Lets face it, we all know when we’re out of balance, as something just does not feel right. Perhaps you have a lingering cold that just won’t go away, are feeling anxious, or an inability to love yourself and others. Maybe you can’t sleep soundly at night, become frustrated easily and feel like your life lacks abundance. According to the pseudoscience of Ayurveda and Yoga, it’s an indication that our subtle energy body centers called the Chakras may not be working to their full potential.
The chakras are inextricably linked with practice of yoga and meditation and as you read on you might get a feel for why you might want to consider being more conscious of, and prioritizing working on certain chakras in your general wellness routine. Even, if you are not ready to dive in deep, it’s an interesting thought provoking read, promise!
In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, chakra means wheel and are more well known as being referred to as subtle body energy centres, which are center points in our body responsible for balancing it physically and emotionally and to make sure that energy flows through it uninterrupted.
Energetically, the chakras are aligned vertically along the energetic core of the body. The 7 main chakras begin at the base of the spine and go up to the crown. Each one is represented by a colour, an element, a specific location and is located over our endocrine glands.
Muladhara The first chakra is referred to as the root or base chakra, located at the base of the spine it corresponds to the element Earth, associated with the colour red and located over our adrenal cortex glands. It represents grounding energy, strong foundations and roots, connection with the earth. It really encompasses the foundation of our life. It is associated with our sense of security, fight and flight responses and regulates our stress levels. When the first chakra is balanced, we feel rooted in the present moment. An imbalance in this energy and it can make you feel stuck, anxious, prone to falling into relationships that do not serve our higher good. Furthermore, you may not feel you fit in, lack grounding, and may preoccupied with material wealth or eating in excess.
Svadhishthana commonly referred to as the sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen below the navel and it corresponds to the element of water, represented by the colour orange. It rules the reproductive organs and the kidneys. It governs our creativity, part of our intuition or gut instincts, emotions, passions, joy and pleasures. It is symbolized by the divine feminine. When we are balanced in this energy we are open, playful, sensual and radiant and hold ourselves in high-esteem. Here we are in touch with our emotions but at the same time are not overruled by them. An imbalance in this energy can manifest as neediness, co-dependent, insecurity and being disconnected with those around us.
Manipura is located above the navel in the center of the torso and is commonly known as the solar plexus. It is the element of fire and is represented by the colour yellow. This chakra is ruled by the gall bladder, pancreas and adrenals. Energetically, it is associated with confidence, drive, motivation and integrity. When balanced in this energy you know your worth and come into your own power. You have the drive to achieve your ambitions, are a confident, decisive decision maker and stand capable and strong. Signs of an imbalance can appear in low-self-esteem, indecisiveness, anger and controlling behaviour.
Anahata popularly known as the Heart center located over the sternum. Its element is air and is represented by the colour green. It is ruled by the breathing system (heart, lungs) thymus gland and extends towards our arms and hands. It is represented by unconditional and universal love. When in balance we feel connected to others, learn how to give and receive, give gratitude and experience deep and meaningful relationships. However, when this chakra is energetically imbalanced you can feel alone, unable to trust, have a fear of intimacy, feel nonsocial and feel like you cannot forgive or let things go. This chakra especially feels the effects of grief and heart break from romantic relationships – so take upmost care of this energy!
Vishuddha otherwise known as the throat chakra. Its element is sound and is represented by the colour blue. It is ruled by the trachea, throat, cervical vertebrae and thyroid. This chakra harnesses the energy of sound and encourages you to find your voice, speak up and express yourself. It is not only about you speaking your truth but hearing what needs to be heard. When your fifth chakra energy is able to charge forward you can express yourself with confidence, responsibly and can be a diplomatic communicator. Being balanced in this energy is also about being a good listener. An imbalance here can result in tightness around the shoulders, being shy, critical and talking too much or too little. If at times you do not have anybody to talk to keep a Journal to avoid the repression of emotions.
Ajna otherwise referred to as the third-eye, located at the center of the forehead between the eyebrows. Its element is light and represented by the colour indigo. It is governed by the pineal gland. The beauty of this chakra is that it gives us the gift of intuition, foresight, imagination and ability to visualize. When balanced we trust our inner wisdom, trust our intuition, and in the natural progression of life. An imbalance at this energy center leads to a lack of clarity, unable to focus to and realise your visions or goals.
Sahasrara is also know as the crown or spiritual chakra as it is located at the top of the head. It is associated with the element of thought and represented by the colour violet. It is ruled by the pituitary gland.
The energy at the crown strengthens your connection to your sense of universal consciousness, wisdom, and unity. The gift of this chakra is that when it is balanced you can stay grounded even when life is not going as you planned. External circumstances don’t overwhelm you as you realise life is not perfect and never will be. Your happiness no longer rests on material possessions or accumulation of wealth. An imbalance at this chakra, causes an inability to think properly, feelings of frustration, being unfocused and a lack of stability. It is best to mediate or open the crown chakra when you have a strong foundation, grounding yourself at the lower chakras first.