Updated: Jun 15
Chakra is a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is an ancient Indo-European language of India, in which the Hindu scriptures and classical Indian epic poems are written. The word ‘chakra’ literally means ‘spinning wheel’. A chakra is a spinning wheel of energy located in the body. The chakra system comprises seven main energy centres which are located along the spine of the human body. There are thought to be a huge number of chakras in total, but many systems work with the seven major chakras therefore these are the best known. Chakras aren’t just found within humans, animals have chakras too.
What are the chakras?
Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a bundle of nerves and internal organs, a set of behavioural characteristics and stages of spiritual growth. They are also represented by a specific colour, this is because each chakra has a colour that is determined by the wavelengths of energy vibration that particular chakra gives off as it spins. As each chakra spins at a different rate, known as its frequency, they each have a different wavelength of colour. Chakras become out of balance when their rate decreases or increases, which is called ‘underactive’ or ‘overactive’. This then affects us emotionally and physically. It also affects the colour that is given off by that particular chakra, so if you know someone who is intuitive and can see chakra colours, they might notice that your chakras are out of balance by the colours you are emitting. If one of your chakras is out of balance, you may experience symptoms. There are too many to list but a few examples include: Having difficulty focusing or concentrating, lacking purpose or motivation, feeling helpless and in despair, struggling to sleep and/or having nightmares, relationship issues and conflict, difficulty expressing yourself and being honest about your emotions, feeling unsafe or fearful, feeling disconnected with the world and other people. To resolve the issues you are experiencing, you need to clear and balance your chakras. By doing this, you can move and release trapped energy. Once your energy can flow better throughout your entire body and energetic system, your emotions can become balanced, physical pain and discomfort can disappear and life can feel like it’s flowing more. This sort of practice is known as energy work.
Where are the 7 main chakras?
The 7 main chakras are:
Muladhara – root chakra, located at the base of the spine
Svadhisthana – sacral chakra, located at the lower abdomen just below the navel. This chakra also covers the genital area and lower back/hips
Manipura - solar plexus chakra, located above the naval in the stomach area
Anahata - heart chakra, located in the centre of the chest
Vishuddha – throat chakra, located in the throat
Ajna – brow chakra, also called the ‘third eye’, located in the centre of the forehead
Sahasrara – crown chakra, located at the top of the head
How to balance the chakras
There are many ways to balance your chakras, including reiki, yoga, meditation, breathwork and using crystals. Balancing your chakras, which is also called ‘aligning your chakras’, means getting all of the wheels spinning at the right speed. Understanding how to fine-tune and balance your chakras can help bring balance and peace to your mind, body and spirit.
Chakra balancing exercise
I tend to use reiki and crystals to balance my chakras, but not everyone is a reiki practitioner and we don’t all have crystals! So here is an exercise anyone can use.
1. Begin diaphragmatic breathing
Begin with deep belly breathing, known as ‘diaphragmatic breathing’. Put a hand on your lower abdomen, where your sacral chakra is. As you exhale, push that part of your abdomen forward. This encourages you to breathe deep within your body, rather than shallow breathing in the upper part of the chest. Do this for a few minutes to relax your body and slow down your heart, then you can remove your hand.
2. Focus your energy into the root chakra
Now inhale and focus your mind on directing your energy with the breath into your root chakra. Feel into this chakra as you breathe. If you are visual, imagine you are inhaling the colour red in through your body, and push it down into your root chakra as you exhale. This is all done with intention – so if you can’t visualise, don’t worry! Just imagine it is happening. When we direct our attention into a particular area of the body, we energise that part. ‘Breathing into’ that part of the body relaxes it and can release energetic tension and stagnant energy.
3. Focus your energy into the sacral chakra
After a few breaths focusing on the root, now inhale and focus your mind on directing your energy with the breath into your sacral chakra. Repeat as above, and visualise inhaling the colour orange in through your body, and push it down into your sacral chakra as you exhale. Continue to breathe in this way for a few minutes.
4. Focus your energy into the solar plexus chakra
Repeat the step above for your solar plexus chakra, inhaling the colour yellow.
5. Focus your energy into the heart chakra
Repeat the step above for your heart chakra, inhaling the colour green.
6. Focus your energy into the throat chakra
Repeat the step above for your throat chakra, inhaling the colour of light blue.
7. Focus your energy into the brow/third eye chakra
Repeat the step above for your brow chakra, inhaling the colour of dark blue.
8. Focus your energy into the crown chakra
Repeat the step above for your crown chakra, inhaling the colour violet.
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