Chakras For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know
If you’ve stepped inside a yoga studio, chances are you’ve heard a teacher mention the chakras. Or you’ve seen a colorful drawing like the one below hanging on the wall. If you have no idea what the heck your teacher is talking about – no worries. I’ve got you covered in this post.
What is a chakra?
In Sanskrit, the word “chakra” means “wheel” and refer to the centers within our body where energy flows through. As you can see in the photo above, the chakras begin at the base of the spine and end at the crown of the head. When your chakras are balanced, energy flows freely through the body. When the chakras are out of balance, energy can get stuck in areas of the body causing physical, mental, or spiritual pain.
Each chakra has a number of attributes. as you work through learning about them below, you may find that certain attributes resonate or affect you more than others. Whatever speaks to you most is a great place to start when it comes to learning about the chakras and your energy. If you are unsure of where to start, begin with the Root Chakra. Then make your way to the Crown Chakra!
How many chakras are there?
There are seven major chakras in the body that you may be familiar with, however, there are actually 114 in total in our body. In addition to the chakras, we also have 72,000 “nadis” which are energy channels throughout the body.
We’re going to keep it simple today and talk about the seven major chakras that you find along the spine. The information that you’ll find below is meant to help further your understanding of the body, mind, and spirit. Plus, shed light on how impactful energy can be to all our major systems.
Beginning at the base of the spine, you will find the root chakra. The root chakra is your space of groundedness and security. When the root chakra is in balance, you feel connected, secure, and rooted in the earth. However, when your root chakra is out of balance, you feel insecurities around stability, finances, or relationships. I often find my root chakra out of balance in times of transition or unknown outcomes. On the other hand, when I have a routine and feel secure in my to-do list, I feel very grounded and centered in my body.
If you read this and feel that you may have an out of balance root chakra, try some grounding yoga poses outside in the park with bare feet. Seated meditation that calls in all of your senses is a great way to get grounded again, too.
The color associated with the root chakra is red and the element it is connected to is Earth.
The next chakra is the sacral chakra and it is located two inches below the navel. This chakra is your space of connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It is also referred to as the pleasure chakra since it is located just above the genitals.
When this chakra is free-flowing, you feel intense pleasure, abundance, and well-being. Your personality is magnetic and attractive. But, when the sacral chakra is imbalanced, you may find yourself overreacting frequently, codependence, and even physical symptoms like muscle tension, low libido, and fatigue.
If you are experiencing an imbalanced sacral chakra, hip opening yoga poses are a great place to start. In addition, adding in sweet fruits to your diet or aphrodisiacs can assist in breaking through stagnant energy.
The color associated with the sacral chakra is orange. The element it is connected to is Water. So it can be great to take a warm bath, swim in the ocean, or drink lots of water to get it back in balance, too!
Your solar plexus is the next chakra up from the sacral chakra and is known as our confidence center. The solar plexus is located in the upper abdomen area. It speaks to our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. When your solar plexus is out of balance, you may have issues dealing with self-worth, confidence, or value. This is one of the main chakras I am working on right now. I personally feel that we have to work hard at in the age of social media and comparisons.
If you feel similar to me, then there are a few ways to break up stagnant energy or blocked energy in the solar plexus. First, look at the relationships around you. Do you find many negative people weighing you down? It may be time to cut the cords with those people as they can be affecting your energy. The impacts on your energy can take place in more ways than you’d think. Additionally, meditation with crystals and a mantra or positive affirmation can help to boost your self-worth.
The color associated with the solar plexus is yellow, so look for stones like citrine, amber or yellow calcite. The element associated with the solar plexus is fire, so it may be helpful to write down all the negative emotions weighing you down and burn the piece of paper over a flame to signify letting go.
Located in the center of the chest, the heart chakra might be an obvious one, but it connects our upper and lower chakras in the middle. Having a blocked heart chakra can cause blockages throughout all the chakras. So it is very important to spend time nurturing this chakra.
The Heart Chakra speaks to our ability to love and set forth each day with loving actions. When this chakra is in balance, we love freely and openly. We also allow ourselves to be vulnerable and authentic with others. However, if the heart chakra is out of balance, you may find that you are closed off towards others and rarely feel emotions of love.
With breakups and events throughout our lives, it is easy for the heart chakra to close off. However it is essential that we work on clearing out the blockages so we can live heart-centered lives. Anytime you notice yourself closing off, challenge yourself to stay open to love. To view situations with love instead of envy, pain, or heartbreak.
The color associated with the heart chakra is green and the element is Air.
The next chakra is the throat chakra which is located, you guessed it, in the throat! It is our place of communication and speaking our truth and directly connected to the heart chakra. Often times, if the throat chakra is blocked, the heart chakra also feels pain and vice versa. When your throat chakra is blocked, you may feel like you cannot speak or you may even feel a tickle in your throat when you go to speak. When your throat chakra is in balance, you are able to speak freely and may be great at public speaking.
To unblock the Throat Chakra, put on your favorite CD and belt out all the lyrics while you drive or clean your house. This is my favorite way to open the throat chakra whenever I feel blocked.
The color associated with the throat chakra is blue and the element is Ether.
Third Eye Chakra
You may have heard of your third eye, or your pineal gland, located right in between the brows. This is your chakra of intuition and our ability to see the bigger picture. When your third eye chakra is in balance, you follow your feelings to make decisions and are connected deeply to your inner voice. On the other hand, when you are out of balance, you may be second-guessing yourself, looking to others for decisions and feel very zeroed in on situations in your life without knowing a way to solve your problems.
To bring your Third Eye Chakra back into balance, it is important to meditate and tune out the world so you can tune into your inner voice. Ask yourself questions and trust the voice within you to strengthen this energy center.
The color associated with the Third Eye Chakra is deep blue and the element associated is Spirit.
The final major chakra is the crown chakra and it is located at the top of your head. The crown chakra represents our highest self and our ability to connect with Spirit. When your crown chakra is blocked, you may feel disconnected from your intuition and whatever beliefs you hold. On the other hand, when your crown chakra is in balance, you feel deeply secure and in spirit.
If you feel your Crown Chakra is blocked, try a visualization meditation. Close your eyes and imagine a gold light beaming from the crown of your head, encompassing you and growing larger and larger with every inhale and exhale. Trust that every time you sit down to visualize this light you are clearing through blockages.
The color associated with the Crown Chakra is violet and the element is also Spirit.
What happens when your chakras are blocked?
As you can see across the seven major chakras there are a ton of different ways they can get blocked and cause physical, mental or spiritual dis-ease. Whether you find yourself doubting your actions, closing your heart off, or disconnected from Source and Spirit, it is important to learn how you can heal each and every chakra and find balance.
Chakras For Beginners: How to Heal Your Chakra System
You may have resonated with a few of the imbalances of the chakras after reading the above or maybe you resonate with all of them. Wherever you are at, know that you can heal your entire chakra system by focusing on one at a time and working your way through your energy body.
Whether it is through yoga, meditation, crystal rituals or diet, I encourage you to try one of the practices listed above each day to start bringing your chakra system back into alignment with free-flowing energy. Know that once you heal your chakras, it is a continuous practice that must be revisited from time to time and just like anything, takes practice to find that opening.
Now, I’d love to know, where do you feel the most blocked or the most open? What practice are you going to start with first? Leave a comment below and let’s get to healing!