus on just one of the chakras with that unbalanced element you will never reach balance in it's entirety. For example, say you were having a hard time reating to others and/or starting or maintaining relationships, if you were to focus all your strength and balancing exercises solely on one of the two chakras (heart and sacral) that are responsible for relating and relationships you would only be handling half the issue. It is important that when you are going about trying to heal your chakras that you cover the topic at hand completely in all the elements it is connected to. The energy within your body that flows through the chakras is constantly moving and if one of the chakras are off, the negative energy will start to flow towards the others until they are all plagued. When your chakras are off balance or blocked, it can show signs in ways you would never connect it too. A blocked or unbalanced chakra can look like a sickness (flu, cold, viral), a mental episode, an injury, or it could go without symptoms just showing up as an off feeling. This is why it is so important to start discovering our chakras, so we know whether it's really just a physical sickness or an emotional/mental one. You can not treat these emotional sicknesses with medication and that is one way to determine what your feeling really is. If you've started feeling ill in some way and you are doing what you are suppose to in order to cure yourself, but you are not getting any relief, it may be that your sickness is more emotional/mental. Then it's time to start balancing your chakras. Below, are some activities and ways to help balance your chakras:
- There are specific chants for each of the chakras which are unique words, pitch, and meaning to the chakra which it associates with.
- Meditation is one of the most common ways to tap into and balance the chakras. It requires dedication, patience, and discipline to perform.
- Music or musical instruments are great tools to connect to the chakras because each one associates with a specific musical note, which directly connects with its chakra.
- Yoga is a great tool to feel physically connected with the chakras because there are specific poses dedicated to each of the chakras that helps regulate the flow of energy.
- Connecting with nature is one of the biggest helps in balancing and strengthening the chakras. Nature itself is a big staple of what the chakras are all about. The chakras help us with the oneness in ourselves and the oneness of the world and everything in it in relation to us.
- Tai Chi is a great way to get physically in touch with your chakras because it is a physical exercise that connects your body with the energy within it.