I have explained chakras in the past, and provided basics on how to balance them.
Chakras are energetic forces in and around our bodies. Different schools of thought claim a different number of chakras, some located within and some just outside our bodies. There is no dispute, however, that there are at least seven chakra points within our bodies. These seven chakras are the ones I focus on.
Chakras work on us on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. The epicenter of each chakra sits in the midline or center of our body, and they rotate forming vortexes or wheels around our being. The word chakra is Sanskrit for wheel. I will tell you the vitality we experience when our chakras are balanced.
How Chakras Work
Chakras regulate how energy flows through our body, and that can have an effect on us on different levels:
Physically: chakras affect our health and the functioning of our body. Chakras are linked to our nervous system and are located close to nerve centers (Rattana, 2014). They are also linked to organs and organ systems.
Mentally: chakras affect how we think, interpret, and process the information we receive and the experiences we have.
Emotionally: chakras affect how we feel and how we express emotion.
Spiritually: each chakra center connects with an aspect or dimension of our soul, affecting how we relate to our self, how we relate to others, and how we relate to the world around us.
First, Root, or Muladhara Chakra: Stability
When we look at the other chakras, we begin by balancing this one. The root chakra represents our foundation. It gives us our ability to grow and develop. It is located in the perineum, the base of our spine, or the place where the midline of our body touches the chair when we sit. It keeps us healthy, as the seat of our physical health, and brings us material wellbeing.
Physically: our root chakra affects our adrenals, our kidneys, and some of our excretory system, as well as our lower extremities. These organs regulate our ability to survive and thrive.
Mentally: it holds our stress and fear, which are rooted in our need for survival. Our adrenals regulate our fight-and-flight response, so this chakra affects how we manage pressure, stress, and anxiety.
Emotionally: it represents our sense of comfort, which we get from our home, relationships, finances, career, and health. When it is balanced we feel safe, secure, and protected.
Spiritually: the root chakra keeps us grounded and connected to the Earth, and what is tangible. It reminds us that our body is the clothing of our soul. It is connected to the Earth element, which is the foundation of all chakras (Rattana, 2014).
Second, Sacral, or Svadhisthana Chakra: Creativity
When we are grounded and stable, we express ourselves comfortably and we relate well with others. The sacral chakra represents our sensuality and creativity. It is located at our navel or in between our belly button and our groin.
Physically: it affects our sexual and reproductive organs and our skin, which regulate our ability to connect with others, feel pleasure, and procreate.
Mentally: our sacral chakra gives us a sense of wholeness and determines how we allow our thoughts to be influenced by our emotions.
Emotionally: the sacral chakra is the center for all that we feel. It represents our sense of nurturing towards ourselves and others. When we express emotions with ease, we allow for the free flow of energy.
Spiritually: it gives us the ability to be creative, as our emotions affect our creative expression. It is connected to the Water element and represents fluidity (Rattana, 2014).
Third, Solar Plexus, or Manipura Chakra: Confidence
When we are grounded, and we express our emotions in a balanced way, we honor who we are and are able to experience life fully. The solar plexus chakra represents our will power and our ability to move forward. It is located in our belly or the area where we feel butterflies in our stomach.
Physically: it affects our digestive organs, including the pancreas and liver. These correspond to how we take in and process nourishment. It is the place where we process information we receive from the body.
Mentally: our solar plexus provides us drive and motivation as well as our ability to organize and control. It is also the seat of our ego.
Emotionally: it gives us a sense of confidence, worthiness, and satisfaction, and our sense of worth. It gives us energy.
Spiritually: it gives us the ability to connect with our identity. It is the basis of our intuition, gut feeling, or sixth sense. It ignites our consciousness. It is connected to the Fire element, and represents the heat the fuels our motivation, nourishment, digestion, and elimination (Rattana, 2014).
Fourth, Heart, or Anahata Chakra: Love
When we are stable, we relate harmoniously with ourselves and others, and we have a strong sense of self, the actions we take and how we integrate them into our life path allows us to feel love and compassion. The heart chakra represents love. Love is the purest form of energy, connection, and divinity. It is not just about romance or what we feel for our family and friends, but the feelings we have for ourselves, all sentient beings (all that has a soul), nature, and the universe. The hear chakra is located over our sternum, our heart center, or right in between our breasts.
Physically: our heart chakra affects our circulatory system and our heart, keeping us alive and well. It is vital in distributing and circulating nourishment and oxygen to our body, as well as removing toxins from all areas of the body.
Mentally: it determines how our emotions influence our thoughts, including how we approach self love and love towards humanity. It influences how we interpret connections.
Emotionally: the heart chakra gives us the ability to feel love, kindness, and compassion towards ourselves and others.
Spiritually: it connects us with all sentient beings, who share this space and this Earth. It is connected to the Air element. It’s the connection between the lower three and upper three chakras, or between the tangible and intangible. It integrates our body (influenced by the lower three chakras), our mind (influenced by the solar plexus and upper chakras), and our spirit (influenced by the upper chakras), opening our physical and spiritual hearts. It gives us guidance and inner strength (Rattana, 2014).
Fifth, Throat, or Vishuddha Chakra: Truth
When we are grounded, we relate well with others, we have a sense of purpose, and we express love, we develop a connection with our higher consciousness. The throat chakra is the first chakra to relate mostly with the intangible, and it represents our authenticity and ability to communicate. It is located on the throat or above the thyroid gland.
Physically: it affects how we regulate our metabolism, and our respiratory organs, as well as how we express and emit sound. Sound is how we communicate.
Mentally: the throat chakra determines our ability to express ourselves authentically and speak our truth, including communicating confidently yet not aggressively or passively. Communication is not just about speaking, but also about listening, writing, singing, and expressing artistically and creatively.
Emotionally: it regulates our creativity, which is born out of the sacral chakra, but is expressed through our throat. It regulates all forms expression, including our ability to share how we feel without fear or apprehension. It regulates our ability to listen to others without judgement.
Spiritually: the throat chakra affects our ability to process our reality and take-in what life offers us, including our adaptability, our ability to change and transform. It is connected to the element of Ether, which is the element of sound. Sound communicates, purifies, connects, and transforms (Rattana, 2014).
Sixth, Third Eye, or Ajna Chakra: Inspiration
When we are grounded, we are connected with our feelings, we are connected with our identity, we express love openly, and we speak our truth, we are able to connect with our inner knowing. The third eye chakra represents inner awareness and observation. It is located in the middle of the forehead or the area right in between our eye brows, yet slightly above.
Physically: it affects our pineal gland, which regulates our sleep and wake cycles. It also affects our pituitary gland, which regulates much of our metabolic processes.
Mentally: the third eye determines how we view ourselves, and how aware we are of ourselves and the world around us. It is where we hold our mental power or our ability to be conscious and focus inward without allowing our thoughts to take over, being present, and releasing judgement.
Emotionally: it gives us inspiration and motivation, as well as our ability to feel calm and peaceful.
Spiritually: the third eye gives us our ability to connect within, tap into our intuition, and act on it. It relates to our consciousness and ability to be present and meditate. In this state of consciousness, it allows us to recognize we are all one, and that as we connect within we are tapping into the universal knowledge that we are all a part of. It is connected to the element of Consciousness (Rattana, 2014).
Seventh, Crown, or Sahasrara Chakra: Wisdom
When we are grounded, connected with our emotions, connected with our selves, able to be open to give and receive love, communicate and listen to authentic truth, and open up to our intuitive abilities, we experience the non-physical reality. The crown chakra represents wisdom and our connection to the divine. It is located at the top of our head.
Physically: it affects our cranium and regulates all brain function. Apparently, we only use a small percentage of our brain, and by tapping into the crown chakra we are able to use the remaining portion (Rattana, 2014).
Mentally: the crown chakra collects all that we know, all of our memories, and all of our experiences. It holds our ability to process all thought and see that we are part of the universal consciousness. It provides us a sense of purpose.
Emotionally: it determines how we incorporate our thoughts and feelings and create associations between them. It is also where we feel guidednand protected, knowing that the divine and the universe has our back. It provides us inner peace and bliss.
Spiritually: our crown chakra creates our connection to celestial beings, faith, religion, and/or spirituality. It gives us our sense of connection to the universe. It is connected to the Light element (Rattana, 2014). Light stands for divinity.
When all of our chakras are healthy and balanced, we feel secure, stable, confident, and loved. We express ourselves freely, we are comfortable with who we are, we have love and compassion for ourselves and others. We know ourselves well, and we understand our place on Earth and our connection to all beings. We act with faith, because we know we are guided and protected.
When one of our chakras are out of balance, whether from under or over activity, it warrants attention. Not only to restore our vitality, but to ensure other areas remain in harmony. Chakras influence each other. As one gets out of balance, the other chakras also react.
We can identify when we feel out of sorts by noticing when our physical condition, mental state, emotion, or spiritual awareness is not in harmony. The awareness itself can help us make changes to bring these chakras back into balance. But, sometimes we require additional support. I will share more about this in my next post.
Rattana, G. (2014). Your Life is In Your Chakras: In-Depth Guide for Awakening Your Chakra Powers.2ndEd. Sunbury, PA: Yoga Technology, LLC.