An In-Depth Guide To The 7 Chakras
According to ancient yogic traditions the 7 main chakras are known by their Sanskrit names – Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudda, Ajna and Sahasrara. And whilst they are widely referred to in this tradition, they are also frequently observed in various other cultures, faiths and belief systems.
There is much mysticism surrounding the 7 chakras, although, in reality, they contain a life-force that is essential to our very existence and many people do not understand their function.
In this article, we are going to provide you with all the information you need to know to fully understand your chakras and how keeping them unblocked can benefit your health and your life.
What Are The Chakras?
Simply put, the chakras are energy centres that can be found running the length of the spine, from the tip to the crown of the head. The word chakra also comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and translates to mean wheel or circle – when we see the chakras depicted in imagery, they are presented as coloured circles, each with its own, symbol, colour and even texture.
It is believed that the chakras, when unblocked can absorb and emit energy and this serves to help the body and all the energy surrounding it to behave positively. This includes energy that is physical and spiritual, which ultimately means that working with our chakras can bring nothing but good.
When your chakras are balanced, you will notice that you can live harmoniously, your body, mind and spirit will align perfectly and you will be in good health. However, when these wheel of energy are disturbed, blocked or unbalanced, there is a shift in your wellbeing and this can signal that they may need some TLC.
The 7 Chakras
As we mentioned, there are 7 main chakras in each one of us, although there are other, smaller centres of energy located throughout the body, for the purposes of this article, we will focus on the main 7.
Each chakra is represented by a different colour – this is easy to remember as they run from base to crown in the order of the colours of the rainbow.
They also have their own functions and are each responsible for the health and wellbeing of different physical and spiritual aspects. Let’s get to know each one a little more.
The Root Chakra – Muladhara
This chakra, represented by the colour red is located at the very base of the spine, some yogic practitioners believe that it may be located even further down, slightly below the spine whilst others believe that it sits directly below the genitals – in any case, it is the lowest chakra and therefore, related to remained grounded and our primal needs.
The root chakra serves our day to day needs, in a traditional sense this would mean sustenance and grounding whereas in the modern-day, many people associate survival with financial security and good emotional health and quite often, a healthy root chakra will allow these things to manifest. What’s more, a balanced root chakra allows us to feel connected to the earth, secure and at peace.
In a physical sense, the root chakra governs the bones, the anus and colon, the teeth and nails as well as the adrenal glands – when it is functioning well, these areas of the body will be in good health.
Signs Of A Blocked Root Chakra
- Feelings of instability
- Trouble with finances
- Anxiety, panic attacks and fear
- Eating disorders
- Feeling emotionally disconnected
The Sacral Chakra – Swadhistana
The sacral chakra is often associated with two main things – creativity and sexuality and is located in the lower abdomen, below the belly button. This chakra is represented by the colour orange and when balanced can invoke a sense of abundance as well as a heightened sensitivity to pleasurable activities, particularly those relating to sex.
That being said, you will also likely experience a better creative flow and an increased feeling of energy and passion. The sacral chakra plays a very important role in the health of the lower gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive organs, the pelvis and any organs that lie in the lower portion of the abdomen. For this reason, a healthy sacral chakra is often linked with fertility.
Signs Of A Blocked Sacral Chakra
- Sexual dysfunction
- A lack of creativity
- Emotional distress
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Hormone imbalance
The Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura
Located in the upper abdomen, at the point slightly below where the ribs meet, the solar plexus chakra is represented by the colour yellow. This is often viewed as a very important chakra since it is where your sense of identity is born.
Not only this but the solar plexus chakra ignites your self-esteem and feelings of personal power. A balanced solar plexus chakra gives us the ability to make decisions easily and fills us with a sense of wisdom and self-knowledge.
Physically speaking, your solar plexus chakra is responsible for the health of the liver, spleen. gallbladder and the skin. A healthy radiance in the facial skin is often noted in those with a clear solar plexus chakra.
Signs Of A Blocked Solar Plexus Chakra
- An obsessive need to have control over others or yourself.
- Quick to become angry
- Unable to feel empathy
- Issues with digestion
- Feelings of shyness
- Feeling needy
- Liver and kidney disfunction
The Heart Chakra – Anahata
The energy centre located right in the middle of the chest, in line with the heart is represented by the colour green and can control your feelings of love, joy and compassion. However, this chakra rules much more than this and can offer healing and health as a result of its association with love and kindness.
Those with a balanced and unblocked heart chakra are able to demonstrate love not only for themselves but for other people. Whilst the lower three chakras are about a connection to the physical and the upper three are connected to the spiritual, the middle heart chakra is seen as a connection to both of these things.
Physically, Anahata governs, as you may imagine the health of the heart and lungs over which it sits as well as the thymus gland.
Signs Of A Blocked Heart Chakra
- Problems with circulation
- Feeling out of touch with your physical body
- Increased heart rate
- Problem with your personal relationships
The Throat Chakra – Vishudda
Lying, as one would imagine in the throat, Vishudda is represented by the colour blue and play a very important role in your ability to communicate your wants and needs. A healthy throat chakra is often associated with being able to speak the truth but also has some responsibility to how you love yourself and other people – likely to do with its close location to the heart chakra.
Not only will you be easily able to speak truthfully but you will also find that your communication becomes more clear, kind and loving. Many people believe that a healthy throat chakra gives us the ability to know exactly what to say at just the right time and as a result, can lead us to become an inspiration for others.
Signs Of A Blocked Throat Chakra
- Inability to speak clearly and truthfully
- The feeling of being ignored or overlooked
- Mouth ulcers
- Infections in the throat
- Sore throat
- Upper digestive issues
The Third Eye Chakra – Ajna
For anyone who doesn’t have a deep knowledge of the chakras, they may potentially still have heard of the third eye due to its profound connection with all things spiritual. It is located in the centre of the forehead, between the eyebrows and is represented by the colour indigo.
The third eye is famous for being linked with our psychic abilities and our connection to the spirit world, and whilst this is correct, there is more to this chakra than we might first think.
Ajna relates to intuition and perception as well as wisdom, making it one of the most diverse chakras. For those who are fortunate enough to have a balanced third eye chakra, they will experience a deep connection to their spirituality and are much more easily able to be receptive to it.
A balance between the spiritual and physical world is often thought to be a sign of a healthy third eye. Your third eye allows you to perceive things that your five senses do not and when unblocked, can receive messages in a way that does not feel overwhelming but beneficial.
Your physical body has various elements that are governed by Ajna including the eyes, ears, and olfactory system.
Signs Of A Blocked Third Eye Chakra
- Sinus problems
- Overly interested in the paranormal or spiritual world
- Bad memory
- Trouble sleeping
The Crown Chakra – Sahasrara
The crown chakra is often thought to be your connection with the Divine, with a power greater than your own – perhaps God, the Creator or the Universe. This chakra is simply pure, conscious energy and is often thought to be the most important one since it connects us to our higher self.
Many people believe that the crown chakra, whilst it emits our unique personal consciousness is more closely related to the pure consciousness of the universe itself.
It is represented by the colour white, or sometimes violet or ultraviolet owing to its radiant glow and has a very close connection to our most profound knowledge -often being referred to as the great seat of wisdom.
In addition to this, it is widely believed that not everyone can achieve a fully balanced crown chakra and to do so requires a lot of hard work. One might say that this is what is needed to become fully enlightened.
When the crown chakra is completely balanced, we ascend to a higher place of being and are connected with every level of consciousness – it’s kind of mindblowing.
In a physical sense, the crown chakra rules over the brain and all the fluids that flow around the body.
Signs Of A Blocked Crown Chakra
Since the crown chakra is the very centre of our being and the ultimate goal in reaching spiritual freedom, there are not many people who have a fully balanced and completed unblocked Sahasrara chakra. This is what makes us human.
That being said, if you are struggling with your spirituality and the very nature of your existence, this could be a sign that your crown chakra is more inactive than would be considered ‘normal.’
How To Unblock The Chakras
As you have seen, there are many ways in which a blocked or unbalanced chakra can have an impact on our spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing. But the good news is that there are many ways in which we can work with our chakras to keep them healthy and functioning.
One of the most common ways to do this is through meditation and whether you decide to follow a guided meditation for unblocking the chakras or a self-led session, this is one of the most effective ways to achieve balance.
However, you might also consider any of the following methods:
- Perform yoga asanas related to the chakra you wish to unblock – for example, boat pose for the root or cobra pose for the throat chakra.
- Use chants. Each of the chakras has its own vibrational frequency and, therefore, it’s own chant that can be used to unblock it. For the root you chant LAM, the sacral you chant VAM, the solar plexus you chant RAM, the heart you chant YAM, the throat you chant HAM, the third eye and crown you chant OM/AUM.
- You can use essential oils to open the chakras. Massaging them directly onto the area using a carrier oil can be extremely effective as can inhaling them.
- Healing stones are frequently used as a method of unblocking the chakras but it is important to use stones with corresponding colours to the chakra you are attempting to unblock.
The chakras are a system of energy centres that are present in all of us and each one serves a different aspect of our physical, emotional and spiritual make-up. Whilst a well-functioning chakra can provide us with good health and abundance in all areas of life, they can become blocked and unbalanced leaving us with ailments and emotional issues that can be life-limiting.
Fortunately, there are many exercises we can take part in to rebalance the chakras and live a fuller and more healthy life. Ultimately, the crown chakra should become balanced giving us spiritual freedom and allowing us to move towards our higher selves.