What are Chakras?
The word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning disk, vortex, or wheel. If we were able to see the chakras we would observe a wheel of energy continuously revolving or rotating. There are 7 main chakras located from the base of your spine to the top of your head.
Every thought and experience you’ve ever had in your life gets filtered through these chakra databases. Each event is recorded into your cells. When chakra energy is blocked, emotional and physical illness can arise.
Negative feelings affect the spin of these chakras, resulting in sickness and disease. These chakras, or energy centers, function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy through our energy system. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, what to feel, and our perception of the world around us.
The chakras interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. There are several in the body, including:
• Cervical plexus – serves the head, neck and shoulders
• Brachial plexus – serves the chest, shoulders, arms and hands
• Lumbar plexus – serves the back, abdomen, groin, thighs, knees, and calves
• Sacral plexus – serves the pelvis, buttocks, genitals, thighs, calves, and feet
• Celiac plexus (solar plexus) – serves internal organs
• Coccygeal plexus – serves a small region over the coccyx
• Auerbach’s plexus – serves the gastrointestinal tract
• Meissner’s plexus (submucosal plexus) – serves the gastrointestinal tract
When you experience any kind of stress, where you feel the stress in your body depends on WHY you feel the stress. The tension or stress in the chakra is detected by the nerves of the plexus associated with that chakra, and then transmitted to the parts of the body controlled by that plexus. For example, perhaps over the years you have felt unable, for one reason or another, to speak your mind, or to express your needs and feelings. This can manifest as a problem in the throat chakra. The throat chakra relates to self-expression. Therefore, if your self-expression has been blocked, the energy in this area will not be free flowing.
To help you better understand how your thoughts or beliefs affect your chakras, I have listed them below along with some other interesting facts.
Chakra 1-The Base or Root Chakra-Associated with the color red
The Root chakra is about feeling at home or comfortable in situations. If it is open, you feel grounded, stable and secure. You generally feel safe in your surroundings. It allows you to connect to the earth energies and really empower you.
This chakra is connected to our need to survive. It drives you to eat, stay safe and protect your loved ones. It is connected with loyalty and honor. Your earliest life experiences are imprinted in the Root chakra.
Out of Balance: When this chakra is out of balance you may feel as if you don’t belong and feel disconnected from others. You could be overly concerned with your personal survival and security. You may feel fearful, anxious or nervous. You could also have feelings on the opposite side of the spectrum where you have a tendency to be greedy or materialistic. How you experience these emotions will depend on what you experienced in your past.
Remember that any past traumatic life experiences from your early years can influence how these thoughts and feelings manifest.
Physical location: Base of spine.
Physical dysfunctions: Lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, hip, knee and leg issues, depression and immune related disorders.
Mental/Emotional issues: Survival, self-esteem, social order, security and family.
Parts of body governed: Spinal column, kidney, feet, legs, rectum and immune system
Since the Root chakra is connected to Earth energy, to help balance it you could sit quietly with your eyes closed taking slow deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. As you do this picture strong roots extending from your feet and bottom tunneling deep into the earth and giving you a strong foundation. Feel that energy flowing freely from the earth up into your body and back down again. Now picture roots extending from the upper parts of your body making their way up into the heavens, again, feel that energy as it flows into your body from the heavens and back. This is great way to feel connected, grounded and safe.
You could add an affirmation like: “I am safe and grounded in the knowledge that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in time.” OR “I am absorbing healing energy from the earth.”
Chakra 2– Sacral or Spleen Chakra-Associated with the color orange
The Sacral chakra is about feeling, creativity and sexuality. When it is open, your feelings flow freely, and are expressed without you being over-emotional. You are comfortable with your sexuality. You are free to create and dream which gives you a strong sense of who you are.
Out of Balance: You may tend to be over emotional or very sensitive. Dealing with change may be difficult which blocks your creativity. You may find yourself frustrated a lot which could make you come across aggressive to others. You feel stuck in your life and feel like you have no control.
Physical location: Just below the belly button in the navel.
Physical dysfunctions: Low back pain, sciatica, OB/GYN issues, kidney issues, urinary problems and libido.
Mental/Emotional issues: Blame, guilt, money, sex, power, control, creativity and morality.
Parts of body governed: Sexual organs, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen and middle back.
Since the Sacral chakra is associated with water, you could sit quietly breathing in through your nose and out your mouth picturing yourself sitting at the base of a beautiful flowing waterfall. The water is just the right temperature and it is gliding down over your body. Just feel the tension and anxiety melt away.
Your affirmation could be: “I am happy with the flow of life” OR “I trust my decisions and allow my passion to flow freely.” OR “I love to be in the flow.”
Chakra 3-Solar Plexus or Navel Chakra- Associated with the color yellow
The Solar Plexus chakra is about self-esteem, confidence and willpower. If it is open you feel confident in who you are. You respect yourself and others. This is where your ego comes from but also your gut instincts. Parental messages are imprinted here. It also holds your beliefs about social expectations. It is where you struggle with who you are compared to what everyone else wants you to be.
Out of Balance: You may fear rejection. Depending on your beliefs you may be manipulative or easily controlled by others. You are following your ego instead of connecting with your higher self.
Physical location: Located between the belly button and bottom of rib cage.
Physical dysfunctions: Stomach ulcers, intestinal tumors, diabetes, pancreatitis, indigestion, anorexia/bulimia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, adrenal imbalances, gallbladder and liver issues, arthritis, colon diseases and food allergies.
Mental/Emotional issues: Self-esteem, fear of rejection, oversensitivity to criticism, self-image fears, fears of our secrets being found out and indecisiveness.
Parts of body governed: Upper abdomen, liver, gallbladder, middle spine, spleen, kidney, adrenals, small intestines and stomach.
The Solar Plexus is associated with fire so in order to help balance it you could sit quietly breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Just allow the things that are troubling you to freely enter your mind and as they do, pretend they are written on pieces of paper which you are throwing into a fire or lighting with a match and watching them turn to ashes.
Your affirmation could be: “Through the fire I turn negative experiences into ashes making room for new and exciting experiences.” OR “I am letting go of all the fear and choose to be confident in my decisions.”
Chakra 4– The Heart Chakra- Associated with the color green
The heart chakra is all about love. If it is in balance you are trusting and compassionate with yourself and others. You openly give and receive love. Loving yourself is important for keeping this chakra in balance.
Out of Balance: You may feel abandoned, grief stricken over a death, divorce or other loss, you may be cold or distant, you may smother people with your love. You may feel really lonely with a lack of joy in your life.
Physical location: Center of chest
Physical dysfunctions: Heart conditions, asthma, lung & breast cancers, thoracic spine, pneumonia, upper back, shoulder problems, high blood pressure and circulatory issues.
Mental/Emotional issues: Love, compassion, confidence, inspiration, hope, despair, hate, envy, fear, jealousy, anger and generosity.
Parts of the body governed: Heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, diaphragm, thymus, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, arms and hands.
The Heart Chakra is associated with air. A great way to help balance this chakra is to sit quietly with your hands over your heart and really focus on your breath. You could picture a really happy memory in your head or someone or something that you are grateful for. As you do this slowly breathe in your nose, out your mouth and try to keep a smile on your face.
Your affirmation could be: “I love myself and others without judgment.” OR “I forgive anyone who has hurt me in the past and send them love.”
Chakra 5– The Throat Chakra- Associated with the color blue
The Throat chakra is where you speak your truth. If it is in balance you clearly express yourself without the fear of what others may think. You are a good listener and can communicate clearly.
Out of Balance: You may feel a lump in your throat or it may feel tight when you are afraid of speaking your truth. You may be a bad listener or speak too much. You may not be able to stand up for yourself. You remain quiet and unable to speak your truth.
Physical Location: In the throat, neck region.
Physical dysfunctions: Sore throat, mouth ulcers, scoliosis, swollen glands, thyroid dysfunctions, laryngitis, throat issues, gum and tooth problems, ear infections, hearing problems, skin irritations, upper back pain and voice problems.
Mental/Emotional issues: Personal expression, creativity, addiction, criticism, faith, decision making (choices) and lack of authority
Parts of body governed: Throat, thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, mouth, teeth, gums and esophagus
The Throat Chakra is associated with Ether (space). When you sit quietly to meditate try to do it outside under a beautiful blue sky or even at night under the stars. While you breathe picture yourself as part of the entire universe and feel the sky embracing you as you feel the air coming into your nose, down your throat and filling your abdomen, energizing each cell. As you exhale feel the air moving up your throat and out your mouth releasing all negative energy.
You may use the affirmations: “I express my feelings clearly and lovingly.” OR “I communicate clearly and empower others with my words.” OR “I always speak my truth.”
Chakra 6– The Third Eye-Associated with the color indigo
The Third Eye is our avenue to wisdom. It allows you to learn from your past experiences and plan for the future. It is where your intuition resides. It gives you a sense of knowing that there is something beyond this world.
Out of Balance: You may have a fear of success. You are unable to tap into your purpose or passion. You may not trust your intuition or question signs that show up to guide you.
Physical Location: Center of the forehead
Physical dysfunctions: Brain tumors, strokes, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, headaches, dizziness, eye strain, cataracts, panic, depression and neurological problems.
Mental/Emotional issues: Fear of truth, discipline, judgment, evaluation, emotional intelligence, concept of reality and confusion.
Parts of body governed: Brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose, pituitary and pineal glands.
There is not an element associated with this chakra so you could just meditate putting your focus on your Third Eye while breathing. With your eyes closed be looking up towards your third eye. Your eyes will feel like they are straining a bit but it should not hurt. You can try one of two things. You could start by visualizing a number 1, when you see that clearly you can keep moving up in numbers until you get to 10. Another method is while focusing on your third eye you can begin to start counting backwards from 100. When you get to 1 just relax your eyes and sit quietly for a few more minutes. Donna Eden’s tip for opening your Third Eye is to use your middle finger placing it over your Third Eye and pulling up, pretending like you are opening the Third Eye. Picture a white beam of light coming up from your Root chakra traveling up your spine and shooting out like a laser light from your Third Eye.
Affirmations you may use are: “I trust in my intuition.” OR “I see my life’s purpose clearly.”
Chakra 7– The Crown Chakra-Associated with the color white
The Crown chakra is your connection with God, the universe, source. When this is in balance you feel more joy, you are often drawn to spiritual teachings and it is easier for you to accept and receive guidance.
Out of Balance: You may have a hard time feeling joy and connecting with the world around you. You may find yourself stuck in the past or worrying about the future. You may feel that material possessions are the meaning of life and what will bring you happiness.
Physical Location: Top of head.
Physical dysfunctions: Depression, diseases of the muscular system, skeletal system and the skin, chronic exhaustion not associated with physical ailments, migraine headaches, sensitivity to light, sound and the environment.
Mental/Emotional issues: Discovery of the divine, lack of purpose, loss of meaning or identity, trust, selflessness, humanitarianism, inability to see the bigger picture, devotion, inspiration, values and ethics.
Parts of the body governed by: Top center of the head, midline above the ears.
In order to help balance the Crown Chakra while you sit in a quiet place and breathe deeply and slowly, just imagine a beautiful flower on the top of your head. Picture the flower slowly blooming and opening up. Now picture a beaming white light shooting out of your head towards the heavens and then that light returning with love.
Your affirmations could be: “I am an infinite being with infinite possibilities.” OR “I am always connected to God.” OR “I allow the light from heavens to flow through me and bring joy and peace to my spirit.”