I have known about the seven main chakras for a long time, but recently I have developed a raised awareness of chakras, which has allowed me to make some positive changes and to more clearly set some intensions for my life. This process of learning to keep the energy flowing freely through the chakras has helped me to discover a whole new way of "being in the world," and I am so excited to share some basics about chakras with you! So let's dive right in.
What are Chakras?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates literally to "wheel" or "disk." The Chopra Center describes a chakra as "a swirling wheel of energy...this invisible energy, called Prana, is a vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive."
Prana is healing energy that surrounds us and flows through the chakras. When our chakras are open, and this energy is flowing freely through them, we feel balanced and grounded; but if there is a blockage in one or more of the chakras, it can lead to physical, mental, and/or emotional issues.
The seven main chakras are aligned along the spine, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each of these chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs and is also related to our emotional, psychological, and spiritual states of being. The chakras are associated with specific colors and elements as well.
So let's look at each of the seven major chakras and learn more about how it feels when they are open- and when they are not.
The Chakras of Matter: Root, Sacral, and Solar Plexus Chakras
The first three chakras, starting at the bottom of the spine, are known at the "chakras of matter" because they are more physical in nature than the chakras located in the neck and head.
Location: base of the spine, pelvic floor, and first three vertebrae
The root (first) chakra is considered the chakra of stability, security, and survival. This "foundational" chakra makes you feel grounded, safe, and less weighed down by worries when it is open. It is also related to those things that allow you to feel secure, including physical needs like food, water, sleep, and shelter, as well as emotional needs like letting go of fear.
When it's blocked: Blockages in the root chakra can manifest themselves as physical problems, such as issues with the colon, bladder, lower back, legs, or feet. On a psychological or emotional level, a blocked root chakra may surface in the form of anxiety, fears, or nightmares; lacking a sense of security can also lead to an aversion to taking risks.
Location: above the pubic bone and below the navel
Being associated with the element of water, the sacral (second) chakra's energy is characterized by flexibility and flow. The sacral chakra is responsible for our sexual and creative energies and is at the center of our feelings, emotions, and sensations. It allows you to enjoy life through your senses and helps you to experience and feel the world around you.
When your sacral chakra is open, you experience feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. Expressing yourself creatively can help keep energy flowing freely through this chakra.
When it's blocked: A blocked sacral chakra might appear as urinary or kidney problems; hip, pelvic, or low back pain; or sexual issues. Emotionally, it can lead to depression, addiction-like behaviors, fear of change, or difficulty expressing emotions or committing to relationships.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Location: from just above the navel to about the ribcage
The third chakra's name means "lustrous gem" in Sanskrit (don't you just love that?!). This chakra governs our metabolism and digestion and is said to contain the digestive fire, or agni. The third chakra also relates to individual power, personal will, and taking action.
When this chakra is open, you'll have a sense of self-respect and self-compassion. You may also feel assertive and confident.
When it's blocked: Blockages or imbalances in the solar plexus chakra may lead to various digestive issues. Mental and emotional problems can include low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, or anger or control issues. You may also experience fears of rejection or criticism.
The Fourth Chakra: The Heart Chakra
Location: heart center
The heart (fourth) chakra unites the chakras of matter and the chakras of spirit (the three upper chakras- see below) and is considered a meeting place of the physical and the spiritual. The heart chakra contains the heart, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. This chakra relates to love, compassion, forgiveness, and connection.
Having an open heart chakra will allow you to feel love, compassion for others, joy, and gratitude; love flows out freely and is also easily returned.
When it's blocked: A blocked heart chakra can lead to physical issues of the lungs or heart, upper back or shoulder problems, or arm and wrist pain. Emotionally, blockages can lead to holding grudges or having difficulty forgiving others, jealousy, grief, or anger.
The Chakras of the Spirit: Throat, Third Eye, and Crown Chakras
Element: ether (space)
The throat (fifth) chakra contains the neck, thyroid and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue, and it rules our communication. The throat chakra is the source of expression and the ability to speak and communicate our highest truth. It includes two-way communication and determines our ability to listen to others as well our ability to speak our truth.
An open throat chakra allows you to state your feelings in an honest, but compassionate, way. You will also be able to listen well to others.
When it's blocked: Imbalances can lead not only to difficulty speaking your truth, but also to having trouble with focus and attention. You may also fear judgment from others or feel a lack of power and choice. Physical problems can include a sore throat, neck and shoulder tightness or stiffness, and/or tension headaches.
Third Eye Chakra
Location: between the eyebrows
Element: ether (space)
The third eye (sixth) chakra includes the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. This chakra governs intuition and our ability to tap into it; it is also believed to serve as a bridge between you and the outside world.
When your third eye chakra is open and balanced, you may have a sense of clarity and focus; you will also be open to receiving wisdom and insight.
When it's blocked: A blocked sixth chakra may lead to problems with moodiness or feelings of volatility and anxiety. In addition, you may be more judgmental and may exhibit an inability to learn from others. Blockages can also manifest as difficulty trusting your inner voice and/or learning new skills. Physically, you may experience headaches or dizziness.
Recommended essential oil blend: Lemongrass & Lavender
Location: crown of the head
Color: violet or white
Element: ether (space)
The seventh chakra, known as the crown or "thousand petal lotus" chakra, is considered the seat of enlightenment and a place of connection to our higher selves, others, and the divine.
An open crown chakra creates awareness, consciousness, and the ability to live in the present. You may also experience a feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself, i.e. the universe. Unlike the other chakras, this one is generally fully opened only with certain yogic postures or meditative exercises. Through regular practices such as meditation, prayer, moments of silent or gratitude, you may experience a taste of the spiritual connection that is present when the crown chakra is fully open.
When it's blocked: Physical and mental problems that manifest from a crown chakra blockage include sensitivity to light, sound, or other environmental stimuli, and difficulties with learning. Emotionally, you may feel like you are isolated or disconnected from others.
Recommended essential oil blend: Lemongrass & Lavender
Opening Your Chakras
If you feel that you have a blockage in one or more of your chakras (which is quite common), then you may be wondering how to open it. There are many different approaches that you can take to opening your chakras, and in my next post, I'll take a look at how to use essential oils to help open and balance the chakras. But for now, let me leave you with a few tips and resources to help you get started.
Chakras.info suggests following these three steps:
- Know your chakras (I hope this post has helped you to get started on your journey of getting in touch with your chakras!).
- Identify the main chakra or chakras that you want to work on opening first.
- Activate the energy in the chakra(s) you want to open.
After you have developed a good understanding of the seven main chakras, you will probably know which one(s) you want to work on opening. Often, when one of the lower chakras is blocked, it creates imbalances in some of the higher ones, too. So you may wish to begin with the root chakra and work your way up. As you begin to focus on opening a particular chakra, chakras.info suggests that "it is useful to think of it not just in terms of "opening" your chakra, but also restoring flow, increasing awareness of its state and variations...the main principal at work when opening your chakras is the idea of balance or balancing."
There are a variety of practices and exercises that can help you to activate the energy in your chakras. These may include breathing exercises, physical activity focused on the chakra location, meditation on a particular chakra, "hands-on" techniques such as massage, and the use of essential oils, which we'll explore in the next post. You may find that one or two of these approaches is especially helpful for you; trust your intuition, and go with those practices that just feel right to you.
Fondin, Michelle. "Find Power and Warrior Energy in Your Third Chakra." The Chopra Center. Web. 13 May 2018.
Fondin, Michelle. "What is a Chakra?" The Chopra Center. Web. 10 May 2018.
Havasy, Dani. "The Elements of the Chakras." Core Chakra. 13 March 2017. Web. 13 May 2018.
"Opening Your Chakras." Chakras.info. Web. 10 May 2018.
Patel, Reshma. "Warning Signs Your Chakras are Out of Balance." MindBodyGreen. 21 April 2014. Web. 10 May 2018.
Zoldan, Rachel Jacoby. "Your 7 Chakras, Explained- Plus How to Tell if They're Blocked." The Weekly Challenger. 4 January 2018. Web. 10 May 2018.
Hi, I'm Katie, and I love writing for the Blog and working as a Verefina Communications Specialist! I discovered Verefina more than five years ago when I was searching for personal care products for myself and my family that did not contain harmful toxic ingredients. I was delighted to find that Verefina is truly committed to using only safe, healthful ingredients, and I absolutely LOVE working for this amazing company and sharing Verefina products with the world!